Karyn R. Millet


My heart sings when a new book lands on my doorstep. I receive a lot of green home design books, but I tend to only review the ones that truly strike a chord with me. The Well-Dressed Home - Fashionable Design Inspired by Your Personal Style, by Annette Tatum unexpectedly did.

I love interior design and follow fashion trends, and now everything gets filtered through a green lens. What struck me about The Well-Dressed-Home was how artistically the two disciplines of interiors and fashion can converge to form a personal eco-style.

When I started flipping through, I was worried that the interiors were a bit frou-frou, and maybe not so green. It was a pleasant surprise to find that tucked into the nooks and crannies of the chapters and gorgeous photographs there was an obvious effort to educate readers about ecological decorating concerns. The book advocates using vintage and thrift shop finds. It also pushes the three R's - reduce, reuse, recycle to an elevated level of creativity and design sophistication. About possessing an eco-style, Tatum says,

"In tune with nature, simple by design, and sensible for the planet, this environmentally and socially sensitive style is essential for global living."

What you choose to bring into your home reflects your personality - ethically and aesthetically. Each item has an impact on our environment and our lives. Using this knowledge, home and fashion designers who hone in on avoiding resource depletion, waste and pollution, as they approach their craft, hopefully will be the ones who continue to make sustainable livings. Being able to live this way is clean, healthy, and moves our lives and our planet closer to becoming more balanced and sustainable.

This book is teeming with thoughtful ideas for those wanting to understand and reflect their personal style into their homes. The Well-Dressed Home may lead its readers to become more self-reliant and make conscious choices that may alleviate costly mistakes. No matter how eco-friendly your home is there's nothing green about the wastefulness of frequent redecorating. So, it's nice to get it right the first time.

While, The Well-Dressed Home is more like a well-heeled Manolo, than a cork-soled Birkenstock, and with a $35 price tag, the book may tip into the emerald shade of eco-luxury for some. But, I think the book is worth it. The photographs are stunning and inspiring, and the text presents so many personalized ways to indulge and invigorate one's sense of style while giving a nod our planet.

The Well-Dressed Home definitely gets its manicured hands into the trenches of eco-friendly design. If you read the stories in the magazines, Elle Décor, Met Home (now-defunct) or the pages of Vogue looking for the green angle, then put the The Well-Dressed Home on your reading list.

Purchase copies of The Well-Dressed Home here and enter Planet Green at time of purchase.