Book reviews: “The Stuff of Life” and “Design Bloggers at Home”

We’ve recently added two new design books to our library, and both are chock-full of ideas and inspiration. The first, The Stuff of Life by Hilary Robertson, looks at how different types of people display their “stuff” — collections, books, photos, artwork, etc.


The first part of the book walks the reader through four different methods of arranging their “stuff”: Intuitive (seemingly random arrangements), Narrative (arrangements that tell a story), Practical (the display of useful things), and Curatorial (a cabinet of curiosities). Each of these approaches is illustrated with moody photography by Anna Williams that makes the reader feel as if they are in the actual room.

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The second part of the book focuses on real-life people and how they live (the author calls this “stories told by real homes”). Once again it is divided into different types of personalities, and how they naturally style their homes. These lifestyles include Neatnik, Bohemian, and Sculpture Vulture (you’ll have to read the book to find out what that one means!). It’s fun to browse through the photos and try to identify your own style among the examples.

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All photos above by Anna Williams.

The title of the second book, Design Bloggers at Home by Ellie Tennant, is a fun look into how some of our favorite bloggers live.


As in the previous book, the author divides the homes into different decor categories: Pared Back, Rustic, Retro Chic, Homespun, and Colour Fun. These homes do not disappoint—as you would expect, these design enthusiasts live with style and personality.

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As a bonus, each blogger lists their favorite blogs and resources, as well as great tips they’ve picked up along their own blogging journey.

DBatHome 2And the book ends with a how-to section for aspiring new design bloggers.

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I really enjoyed the overall voice of this book— the author, as well as the featured bloggers. This is an inspiring and encouraging book with gorgeous photos by Rachel Whiting, and it should have a visible spot on your bookshelf.

Last four photos by Rachel Whiting.