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3.5 out of 5 stars
Lotta Jansdotter's Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style
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52 of 57 people found the following review helpful
Format: Hardcover
I would say that this book is more for the "fan" of Lotta Jansdotter than a "How To" on style. Even with saying this, the book is full of ideas and inspirations.

Take a look at my video of the book and decide for yourself :)

XOXO
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
on April 26, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Lotta Jansdotter was minding her own business, designing textiles, writing some sewing project books, raising a family... and some publisher decided to really cash in on her popularity by taking fans into her home.

I imagine her reaction. "My HOME? But I don't really do anything special with it. It's usually a mess. All my furniture is from IKEA. It's where I go to relax, it's not some kind of temple of style, and I am not a supermom."

"It'll make you a lot of money..."

"Okay, well I suppose I could tidy up a bit..."

I respect her other work, and do not require the people I respect to be across-the-board perfect. I resent this book for presenting this very forced vision of her as a homemaker to emulate. It has luscious photos and high quality paper, like a coffee table book, but the content is so mundane it's laughable.

One page shows how she has used space efficiently in her "tiny" 3-bedroom NYC apartment by putting up shelves on a wall. One of the handmade projects you can do is make a mobile out of the fuzzy beige floor protectors you put on the bottom of furniture. It is the ugliest mobile I have ever seen, so unnecessary and certainly not built to endure the test of time, but it is, I suspect, something Lotta had to come up with quickly and that was not in her home before the idea for this book came up.

Another idea that receives much page-space is that of putting drab flowers in glasses, and much is made of the fact that the flowers do not necessarily need to reach above the walls of the glass. No, indeed, they can be small and just thrown in there to cower weirdly at the bottom, and that can be beautiful. I want to go out and grab some purple clover and throw it in a drinking glass and put it on the table and see how long it takes my husband to say, "Honey? What the hell is this?"

And as if it wasn't enough for her to keep things clean and crafty, she should also be a great cook. So they put in recipes. On tear-out perforated cards no less. Because we all keep our recipes on little cards in index boxes, right? No? Damn, I could have sworn... No, the real reason the recipes are on perforated cards is to dupe poor readers into keeping this waste-of-paper of a book because hey, can't return it once the cards are punched out!

All in all, I like some of Lotta's other books, but I really don't give a crap what the inside of her house looks like, especially if it's as boring as this. It is honestly worth getting out from the library just to laugh at.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on November 4, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
I expected a book full of projects and instructions ,so i was very disappointed when it arrived.There are only 2 basic projects with instructions .On the other hand it has nice ideas for entertaining and contains 12 recipes .
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful
on September 10, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Since first discovering Lotta Jansdotter's Simple Sewing, I have adored everything Lotta! I pored over the pictures in her previous books less to learn how to make items and more to glean home decorating and living ideas. What I really wanted was the chance to hear in Lotta's own words how she blends old and new pieces in a way that seems effortlessly comfortable, fresh, and modern. Lotta's new book, Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandanavian Style, is just such a peek into her home and life! Every page, picture, story is a glimpse into her style, and as I finished reading, I felt I had visited the apartment of a friend who is kind enough to share her creative ideas--as well as a cinnamon bun (recipe included). Most of all this book has become my new "favorite book" because it is so authentically real. This book inspires me to embrace the home in which I live, adding my own touches to make it uniquely my own. Thank you, Lotta!
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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on November 26, 2010
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
So- this book has really nice pictures and some good ideas. But I found it lacking in actual ideas and crafts.
I think some of her other books are more informative.
This is more of a coffee table book than a craft book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on September 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
This book has lovely pictures but I am very disappointed with the content. It is basically pictures of the writers house and she given very little detail about the items in her house. I expected this book to show a variety of handmade items and how to make them. Most of the items in the book are store bought. I wouldn't recommend this book.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on August 25, 2013
Format: Hardcover
while the author and her friends and family seem nice folks - the book is very disappointing - there was nothing new in it except for the Danish recipes which are interesting and I will try out.But this is a coffee table book never really meant to be taken seriously - was very disappointed and it was quite expensive - luckily the shop exchanged it for me. my sister agrees with me - she bought this for me as a present but she didn't mind me bringing it back when it was so bland impractical and we both felt cheated....
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on August 8, 2011
Format: HardcoverVerified Purchase
This is a pretty book, and I would feel good putting it out on the coffee table. I was hoping for more ideas and projects, but this is really a lifestyle book. It is a nice addition to my collection, but lacked the ummph I was looking for. Also, if you don't have an IKEA near you, you might find it hard to replicate some of the lovely ideas in this book. I live within 30miles of an IKEA so honestly I have seen or used a lot of these techniques for years.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on February 16, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I thought this book would be full of fun do-it-yourself projects and good examples of Scandinavian decorating. But all this book is, is boring pictures of her sparsely decorated home... No real projects to work with (she includes 3 really pathetic paper stencils in the back of the book that a 3 year old could make). I learned nothing from this except that her taste in decor is boring. Scandinavian decor is about simple stylish decor and she did not achieve this at all. The ONLY good thing was some recipe cards included in the back, but I could've gotten those off of the internet... This book is a complete waste of money. Don't bother.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on November 12, 2010
Format: Hardcover
Home crafts can be more than personally fulfilling, it can be very useful, and an outlet for creativity. "Handmade Living: A Fresh Take on Scandinavian Style" is a tour of the home of famed designer Lotta Jansdotter as she gives readers a tour of her home and shows off her take on the traditional Swedish with n n emphasis on handcrafting. Hoping to inspire others to take up the craft with plenty of full color photographs, "Handmade Living" is an excellent design and coffee table book.
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