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The Things That Matter Hardcover – October 16, 2012
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Top Customer Reviews
"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.Read more ›
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...Read more ›
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!!!!
Most Recent Customer Reviews
It is an easy read! Nate Berkus writes from his heart.Published 3 months ago by Flora Ramirez Hojohn
I love Nate Berkus and I love this book. It has saved me thousands of dollars in my re model. Great idea's - great imaginative and practical advise. He is a wizard and a sage.Published 3 months ago by Jeanne Aldrich
Enjoying Nate's stories and photos of his work. Beautiful book.Published 4 months ago by Cindy L Phillips
Highly overrated. If you want your house to look like its from the 1970's using flea market and garage sale second and third rate furniture and accessories then he's your guy.Published 4 months ago by John Witherspoon