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  • Writer's pictureCaroline

Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave | Book Review

So, before I begin, this week has been an exciting one for me! I'm now a part of NetGalley and Revell Reads as a book review blogger, and I have my first official book mail on the way! I'm really pumped about these particular books, and can't wait to share my thoughts on some new releases! Good things coming up in the next few weeks!

But now, for the book this week. This is simply one of my newest finds that I want to share with you, straight off my living room bookshelf. I'm sure most of you are familiar with Chip and Joanna Gaines. If you haven't taken a look at her newest book, you should.

Photo by Daniel Williams

Book Description:

In Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. Using examples from her own farmhouse as well as a range of other homes, this comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are implemented as well as how to blend the looks you're drawn to in order to create spaces that feel distinctly yours. A removable design template at the back of the book offers a step-by-step guide to planning and sketching out your own design plans. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces you never want to leave.

My Thoughts

This book was so quotable! I love, love, love Joanna's perspective on home. Besides the fact that she's amazing at what she does (and she and Chip... and their house-flipping show... are super cute), I really appreciated how her heart as a wife and mom came out through her writing.

The thing that grabbed me about Homebody is that it's not just another pretty album of interior design and snazzy, albeit unrealistic, magazine homes. It does have some of that, but the whole point of the book is just what it says - creating spaces you never want to leave. It's about working with whatever you have, and creating something beautiful and celebratory out of it. Spaces for gathering, for warmth and love and hospitality. Spaces that cater to busy kids in very practical ways. Spaces for private retreat from a busy world.

"It really isn't about a someday dream house, it's about today. No matter the size or shape of the place where you live, it is worthy of gratitude because it's home and it's yours."

Probably my favorite part was the section about finding your style - are you farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, or boho? The results might surprise you! (I found that I'm a mix of farmhouse and traditional... I swoon over distressed wood, antiques, and timeless, classic lines. And...I'm married to someone who is a bold blend of rustic and industrial. One day, if we ever build a house, it will be rather interesting melding those!)

"Typically, the most challenging part is embracing the idea that your house will look different from everybody else's. That, by the way, is a really, really good thing. If it's telling your family's story, then it will be uniquely yours."

The chapters include each area of the home, meandering from common spaces to bedrooms to bathrooms. I loved the chapter on utility/laundry rooms and other overlooked areas! She had quite a different perspective on those. After talking about what each space communicates, Joanna then goes into practical tips on how to set the tone you want. She includes a troubleshooting section in each chapter (whether ideas for better lighting or solutions for "blah" walls) and a wealth of inspirational photos that are a feast for the eyes.

That's what's so beautiful about the rooms that fill our homes. They each have a journey of their own. Some years they're functioning in one way only to be changed later for a more pressing purpose. They're there to be molded and shaped to become what we most deeply need them to be.

This book is talking about houses. But you can apply Joanna's thoughts and principles to any space, whether it's a bedroom, a camper trailer, or a sprawling family residence.

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