Home Made Simple, By Proctor & Gamble (St. Martins Press, New York, N.Y., 2010, 328 pages.)
Book Review by Dennis Moore
November 6, 2010 (San Diego’s East County) -- Proctor & Gamble has now delved into the book writing business with Home Made Simple, a how-to book for everyone on organizing and simplifying tasks, be it preparing delicious foods or cleaning window blinds.
The Home Made Simple brand started nine years ago, including a TV show, website, and newsletter. Home Made Simple, the book, is a highly anticipated resource for the 12.5 million subscribers of the Home Made Simple monthly newsletter, as well as visitors to the Home Made Simple website and viewers of the television show aired on The Learning Channel, (TLC). Featuring tasty recipes, fun do-it yourself projects, hints for cleaning and organizing, and much more, the book will be organized by five key categories:
• Clever Kitchen: Simple recipe favorites and tips for enhancing recipes with “tablescapes” and alternative recipe suggestions; chock-full of advice for kitchen storage and cleaning.
• Organized Life: Easy-to-achieve home management ideas, from making the most of the closet, garage, and workspace, to conquering clutter and spring cleaning.
• Easy Décor: Fashionable, realistic interior trends and ideas, plus dozens of easy room makeover, creative accents, and DIY home improvements.
• Celebrate Living: Great new ways to celebrate in your home, including heartwarming gift ideas and rainy day remedies.
• Outside Pleasures: Cool outdoor projects for the family, with a focus on porch, patio, and garden, plus tips for green living, gardening, and fun season-specific ideas.
This essential home reference is comprised of exclusive new content as well as the best of thousands of tips and projects from the T.V. show, website, and newsletter. With this book, it has never been easier to organize and beautify your home.
Geared towards offering busy people ways to simplify, organize, and beautify their homes, Home Made Simple benefits anyone concerned with making the mundane chores around the home simpler.
An example would be how to utilize the “Mango Chutney” recipe with the “Havarti Sandwich,” showcased in the “Clever Kitchen” category. Even I can prepare this meal by following the easy recipe and instructions in the Home Made Simple book. I could also manage to prepare the “Pumpkin Black Bean Soup,” with the instructions found throughout the book. (See these recipes in the ECM food section.) This is saying a lot, coming from someone who sometimes has difficulty boiling water!
Home Made Simple is a boon for anyone who wants to be organized in their home, and to make things simpler for themselves.
The book also gives us a myriad of ideas for naturally beautiful accents to adorn your holiday table for less: Decorating with branches from your neighborhood is simple and inexpensive. When coupled with a slim glass vase, you get a natural yet modern centerpiece for no more than the cost of the container. To do this, take these simple steps: Look outside for fallen branches; Wash the branches and dry them with a towel; Find a glass vase big enough to support the weight of the branches so they remain upright; Place the largest, heaviest piece in the vase first. This will be the visual anchor of the arrangement; Add in smaller, simpler branches, adjusting until your arrangement looks balanced and artistic.
Home Made Simple offers more whimsical wood ideas. For instance, a plank of gorgeous wood is a natural nest for luminescent tea lights. Make holes with a large drill bit along flat, sturdy regions of the wood. Securely place small tea candles into each of the holes; a woodpile by the fireplace is a wonderful cue to winter coziness; acorns or pinecones are the perfect way to fill a glass bowl with na tural texture. All of these are inexpensive ideas offered and demonstrated in this creative book.
On pages 271 and 272, the authors suggest ways to make your home décor more artfully appealing. They state: “Grouping artwork of different sizes and shapes can seem daunting, but when done right, these displays can add beauty, color, and intrigue to your home décor. Before you put holes in the walls, take an artistic moment to arrange your frames in a unified composition that packs some serious design punch.” Clearly, that is what we see in the living room arrangement on page 271.
Home Made Simple further advises in regard to artfully arranged artwork as home décor: “Start with a room that has all the furniture in place before you decide where your art is going to go. Lean your artwork against the wall or place it right on the ground, and then let it rest for a while. You’ll get the chance to pass by it again and again, getting a sense of how it meshes with the spaces’ existing décor. Continue to examine it. Once you decide if your artwork has found the right room, begin to play with some different easy-to-do compositions.”
Home Made Simple suggests ways of enlivening your eating areas, stating: “A tasteful mix of yellow and orange is the perfect color combination for a cheerful kitchen or dining room that exudes happy, positive vibes. Yellow and orange are warm colors associated with fresh fruits and vegetables, health, energy, and the promise of a bright sunny day.”
This book is chock-full of advice such as this, along with tips for green living, gardening, and fun season-specific ideas, that makes Home Made Simple an essential part of every home. I highly recommend this book for everyone seeking simple ideas to enhance your home. This book also makes an ideal gift for homeowners on your holiday shopping list!
Dennis Moore is the Associate Editor for the East County Magazine in San Diego and the book review editor for SDWriteway, an online newsletter for writers in San Diego that has partnered with the East County Magazine, as well as a freelance contributor to EURweb based out of Los Angeles. He has written for LifeAfter50 Magazine in Pasadena, California, and the Baja Times Newspaper in Rosarito Beach, Mexico. Mr. Moore can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org or you can follow him on Twitter at: @DennisMoore8.