Home is Where the Heart is? Hardcover – Illustrated, 18 Sep 2009
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"'We want to be modern, but we want to be human too.' Ilse Crawford" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Ilse Crawford is a strategic designer who has been in the business of predicting what's next in design for more than a decade. Her London office, studioilse, stands for modern and emotional design and has created New York's latest exclusive destination - Soho House - as well as the Electric Cinema in London's Portobello Road, and the highly acclaimed hotel Babington House, near Bath and the newly re-launched Kettners. Her first book, Sensual Home, is considered by many to be a bible of modern living, and has sold over 100,000 copies worldwide.
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Top Customer Reviews
Re-reading it reminds me that the interior decoration, contents and style of where I live should make me feel comfortable, secure and revived. I'm decorating for me, not for the next person who is going to live here. If you've looked at houses or flats for sale recently, you will have seen the endless wash of beige that passes for mainstream interior decoration. Horrible. Read this book and you won't do that to yourself.
Ms Crawford used to edit an interiors magazine, and prefers places that look messy and human to the picture-perfect designer homes her magazine used to feature. Having said which, there's a fair amount of white walls, bare floors and empty space in the photographs, but also a lot of colour, cushions, decoration and toys. She wants us to have homes that makes us feel comfortable, not that a buyer will find blandly acceptable. Some of the content is trendy of-the-mid-Oughties twaddle (a reference to electro-magentic fields as harmful or to "saving" water in domestic use - Ms Crawford forgot her school physics) which I just ignore, because the rest of it makes me remember that a house is more than just a "machine a vivre", but a place that should be warm, reassuring and comfortable.
The book is an art-object in itself - I have the red faux-satin cover version - and is beautifully printed and laid out.Read more ›
There are many fascinating illustrations and photographs - the book designer deserves to have won a prize - and the text invites you to think for yourself on many aspects of the way we choose, or don't choose, to live. Plus there is a scattering of intriguing quotations about how we all live and how we might live..... and some useful contact lists in the back on various topics. It would make an excellent present for someone, say, who is about to move house or who is trying to declutter or change their rooms, etc.
N.B. The cover is very simply designed and is of plain, unvarnished grey card with black binding (so care must be taken not to read it with greasy hands!)
Crawford has set out to write a book on creating your home ('design' is a misleading word at this point) to satisfy your emotional needs more than any snobbish desire to be trendy. This is a valuable project. Many recent books have focused on a mumsy, reassuring, cluttered HOMELY style, without doing anything more original than picking up popular trends and regurgitating them with personal garnishes. "Kirsty's Home-made Home" is the TV face of this trend, and its trivialising, facile approach is typical of the genre, which also manifests itself in the folksy twee-ness of "Granny Chic" and the utility-focused nostalgia of suppliers like Bailey's Home and Garden and Labour and Wait. This is the first book which I have seen to actually seek to analyse properly where this movement originates, and what gives it the potency of more than simply a fashionable style.
Unfortunately, Crawford's text doesn't really get to grips with this admittedly demanding and diverse remit, and at times the result reads as if the author has taken a her pages of notes from her reading and hammered them rather lumpily together into a text. The essays exploring the heritage of our distant past and its effects on our current behaviour are interesting but too slight.Read more ›