Life Unstyled: book review

If you have any Christmas book vouchers burning a hole in your pocket you could do a lot worse than to treat yourself to a copy of Life Unstyled, written by interiors stylist Emily Henson. Focussing on real life homes with piles of books at the bedside, it is the perfectly imperfect antidote to the aspirational, sterile showhome gloss found in so many magazines and social media feeds. Of course, all the photographs are of exceptionally beautiful properties, many converted commercial spaces of desirable proportions, and mostly inhabited by creative individuals with superior taste and an enviable knack for artfully displaying their interesting collections, and invigorating old cabinets and crates with quick and thrifty paint jobs. But don't let that put you off. The book serves to inspire in the reader to fall back in love with their home, despite any unfinished decorating jobs, exposed plaster and distressed paintwork with its images of charmingly casual interiors. Placing emphasis on making the most of what you already have, Henson shows how to make a virtue of clutter, by making it characterful. It is true after all that real life involves a certain amount of messiness, whether stuck to the fridge, dangling from sockets or piling up by the front door. These refreshingly attainable interior shots are a great resource for the many homeowners that seek to put their house in order at the start of the new year; a reminder to create a home that you love, rather than what you think you should love.