This is my review of Shannon Acheson’s new Home Made Lovely book, a great book about decorating to create a home you love, and then sharing it with others.
I was so lucky to get to preview this book, Home Made Lovely, in PDF form a few months ago and then Shannon sent me a hardcover copy as well when the book came out. I’ve known Shannon, a fellow Canadian blogger at her website, also called Home Made Lovely for years, and this book is such a great representation of what makes her so good at what she does. I wanted to share this book with you today because it really had an impact on me in a really practical way when I first read it, and I think it makes a great addition to the book shelf of anyone who wants to do a better job of creating a home they truly love. The Home Made Lovely book holds a ton of specific information about decorating, appreciating your home, and making your home more hospitable, so I really suggest picking up a copy for yourself to read through it all, but I wanted to share the parts that really stood out to me personally with you today.
Shannon’s 3-Step Decorating Process
Oh boy, did I ever love this part of the book. Although I obviously think about home decor a ton, I loved reading about Shannon’s perspective on the issue and I loved her simple, structured approach. I kind of appreciate someone giving me permission to keep things simple and straightforward when it comes to decisions about how to create a home that I love. Her three-step approach involves first finding your decorating style, then you create a master plan to guide all your decisions, then you go about following the plan by decorating only one room at a time.
She really holds your hand through the whole process, especially the part where you create your master plan. I was kind of in awe of how simple it could be when she explained how you need to choose your colors, then what your wood finish would be, then what your metal finish would be. Could it really be that simple? Actually, it turns out, yes it can be. 🙂
A Note on the Religious Stuff
Full disclosure – this book approaches creating a home from a Christian perspective. We don’t practice any particular religion in our family, but I have to say that I still found that I got a lot out of the sections of the book where Shannon mentions her Christian perspective on issues surrounding creating a home that is warm and welcoming for your family and anyone you invite in. The words she uses to describe certain things might be different ones from what I would normally use, but the values and the intent behind what she says were things that I really related to and found super practical and helpfully, actually. Creating a home that you feel safe in, building an environment that allows you to make people feel welcome, recognizing exactly who you’re doing all of this for. These are concepts that we all can relate to and we can definitely learn a lot by listening to ideas and suggestions from people who don’t always think exactly as we do.
My Very Favourite Chapter
Chapter 10, called “Lovely Hospitality”, really spoke to me. I’ve always loved the idea of opening up my home to people as often as possible, but it’s honestly something that we don’t do often enough. I always feel that I’m not quite prepared, things around our house aren’t totally ready, maybe I don’t have all the things on hand in my pantry that “normal people” keep in the house to be ready for guests at the drop of the hat. We end up not inviting people over as often as we would like to and it really bothers me, actually.
Here’s the quote from the beginning of this chapter that made realize that this part of the book was just for me. 🙂
“After all that, I’ve come to believe that we get hung up on – and don’t practice – hospitality for two overarching reasons:
- Our hospitality doesn’t look like we think it should.
- Our homes have become fortresses.”
Shannon really breaks down what hospitality really is, why it’s something a lot of us really want to practice more of, and easy ideas to get started in your practice that won’t overwhelm you or throw of the rhythm of your everyday life. As someone who loves their routines and schedules, this is an approach that really works for me.
If Shannon decides that her next book should be all about hospitality, I’ll buy it in a heartbeat, because this chapter was so, so valuable to me.
Home Made Lovely will make a great gift this holiday season or a perfect addition to your own personal library. Definitely a little bit of a different home book and one worth checking out!
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