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Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

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In her design book, Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. This comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and your instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracin In her design book, Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. This comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and your instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are iterated as well as how to blend the genres you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that look and feel distinctly yours. In each chapter are practical takeaways to help problem solve potential pain points in your home. A fold out design guidebook at the back of the book offers a place for you to take notes and sketch out your own design plans as you make your way through the rooms. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces that you never want to leave.


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In her design book, Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. This comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and your instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracin In her design book, Homebody: A Guide To Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave, Joanna Gaines walks you through how to create a home that reflects the personalities and stories of the people who live there. This comprehensive guide will help you assess your priorities and your instincts, as well as your likes and dislikes, with practical steps for navigating and embracing your authentic design style. Room by room, Homebody gives you an in-depth look at how these styles are iterated as well as how to blend the genres you’re drawn to in order to create spaces that look and feel distinctly yours. In each chapter are practical takeaways to help problem solve potential pain points in your home. A fold out design guidebook at the back of the book offers a place for you to take notes and sketch out your own design plans as you make your way through the rooms. The insight shared in Homebody will instill in you the confidence to thoughtfully create spaces that you never want to leave.

30 review for Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave

  1. 4 out of 5

    Diane

    This is a lovely book about home design from Joanna Gaines. Thanks to HGTV and Hulu, I've recently become obsessed with the show Fixer Upper, and I was excited to flip through this big book and hear more from Joanna. I found the book to be more inspirational than informative — there are descriptions of different styles, lots of photographs and drawings, and some general advice about the design of different rooms (such as Entryways, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, etc.). Mostly Joanna wants to ins This is a lovely book about home design from Joanna Gaines. Thanks to HGTV and Hulu, I've recently become obsessed with the show Fixer Upper, and I was excited to flip through this big book and hear more from Joanna. I found the book to be more inspirational than informative — there are descriptions of different styles, lots of photographs and drawings, and some general advice about the design of different rooms (such as Entryways, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, etc.). Mostly Joanna wants to inspire her readers to create a cozy home in their own style, and there are some short and sweet introductory words to each type of room. Recommended for fellow Jojo fans. Meaningful Passage "I'm a homebody. There's really no other way to say it. The world can feel overwhelming with its pace and noise, its chaos and expectations. Home for me is like the eye of a hurricane. There's a certain calm I experience there no matter what is swirling about on the outside. Home is where I feel safe, it's the place where I am most known and most loved. If you were to ask my family, I'm pretty sure they would tell you the same thing about themselves: there is nowhere they would rather be than home. I think it's because our story is all around us there. When you walk in, you begin to see and experience the journey of us. Our home is layered with family photos, artwork, and objects that weren't chosen simply to make a design statement, but rather to tell the story of who lives there. I believe that what we surround ourselves with — the colors, the materials, the things, can be random and meaningless or they can convey some of the most important truths if we let them."

  2. 4 out of 5

    Danni

    I wish there had been more how and not just pretty pictures.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Amy

    I didn't read most of the book, but I did get some good inspiration from the multitude of pictures that were included (and their captions)! Gaines provides good information for creating spaces. She also provides suggestions in case you don't want to remodel a whole room / house for small projects that you can do to, i.e. increase lighting in your kitchen, etc. She also provides some Troubleshooting tips, like how to deal with "Toys Everywhere," in Kid Spaces. At the back of the book is a "Design T I didn't read most of the book, but I did get some good inspiration from the multitude of pictures that were included (and their captions)! Gaines provides good information for creating spaces. She also provides suggestions in case you don't want to remodel a whole room / house for small projects that you can do to, i.e. increase lighting in your kitchen, etc. She also provides some Troubleshooting tips, like how to deal with "Toys Everywhere," in Kid Spaces. At the back of the book is a "Design Template" page that you may photocopy to use for your space(s). Not sure what your design style is? Check out the front of the book for inspiration / ideas! On pages 337-339, there is an Index or projects that are included in the book. For most of the projects, Joanna Gaines (not surprising) is the Designer of record. One thing that would have made this book better would have been if she had included a list of Resources for each state - a list of Architects / Designers that she would recommend, because we all don't live in Texas or have the opportunity to have Gaines as our designer.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Kelly

    A beautiful book with lovely photographs, especially if you love modern farmhouse style. I love the sage, if not novel, design advice to tell your story within your home, filling it with things you love ("creating spaces you never want to leave"), rather than adhering to a certain style or guidelines; I didn't love that, even though there are some helpful tips and takeaways here and there, it isn't particularly helpful or insightful overall as a "guide," in my opinion. I love that most of the twen A beautiful book with lovely photographs, especially if you love modern farmhouse style. I love the sage, if not novel, design advice to tell your story within your home, filling it with things you love ("creating spaces you never want to leave"), rather than adhering to a certain style or guidelines; I didn't love that, even though there are some helpful tips and takeaways here and there, it isn't particularly helpful or insightful overall as a "guide," in my opinion. I love that most of the twenty-two "case study" homes, introduced at the beginning of the book, are a blend of the six foundational styles (farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, boho); I didn't love that the book is then organized room by room, so it isn't easy to follow which home is which or to really get a good feel for each home as a whole. Editing oversight, pp 116-117: the caption refers to the "bold floor tile" but the photo crops out the floor. (Did any other OCD-types catch this, among other typos?)

  5. 4 out of 5

    Kaitlin

    Her designs are always gorgeous. The book itself was beautiful. I wish I had found it a little more helpful. It definitely made some good points and helped me gain a little perspective on what I’d like to do in my new home. I just sort of wish there was a little more how-to, as opposed to inspiration. Maybe I just don’t know enough about design to be able to take the principles laid out and apply them to my own situation? I enjoyed the book, for sure. And I did learn a few things. Just not as mu Her designs are always gorgeous. The book itself was beautiful. I wish I had found it a little more helpful. It definitely made some good points and helped me gain a little perspective on what I’d like to do in my new home. I just sort of wish there was a little more how-to, as opposed to inspiration. Maybe I just don’t know enough about design to be able to take the principles laid out and apply them to my own situation? I enjoyed the book, for sure. And I did learn a few things. Just not as much as I was hoping to.

  6. 5 out of 5

    Jay

    Just loved this book Philosophy fits my style perfectly I will refer back to this book over and over Would make a lovely gift for anyone just starting out And designing their own space as well as people downsizing and Starting over

  7. 4 out of 5

    Go

    I love the home designs on "Fixer Upper," however, in this book there is a lack of personality. There was very little variety displayed in this book. The photos were too neutral; The style was consistently classic. Everywhere there was black and white and wood…including the cover. You might sometimes think that the photos are actually in black and white. An occasional green plant added some much needed color. I was hoping for different pops of color on the kitchen backsplash, on the walls, in al I love the home designs on "Fixer Upper," however, in this book there is a lack of personality. There was very little variety displayed in this book. The photos were too neutral; The style was consistently classic. Everywhere there was black and white and wood…including the cover. You might sometimes think that the photos are actually in black and white. An occasional green plant added some much needed color. I was hoping for different pops of color on the kitchen backsplash, on the walls, in all sorts of places in various rooms. Instead it was the same thing, the same thing, the same thing. I do like what she had to say about design and making your home tell your story and be practical for you. I liked at the beginning of the book where you can realize what your specific home style is.

  8. 5 out of 5

    Tiffany

    I enjoyed the commentary and the organization of the book. I think it is more basic level of those considering venturing into interior design. I would like to see Joanna do a book that translates the images/thought process she sees when she looks at a remodel job. On her show, you see her immediate start processing ideas. It would be cool to see that in book form. Maybe a before shot and a markup page of proposed changes with a more detailed description of why she placed each piece there (need h I enjoyed the commentary and the organization of the book. I think it is more basic level of those considering venturing into interior design. I would like to see Joanna do a book that translates the images/thought process she sees when she looks at a remodel job. On her show, you see her immediate start processing ideas. It would be cool to see that in book form. Maybe a before shot and a markup page of proposed changes with a more detailed description of why she placed each piece there (need height in this corner to balance____ or this color makes the sofa pop or the owners need this_____ as a practical feature). I would like to see the process, I guess.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Barbara

    Joanna Gaines’ philosophy in Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave is that we shouldn’t decorate just to fit everything within a certain style. Rather, our homes should be reflections of the needs and personalities of those who live there. Throughout this book, you’ll notice a theme of “telling your story” within your home. What I mean is that I want you to approach the design of your home with intention, to surround yourself with items that mean something to you, and choos Joanna Gaines’ philosophy in Homebody: A Guide to Creating Spaces You Never Want to Leave is that we shouldn’t decorate just to fit everything within a certain style. Rather, our homes should be reflections of the needs and personalities of those who live there. Throughout this book, you’ll notice a theme of “telling your story” within your home. What I mean is that I want you to approach the design of your home with intention, to surround yourself with items that mean something to you, and choose furnishings and details that make you happy or inspired or content (p. 8). Intentionality with a dose of creativity goes much further than money and flawless taste when it comes to making a house a home (p. 9). The book is laid out simply and practically. First Joanna discusses some introductory thoughts. Then she gives a brief description of several styles: farmhouse, modern, rustic, industrial, traditional, and boho. In a sense these are all modern styles, or modern interpretations. Then Joanna gives even more brief summaries of each of the homes she’ll be sharing pictures of. I noticed that all of them are a blend of two or three styles: no one decorated everywhere in a house within any one style. Of that eclectic tendency, Joanna says, “I believe that a gathered approach is essential to creating spaces that are a true representation of you and the people who share your home” (p. 13). Then a chapter is devoted to each room in the house. First Joanna shares thoughts on how her philosophy of design for each room developed over the years. Then she lists what to consider in each room (how it will be used, special considerations, etc.), shows several pictures from a various homes and comments on salient points, and finishes with a couple of pages about troubleshooting the particular design issues in each room. In addition to the usual rooms (living room, kitchen, etc.), she has a chapter devoted to entryways, kid spaces, “rooms to retreat,” and utility spaces. She mentions that utility spaces (laundry, pantry, etc.) are often neglected, but since we spend so much time in them, it pays to brighten them up a bit. I can testify to that. This is the first house we’ve lived in where there was a nice laundry room, and the first time I’ve put a bit of art on the walls (nothing expensive: a cross-stitched picture my sister made, a framed calendar page, a Hobby Lobby clearance piece, etc.). It makes a lot of difference to have that area pleasant to be in. I also liked her thought that in kids’ rooms, “Rather than focusing on literal interpretations of a theme, decor and furnishings are incorporated in a way that will age with the children” (p. 249). In one example, a little girl loved rainbows. But instead of painting an actual rainbow on the wall, a rainbow effect was suggested by a gradation of soft colors on the walls and a wall hanging. (My own personal thought here: there’s nothing wrong with painting an actual rainbow or whatever if a child wants that. It’s likely the room will need to be painted again or her tastes will change sometime before she moves out, anyway. But I did like this idea of the effect of something rather than a literal interpretation.) A few other quotes: [Though] what’s on the inside matters most…tending to the outside has a pretty profound effect on how we feel on the inside (p. 33). Functionality doesn’t need to be sacrificed to make a space feel inviting (p. 35). I realized that I had let the pursuit of perfection inform how I designed this space instead of the people who were actually supposed to be enjoying life in it (p. 55). The book ends with a design template and suggestions for the process of how to design a particular room. We don’t watch too many HGTV shows as we don’t get that channel, and watching it online can be a little wonky (sometimes we’re limited in what we can see). But of the few shows we have watched, I like Joanna’s style and touch the best. Yet, her style is not my style. What seems clean and minimal to her seems a little barren to me. I don’t like the horizontal lines of shiplap and subway tiles. I cringe at the thought of open shelving (I fight dust even in closed cabinets: I can’t fathom adding dusting open shelving to my regular tasks). I got tired of the mostly black and white palette in the book’s illustrations. But that’s ok, because she’s not advocating that everyone follow her style. Her main point is that every home will look different as it’s adapted to its occupants. I love her philosophy and many of the practical tips she shared. All in all, I enjoyed the book very much.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Michael

    If you are looking for a more informative design book rather than an inspirational one I would skip this one. An enjoyable read. I really appreciate the message that it doesn't matter so much about following trends in a house, but following what you like and the fulfilling the needs that you have in your space that makes it beautiful. I definitely got some creative inspiration from the photos that are in this book, these homes are beautiful. The troubleshooting portion of each section is by far If you are looking for a more informative design book rather than an inspirational one I would skip this one. An enjoyable read. I really appreciate the message that it doesn't matter so much about following trends in a house, but following what you like and the fulfilling the needs that you have in your space that makes it beautiful. I definitely got some creative inspiration from the photos that are in this book, these homes are beautiful. The troubleshooting portion of each section is by far the most helpful for people seeking help with designing their space, many of them provide simple and cost effective hacks. (i.e changing the fixtures of your cabinets instead of getting new ones installed, re-glazing tile instead of getting a new pattern installed, etc.)

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kailey (BooksforMKs)

    I love the beautiful photos in this book, and I even recognized some of the homes from the Fixer Upper show. I like the philosophy of decorating, with an emphasis on telling your story through what you allow in your home. Your home should be functional for your family, and feature things that are important to you. I just adore Joanna Gaines' style, and this is a lovely book. I can't say that I actually got any doable ideas for my own home from this. Everything looks too expensive or massive or re I love the beautiful photos in this book, and I even recognized some of the homes from the Fixer Upper show. I like the philosophy of decorating, with an emphasis on telling your story through what you allow in your home. Your home should be functional for your family, and feature things that are important to you. I just adore Joanna Gaines' style, and this is a lovely book. I can't say that I actually got any doable ideas for my own home from this. Everything looks too expensive or massive or requires some kind of major remodeling. I was looking for smaller ideas, simple changes, and easy DIYs. Ah well. If I were a millionaire, I would totally have a home that looks like Joanna Gaines decorated it.

  12. 4 out of 5

    Cleo

    Enjoyed the narrative, which did not accurately reflect the photos. Words 'fun' 'practical' or 'whimsical play space' matched with the photos planted inescapable pictures in my mind of those poor rhesus monkey babies with the wire rack bottle-holder mamas. Dry ground for youth or liveliness in these homes. Maybe grups with our rattled brains and cruel industrial pink ghetto jobs could settle down in some of these tepid lime-washed rooms with the ever-present lost little plants, which must certai Enjoyed the narrative, which did not accurately reflect the photos. Words 'fun' 'practical' or 'whimsical play space' matched with the photos planted inescapable pictures in my mind of those poor rhesus monkey babies with the wire rack bottle-holder mamas. Dry ground for youth or liveliness in these homes. Maybe grups with our rattled brains and cruel industrial pink ghetto jobs could settle down in some of these tepid lime-washed rooms with the ever-present lost little plants, which must certainly be contemplating their lack of sun, not to mention the variety of word-art placards to cue the deadened mind: "every step of the way" or 'be optimistic'. Blech. I'm sure this is a really good book and I started out relishing the read and then totally making fun of it in my head as I ate up every single delicious word.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Kate

    Read through this tonight. Gorgeous photos and design, no question. But, there needed to be more information. Specifically, the first section is all about identifying your style, and then she has sample houses that she names and shows which styles they incorporate. I love that there were little bars underneath (kind of like a bar chart or the life meter in old video games) to show how much of each style the house was. But, in the sections where she shows samples of living rooms, kitchens, etc., Read through this tonight. Gorgeous photos and design, no question. But, there needed to be more information. Specifically, the first section is all about identifying your style, and then she has sample houses that she names and shows which styles they incorporate. I love that there were little bars underneath (kind of like a bar chart or the life meter in old video games) to show how much of each style the house was. But, in the sections where she shows samples of living rooms, kitchens, etc., she doesn’t clearly identify which house is which, doesn’t include which two or three styles it is, etc. After putting so much emphasis on identifying your style, it seems weird not to label the styles in each of the example room photos. It’s a good coffee table book, though, and may help people figure out what they’re drawn to, but it’s not quite a how-to.

  14. 4 out of 5

    Sara Larson

    3.5 stars. It’s a beautifully made book. But the information is very concise and not as specific as I was hoping. Many little nuggets throughout were very inspiring and helpful to get me thinking about my space and my family’s needs and preferences...instead of it just being a “how-to make your home look like Joanna Gaines decorated it.” She is an excellent writer. Only other detractor was the lack of color in the book. It was SO neutral. Maybe that was to help a variety of readers connect with 3.5 stars. It’s a beautifully made book. But the information is very concise and not as specific as I was hoping. Many little nuggets throughout were very inspiring and helpful to get me thinking about my space and my family’s needs and preferences...instead of it just being a “how-to make your home look like Joanna Gaines decorated it.” She is an excellent writer. Only other detractor was the lack of color in the book. It was SO neutral. Maybe that was to help a variety of readers connect with the rooms?

  15. 5 out of 5

    Emily

    This is a decor book that I really liked, and at first, I didn't think I would, since Jo's style is not mine. I'm more of an Erin from Home Town . But Jo does a great job breaking out common house styles--even mixes of styles, which I loved--ID-ing common problems in rooms, decorating roadblocks, ideas, and even note pages and graph pages where you can work out your own ideas. I like how Jo focuses on the idea of making your home reflect your story, and I've already started working on my bedr This is a decor book that I really liked, and at first, I didn't think I would, since Jo's style is not mine. I'm more of an Erin from Home Town . But Jo does a great job breaking out common house styles--even mixes of styles, which I loved--ID-ing common problems in rooms, decorating roadblocks, ideas, and even note pages and graph pages where you can work out your own ideas. I like how Jo focuses on the idea of making your home reflect your story, and I've already started working on my bedroom with using her tips.

  16. 5 out of 5

    Cari Borchert

    I did not get to finish this as it was due back at the library with a billion holds on it... But it was adorable, of course. Some of the stories told were repetitive of those in her book "The Magnolia Story", but there was fresh fodder in here as well. Beautiful pictures of beautiful homes and rooms, including the Gaines'. Not all of which was within my taste or abilities, but still provided food for thought about how to make my home work for me. As a fellow homebody, I appreciated it!

  17. 4 out of 5

    Crystal Hiatt

    I thoroughly enjoy the show 'Fixer Uppers' and I love Joanna Gaines' design style. This book talked about various design styles and inspirations for the home, and finding the right one/s for you. It gave detailed description of what elements to introduce to each room to make the house cozy and inviting. The book also detailed how to incorporate varying styles together. IE: Infuse farmhouse with modern decor. I like the blend of style and how it creates personality and character. Also, the pictur I thoroughly enjoy the show 'Fixer Uppers' and I love Joanna Gaines' design style. This book talked about various design styles and inspirations for the home, and finding the right one/s for you. It gave detailed description of what elements to introduce to each room to make the house cozy and inviting. The book also detailed how to incorporate varying styles together. IE: Infuse farmhouse with modern decor. I like the blend of style and how it creates personality and character. Also, the pictures throughout were lovely and a great inspiration point.

  18. 5 out of 5

    Dawn Foster

    Okay- there was a tremendous amount of work that went into this book & I appreciatw that, but I'm not sure it warrants all the hype this book has received. Don't get me wrong, I love Joanna's style & aesthetic & the book was interesting but I didn't learn anything. And, I just wanted more of actual rooms & their design without all the technical components of room design.

  19. 4 out of 5

    Vanessa ❤️

    “I’m a homebody. There’s really no other way to say it. The world can feel overwhelming with its pace and noise, it’s chaos and expectations. Home is like the eye of a hurricane. There’s a certain calm I experience there no matter what is swirling about on the outside. Home is where I feel safe, it’s the place where I am most known and most loved.” 🥰

  20. 5 out of 5

    Jennifer Lucking

    Really appreciated her reflections on what a home should be (or, at least, what she values in a home for her family and lifestyle). Renovations and design can be pricey, and I appreciated her unpretentious reflections on how to try implementing change on a more basic level.

  21. 4 out of 5

    Jan

    Loved this book by Joanna Gaines. She gave some great ideas about the spaces in your home. Great ideas for families with kids. I liked her thought about have a space for kids to be kids. Great fast read.

  22. 5 out of 5

    Koren

    I love the show Fixer Upper and the Gaines family. This book has decorating tips and shows some of the homes Joanna has decorated. I didnt find very much that would be practical for my house. Apparently white is the 'in' color these days. The book is mostly a photo album and I enjoyed looking at the pictures but didnt really find anything I would like to do in my house.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Heather

    Loved this book! Beautiful pictures with great ideas!

  24. 4 out of 5

    Sarah Grider

    The pictures are beautiful and inspiring. The main points of the book are to build a space that you can use and enjoy for your current life and make the space reflect the people who live there.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Christine

    Unfortunately GR will not allow comments before a book is read. But I am a bit offended by Mrs. Gaines and her earlier decision to step away from whatever she and her husband were doing. I believe they felt they were not in touch with what they had originally set out to do. They scaled back. She had a beautiful baby and it seems they had made a decision to fall back and reassess. Now the Gaines creep is on us again. A bit more stealthily. Books, updates on their lives, lines with Target... They Unfortunately GR will not allow comments before a book is read. But I am a bit offended by Mrs. Gaines and her earlier decision to step away from whatever she and her husband were doing. I believe they felt they were not in touch with what they had originally set out to do. They scaled back. She had a beautiful baby and it seems they had made a decision to fall back and reassess. Now the Gaines creep is on us again. A bit more stealthily. Books, updates on their lives, lines with Target... They have NOT pulled back and I truly wish they, their company and their shiplap would take a long breather from planting themselves in the public arena. They are incredibly talented but HGTV destroyed whatever semblance of true creativity the appeared on scene with.

  26. 4 out of 5

    Kaylee Swanson

    Received and read all in one day! So many beautiful pictures and helpful ideas/tricks.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Catherine Yereshkin

    It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I have always loved Fixer Upper and admired Joanna's design style and eye for what clients, but i feel like she didn't fully flesh out all of the design styles that she could have in her book. Even if glam/modern isn't really a style that she likes to design with, i think it deserves a place in a design book and although the pictures were beautifully styled, i didn't really see the actual design wavering all that much from farmhouse/industrial which she ad It wasn't as good as I wanted it to be. I have always loved Fixer Upper and admired Joanna's design style and eye for what clients, but i feel like she didn't fully flesh out all of the design styles that she could have in her book. Even if glam/modern isn't really a style that she likes to design with, i think it deserves a place in a design book and although the pictures were beautifully styled, i didn't really see the actual design wavering all that much from farmhouse/industrial which she admits over and over that she's drawn to. I enjoyed reading it, I just didn't think it was as fully rounded as it could be.

  28. 5 out of 5

    Mandy J. Hoffman

    Good book if home decor is a struggle for you.

  29. 4 out of 5

    Faith Wiechers

    Joanna has created a collection of inspirational homes and explanations. If you enjoy the Magnolia style, you'll love this book.

  30. 5 out of 5

    Kris Patrick

    Buckle up mike! I’m rearranging

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