Category Archives: Homes

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!

Six of the newest lifestyle books on the market

Working from home had previously conjured up the idea of waking when you wanted, showering and then easing yourself into the day by making a coffee and wandering towards your laptop with slippered feet. 

In reality it’s a little different. Laptops are balanced on makeshift desks, there’s rushed makeup to be done for zoom calls, cans of dry shampoo are now our best friends, wifi can be a little temperamental, alarms still rudely wake us in the morning, the working day seems to start earlier and finish later, it’s all a bit frantic really and we haven’t even mentioned home schooling. 

One way to slow this new way of living down is to make sure you have taken the time to give yourself a dedicated space to work (even if it is the end of the dining table) a space to rest and relax, and a space to play. We have scoured the internet and flicked through a number of glorious books to bring you what we think are six inspiring new reads that will help you embrace our new Covid friendly lifestyles with colourful flair.

The Pattered Interior by Greg Natale

Ohhh there’s something so fun at peaking inside other people’s houses to see how they live. The Patterned Interior tours a rural Oklahoma property that redefines contemporary rustic cool; a unique surf-inspired penthouse overlooking one of Australia s most sought-after beaches; a Midtown New York pied-a-terre that exudes sophistication; a vast country estate in southern Australia with a distinct rock vibe; and a light-filled city apartment in one of Sydney s most iconic buildings. From the big picture to the smallest vignette, Natale shows how pattern can transform and enhance any space.

Greg Natale presents his signature approach to the juxtaposition of graphics and patterns within each space. At once sophisticated and characterful, Natale’s interiors are renowned for marrying contemporary accents with vintage pieces to create environments that traverse serenity and flamboyance. In this exquisite photographic monograph, Natale guides the reader through a diverse selection of residences, exploring the power and importance of pattern increasing unforgettable interiors. Natale’s unique insights are accompanied by stunning images by acclaimed photographer Anson Smart.

Vivid: Style in Colour by Julia Green and Armelle Habib

This bright and cheerful book is currently sitting on my desk beside me, nudging me to take on a little more colour and branch away from my usual grey and white home. Vivid: Style in Colour is an interiors book celebrating the influence of colour in the world of design and our everyday lives. Built around the insights of renowned stylist Julia Green gathered over several decades, Vivid looks at the spaces we inhabit both at home and at work, and how the application of colour can create different outcomes and impacts. The book includes eight chapters divided by colour: orange, red, blue, green, pink, yellow, neutrals, and black. Photographer Armelle Habib contributes stunning interior shots alongside travel vignettes that tell the story of how different palettes are interwoven into our lives. Vivid features interviews from leading proponents of the art of colour around the world, including Martyn Thomson (Sydney), Jessica Bettenay (Melbourne), Marielle Ienna (Palermo), LRNCE (Marrakech) and Los Enamorados (Ibiza). Short essays on colour in styling and design complement the photography, addressing the science of colour and colour psychology, confidence in bold or clashing colour, using colour to connect or divide spaces, artworks, layering colour for depth and texture, and styling for small spaces and for the seasons. Vivid tackles questions around the application of colour and, crucially, where to begin if your life feels like it could benefit from some new (coloured) energy.

Curate: Inspiration for an Individual Home by Lynda Gardener

Designer, Photographer, Creative Director and 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 readers to embrace their individual style, dream big and create a timeless interior of their own.

Escape into Cottagecore by Ramona Jones

Find happiness in the natural world, be fully present where you are and free yourself from the expectations of others. Embrace a more peaceful life with cottagecore – a soft, fairytale world that combines traditional comforts with a modern existence to create a sense of magic and retreat.

While we may not be able to uproot ourselves and settle entirely off-grid in the middle of a forest, Escape into Cottagecore will help you rekindle your love of nature and rediscover simple joys, wherever you may live.

Full of practical advice and inspiration, and covering topics from home decor and herbology to eating with the seasons and mindfulness, this beautiful book will invite you on a cottagecore odyssey, bringing the nostalgia, relaxation and beauty of countryside living to every part of your life.

The Secret Life of the Modern House by Dominic Bradbury

Over the last century the way that we live at home has changed dramatically. Nothing short of a design revolution has transformed our houses and the spaces within them – moving from traditional patterns of living all the way through to an era of more fluid, open-plan and modern styles. Whether we live in a new home or a period house, our spaces will have been shaped one way or another by the pioneering Modernists and Mid-century architects and designers who argued for a fresh way of life. Architectural and design writer Dominic Bradbury charts the course of this voyage all the way from the late 19th century through to the houses of today in this ground-breaking book. Over nineteen thematic chapters, he explains the way our houses have been reinvented, while taking in – along the way – the giants of Art Deco, influential Modernists including Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright, as well as post-war innovators such as Eero Saarinen and Philip Johnson. Taking us from the 20th to the 21st century, Bradbury explores the progress of ‘modernity’ itself and reveals the secret history of our very own homes.

You. Your Space. Your Life. Arrange your environment to soothe your Soul by Ellen Schneider

This book is a little different from the others as it addresses your attitude to home, rather than what is inside it. Occupying a home is occupying a life. It is more than bricks and lumber. It is living among the nuances of your attitudes, the perpetuation of your feelings and your personal taste. As you read this book, you will be given the opportunity to realise how your personal choices surround you and how this surrounding creates a mood, a pulse that pours into every cell of your body and life. And the question is, is it reflecting the life that you want? Go deeply, travel gently and come out the other side evolved and renewed. And then begin, step by step, to arrange your support around you in an authentic way that propels you into your future with confidence and delight.

Enjoy!

Refresh your bookshelf with Booko: Vivid

This one is for the interior lovers and colour enthusiasts. Vivid: Style in Colour is an interiors book celebrating the influence of colour in the world of design and our everyday lives. Click through to pre-order a copy now.