Apartment Therapy, a renown interior design weblog that almost made everyone designers overnight. Don't get me wrong. Nothing wrong with that because in my mind, everyone is a designer, but professional designers are trained to help pull your inner designer out and organize it. And Apartment Therapy is a great place to start gathering your thoughts. With its fourth book, "Apartment Therapy Complete + Happy Home", Maxwell Ryan & Janel Laban gave everyone a reference guide all in one chunky book .
As an interior designer by profession, I look at these design books not about the design or pretty pictures, but more about how useful it is for the "lay" designers out there - those who does not have formal training. With "Apartment Therapy Complete Home + Happy Home", I appreciate the thoughtfulness of the authors in their organization of the book, and that speaks volumes since a good designed space is nothing if organization is not part of it. This book is grouped in three parts, setting up your home, living in your home and then maintaining your home. Each part focused and tailored to a specific area, from the home hunt to plants in Part One, and then specific types of spaces in Part Two and finally how to keep your home a "happy" home in Part Three. Thorough as it seems, I do find it lacks a more detailed review of space planning. True, there is a section called "Getting the Right Flow" under Part One, but it's a measly 6 pages. Space planning is crucial in any design project to make the right decision. Part two of specific types of spaces, such as Entryways, Living Spaces, Bedrooms...etc provides several style options with little or no mentioned of space planning tips.
Overall, I do enjoy perusing through this book, and it is useful in many ways, ideas and organization and tips, similar to popular ones like "Domino" and "Design Sponge at Home", but with a little more information. I'm still trying to find a design book, which has a strong emphasis on space planning that can be use as "reference home book" for "lay" designers. It will be helpful if one ever needs a refresher in rearranging their space or move. Maybe I should just write one? For now, "Apartment Therapy Complete Home + Happy Home" will be get the job done.