Category Archives: Books

The Perfectly Imperfect Home

Have you heard? Domino’s founding editor and design expert, Deborah Needleman, has a new book debuting on 1st November, titled The Perfectly Imperfect Home: How to Decorate and Live Well.

“Style is a luxury, and luxury is simply what makes you happy.”   This book will guide you through the essential elements of achieving a livable, comfortable and undeniably stylish home that is full of personality.

As if you’re not already sold, the book features charming watercolour illustrations by artist Virginia Johnson. Resistance is futile; you know you want it sitting pretty on your coffee table!

Images from Apartment Therapy

This book is sure to be a hit like Deborah’s first book, Domino. If you want it as soon as it is available, pre-order it on Amazon, or else add it to your Christmas wishlist. 🙂




Filed under Books

Amsterdam: Made by Hand – book review

For us creative souls, there is nothing quite like finding inspirational treasures when we visit a new place, yes? If you’re anything like me, you’ll love to stray away from the beaten touristy track, away from large department stores and retail chains, and search out the real identity of the place – the kind of things you don’t find in tourist guide books.

But now, if you are thinking about a trip to Amsterdam, there is a guide book that will take you to just these sort of places. Amsterdam: Made by Hand, beautifully compiled by the lovely Pia Jane Bijkerk, is the best guide book for Amsterdam, and I can say that because I used it myself during a recent trip and it led me to discover all kinds of lovely around this charming city.

Boekie Woekie – a bookshop with over 8000 unusual and interesting titles created by artists

If you get your hands on this little gem of a book, the first thing you’ll notice is Pia’s exquisitely soulful photography which in itself is so rich in inspiration that it will get your creative juices flowing at the first flick.

Swarm – an atelier where old oil paintings are reinvented – by appointment only

The book is divided into ‘wanders’, perfect to help you plan how you want to spend your time in the different areas. It doesn’t come with a map, but each featured place comes with an address, opening times and phone number. So when planning your trip, all you need is Google Maps to help you pinpoint the exact location of the place you want to visit, and a paper map of Amsterdam where you can mark it.
Tip: If you have an iPhone, Amsterdam The Map is a very handy app –

The Frozen Fountain – a treasure trove of design and craft

There are so many amazing places featured in this book that I had a very difficult time choosing only a few to photograph for this review. Truly, Amsterdam is brimming with creativity and I love this book for helping the reader discover some of these treasures. Amongst the pages are also recommendations for cafes and restaurants. Pia also encourages the traveller to create his/her own wanders… do this, and you will be rewarded with discovering even more lovely and yummy!

Knopenwinkel (translation: Button Shop) – cute as a button on the outside, filled with lovely buttons of every kind on the inside

If you are thinking of visiting Amsterdam, or even just want an injection of inspiration, I cannot recommend this book enough. You can buy this little gem here (Amazon UK).

Anneke Schat – metal sculptor, jewellery artist and painter



Filed under Books, Craft, Design

Book Review: My Heart Wanders

You may know from this post how excited I was to receive my copy of Pia Jane Bijkerk’s latest book, My Heart Wanders, and I am even more excited to be reviewing it for you, because my goodness, it is a treat!

This book is captivating right from the first flick of the pages, for the photography and styling throughout is absolutely breathtaking. As I settled with a pot of tea to read Pia’s story, I found myself mesmerised.

Ever since hearing about Pia, I have been curious about her behind-the-scenes story. In this book, through writing that is deeply personal and candid, visualised through photography that is enchanting, Pia delicately reveals her story. Her introspective words feel almost poetic and had me following her journey with her.

Pia’s soulful memoir is a tale of love and of bravely taking risks as she follows her heart and moves to Europe, leaving behind a comfortable life in Sydney. She lays her thoughts bare to the reader, from her cravings for tea, to her creative passions, even to her doubts and fears that embarking on such a journey bring up.

As if her words alone aren’t captivating enough, every turn of the page brings a visual treat. Even the chapters are labelled with exquisite styling and photography.

A key element which echos throughout the book is the ideology of ‘home’. As Pia meanders through this journey of self-discovery, she shares her revelations on what home means to her.

Everyday moments are charmingly recounted as she sets up home, first in a Parisian apartment then in a little houseboat in Amsterdam: from combing the Parisian markets for the perfect dining table and scouring the streets in search of pallets to make a bed, to her inspirations that guide her as she organically transformed the houseboat into a cosy delightful home.

She says:

is the place in my heart…
is wherever my heart is…

An inspiring story, poetically told and beautifully visualised, this is a book that will sit on my coffee table and one that I know I will pick up often.

If you too want to feel Pia’s magic, then this enchanting book is a must. You can order your copy here (Amazon UK).

Happy weekend, mes amis!

P.S. – A heartfelt thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts on my last post, I wish I could come and give you a hug in person. You are all wonderful and I feel incredibly happy to have found you in blogland.



Filed under Books

Midweek muse: Things we love

I just came across this charming, creative and lovely e-book – THINGS WE LOVE by Kate Spade. Click on it and enjoy a few moments of philosophical procrastination this Wednesday. =)



Filed under Books, Miscellaneous