This Christmas my wish list is all about feathering our nest. I’d love a Scandinavian-inspired mirror for the entry, a swoony diffuser for the living room, some kind of lighting situation for the dining room (I finally painted it white but it’s still so dim), and a big screen TV to curl up with and watch all the holiday Netflix in bed. (Santa, I’ve been really good this year!) All of which was heavily inspired by Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home, the much-anticipated new release from Domino magazine editors Jessica Romm Perez and Shani Silver. It’s a follow-up to the 2008 release, Domino: The Book of Decorating. While the first book was all about demystifying interior design, this second one promises a deep dive into the nitty gritty of home decorating — how to use key elements from lighting to collections and everything in between to make your space your own. “Your home isn’t simply the things in it — it is more about crafting a space to share with the people you love,” the authors write. “It doesn’t need to be perfect — it just needs to be perfect for you.”
Not that you have to run out and buy everything new — better to find new ways to use the pieces you have in a way that works, find other homes for the ones that don’t, and wait to find pieces that inspire you, say the authors. “Sometimes when you least expect it, rather than when you’re actively looking, a mirror or console that’s perfect will come into your life.” (Isn’t that the truth?)
The opening pages offer tips for finding inspiration, honing in on your style and choosing pieces that will breathe life and you-ness into your space, while the subsequent chapters tackle individual elements (seating, walls, art, flooring, plants and flowers, etc.) in depth.
Whether your style leans toward the traditional, boho, Scandinavian, mid-century modern, minimalist and/or some mash-up of them all or just a few, you’ll find plenty of creative ideas to fuel your imagination and practical tips to make your home homier.
I was delighted to see in-depth profiles of some new-to-me designers and a few of my favourite bloggers, including a closer look at the new Nashville home of Elsie Larson from A Beautiful Mess. Elsie’s piece is about flooring — how to have fun with it, take risks, and find solutions on a budget. As she says of the photo above, “A great and budget-friendly way to cover the floor of a larger room is to layer. Use an inexpensive, neutral jute rug as the base and place smaller, more interesting rugs or cow hides on top of it. This way you can benefit from the look of the smaller pieces without them feeling awkward in a space that’s too large for them.”
Here the lesson is all about lighting. “Err on the large side,” Domino says, “If a fixture is too small for the space, it will feel like an afterthought rather than a showstopper, which is what this room craves … high ceilings can hang long cylinders or drippy cascading designs; low ceilings prefer a fixture that spreads more horizontally.”
The floor lamp here provides a great solution to a dark corner. “Rooms should be lit in layers. A person should never walk into a room, flip a switch, and have five lights blasting down from cans. Instead, start with overall ambient ceiling light and then add an accent pendant or a chandelier. Try a floor lamp in the corner, a tiny lamp on a bookshelf, and perhaps an artistic glowing light in a corner. This combination will create an interesting mood in the room.”
The book closes with a chapter on entertaining with tips on everything from how to stock a bar cart, how to build a cheese plate and how to create different moods with your table settings, followed by a detailed source guide.
It’s a gorgeous book, one I’m sure many design lovers in your life would be happy to have in their collections. My only quibble is the size: I would have loved to see a larger coffee-table-book-sized volume with more full-page photos and larger text. But as it is, it makes a nice matched set with the first book (which you can indeed buy as a set).
What do you think? Will you pick up a copy of Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home? What home furnishings and decor are on your wish list?
Photos 2, 3 and 4 published here with permission from the publisher. Photo 2 by Alyssa Rosenheck; photo 3 by Sara Kerens; photo 4 by Matthew Williams. Simon & Schuster Canada sent me a copy of Domino: Your Guide to a Stylish Home in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.