Book Review "The Perfectly Imperfect Home"

Lately, my favorite design book is “The Perfectly Imperfect Home” by Deborah Needleman, the former editor of Domino. I’ve been reading it chapter by chapter and taking notes, soaking in all the great tips and advice for making your home a beautiful reflection of you. The watercolor illustrations are equally captivating. To me they are reminiscent of Mark Hampton’s book “On Decorating.” (Another book I highly recommend!) They are a perfect companion to Deborah’s stylish wisdom.


“The Perfectly Imperfect Home” is a wonderful book for the individual looking to personalize their home, to make each space meaningful, functional, and lovely. Not only do you get the “hows” of decorating, but you get the “whys” and “whats” as well. She gives advice for decorating each room and element of your home. From the entry to the bedroom to adding the finishing touches. It’s like a list of stylish secrets from her to you of how to embrace your home and its imperfections.

My favorite chapter is about adding personality and a bit of “quirk” to your home. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t mean to say your home should be goofy, but that it should have spirit and life. It’s about the objects that make your space special and humanizing.


“An element of quirkiness in your decor shows that you do not take decorating or, by extension, yourself too seriously. A room that is decorated within an inch of its life feels self-important and static. Style ought to be loose and easygoing; capacious and expansive! A little something unexpected makes us comfortable. Quirkiness and its sidekick, charm, represent the lighthearted humanity of your home.”

She suggests:

- Using pictures by your children mixed in with real art

- Incorporating “jollifiers,” sentimental treasures that spread joy every time you look at them

- Small animals, like a nice inanimate pet. Whether a small stuffed animal on , a painted dog on your bookshelf, or a stately horse on your mantle

- Adding an odd chair to the sidelines of a room

- Including something unexpected with color, art or scale

“Decoration can be life-enhancing. It can make dinner parties more fun, kids happier, relaxing easier, talks more intimate, guests at ease. And to think decorating is often considered frivolous. Making a charmed and happy home is a noble endeavor. The simple secret is making sure that every decorating decision contributes to the creation of beauty and comfort.“

- Kristina

[photos from "The Perfectly Imperfect Home"]