Inspiration or Instruction? Homebody in Review

November 13, 2022 Uncategorized 2 ★★★★

Inspiration or Instruction? Homebody in ReviewTitle: Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave
Author: Joanna Gaines
Source: Library
Links: Bookshop (affiliate link) |Goodreads
Rating:four-stars

Summary: A great design book for beginners, without much specific advice, but with pictures arranged to help you figure out your own style.

This book from HGTV star and designer Joanna Gaines is recommended by several lists as a must-read interior design book. That meant I was a littleĀ  surprised to find that the amount of actual advice was quite slim. For each chapter (one per room), there are a few introductory pages describing an attractive design philosophy. The author aims to make her spaces feel like a cozy shelter from the world that reflects her family’s personality. A great statement of purpose that suits what I want to accomplish, but not very specific. Then the author spends a page or two on solutions to specific problems. This could be helpful, but many of the suggestions involve larger changes than I want to make – changing your flooring, for example. Lastly, each chapter had a page listing the items to consider including in a room.

The rest of this book was largely just pictures from a set of about a dozen homes. The author helpfully defines several different design styles at the beginning of the book. She then identifies which mix of styles is present in each house. You then get pictures from many of the houses for each room. Part of me feels like this is just design inspiration that I could get from pinterest. However, it was genuinely helpful to see many examples of styles being used in a flexible, mixed way. It let me start to identify styles that I like or don’t like. I also noticed that I really liked when a room paired two contrasting style (industrial + farmhouse, classic + modern, etc). It made it possible for me to start analyzing rooms in a more thoughtful way than I would have on my own.

Overall, while the information content of this book feels thin when looking at the picture to text ratio, I found it really helpful in figuring out my own tastes. I would also revisit it even just for the few pages with a list of elements to include in each room. For that reason, I think it succeeds as a great interior design reference book for beginners.

2 Responses to “Inspiration or Instruction? Homebody in Review”

  1. Jinjer

    Very helpful review. Does it show before and after photos of rooms? I’m trying to imagine repurposing the diningroom that is never ever used because we eat all meals in either the livingroom or, in my case, at my desk because I work from home. I need to see what the rooms looked like before, when they had a big ol’ round table and a china cabinet and nothing else.
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    • DoingDewey

      Ooh, that’s a good question that I’ll try to remember to include in my reviews! No, this book just includes photos of the finished rooms. I also wish it had shown before pictures though. It would be nice to get a sense of how much the room was changed in the design process. Good luck with re-purposing your dining room! I hope you’re able to get it set up as somewhere that you’re happy to work.

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