Updated: Mar 10
A detailed description of a home's environment in a book, and the visual portrayal of such on screen, has always been so enticing to me. These setting details convey much about the inhabitants, and satisfy me on an embarrassing level when the homes reflect the characters.
With film it's more straightforward to describe the environment, because you're physically showing it, but with literature the words must be carefully and thoughtfully crafted to conjure up some sense of space, still leaving much to the imagination. When I came across the book Novel Interiors: Living in Enchanted Rooms Inspired by Literature, I was thrilled to finally have a more thorough peek into some of the most famous home settings in Western fiction. I'll clarify, that this book is not a literal translation of such literary scenes--much to the chagrin of several GoodReads reviewers. Ha!
Rather, the book is a collection of existing homes which reflect some of the characteristics and feelings of the referenced literary environments. The author's goal is to educate the reader on creating a home that reflects oneself, the same way a book's description of a character's home reflects her/him, through design elements and principles.
The how-to is useful and lovely, but what held my attention further was the realness of the homes shining through the photographs. Though beautiful, these photographed homes weren't completed mere moments or days before being shot. The home've been lived in, and some for many years. As you scan each of the GORGEOUS spaces, you'll notice unedited worn edges, scuffs, somewhat cluttered surfaces, dogs lounging about, mismatched furnishings, and even out dated or old fashioned materials sprinkled amongst the finer and the exquisite. This kind of highlighting of the reality of how people live and how homes are is unusual for the typical interior design book, but it's absolutely wonderful!
As you look at these homes the authenticity of them is clear, making them individual and timeless. Nothing in the spaces felt chosen because it was trending or hip. Though some of the spaces are indeed hip, it's that the pieces weren't chosen for any reason other than the person selecting them loved them and knew they reflected them. When you buy things you love, it just works--at least if you know what you're doing when it comes to scale and arranging them! The take away for a home that reflects you? Always go with your gut, buy what you love, buy what is comfortable, and buy what serves you.
If you have pieces that you don't know how to best showcase, or need assistance figuring out what the heck you do love, give us some intentionality and two hours and we can accomplish a good deal in creating a space that reflects you.