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BOOK REVIEW: Simply Styling – Fresh & Easy Ways to Personalize Your Home by Kirsten Grove & Paige French (Photographer)

| 31 March 2017 | 1 Reply

BOOK REVIEW: Simply Styling- Fresh & Easy Ways to Personalize Your Home by Kirsten Grove & Paige French (Photographer)

Sterling Publishing Co Inc
December 2016
Hardback, $37.99
Reviewed by Natalie Salvo

Non-Fiction/Lifestyle & Fashion/Interior Design



Simply Styling is the first book by stylist, interior designer and editor of the Simply Grove blog, Kirsten Grove. The blog was started in 2008 by the self-taught designer and allows people to come together and view some stylish, interior design eye-candy. Simply Styling is a logical extension of the blog, in which Grove steps us through every room of the house and gives us practical tips that we can use in order to live by her mantra of “Live comfortably without sacrificing style.”

This volume makes the perfect coffee table book because it features lots of gorgeous photographs, shot by Paige French. It includes pictures of entire rooms styled by Grove, showcasing light, airy, and contemporary spaces. There are also shots of eye-catching vignettes where items are arranged in a nice, ordered and harmonious way, enabling the colours to pop. One complaint this reviewer has is that some of the pictures are replicated throughout the book, which is a shame because the extra space could have been used for alternative shots and provided additional design inspiration.

Grove’s approach is one that embraces utilising some of the items you already own.

The misconception about styling is that you need an endless bank account to achieve your desired look… But I’m here to tell you that personalising your home can be easy and inexpensive. By using objects you probably have laying on your kitchen table right now, you can create eye-catching décor you never thought possible.

Grove makes some fantastic points here and she’s qualified to make them. She has had experience all over the world designing both home and commercial interiors. She has also visited homes that says feel like they’re a showroom for IKEA or America’s own Pottery Barn. Grove suggests that we should try to collect items from our own travels that are beautiful and mean things to us because these can ultimately be a stylish way to show off our own unique tastes and values.

With each room showcased in the book, Grove breaks down the items that need to be considered from a style perspective. This includes things like lighting and the types of globes you use – to flooring, where the addition of a rug can add warmth to a room. In the living room Grove goes through how to choose a sofa or couch and she encourages the reader to consider things like its style, size, shape and upholstery, and suggests that leather makes a good choice for a lounge because this material ages well. Reading this is like a breath of fresh air when you consider that there are so many other designers who advocate using things that are aesthetically pleasing but not particularly comfortable or functional.

Grove uses a lot of neutral colours that are fashionable at the moment. This palate tends to give the interiors a sleek and clean look, and in some cases the photos and advice could even be considered rather simplistic, which means some readers may have the same reaction that others feel when they view modern art where they assume that, “I could have done that myself!” But in retrospect you will likely find that you were only able to design your living space in this way after seeing the work of Grove and other designers; the people in the know who will help you to see the full potential in your home.

Simply Styling is a fun little design book in which Kirsten Grove accessorises and makes over rooms to be functional and gorgeous. This book is a practical look at modern styling with tips that are easy to implement in order to refresh and revitalise your living space. Simply Styling helps take some of the guesswork out of design and reassures us that we don’t need exorbitant budgets to help us embrace our spaces as natural, changeable living things.

Category: Book Reviews, Other Reviews

About the Author ()

Natalie Salvo is a foodie and writer from Sydney. You can find her digging around in second hand book shops or submerged in vinyl crates at good record stores. Her website is at:

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