Resourceful Living by Lisa Dawson
Many people would love to be in a home that was attractive, comfortable and individual. Lisa Dawson’s book could be useful. By arranging and living with a sometimes spectacular range of vintage finds, repurposed household fittings and items, Lisa has created alternatives for all spaces in homes; even those that are sometimes tricky to find a theme for a suitable decorative scheme. She points out the dangers of spending too much on the furniture and fittings that may be attractive at a certain point, but soon date or fall out of fashion. She argues for picking up items from unconventional places, such as furniture charity shops and online selling sites such as ebay, while only spending money on new items after much thought. A great fan of making items suitable for other functions, she is a fan of using tea trollies for drinks of all kinds, as bedside tables and whatever function appeals at the time, while authentic tea chests also appear as tables. An advocate of taking the plunge and attempting different effects at a low cost, this is a book that has many positive messages both for those with a lot of financial resources as well as those with rooms to fill at a minimal cost but with an eye for fashion. Written in an accessible, non technical language, this is a book of help for the experienced seeking new inspiration as well as those for whom recycling and low cost comfort is a must. I was interested to have the opportunity to read and review it.
Lisa has plenty of hinting for those who are working with a budget, but want to transform the space they have to work with in a particular house. She extols the virtues of things like tile paint to change the appearance of a kitchen without too much drama, and opening up a small cooking area by removing units and replacing them with open shelves. She admits that issues such as storage can be a problem, and suggests storing items that are only used rarely, such as large serving dishes in a pantry. Lisa is an advocate of selling on items that are no longer useful or attractive in order to purchase things that fit a plan better.
I found that Lisa is a friendly writer who draws in even those less interested in home décor, or in my case live among books. I admire her honesty, such as getting rid of wardrobes only to move and find herself in need of such things in a different bedroom. Even those of us who feel stuck with our current arrangements can pick up useful hints for improvements if not transformations – using indoor plants and “shopping” in our house for things that would work better in a different room. She tackles the vexed question of lighting, such as gentle lighting for a dining room, while admitting the need for sufficiently bright lights in the kitchen to avoid cutting accidents. This is an attractive book in its own right with many solid and interesting ideas. Lisa is not a pretentious writer with a huge influencer budget, but makes reasonable, affordable and striking suggestions that can certainly transform any living space for the better.