A Beautiful Mess Happy Handmade Home: Painting, Crafting, and Decorating a Cheerful, More Inspiring Space by Elsie Larson and Emma Chapman
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I really struggled with rating this book but I think I'll go with 3 and a half stars. This is a book that will either resonate with you or completely turn you off ... or it may impact you like it did me - I found it interesting but I don't see myself using this one to guide the projects I decide to do in my home. Ultimately, I think the design aesthetic demonstrated in this book (and shown on Elsie & Emma's blog A Beautiful Mess) is a bit more hipster and crafty than my own design aesthetic. There were very few projects in the book that I felt would fit in our home (or could be adapted to our home) which was pretty disappointing. I love how committed Elsie and Emma are to their style and to thinking outside the box. I find that to be very inspiring and compelling as a reader of their blog ... and frankly its what keeps me going back there despite the fact that I don't find a ton of projects to actually do in our home.
The book itself is beautiful - the photography, the quality of the paper, etc - were all fantastic. If you're a huge fan of the types of projects they share on their blog, this book may be right up your alley. But if, like me, you enjoy their blog but never see much that you think would translate well into your own home, this might not be a book for you.
The book covers a lot of areas - Living Rooms, Kitchens, Dining Rooms, Studio Spaces, Bedrooms, Outdoor Spaces, Playrooms, and Small Spaces. In addition to specific project ideas, there are sections about several different types of parties which was a nice addition. Some of my favorite projects in the book include the Colorful Accent Art project in the kitchen section, the kids' gallery wall (which I've seen before so this isn't quite so innovative), and the color crates for the closet seemed interesting. That's about it. Everything else was interesting and fun to read about but doesn't really translate to something I can or would use in my own home.
All in all, I highly recommend this to huge fans of A Beautiful Mess. Otherwise, you may want to take a good look through the book before you purchase it to be sure it resonates with you and your aesthetic!
NOTE: I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a honest review.