Kirkus Reviews QR Code


by Nate Berkus

Pub Date: Oct. 16th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-679-64431-6
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau

An intimate examination of the meaning of material possessions.

Interior designer Berkus (Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll Love, 2005) takes readers on a meticulous tour of his own home and those of 12 others, exploring the bits and pieces with which we surround ourselves. Seashells, rocks, glass boxes, framed family photos, trinkets and tchotchkes fill the shelves, nooks and crannies of the homes, each object a reflection of the person who collected it. The book is "about how the prints on our wall and the rough-hewn rocks we swiped from the Marfa farmer's market give our everyday lives shape, texture, and a sense of who we are, who we've been, and where we may be heading." Explicit descriptions and full-page photographs lead readers from room to room in homes overflowing with items such as "heart-shaped rocks, a little jade necklace, a pair of loving cups, a funny-looking owl, even a steel horse bit that you would swear was made by Gucci”—all requiring Berkus' sense of order. Other, smaller homes, reduced to the barest of pieces by the owners, provide them and Berkus with a much-needed haven from the hectic pace of the outside world. Whether the item was found in nature or at a local flea market, each is quirky, highly personal and special to the collector. Having survived his own personal tragedy, Berkus understands the need for comfort in a place where people can feel safe and at home. Through his charming, in-depth descriptions, readers will gain a new appreciation for the multitude of furniture, dishes, paintings, books and knickknacks that fill their own personal havens.

A rewarding book about the stuff that fulfills us.