In Introduction Ellen says: “Welcome to my homes. Welcome. This book is all about – you’re never going to believe this – the home! It’s about my current home, my former homes, what makes a home a home, and what can you do to make your home homier”. So the book is not about her last/current home, it is about seven houses (one condo, actually two condos) she and Portia lived in over the years (60% of the book) and then it is about (remaining 40%) another seven houses, where her favourite furniture shop owners live (!?). At the end of the book, there are also several pages with info and pictures of these furniture/antiques stores.
I somehow expected lots of colour and tons of wit and fun, at least that’s how I see Ellen as a person (yes, I almost bought this book) - but it looks she likes (needs?) quiet and calm, and rustic and not so warm and cosy environments to live and relax. Yes, there is an interesting intense green kitchen in one of her homes and a few pages with coloured (rusty, okra) walls shown, but the overwhelming majority of photos are tan, beige, faded burlap, washed stone, old barn, kid of colours – tiring to look at and not enjoyable and pleasing to (my) eyes.
I am so glad my library (OPL) has copies of the book and I am even more glad the wait/hold wasn’t too long, so I got the see the book and discover I didn’t like it at all.
I’ve never been to L.A. but I’ve seen Alex Hitz’s (charming, glamorous, interesting), Barbara Barry’s (oh soooo elegant to the point of being extremely boring, uninspiring almost depressing), Peter Dunham’s (lots of warmth, textures, patterns, cozy, comfy) and other people’s homes in design magazines. I guess it is hit and miss with celebrities and designers and their places and books – this one, in my opinion, turned out to be not interesting or inspiring. In the end, I am giving it 2,5 out of 5 stars, 1,5 stars for the effort (for writing the book and willing to open/show her private quarters to the public) and one star on top since she does collect art and also recycles old pieces of furniture (all of which I respect and appreciate).