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Living With What You Love

Living With What You Love

About.com Rating 5 Star Rating


Living With What You Love
The Crown Publishing Group
Don't you love it when a book gets your mind racing, has more ideas than you can deal with and superb photographs illustrating those ideas? Living With What You Love was all of that for me.

I absolutely loved this book and I'm already incorporating some of the ideas. Yes, the book shows rooms that that most of us can only dream of living in, but that doesn't mean we can't use the same tips and ideas on a smaller basis.

Decorating with Family Photos, Cherished Heirlooms and Collectibles

Author Monica Rich Kosann background as a photographer is an important part of this book. Many of the ideas, scenes and compositions deal with photographs and art work. Family memories are an important theme recurring through this book as Kosann shows how to make an artistic statement that incorporates those memories throughout your home.

She explores the best places and ways to display your decorative objects and has a way of making something decorative when it really didn't start out that way.

The book is filled with photographs of actual homes of real families, as well as the author's home.

All on the Family Wall

From showcasing family photos on a staircase wall -- to covering an office wall with photographs, the displays have a very polished look (of course), but not the cold look that is often associated with professional decorating. The extensive use of mats and identical frames bring a new fresh look to both those old and current family pictures. But she doesn't stop here, in another image Kosann shows another way to create the family tree with an assortment of frames that blend beautifully together.

Need photographs for these displays? Kasan even shares some of her professional tips on photographing children.

There are loads of displays and ideas throughout the book, but I think my favorite idea is using flat screen TV or digital frames set in the wall. I'm not sure how I can achieve this idea but I love it.

Family Places

There is nothing inviting about a home that is so over-decorated or over-collected that one doesn't feel relaxed when visiting or even living there. Kasan explores ways to make the home a family one for all generations. She also advocates my oft-expressed mantra of using your collectibles on a daily basis by drinking and eating from your heirloom tableware.

Displaying blue ribbons in a child's closet, using a large hallway to showcase their artwork or setting up a large room with chess sets from the Manhattan Chess Club are all ideas that will not work for those of us that are space challenged. But using these ideas on a smaller basis are things we all can do. You'll be inspired to take parts of one idea, using an inspiration from another photograph and putting them to use in our own homes. There is even a "decorated" horse stable that looks so elegant, I want to start riding horses!

Bottom Line

If you're looking for fresh ideas, trying to figure out how to display some of your collections in a different, but tasteful way, this might be the book for you. Although the book is heavy on ways to use photographs and wall art, there are plenty of other ideas using many other collectibles, including glassware, jewelry, shells and pottery. I've had the book for just a few weeks and have turned to it over and over again as the urge to spring clean and redecorate has taken over. Many of the ideas I'm planning to do are just re-purposing with stuff tucked away in closets, although there are a few purchases I'll need to look for at the flea markets. But isn't that what makes it even more fun?
Disclosure: A review copy was provided by the publisher. For more information, please see our Ethics Policy.
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