Category Archives: Homemade

Christmas Gift Guides: Gift Guide for Your Best Friend

It’s inching closer to Christmas and Team Booko is here to help with six suggestions of which books to gift your style-loving Bestie this festive season. We have scoured the best of the best home decorating and style guides and we know the books below are going to be enjoyed by anyone who is lucky enough to unwrap them this December. 

Sit back and get clicking. Also, just a little reminder that this is the time of year that posties get a little inundated so it may be worthwhile ordering sooner rather than later and allowing a little longer for delivery. 

How We Love: Notes on a life by Clementine Ford

How We Love is a deeply personal exploration of love in all its forms from a feminist icon and bestselling author of Fight Like a Girl and Boys Will Be Boys. Clementine Ford is a person who has loved deeply, strangely and with curiosity. She is fascinated by love and the multiple ways it makes its home in our hearts and believes that the way we continue to surrender ourselves to love is an act of great faith and bravery. This tender and lyrical memoir explores love in its many forms through Clementine’s own experiences. With clear eyes and an open heart, she writes about losing her adored mother far too young, about the pain and confusion of first love (both platonic and romantic) and the joy and heartache of adult love. She writes movingly about the transcendent and transformative journey to motherhood and the similarly monumental path to self-love. How We Love is heartfelt, funny, confessional, revelatory, compassionate, and essential reading. It shows us to ourselves in moments of unwavering truth and undeniable joy.

Three Birds Renovations Dream Home How-To by Bonnie Hindmarsh, Erin
Cayless, Lana Taylor

The long-awaited next instalment from the authors of Australia’s number 1 home improvement book (you can see that here) Australia’s favourite Birds are back with bigger home transformations, bolder extensions, breathtaking new builds and hundreds of new tips. Jam-packed with reno goodness, this book is a visual feast overflowing with ideas and inspiration from Three Birds projects in glorious detail, including their most ambitious new build to date: a family home that channels an idyllic island getaway (year-round staycation, anyone?). Go behind the scenes to see how the Birds make over their own spaces for work and play. First up, a tour of Three Birds HQ guaranteed to spark ideas and help you turn a humble home office into boss-worthy territory. Next, their spin on Christmas decorating, stuffed full of frugal and festive DIY hacks, will come in handy every year whether you rent, own or live in a caravan. The cherry on top of this inspiration smorgasbord comes courtesy of their very own savvy students! In a bonus chapter, graduates of the Birds’ super-popular online Reno School share images and advice from their own incredible projects, dream spaces created using tips and money-saving tricks learned from the Three Birds. Proving, once again, that anyone can make reno magic with the right know-how.

A Year at the Chateau by Dick and Angel Strawbridge

Like many couples, Dick and Angel had long dreamed of living in France, but where others might settle for a modest bolthole in the French countryside, the Strawbridges fell in love with a 19th-century fairytale chateau, complete with 45 rooms, seven outbuildings, 12 acres of land and its own moat. Throwing caution to the wind, Dick and Angel swapped their two-bedroom flat in East London for an abandoned and derelict castle in the heart of the Loire valley and embarked on the adventure of a lifetime with their two young children Arthur and Dorothy. Sharing their full journey for the first time, A Year at the Chateau follows Dick and Angel from when they first moved to France in the depths of winter and found bedrooms infested with flies, turrets inhabited by bats, the wind rattling through cracked windows, and just one working toilet, which flushed into the moat, through to the monumental efforts that went into readying the chateau for their unforgettable wedding and their incredibly special first Christmas. Along the way we’ll read glorious descriptions of rural life in France, with charming characters, delicious food and wonderful seasonal produce, together with the extraordinary list of renovations and restorations Dick and Angel completed, many of which were never shown on TV. As warm and entertaining as their much-loved show, A Year at the Chateau is a truly irresistible story of adventure and heart, epic ambitions and a huge amount of hard graft.

A Room of Her Own: Inside the Homes and Lives of Creative Women by Robyn Lea

A Room of Her Own features the dazzling homes of twenty extraordinary women around the globe. Across sitting rooms and studios, salon-style hangs and table settings, this is a book of daring inspiration. In this new Renaissance period – a time of artistic, cultural and intellectual rebirth – these women have chosen to carve out their own space to live creatively. Artists, designers, makers and curators invite us into their domestic and professional domains to reveal a world of meaning and purpose beyond status and consumerism. Now, more than ever, we are searching for new ways of thinking, new ways of living. These pages are filled with beautiful rooms, but Robyn Lea’s gorgeous photography and evocative texts look beyond the aesthetics to explore the ideals and practices of these women and guide us all on a new and exciting path forward. A Room of Her Own is a manifesto for the 21st century.

Principles of Style by Sarah Andrews

In Principles of Style, Sarah Andrews presents her unique take on teaching design, drawing on her experience of working in the industry and as a teacher in her school, which has reached cult status around the world. Importantly, Principles of Style aims to be a timeless learning tool for readers, no matter their own personal style, with Sarah revealing many of the ideas, tips and skills she has accumulated along the way. She does this by examining some of her key projects and favourite rooms, as well as by focusing on her ten rules of styling, formulated both through hands-on experience and studies in the science of design. Sarah believes that everyone has the ability to create interiors that are right for them; in this inspiring and eminently practical book, she aims to demonstrate just how to do so.

Nature Style: Cultivating Wellbeing at Home with Plants by Alana Langan,
Jacqui Vidal

It’s no secret that time spent in nature is good for us. Nature helps us thrive, improves our health and wellbeing, decreases stress and increases happiness. But if you don’t have the luxury of a forest at your doorstep, bringing the outside in can provide an immediate connection to the natural world and the many benefits that come with it. From the founders of the botanical emporium Ivy Muse comes a practical guide to styling the home for health and harmony, using nature as a blueprint. With expert advice on houseplants and how to style them, as well as pro-tips on the choice of decor and materials, finishes and furnishings, this book shows how natural elements can be incorporated into almost every room in the house – both effectively and affordably. Nature Style is for all those who seek to restore body and mind in a natural and nurturing home environment where houseplants are the heroes.

Enjoy!

Six of the best Spring Cleaning Books on the Market

Life has been a bit of a curve ball this past year which resulted in us all spending a lot of time inside our homes. Our homes have morphed into office spaces, schools, home gyms, restaurants, bakeries, puzzle worlds, and libraries so we thought it may be time for the annual spring clean. We have rustled up 6 of the greatest titles on the market to help you shed, mend and curate your things. 

Make yourself a cup of tea, pop your feet up and get ready to be inspired. 

The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning by Margareta Magnusson

Okay, so this one seems a tad scarier than it is. It’s all the title’s fault really. This book is a charming, practical, and unsentimental approach to putting a home in order while reflecting on the tiny joys that make up a long life. In Sweden there is a kind of decluttering called döstädning, dö meaning “death” and städning meaning “cleaning.” This surprising and invigorating process of clearing out unnecessary belongings can be undertaken at any age or life stage but should be done sooner than later, before others have to do it for you. In The Gentle Art of Swedish Death Cleaning, artist Margareta Magnusson, with Scandinavian humor and wisdom, instructs readers to embrace minimalism. Her radical and joyous method for putting things in order helps families broach sensitive conversations, and makes the process uplifting rather than overwhelming. Margareta suggests which possessions you can easily get rid of (unworn clothes, unwanted presents, more plates than you’d ever use) and which you might want to keep (photographs, love letters, a few of your children’s art projects). Digging into her late husband’s tool shed, and her own secret drawer of vices, Margareta introduces an element of fun to a potentially daunting task. Along the way readers get a glimpse into her life in Sweden, and also become more comfortable with the idea of letting go.

Hinch Yourself Happy by Mrs Hinch

All the best cleaning tips to shine your sink and soothe your soul. Discover how to transform your home. Cleaning doesn’t have to be that job you dread. Not when Mrs Hinch is here to show you her sparkly ways. Mrs Hinch has taken Britain by storm with her infectiously addictive charm, clever cleaning hacks and her passionate belief in the life-changing magic of tidying. With the help of her cloth family, Mrs Hinch will help you turn your house into a home. Whether you’re a daily duster or looking for a monthly makeover, Hinch Yourself Happy shows you how to create not only a cleaner house, but a calmer you. If you want your kitchen to sparkle, then this is the book for you.

The Art of Repair by Molly Martin

For Molly Martin, it all started with a pair of socks. Her favourite pair. When the heels became threadbare, her mother got out her darning mushroom and showed her how to reinforce the thinning stitches and bring them back to life. She has been stitching and darning ever since. In The Art of Repair, Molly explores the humble origins of repair and how the act of mending a cherished item carefully by hand offers not just a practical solution but nourishment for the soul. Using her own beautiful illustrations, she guides us through the basics of the craft – from piecing and patching to the ancient Japanese art of Sashiko. This book will stay with you long after you put down your needle and thread. It offers an antidote to our increasingly disposable lifestyle, encouraging us to reconnect not just with the everyday objects in our environment but also with ourselves.

Create Space by Dilly Carter

Some of us just want to cut the clutter, live better with less, give ourself some headspace, and enjoy life more. Create Space shows you how taking steps to clear and simplify your living space can also clear your mind, improve your relationships, and enhance your wellbeing. This room-by-room guide to organising and decluttering your home is packed with ideas, advice, tips and techniques that are practical and functional as well as beautiful. Turn chaos into calm with step-by-step methods that you can adapt and sustain for your own needs. When you stop allowing your life to revolve around things that don’t matter, you instantly gain energy to focus on the things that do. Reclaim your space, your time, and your mind right now, to reorganise your living space into a place of sanctuary.

Curate by Lynda Gardener and Ali Heath

Designer, Photographer, Creative Director, Doyenne of the unique and decorative, Australian interior stylist and boutique hotelier, Lynda Gardener, is always on the hunt for finds to enhance her homes and decorating projects. Her ability to curate and display these personal treasures has created a trademark style that is loved internationally. Curate, the highly anticipated book by creative duo, Lynda Gardener and journalist and stylist Ali Heath, reveals how to create a home that is truly individual. With their shared love of a monochrome aesthetic and natural imperfections, they explore the eight Elements that bring a space to life: palette, nature, textiles, lighting, a combination of old and new, storage, collections and art. Ten aspirational homes show the style in practice, including a converted warehouse, one-bedroom studio, bijoux apartment, historic cottage, country estate, new-build barn, remote shack, period townhouse and rural retreat. With gloriously evocative photography and plenty of down-to-earth ideas, Curate will encourage you to embrace your individual style, dream big and create a timeless interior of your own.

Let It Go by Peter Walsh

Whether you’re selling your family home, blending households, or cleaning out your ageing parents’ home, sorting through a lifetime’s worth of accumulated possessions can be a daunting and stressful experience. When decluttering guru Peter Walsh went through the process of downsizing his childhood home and dividing his late parents’ possessions among his family, he realised that making these decisions about mementos and heirlooms creates strong emotions and can be an overwhelming chore. In Let It Go, Walsh helps you turn downsizing into a rejuvenating life change. He offers useful tips and practical takeaways, including how to understand the emotional challenges that accompany downsizing, establishing a hierarchy of mementos and collectibles, calculating the amount of stuff you can bring into your new life, and creating strategies for dividing heirlooms among family members without drama. Change your mindset around possessions and learn to Let It Go.

Enjoy!

Six gorgeous gardening books for spring

Spring has sprung and gosh what a welcome relief it is. Unlike all of the other seasons, Spring comes with the promise of hope and optimism. Blossoms bursting open on branches remind us that good things can come after months of gruelling times. 

It is with this optimism and joy that we are focusing on what we can do to embrace this cheery new season and take advantage of the sunnier days and brighter skies. So it is off to the garden we go with six gorgeous books to inspire the green thumbs among us. Fear not, we have also included books for those of you that have limited gardening space and those of you that are plant-keeping-challenged. 

Pure Style in the Garden by Jane Cumberbatch

With more and more of us spending most of our time at home, outdoor spaces have become our retreat; somewhere to breathe again, heighten our senses and escape the onslaught of noise, clutter and technology. Pure Style in the Garden offers ideas and inspiration for making the most of any outdoor space we might have; whether it is a garden, a patio or a balcony, or even just a window box  and for bringing touches of nature indoors for mindful enjoyment. Bestselling author Jane Cumberbatch’s ‘Pure Style’ philosophy is all about making the most of what’s around you and finding beauty in the simple and every day as an achievable alternative to the stressful demands of consumer society. In this book, which was put together over the course of 2020, she draws on her the inspiration of her own home and garden to supply ideas and inspiration for life-affirming colour, scent and texture, and to show how even the most unpromising outdoor space can be a source of sensuous renewal. Viewing the garden as an extension of the home, and with ideas for all seasons, this beautiful and inspiring book is illustrated with glorious photographs and enchanting paintings by the author herself. A book for dipping into or enjoying as one long read, or both.

You can click here to see Jane’s other ‘Pure Style’ series books.

Organic Gardening for Beginners by Lisa Lombardo

Imagine cooking with organic tomatoes right off the vine or seasoning with fresh, homegrown herbs. Organic Gardening for Beginners shows aspiring home gardeners how to get started. Learn to raise dozens of fruits and veggies at home with sustainable and eco-friendly practices that protect the environment and produce safe, nutritious food – no grocery store required.

Discover what it means to keep a completely organic garden with tips, advice, and step-by-step instructions for planting the right plants at the right time, designing an efficient layout, and attracting the right pollinators to help every garden thrive. Begin with an overview of the most popular types of organic gardening from in-ground to containers and decide which one works best in every space. Find out how to choose soil, control pests with no chemicals, and combine the crops that grow well together. Get an explanation of each crop that breaks down what it needs to grow and what beginners need to know for success. Grow your own thriving backyard ecosystem with expert advice on nourishing organic gardening.

The Heirloom Gardener by John Forti

This gorgeous book is an A-to-Z compilation of traditional gardening skills and heirloom plants, nostalgically illustrated with wood block art. Modern life is a cornucopia of technological wonders. But when we spend so much time glued to our phones and computer screens, something precious is lost: a sense of connection to the generations that have preceded us. John Forti is acutely aware of this loss, and his mission is to heal it. In The Heirloom Gardener, he celebrates and shares the lore and traditional practices that link us with the natural world and with each other. Arranged alphabetically, entries include heirloom flowers like beebalm, Johnny-jump-ups, and nasturtiums; traditional skills such as distilling, wreath-making, and brewing; and subjects such as ethnobotany, biodiversity, and organic gardening. Throughout, Forti highlights the ways in which these plants and practices can enrich modern life. The Heirloom Gardener is charmingly illustrated, resulting in a beautiful book that will inspire you to slow down, recharge, and reconnect.

Futuresteading by Jade Miles

Futuresteading is a practical and inspirational guide to living in a way that values tomorrow: a slower, simpler, steadier existence that is healthier for you, your home, and the environment. Whether you live in a city apartment, in the suburbs or on twenty acres, the principles of futuresteading offer easy-to-understand information and hands-on ideas. Learn to grow delicious food and medicinal plants; share rituals with loved ones through the seasons; feast on healthy home-cooked food for the family; nourish body and soul with outdoor expeditions and moments of rest; and create wonders with your hands. This welcoming handbook begins by showing how futuresteading works in an accessible and practical explainer, before venturing through six seasonal chapters – Awakening, Alive, High Heat, Harvest, The Turning, and Deep Chill – filled with inspiration for the garden, including making fences and wicking beds, along with over 30 rewarding recipes for slow, nourishing and easy meals. Grow, store, eat, preserve and share food that deepens the connections you have with your household, your soil, and those around you.

House Planted by Lisa Muñoz

This one is for the many of us who do not have a sprawling garden. Green up your living space with this bright, fresh, stylish introduction to choosing, caring for, and designing with houseplants. Get ready to transform your humble abode! Whether you have a funky bohemian den, a chic minimalist loft, or a closet-sized rental, indoor plants will bring a whole new level of warmth, comfort, and style into your home. In House Planted, interior plant designer Lisa Munoz guides you step by step and room by room through picking the perfect plant for the perfect spot and incorporating plants into your indoor decor. You’ll find info on plants that are hard to kill, hanging plants, succulents, air plants, and more. There are creative ideas for displaying plants, tips on caring for your new leafy friends, and primers on potting and troubleshooting. Casual and easy-going, with attainable styles and simple instructions, this short and sweet book of inspiration has everything you need, and nothing you don’t, to start you off on an adventure in better –and greener– living.

How Not to Kill Your Houseplants by Trisha Bora

Okay, another one for those of us who are less than green-thumbed. We’ve all killed houseplants. But a plant’s death is a good starting point, because it can help us answer the important question: Why did it die? Equipped with the right knowledge, you can make plants thrive for many years. How Not to Kill Your Houseplants is a comprehensive guide on how to care for houseplants. In this book, you will learn how to choose the right plants for your space and lifestyle, the right light requirements, when and how to water and fertilise them, the best potting mixes, and how to propagate plants.

With simple and effective advice, and seventy houseplant profiles, accompanied by stunning pictures, plant parenting has never been easier.

Enjoy!