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The Things That Matter Hardcover – October 16, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

The Things That Matter + Domino: The Book of Decorating: A Room-by-Room Guide to Creating a Home That Makes You Happy + Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home
Price for all three: $66.37

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Spiegel & Grau; 1st edition (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0679644318
  • ISBN-13: 978-0679644316
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 1.1 x 11.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (187 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #33,713 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Samples from The Things That Matter

Homes tell stories of who we are
Interiors: Objects that bring joy
Things matter
 
Objects that bring us pleasure
The hunt
Importance of things

From Booklist

Designer and TV host Berkus was an Oprah Winfrey find. Here in his new decorating book, he infuses his life story on every page. The tragedy he experienced during the Sri Lanka tsunami (the loss of his partner, Fernando) became the foundation for the things that matter to him: It’s about how the prints on our wall and the rough-hewn rocks we swiped from the Marfa, Texas, farmer’s market gave our everyday lives shape, texture, and a sense of who we are, who we’ve been, and where we may be heading. This is truly an awe-filled, happy book, on the surface about decorating, but, on a deeper level, how the things we love unfold our soul. We meet artists and media executives (no, not Oprah), celebrities and the nearly so, all secure in their selves—and their relationships. Gaze at the pictures, read the words, and then think as you look into your own homes how much of who you are and where you’re going shows. As Berkus has it, The correct order for achieving joy is people, then animals, then things. --Barbara Jacobs

More About the Author

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Customer Reviews

Great coffee table book.
JJ
I love Nate Berkus's designs and his view on what makes a home reflect who you are.
Healthnut
I'm going to try really had not to gush to much, but I love this book.
Debra

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

90 of 94 people found the following review helpful By Terri J. Rice TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on October 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
This book made me pull out the silhouettes that my mom had done of each of us four children over forty years ago and find a place for them on my wall, it made me root out the iron bulldog bank my grandmother gave me and place it on a tray with two brass candle sticks(wedding gift of 33 years ago)- also ferreted out of a closet to sit with the dog on the tray.

"As I've said over and over again, our homes should tell the stories of who we are. Not who our decorator is. Not who our friends sometimes think we should be, not who our family occasionally wishes we would be,and not who any number of style magazines tell us we must be."

Nate Berkus begins by telling us who he is, where he grew up, what life was like for him as a kid in Minnesota and then a boarding student in Massachusetts, then on to college and his favorite and life-changing year of college in Paris. The telling of his life throughout the book is what takes it from a clever book to a poignant beautifully photographed and inspiring story. He tells of the death of his partner, Fernando Bengoechea, when the two of them were in Sri Lanka as a tsunami hit and swept them into the swirling ebbing and flowing flood. Berkus lived; Bengoechea perished.

As he walks us through the treasures of his house, he tells why the things he has mean so much to him.

Nate Berkus then walks us through some funky, fun homes of people: Brian Sawyer, Barri Leiner Grant, Kelly Framel, Stever Berg, Dr. Ruth Westheimer- as in the sex doctor- Barbara Hill. Thirteen in all.

Barri Leiner Grant loves sea shells. She's a hunter gatherer of the "smalls;" she could care less about the big stuff.
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38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Kathy VINE VOICE on November 3, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I honestly thought I was just going to skim though this book looking at the photos of other people's houses, which I love to do in magazines, but I actually ended up reading the book because it was so interesting. The photos in the book were beautiful, but the book is much more than that. We learn so much about Nate's life, which is very interesting, yet he's really relatable. Then, we learn about the lives of 12 other people (the only one I knew of was Dr. Ruth) through the decorating Nate does of their homes. The book reminds us that that the things we have in our homes should be things we love, not just for show and, like the people in the book, tell a little bit of a story about ourselves. There is much more writing in the book than photography, so I'm not sure if this book would be super helpful in looking for decorating ideas, but it's definitely worth looking into for the stories.
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28 of 32 people found the following review helpful By Ladybug TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I was sent a copy of this book to review as part of the Amazon Vine program. Unfortunately, the copy was really bad--all black and white, and not even printed evenly so that it was barely legible in some places. I decided, for a book like this, I wanted to see it in person. So I went to Barnes and Noble and bought it, fully intending to return in after I was finished reviewing it. (Sorry B & N.)

First, this book is really beautiful. The pictures are crisp but also dreamy. The variety of homes photographed is amazing. From a very minimalist (yet warm!) family-sized home, to a one-bedroom, teeny-tiny apartment in New York, to very unique, extremely small backyard cottage, there is something for everyone in here.

Second, the stories of the individuals or couples featured in this book are really wonderful--Berkus's included. (His account of losing his boyfriend, Fernando, in a tsunami was extremely moving.) I loved looking at all the pictures, sure, but the meaning behind the unique trinkets and headboards and lamps and bookcases really made the photos special.

I also liked that Berkus addressed the issue of "things." I was worried that this book was going to push the idea that your entire identity is wrapped up in the crap you buy and fill your house with. But he doesn't. His approach is pretty common sense, actually. He says:

"I think people sometimes confuse loving things with being materialistic, or grasping, or lusting after things that tell the world who you are. But to me, surrounding yourself with the things you love has nothing to do with impressing other people or gaining status...
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful By R. Heitman on November 2, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I have been a Nate Berkus fan from the instant I saw him on the Oprah show years ago. Not only is Nate a talented designer, but he has one of the kindest hearts around. His daily talk show debuted on the day of my first radiation treatment for breast cancer and it was something positive to look forward to after these awful treatments were over for the day. Needless to say, I was anxious for this book to reach my local book store. As others have described in these reviews, the heart-felt tribute to Fernando, his life partner who perished in the tsunami of 2004 in Sri Lanka, was deeply touching, as was the background on his early life and family. Nate is open about everything and after reading his story and seeing his home, you walk away feeling as if you know him personally. From a design standpoint, I love Nate's philosophy that our homes should tell our story with things we accumulate over the years that are significant of a magical time we had or remind us of those we love.

I have a vast library of design books, but this one has made it to the top of my list of favorites. It is so uncommon to open a book on interior design and feel a tug at your heart-strings. The photography is well done and the accompanying stories for each home profiled are entertaining and fun to read. I thoroughly enjoyed this book...from cover to cover. Nate Berkus is a class act...and not bad on the eyes either!!!!
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