Monday, July 5, 2010

Megan Morton's Home Love - A Compulsory Acquisition

Do you sometimes buy a design book, stare at its cover with breathless expectation, leaf through it, slowly at first, then a bit faster and more angrily, close it, sigh and think 'Is that all there is?'

I do.  All the time.  And it is this disappointment which has led me to cut down severely on such purchases.    After all, these books are expensive, and there are many more and better things to spend one's money on. 

I feel that a lot of these books are just a collection of photos, sometimes well edited, sometimes not so.  And we can get so much eye candy on the internet these days that for me, to be real value for money, such books need to offer more.

Megan Morton's Home Love is something else.  Whilst it has some lovely images, the point of the book is actually to impart information.    To help and provide practical advice.

And for bumbling amateurs like me, a book like this is very useful.

Each double page has a topic, an image on one side and a page of discussion on the other.

The Rooms for Living section looks at ways to live now, including the hidden kitchen, pleasing an early teen, how to create an elegant night-time living room, working with and under a staircase and the benefits of a roof top conversion. 

Keeping Up Appearances considers how to create different styles - Scandinavian, coastal, bohemian, Australian rustic, uptown glamour, modern retro and so on.  This part also has a little section on the best films with inspired interiors from The Hours to All that Jazz. 

And, thrill of thrills, because this wonderful person is a Sydneysider, her references are Australian - which means that this book  works equally well as source book for all things from fabric and customised wallpaper, soft industrial furnishings, garage junk to Italian lighting and other delectable things including many which were new to me. 

Ultimately, it comes down to something quite simple:  Megan Morton can write really well - evocatively and simply with charming turn of phrase.  

To give you an idea, here is a little excerpt from a post on her site (see link below):

"I actually don’t approve generally of colour coding books in shelves. It’s like the overworked mini bar in my opinion. In the same way gerberas were over done in the mid 90’s or the more recent abuse of too much lettering/signage in a room."   (Hear hear).

(How I love this picture with the little bunches of ranunculi and a map of Australia in the background.)

Her Attention to Detail section looks those little things which are so important, including how to hang art, how to buy antiques and collectibles, working colours into white, using mirros and how to achieve flawless white floors. 

There is even a section at the back with some suggestions for ergonomic living and which flower is in season when.  

Rush out now, or click on Amazon, and buy this fantabulous book. 

For more on Megan, see the interview the Design Files did with her here and her website is here .

(All images copyright Home Love).


brismod said...

That is a very good recommendation, Jane. I've seen it on quite a few blogs, so good to hear it is worth buying. And you're hardly what I'd describe as a bumbling amateur...

Lee said...

I was given a copy of this book for my birthday - you're spot on the money Jane, it's brilliant. A book not just to be gazed at, but also to learn from. Lee :)

count it all joy said...

Jane, I adore this book. I was at first drawn to the cover, but was skeptical because, as you described, I've also been disappointed before by beautiful books that don't necessarily translate to the average householder. This book is very beautiful yet accessible. It's currently on my wish list:) Hope all is well in your lovely Pear Tree House. Meredy xo.

Amanda said...

Thanks for the great recommendation of this book - I've been seeing it pop up a fair bit lately but like you said, was sceptical of how good it would actually be inside. So glad to hear it's a winnere - is definitely going to the top of my wishlist now :)

Ann said...

Beautiful book, beautifully described - as usual! And thanks for reminding me about her blog. She does write well... and I so with you both on colour coded books and overdone lettering. Ann x

Amanda (Small Acorns) said...

I finally ordered this book for myself over the weekend Jane, and can't wait for it to arrive. Couldn't find it on Amazon, but you can order it via Megan's blog and website.

Engracia said...

You're right Jane, this is a definite winner. i stalked Borders for a few weeks to first vet the book (I too have been disappointed with many such purchases) and secondly to wait for a discount price. Love it. I can also recommend the latest kid's interiors book by Susanna Salk, Room for Children: Stylish Spaces for Sleep & Play.
Right off to have my squares of Lindt

Mise said...

Ok! I will! I love a design writer with her own opinions, as there's so much out there that merely restates the norm.

And I hope you are fine, Jane - staples in your head, although you write lightly of them, can't have been a fun experience. You deserve plenty of good books and the time to relax with them.

Josephine Tale Peddler said...

Hello Jane, I was impressed by her idea of gathering items that 'speak to you ' and then working from your collection. I love the way she makes the space you have unique from that project. xx

Dumbwit Tellher said...

Greetings Jane - Megan's design style I adore and her book looks exactly what you said, a must buy. I'm a big fan of eclectic style and she knows how to make it all work. As for you my friend, design bumbling amateur, NOT!! Hoping you and the family had a wonderful weekend. Hard to believe it's Monday..yikes.

Great new week to you Jane x

Lissa Pierce said...

Thanks for the great reccomendation. I agree totally though I still can't keep myself from buying even the most useless design book. The images just lure me in and I can't stay away! I do love it when you do come across a book that has the best of both worlds....great images, and great advice. Bonus! This will be another one to add to the list.

Kerry said...

I have to agree with everything you say in this post and I love this book. It's a keeper! Do you know about the Book Depository as a wonderful book source; great prices and free shipping to Australia. I use it all the time.

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