March Book Club: Decluttering Interiors

Elemental Living (Phaidon)

March is all about cleaning up and decluttering here at KHACHILIFE, but these chores are only desirable with a goal in mind. What better way to get excited about a home purge-and-cleanse than finding inspiration in the end goal — a chic, sophisticated abode?

We’ve rounded up some of our favourite design books to help our readers stay focused and enjoy the possibilities of a solid spring clean.

Undecorate: The No-Rules Approach To Interior Design

By Christine Lemieux

As the founder and creative director of DwellStudio, a home furnishings and design store, Christine Lemieux has made a name for herself by championing bold textiles and contemporary, geometric lines. Coming from a background in fashion, Lemieux knows all about breaking the rules. “Amateurs are creating some of the most amazing interiors and now influencing the way we think about design,” she told The EVERYGIRL. “It’s almost like street fashion and couture — people showing their own interiors are starting trends that reach everyone.” Undecorate is an accessible look at twenty American homes whose owners have a passion for imperfections, instead focusing on details that convey personality via their surroundings.

The Poetics Of Space

By Gaston Bachelard

This is one of the seminal texts on modern architectural theory; no doubt a few of our readers will have discovered this introspective book by way of a university reading list. Originally published in French in 1958, The Poetics Of Space focuses on our relationship to architecture, and how space can provoke an emotional, highly personal response. Bachelard takes the reader on a spatial tour of the home and its various rooms to argue that architecture should cater to the human experience rather than abstract or intellectual concepts. This read will have you looking at the rooms of your own home with a new appreciation for how theory becomes practice.

House As A Mirror Of Self:
Exploring The Deeper Meaning Of Home

By Clare Cooper Marcus

Like The Poetics Of Space, this book focuses on our relationship with environments and their inherent emotional impact. House As A Mirror Of Self explores how our domestic surroundings reflect our needs, desires, and emotions. Marcus also meditates on the impact that cohabiting can have on the psyche, and how establishing a home with a partner can become a power struggle for identity, territory, control, and privacy. This is required reading for lovers who are thinking of moving in together; it provides a necessary, concrete understanding of the semiotics of personal dwellings.

Elemental Living: Contemporary Houses In Nature

By Phaidon Editors (Author) & Joost Grootens (Designer)

This book is for anyone who dreams of forgoing the urban rat race for quieter living in nature, proving that rural living isn’t all tiny cabins in the woods. Focusing on sixty rural structures that are both architecturally innovative and informed by the natural world, Elemental Living is total eye candy that you’ll return to again and again. The coloured photography of contemporary homes and their breathtaking vistas makes this the perfect coffee table book.

Simple Matters: Living with Less and Ending Up with More

by Erin Boyle

Given our growing disillusionment with capitalist culture and the trappings of living in a society of excess, it’s perhaps no surprise that we’ve seen a steady parade of books, blogs, and movements dedicated to the idea of downsizing and simplifying. Simple Matters: Living With Less And Ending Up With More is a particular gem from this school of thought. Author Erin Boyle takes us on a highly personal journey with essays, projects, insights, and advice for small living, arguing that a minimalist lifestyle can be not only better for the environment, but better for our well-being.

Down To Earth

By Rhonda Hetzel

Rhonda Hetzel has been running her blog Down To Earth for eleven years now, sharing personal anecdotes about simple living. Readers have fallen in love with her advice and tales of gardening, knitting, and recipes, and perhaps fallen even a little more in love with her black Scottie dog named Gracie, who makes an occasional (adorable) appearance. Hetzel’s book expands on her pared-back principles and provides an easy roadmap for living simply. Want to learn how to grow tomatoes? Bake bread? Make your own soap? Preserve your own fruit? This book will become a staple of the minimalist’s journey.

Simple Home: Calm Spaces For Comfortable Living

By Mark and Sally Bailey

Mark and Sally Bailey are the team behind Baileys Home & Garden, a store located in a quaint series of farm buildings in the Herefordshire countryside. Focusing on wares that are simple, useful, and aesthetically pleasing, the Baileys have a love for marrying the beautiful with the practical, and this book explores their particular design ethos. It challenges the idea of minimalism, arguing that a simple home is not necessarily a sparse one, but rather one with contents that have been carefully curated and considered. For those redecorating this spring, Simple Home: Calm Spaces For Comfortable Living offers practical advice on creating spaces that tastefully display cherished treasures and promote a soothing atmosphere.

Extreme Minimalism: Architecture

By Chris van Uffelen

While the last book may steer us away from the ‘m’ word, Extreme Minimalism: Architecture celebrates minimalism in all its streamlined glory. This book features contemporary structures around the world and examines how shape, material, and details culminate in the suggestive rather than the overt. The Porsche Pavilion in Wolfsburg, Germany; Beijing’s Liyuan Library; Squish Studio on Canada’s Fogo Island; Marseille Vieux Port in France…these are the projects you’ll find within these pages, presented in colourful spreads that will give you new appreciation for the architecture around you.

Anatomy of a Great Home: What America’s Most Celebrated Houses Tell Us about the Way We Want to Live

Boyce Thompson


This book will satisfy all your voyeuristic cravings. Taking the reader on a journey through fifty award-winning American homes, Anatomy Of A Great Home examines the common threads between the works of America’s most celebrated contemporary architects. What elevates a home? What makes it noteworthy? What makes it extraordinary? Such are the musings of this gorgeous publication, filled with photographs of jaw-dropping remodels, adorable seaside cottages, innovative suburban builds, and custom creations. This volume is ideal for those about to launch into their own building or renovation projects this spring.

Cabin Porn: Inspiration For Your Quiet Place Somewhere

By Zach Klein, Steven Leckart, Noah Kalina

Finally, who says that spring cleaning has to be all about rethinking your primary abode? Warmer weather means that it’s almost cabin season, and we are ready to retreat to leafy canopies, morning swims in crystal lakes, and evenings spent by a crackling fire. Cabin Porn provides everything its simple title promises: tantalizing imagery of cabins that’ll leave you dreaming of your next retreat. Can’t wait to get your hands on a copy? Cabin Porn is an offshoot of the popular Tumblr site by the same name, created by a group of friends looking to find inspiration for their shared fifty-five acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York. Pour yourself a mug of something steamy and settle in for this fantasy-inducing tour of rural refuge.