Lifestyles: Homing instinct
You might think of Moorea Seal as the face of millennial social entrepreneurism. Through her 52 Lists series and lifestyle brand, she has cultivated a huge following and popularized what’s now a dominant decor aesthetic: lots of white walls, sheepskins, succulents and other natural elements. In Make Yourself at Home, she shares stories from her life and suggests ways for readers to infuse their living spaces with personality. Seal also highlights other creative women in her orbit, each of whom offers tips on things like thrifting, leadership and decorating with plants. Each chapter contains two DIY projects, like gold-patterned glassware (think Sharpies!), an essential oil diffuser and a copper blanket ladder, which I’m especially eager to attempt. A dash of self-help, a sprinkle of craft, plus lifestyle tips and tricks seasoned with storytelling—Seal’s new book adds up to a pretty package.
FIT TO PRINT
I browse lots of arts-and-crafts books for this column, but it’s the rare title that summons me to jump right into a new project. Enter Laura Sofie Hantke and Lucas Grassmann’s Kitchen Lithography: Hand Printing at Home, an adorable guide to printmaking that shows readers how to print designs drawn with traditional oil paints and pastels using household items: aluminum foil, glass from a picture frame, cola and vegetable oil. I’ve always admired printmaking from a distance, so how could I resist this at-home version? I wasted no time gathering supplies and enlisting my daughter, who at 9 is the perfect age to attempt this process alongside an adult. We appreciated the authors’ honest accounts of trial and error—they even display goofed-up prints and explain what went wrong. But we were pleasantly surprised when our first print turned out quite well. The book itself is well-designed with matte pages, hand-drawn visual instructions and photos of the artists in their modest kitchen “studio.”
TOP PICK IN LIFESTYLES
A neighbor with great style introduced me to designer and blogger Justina Blakeney’s The New Bohemians, so I couldn’t wait to tell her that a follow-up has arrived. The New Bohemians Handbook: Come Home to Good Vibes has all the wild and juicy color, patterns, textures and houseplants of its predecessor, but with a heavier dose of woo-woo. Get ready for chapters titled “Clarity,” “Flow,” “Spirit,” “Growth” and “Harmony,” with sections on astrology, crystals and essential oil elixirs. Blakeney pulls in an herbalist, floral designer and a feng shui master, among others, for their insights. I especially like the “Flow” chapter, which provides practical advice on setting up interior spaces that avoid congestion and delineate zones, and her in-depth look at textiles from cultures worldwide, such as African indigo, boucherouite rugs and Otomi embroidery. And I mentioned massive color, right? If you’re eager to go bold and bright or unsure how to take the plunge, then this book could change everything.
This article was originally published in the October 2017 issue of BookPage. Download the entire issue for the Kindle or Nook.