At first blush, Apartment Therapy’s Complete + Happy Home by Maxwell Ryan and Janel Laban appears to be, well, adorable. With my initial flip-through (I always read magazines beginning from the back and new books with lots of photos tend to receive the same treatment), I found plenty of inspiration which required little to no actual reading to implement. That’s enough to get me excited about a book like this but it’s rarely enough to earn it a spot on my bookshelf for long. If it’s not strictly art, it’s going to have to be a mainstay. You’ve simply got to earn your keep.
Thankfully, this book fits the bill very well. It covers everything from choosing floors to caring for them, which I can appreciate. If you’re moving or redesigning a room, it also covers that stuff pretty well. My favorite bits are about hanging art (my current gallery wall is positively dizzying), creating organized work and creative spaces, and making the most of itty bitty kitchies (aka kitchens for those who barfed at my rhyming attempt - sorry?).
The short little section about indestructible houseplants really hit home for me. As the holder of the trophy for most plants killed (I’m a MURDER!), I'm eternally grateful for any advice on the subject (please feel free to comment to this botanically challenged dum-dum). However, I know for a fact that I’ve already driven one pot of rosemary to an early grave so the list is already suspect. Either that or they weren’t counting on this prize fighter. Whatever the matter, I’ll have to do my research before I bring anything home. I also haven’t researched any of the plants they recommend to determine if they’re pet-friendly yet. If I ever get around to doing that, I’ll be sure to update you. If you’re like me, you’d prefer your pets to be indestructible, as well. Most of them, anyway.
I kid. I kid.
As a long-time reader, I tend to love what I find on the Apartment Therapy website and this was a nice representation of the most helpful and aesthetically pleasing things you’ll find there. All in all, I enjoyed the read. However, I will say that I was discouraged by some editing errors and typos throughout. I received this book from the Blogging for Books program in exchange for my honest thoughts so I actually wondered for a minute if I'd received an advance copy. Though, there’s nothing to indicate that I did and other reviewers seem to have had a similar experience. So if that kind of thing drives you up the wall, you might want to wait for a reprint. Ultimately, I can forgive the few errors and I’ll be keeping this one around for a while. Also, the inside of the jacket is super cute. Is that something that’s important to you? If so, you should buy this book and overlook the mistakes.
Big love to whoever reads this. You look great today.