Friday, October 31, 2014

A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman (book review)

As I've just repainted the boys' bedroom, I really want to do more DIY and painting in our home to make it more "us." Not 100% sure how "us" looks but beige walls aren't what I'm thinking. I was more than happy to review "A Beautiful Mess: Happy Handmade Home" by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman. They are bloggers at A Beautiful Mess and really have crafted their homes into "them."

The book itself is beautiful - full of bright, colorful pictures, a few recipes, DIY tips. It's just a book that screams "fun!" However, the content was less than I was hoping for.
image via Random House
A few of the DIY (do it yourself, for those not up on acronyms) projects are completely do-able - the quotable wall art, hanging plants, flower faces 9 ways, update your old refrigerator. OK so most of the DIY are do-able but then there's a few that are out there (mostly in the time realm): yarn throw pillows (making your own loom), DIY kitchen rug, DIY dream house recipe box, DIY cross-stitch stool. I don't have the time nor the skills (cross stitch?) to do these. But maybe someone does!

The one DIY I really want to try is to make a bubble bath shelf. I love taking a bath but am always getting stuff wet because I'm putting it on the floor outside the tub. I love the idea of making a shelf to lay my stuff on. It doesn't look terribly difficult either: some thin wood, paint or stain, some screws.

What I really got out of this book was inspired - and I think that was their whole goal. At the start, they say that these are just a stepping stone. I don't want my house to look like their house but like my house. Some of the ideas that I've been inspired to try (over many years):
- wallpaper the wall behind our bed vs. a headboard (some crazy pattern or something)
- wallpaper the North wall in the hallway by our bedrooms
- shelves in our closet (for shoes, purses, baskets of scarves)
- big giant bookshelf...not sure where this would go
- swing chair (2 would be nice, in the toy room and in our bedroom to read in)
- hammock outside (I really really really want this)
- outside lights strung over our patio/porch area
- metal chairs spray painted yellow or a variety of colors (outside)
- paint dining room furniture (not sure of color)
- kids' wall of art (a friend has one strung up in their toy room and in this book they have multiple strung in their playroom - not sure where to have this)
- paint the trim white in the toy room (love the wall color but it needs some brightening up)
- paint the front of my dresser (or whole thing)
- paint our room light gray with a slightly darker gray in this alcove my dresser is in
- highlight above room with yellow - spray paint the fan (even ceiling fan?), full-length mirror, Big A's clothes shelf
- living room: do one really big current picture of our family and then outline that with several other pictures of our family of different sizes

Maybe my ideas will be shot down by others in the household or maybe we'll have to collaborate or maybe this really will take years to do, but I just want to end up in a place where I LOVE my house. I love every room in it. I really do love it now, there's just some things I don't love (like brown everywhere; it's just not my color). 

I may not use many of the ideas in this book but I think it was worth reading to get my inventive, creative juices flowing. I also may need to learn woodworking.

Disclaimer: I received this book in order to write an honest review. Others may not share my opinion(s).

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