For Joanna Gaines, designing a home is less about style rules and more about telling a story. A home can be curated for perfection, but it can also be designed to tell the story of the people who inhabit it – their lives, travels, interests, personality, and more. That narrative is what turns a building into a place that people want to live in and love instead of being a modern version of the “nice room” at grandma’s house that was only for special company. Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave is tailored to help you tell that story.

This may be the “Fixer Upper” star’s first design book, but it contains nearly 20 years of design experience. Homebody is more than a book full of pretty pictures (although, the photos are lovely) – it’s about cultivating a design that reflects you, building a space you’d not only want to hang out in, but in which to build relationships. “The world can feel overwhelming with its pace and noise, its chaos and expectations,” write Gaines. “Home for me is like the eye of a hurricane. There’s a certain calm I experience there no matter what is swirling outside. Home is where I feel safe, it’s the place where I am most known and most loved.”

Homebody begins with a brief look at six foundational design styles: farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, and boho. There are 22 homes featured, including the farmhouse Gaines shares with her husband, Chip, and their five children. Each chapter is dedicated to a specific room and contains a list of aspects to consider when designing as well as troubleshooting tips. There is a section in the back to take notes and a workbook to draw room layouts for your space. The design is simple and classic, and the book will look amazing on your coffee table or styled bookshelf when you’re through absorbing design knowledge.

This is not a book for the person looking for perfection or status through style. While the photographed rooms look perfect, they are meant to inspire rather than copy. Gaines writes to help readers analyze the function of each room and how it fits into their home or usage. Most of the designs reflect Gaines’s style, but she encourages readers to take risks. Go bold with color, elements, or furniture because all of it can be changed or adjusted. The principles outlined within the pages are easy to implement and Gaines’s writing takes most of the anxiety out of interior design. If you’re someone who has always wanted to create a home like Joanna Gaines, then this book if for you.

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Brynn Devereaux
Brynn Devereaux
"Brynn Devereaux is a freelance writer for Baltimore OUTloud. As an arts writer, she enjoys exploring the local arts scene and bringing attention to new books and authors. Brynn is a Scranton expat and a Towson University graduate."