I finally found the decorating book that describes my style: The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman. You might recognize her name if you read Domino magazine: she was its founding editor. I glanced at the book a while back while checking in holds for library patrons. Because I couldn’t take home the book right then (it being on hold and all), I flicked through it and gleaned one new-to-me idea that I implemented as soon as I got home.
Now I’ve had the chance to read and admire the book from cover to cover. I love the tone–conversational yet authoritative. I think confidence probably makes up 80% of decorating style (the other 20% coming from actual knowledge about things like color theory, proportion, and lighting). This girl seems to have both confidence and knowledge in spades.
She has cute terms for elements of home decor, such as “jollifiers” (children’s art falls into this category); “mollifiers” (junk we tolerate because our loved ones love it); and “smalls” (“…those precious little objects that are the grown-up versions of the toads and stones and broken sticks and bits of gathered string that we stuffed into our pockets as children. Nothing can add vitality to a room or clutter the hell out of it more than one’s smalls” p. 186). Amen to that, which is why I’m fairly anti-knickknack.
This book explains why I love calculated mismatch.
Why I thrill at the sight of even a couple stems of flowers greeting me from the table.
Why home decor doesn’t have to cost much to create an embracing space.
And why, after all we pour into the process, the best part of decorating a home is living there.
What touches make your home a haven? Do you get the most satisfaction from successes such as finding the perfect piece of furniture or serendipities such as scribbled masterpieces from the littlest loved ones in your life?