I always love a good thumb-though an inspiring design book and The Creative Home by Geraldine James was no exception.
Main image above: This open-plan kitchen opens out onto the garden, which along with the raw wooden cabinets, potted plants above the sink, and fresh flowers on the table, gives a real feel of bringing nature into the home.
Above: The glass-fronted cabinet is both handsome and functional, housing all my glassware and china. Adding a not of glamour above the table, which is set for a simple afternoon tea, is an antique French crystal chandelier.
It’s an absolute must for anyone who is passionate about styling their home in a way that is personal to them. Geraldine is an interior buyer during the day and her wealth of experience at collecting and styling homewares shines through on every page. And every taste is catered for, whether your personal style leans towards maximalist or minimalist, industrial, period, mid-century modern, or shabby chic, she’s got it all covered and you will find plenty to inspire you.
The most striking feature in this home office is a floor-to-ceiling canvas destination board from a Melbourne tram, evoking memories of time spent in that city.
Divided into four chapters the book covers Cook & Eat, which features kitchens and dining spaces, Relax & Socialise, which covers living rooms, Work & Create, includes home offices and studios, and Sleep & Bathe of course shows bedrooms and bathrooms. Finally there is a chapter called Store & Display which will inspire you to show off your treasures beautifully and store your collections for all to see.
Battered old suitcases offer a unique bedside table and complement the vintage shutters. The miniature chair ornament on top of the suitcases adds a modern retro touch.
And it’s for every level of competence too. Whether you are an old-hand at displaying your possessions or a newby home owner, there’s always new tricks to learn. Personally I was rather taken by the idea to treat a collection of vintage china, contemporary candlesticks and other disparate objects to the same matt black paint job. The result is stunning and pulls together a rag-bag collection into a smart display.
The seaside theme in this bathroom is as far from a cliche as you can imagine. The old train luggage rack provides storage for towels, which hang alongside strings of shiny shells.
And that’s the real beauty of The Creative Home. It will inspire you to experiment and explore your own personal style with more confidence. It will make you think again about colour, materials and the arrangement of them, whilst giving you some of the basic design principles to help you along the way.
Now excuse me, I’m just off to rearrange a few shelves again.
The Creative Home by Geraldine James, published by CICO Books.
Photography © CICO Books 2016