Keep It Simple Book Review


I'm so happy to share Atlanta Bartlett's top 8 tips for a happy and relaxed home along with a review her new book, co-authored with Dave Coote, called Keep It Simple. Their brand new book is a practical, inspirational guide that can help you to achieve a happy yet simpler way of life at home. I recently interviewed Atlanta asking her to highlight a few of her inspirations for writing Keep It Simple and she first revealed that, "We really wanted to create something beautiful and inspirational but it was also really important to us that it was genuinely useful. For us creating a happy and relaxed home is not just about the look and style of the place but also about the journey of creating a home that is responsive, practical, personal and, ultimately, a place that you and your family can really enjoy living in." For many of us, a simple life may not be how we live currently but is definitely one that we aspire to, wouldn't you agree? This book can help.

One of the "problems" with living simple is that you need to do a lot of work to get there, which isn't so simple in the beginning and can often scare people buried in clutter away. That is why Atlanta takes a holistic approach to peel back a few emotional layers first before even touching your home, "You firstly need to sort your priorities and rediscover what's really important in life. This involves some soul searching so in the first section we encourage readers to think long and hard about what homes means to them and how they like to live." As the book progresses beyond the initial soul searching section, you'llunearth the real meat of the book which teaches you how to handle making the needed changes for stripping back, "Change is a real and inevitable part of family life but when it comes to interior design, it can be an expensive business, so it vital that you get the structural elements right from the start, allowing you to play around with the details as you and your family grows and changes. This can be a daunting prospect for the inexperienced decorator so we have tried to cover everything from building issues to the finishing touches to help the readers navigate these practicalities," Atlanta adds, "But so as not to overwhelm anyone we have broken the book down in to small easily digested nuggets of information that readers can dip in and out of, depending on their mood or current stage of decorating."

I love this book and found the advice, and all of the photography, locations and typical styling work that is so very much in line with her aesthetic,  fresh and appealing. If you love pastels, are a fan of a romantic cozy style or cottage styles and like seeing an updated take on Shabby Chic, this book is for you because it mixes a lot of these looks into very bright, pretty spaces.

I also loved, loved, loved the airstream in this book. Airstreams are a growing trend for decorating enthusiastics and many creatives are gut renovating vintage airstreams to create charming homes-on-wheels for vacations and glamping. I love the idea of having a home on wheels and when not in use, you can place it in your backyard and use as a second office, play space for your children, and some clever people are even running workshops from their airstreams and pop-up shops!

During our interview, I asked Atlanta to give you tips that you can use today before even buying the book and so here are her top 8 tips for creating a happy and relaxed home - her go-to list for getting your home to a place of rest and peace.

Top 8 tips for a happy and relaxed home:

  1. Embrace the imperfect. Life will be a lot more enjoyable if you learn to love things for their imperfections.
  2. Appreciate the simple pleasures in life. Make sure your home accommodates this. There’s no point in having a perfect show home where no one is allowed make a dent in a cushion or put a coffee cup down!
  3. De-clutter. We are not suggesting you throw everything away, but everyone has a different clutter threshold so take is as far as works for you.
  4. Ditch trends. Find your own sense of style.
  5. Be kind to the planet. Re-use, recycle and repair.
  6. Get back in touch with nature. Whether it’s a jug of flowers on the kitchen table or a full-on vegetable patch, it is important to reconnect with the natural world.
  7. Make sure your home works on a practical level. This will save time and stress leaving you more time to enjoy life.
  8. Get creative. Scientists have proved that having a creative interest relieves stress, helps ease depression and improves your memory.

Thank you Atlanta for your tips and for sharing your lovely book with us today.

(images with permission from Ryland Peters + Small)