Monday, 9 July 2012

Book Review: The Perfectly Imperfect Home

When preparing to decorate any room, there are always a few go-to books that I pick off my shelf and immerse myself in. One of those books is The Perfectly Imperfect Home by Deborah Needleman.

This will probably be the weirdest book review you've ever read. I start off by slating it and then get all lovey-dovey. Confused?
 Read on and all will become clear...

You see, The Perfectly Imperfect Home (published by Jacqui Small) is the antithesis of most of my other favourite interior books. When I'm browsing Amazon, it's usually the pictures that I devour and the text receives only a cursory skim. {fully aware that makes me sound about three years old.} And luring me in is where this book fell right down.

 The Perfectly Imperfect Home is illustrated with beautiful water-colours by Virginia Johnson but the pictures, in my humble opinion, are wrong, wrong, wrong. While they are exquisitely put together, they leave me utterly cold. Is it just me or is there more than a sniff of the gawdy eighties about them?

{I should add that this disagrees with all the other reviews I've read of this book, 
which raved about the paintings so I'm bracing myself for a tumbleweed moment.
Hello? Hello? Anyone??}

Yup, if 
I hadn't seen this book over on Gg Notes On The Journey, 
I'm not sure that it would have caught my interest at all
and my picture-prejudice would have cost me dearly.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home has become one of  my very favourite interior books. The text is outstanding and more than makes up for the rather not-my-taste-at-all illustrations. Comforting, warm and gentle, Deborah Needleman guides the reader through the process of decorating their home. Chapters include Nice Lighting, A Bit Of Quirk, Delicious Scent and Dinner With Friends.

Her writing style has the tone of a best friend, who also happens to be an expert in making your home the very best it could be....and is able to convey that information....over a cup of tea and a home-baked slice of gooey cake.... 
{that was the lovey-dovey bit I promised you...}

When do you ever get that feeling in normal interior books, I ask you? Gorgeous photos, yes...they come as standard. But sparkling, lively text that draws you in and makes you feel Yes! I can do this!!? Nope.....that's not normal.

The Perfectly Imperfect Home has that in spades.
You want it? Come and get it...
Buy it now over on the Amazon Widget in my sidebar...

And to be stretched to the limits of temptation,
check out my other favourite book reviews: just click here...

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Sonny G said...

I have to agree that the illustrations leave me cool, EXCEPT for photo 4 which I have in almost exact duplicate in my guest room LOL LOL .. singer sewing cab on wrought iron- pics above and yes even a couple hats .. OMG, my heart is sinking as I type- guess I wont be posting that pic when I blog about my guest room... eek

I think I'll get the book on your recommendation though and save it for wed. when its supposed to rain and I cant be in the yard playing..


Sonny G said...

ps~ I clicked all over the Buy My Fav Books section on the sidebar and it isnt working.. I shall return and try again later.

loveandlilac said...

I confess that I demand gorgeous photos that make me swoon from my interiors books - the illustrations seem very dated to me. In saying that I've had a look over at Amazon and I agree the narrative is lovely. The book reads like a novel so I can see how nice it would be to snuggle up with some tea and cake!

Hope the new baby is coming on a treat xx

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

Sonny, that's so funny...I DO like that picture. It was the one image that I put in the post that I think is lovely - classic and timeless!!

I've given the book widget a good clicking and it's working fine for me. Grrrr. Will look into it - thank you for letting me know!


Janell @ House of Fifty said...

Perhaps I'm in the minority but I loved the illustrations so much that I am tempted to cut a few out (gasp!) and frame.

And...thanks Sarah for providing the images and information to profile your blog in the new issue of House of Fifty, just went live today!


Glynis said...

Hi Sarah..I've spotted you in House of Fifty too...great article!

Shawna said...

I know what you mean. I want to say that the illustrations are charming. They almost are. But something isn't right. I have been curious about this book ever since I heard about it last year. I shall definitely give it a try.

Calypso In The Country said...

I do love the happy colors in the illustrations! Congratulation on the birth of your daughter!...and congrats on the feature in House of Fifty! Hope all is well!
Cheers! - Shelley

Full Circle Creations said...

Great review. I'd rather see gorgeous pictures of homes instead of the illustrations. Congrats on the feature in House of Fifty!


Seaweed and Raine said...

Mmm. Being that I am a visual-kinesthetic, I have to agree with you about the illustrations. Not quite my cup of tea. Have you ever popped in to the Real Living website?

Ann said...

I'm with you,
I look at the pics first then,
I'll read the text... unless I already know the author and already a fan.
These illustrations are so beautiful.

Cindy said...

I'm very visual, I look at the illustrations long before I read text in any decor book. This one would definitely not get my vote.

Sarah @ Modern Country Style said...

But, but, buuuuuut by looking at only the illustrations, we'd all be missing out on a really fab book. I'm going to look more closely at the text in interior books from now on...alongside to-die-for photos!!

Jenny said...

I checked this book out at the library because of the reviews but was very disappointed in the illustrations. I just feel that a book on home decorating is much more inspirational if the pictures are photos of actual homes and settings. BTW I love your blog ~ my husband and I live in the US but we honeymooned in the Cotswolds and would love to go back some day.

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