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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual treat.
I confess I was a little surprised at the content of this book, expecting it to be focused pretty much exclusively on Kiely's designs of fabrics, wall-coverings and other domestic items. Those things are there, of course, in early chapters called 'My Work' and 'My Home', which follow on from an introduction which gives some background on her early interest in and...
Published 17 months ago by S. J. Williams

versus
3.0 out of 5 stars For building not decorating
I got this book hoping for some ideas to liven up my home. I was expecting a lot of Orla Kiely patterns used in unusual ways. What the book was more about was architecture. Most of the houses were of 1960s and 1970s design, even those more recently built, an architectural style which doesn't excite me. I felt like I was seeing the same house repeatedly, with new furniture...
Published 14 months ago by Dinah85


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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A visual treat., 2 Dec. 2013
By 
S. J. Williams "stevejw2" (Leeds, West Yorkshire United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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I confess I was a little surprised at the content of this book, expecting it to be focused pretty much exclusively on Kiely's designs of fabrics, wall-coverings and other domestic items. Those things are there, of course, in early chapters called 'My Work' and 'My Home', which follow on from an introduction which gives some background on her early interest in and progression into the design world. But the bulk of the book presents 12 'case studies' of modernist houses in beautiful photographs and with a brief written introduction. (This is a pretty 'text-lite' book', an advantage as, for me, the text is neither particularly insightful or inspiring: it survives pretty much entirely on its illustrations. This is definitely a coffee-table text.)

The UK, Norway, Denmark and Ireland are represented to illustrate some of Kiely's design principals and significant preoccupations. The houses are unfailingly interesting: though not necessarily the sorts of environments many of us would like to live in, they offer ideas and inspiration for the home owner and would also be of interest for someone entering into the field of domestic design.

I suspect that this is the sort of book that few people would actually buy for themselves, but would be very happy to buy for others or receive as a gift. As such, strongly recommended. I should add that it is also very beautifully designed as an object in its own right.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Inspiring: some beautiful pics of some beautiful homes., 2 Dec. 2013
By 
Sebastian Palmer "sebuteo" (Cambridge, England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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Unlike some other reviewers I had no idea who Orla Kiely was before getting this. If I were rating this purely for the chapters about her and her products I'd probably give it just three stars: although I may share some of her taste-forming experiences - '70s designs and colour combos imprinted heavily on me in my 1st decade - and whilst I may quite like some elements of her design aesthetic, I'm not crazy for it, and her writing style is rather lightweight and repetitive.

What made this book so desirable for me are the fabulous photos of some tremendously beautiful homes. The book itself is fairly large-format, and the paper, print-quality and design are all top-notch. I have to confess that with a lot of art and design books I simply enjoy looking at the pics, and this certainly delivers in that respect. However, Kiely's light as air text can easily be read in a single sitting, which is just what I did: it's inoccuous enough, but a trifle thin and repetitive (she's got me at it now!).

My somewhat sniffy crabbiness about Kiely's gauzy candy-floss text may in part be a reaction to a slight undercurrent of designer fascism. For all her references to design that makes you smile there's a rather narrow aesthetic at work here which, despite its seductive qualities, has a slightly repellent whiff of self-satisfaction about it: 'look at us and our beautiful homes... aren't we tasteful/great'.

Woody Allen lampoons this self-conscious form of interior decorating as posing in a hilariously tragicomic scene in Play It Again, Sam. I'm also reminded somewhat of the clash of views that I was always feeling when watching The House That 100K Built, where there seemed to usually be a sense of dislocation between the trendy presenter experts and practically everyone else. Some may think all this a bit po-faced of me, but, despite to some extent sharing Kiely's aesthetic, it puts me in mind of the aspirational and conformist subtexts so prevalent in magazines and advertising culture: be like us and you'll be happy, the obverse of which could be, if you're not like us, there's something wrong with you.

Or is this all simply sour grapes because I'm jealous that I don't have such a domicile to enjoy? Hmmm!? From a more purely positive perspective the 12 homes pictured and described are mouth-wateringly wonderful. Perusing this book awoke the self-build fantasist in me, my mind busily noting and recombining the various ideas into my own dream home. So, a lovely book, esp. picture wise, but it could plausibly leave one dissatisfied with ones own humble abode! Enjoyable to browse through, and even capable of inspiring, but for me it should come with the warning: 'this product may cause feelings of inadequacy'.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Through the keyhole, 6 Feb. 2014
By 
Amazon Customer - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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A lavishly illustrated, coffee table proportioned book that allows you to peep through the keyhole of various houses with commentary on their design and contents by Orla Kiely.

A short biographical introduction sets the scene and informs that Orla loved architecture and textiles from a young age and has enjoyed a cosmopolitan lifestyle travelling from her home country of Ireland to work in both Paris and New York. She has branched out from designing women's fashion to add an interesting range of retro items for the home and garden to her repertoire.

Leafing through the book it felt a bit like I had an interior designer accompany me on a room by room house viewing giving me tips and pointing out how and why things worked particularly well.

I found much to inspire me within the pages and, although my home is fully furnished, I managed to make a few tweaks to arrangements that made a difference. I have also now discovered a new source of decorative items in the form of Kay Bojesen wooden animals and Oiva Toikka glass (um, thanks Orla).
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Retro future..., 16 Jan. 2014
This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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You can hardly fail to have spotted one of Orla Kiely's trademark prints somewhere in the past few years, they've become almost ubiquitous in some stores (and on some TV shows) and my only concern in choosing this book was that it might feature nothing but those patterns. Thankfully I was wrong and it actually features a beguiling range of interiors, all illustrating Orla Kiely's broader design techniques and style. Of course it all has a very retro feel, lots of fifties style furniture and furnishings, but it's certainly all put together in a contemporary way and I'd happily move into and live in any of these interiors. That's technically feasible too since these are all real interiors, not sets in a photo studio, and each chapter details how Kiely adapted her style and ideas to a particular house or apartment and, of course, a particular client.

As a book of home inspiration it'll have you rushing to the nearest dealer or market looking for iconic fifties or sixties furniture pieces to be the focal point of your room, which of course could get very expensive as you won't be the only person doing that. A cheaper way might be to check your parents or grandparents attic - if you're lucky they might have furnished their home in the same period and be unaware of how fashionable their old furniture has become again. My mother and grandmother both took a quick look at the book and declared it was all a bit dated looking - it was hard to explain that's really the point, so I gave up. Grown-ups never understand.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Drool inducingly beautiful coffee table book, 16 Jan. 2014
By 
Atticman (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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My wife LOVES Orla Kiely's designs, and we were lucky enough to receive a few pieces for our wedding. However this book takes her characteristic patterning and extends it through it's logical event horizon - the photos of the various rooms are dripping with elegance, from mis-matched kitsch to achingly hip Bond-villain style dens. My wife and I have always had a love of classic designs by companies like G Plan and this book really reflects our tastes. It's like wondering around an insanely expensive furniture boutique in central San Francisco, cooing over coffee tables and couches, lusting after knick-knacks and other detritus of modern life that you don't need but BY GOD I WANT IT!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Quality Book, 4 Jan. 2015
By 
Coincidence Vs Fate - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
I bought this for my wife who, it has to be said, is pretty obsessed with house design, etc.

The book obviously features of Kiely's work, as it should, but it also showcases other European homes through beautiful photography and interesting text. It reminds me a little of those Taschen books that used to be popular at one time. We've got a shelf full of those too!

The book itself is beautifully printed and presented and is a real pleasure to flick through. As with a lot of books like this there is certainly an air of "done well, haven't I?" showing off, but to be honest, I would want to show my home off if it looked like some of the houses in this book.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gorgeous, 23 Oct. 2013
By 
Mr. J. A. Smith "thetoot" (Blackwell) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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This is, as you would expect from Orla Kiely, an absolutely beautiful book. Full of photos of her designs, her own house and case studies of other mid-century houses across the world. The photos are accompanied by an interesting commentary on Orla's design process, inspiration and roots.

The book is a hefty volume - definitely not one for slipping into your handbag to read on the go, but with the characteristic print on the outside and famous leaf design on the spine this book will look equally gorgeous on your coffee table or bookshelf.

A must-read if you are a fan of design and of Orla Kieley prints.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Home is where the heart is., 20 Feb. 2014
By 
Flickering Ember "I need a break and I wanna ... (Once Upon A Long Ago.) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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As a huge fan of all things Orla Kiely, I ordered this book, thinking it would contain more of her designs and advice than anything else. If you are ordering it on the same premise, then I would advise you that it isn't what you think it will be. In some ways, it's actually better. You will find some beautiful homes and interiors photographed inside, and explanations of Orla's inspirations from around the world and previous eras. This book is absolutely beautiful in its presentation and its quality. A wonderful gift and a wonderful coffee-table tome.
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4.0 out of 5 stars 1950's retro design inspiration, 10 Dec. 2013
By 
R de Bulat (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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I quite enjoy the 50's modernist style of Orla Kiely; the quiet design and simplicity with bold shapes and colour-ways. I had thought that this book would feature her design exclusively, but its main focus is upon mid 20th century modernist housing, some of which is as personable as an office waiting-room. However, some of the design that she features is interesting, combined with artworks and prints from the same period, it works. The style, overall, is largely Scandinavian with a bit of Habitat or Conran shop furniture and accessories. The section on her own design is informative, albeit quite short and the feature on her own house - Victorian with some decorative original features - seems, to my mind, a not altogether happy mix with 50's designed furniture looking paired down and utility in a way that appears a bit hand-me-down. I don't want to sound too critical, because the houses featured are beautifully photographed and exude quality. In the end, it is a question of personal taste and if you like 1950's modernist architecture as well as furniture and design, then this book will have great appeal. Owners of modern flats, keen to decorate with a retro style, may find much to inspire and Kiely's design is superb: Victorian brick or Georgian stucco, it ain't. Other reviewers have described it as a good coffee table book: I would like to think that it was a bit more than that and it has a lot of style and artistry in it.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Stylish resource book for Orla's fans and more., 1 Nov. 2013
By 
bookworm8 "bookworm8" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Orla Kiely Home (Hardcover)
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With personal memories of the styles of the 1950s onwards, I was interested to see a modern take on some of these and was not disappointed.
Orla's designs are not always to my taste - nor were all the originals - but her interpretations are thoughtful and will often fit into modern as well as retro settings.
The book is beautifully produced, clearly laid out and I think most of the homes pictured work really well and would provide inspiration for a wide range of styles. I love the industrial light fittings, soft, traditional Persian rug and built-in shelving pictured on page 85. The Siegel House (p69 onwards) has many features that are still considered 'modern' and forward-looking, such as an internal light well, glazed walls, and sunken areas within the living spaces. Personally, I don't like the sunken areas, dangerous for children, no handrails for the infirm, etc. but then when I turn to the feature (page 51) on Orla's house, I just love it all.
An enjoyable read even if you are not fascinated by style. Superb photographs even if you don't just love looking at other people's homes. Overall, lots of inspiration, lots of information on Orla's ways of thinking, including architecture and furniture, and lots of very adaptable examples of making a home that is a pleasure to live in as well as to look at. Expensive, but very good value.
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Orla Kiely Home
Orla Kiely Home by Orla Kiely (Hardcover - 7 Oct. 2013)
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