21 March 2015

Weekend Cooking: Homemakers by Brit Morin

Weekend Cooking hosted by www.BethFishReads.comWeekend Cooking is open to anyone who has any kind of food-related post to share: Book (novel, nonfiction) reviews, cookbook reviews, movie reviews, recipes, random thoughts, gadgets, quotations, photographs. If your post is even vaguely foodie, feel free to grab the button and link up anytime over the weekend. You do not have to post on the weekend. Please link to your specific post, not your blog's home page. For more information, see the welcome post.

Homemakers by Brit MorinWhen I said yes to a review copy of Brit Morin's Homemakers I didn't know who the author was. Perhaps you're hipper than I am (well, not if you use the word hipper) and are already familiar with the colorful Brit + Co. website.

Homemakers only partially fits as a Weekend Cooking post, but because the first two chapters of Morin's book cover the kitchen and dining room, I'm going to invoke the "even vaguely foodie" rule here.

Morin is all about creating and being creative, so Homemakers is not, as she says in the introduction, a traditional homemaking book. Instead it's a guide for living in the modern world: getting comfy and organized with some techie help and a little DIY power. The book takes us through an entire house, from the public spaces (like kitchen and living room) to the private areas (like bedroom and closet).

First, a note on the design: The text is set in easy-to-read chunks and broken by colorful graphics and photos. There is a lot of white space, which makes the book a pleasure to flip through, but I'm not sure if anyone will use the blank pages specifically set aside for notes. I like the feel of the heavy semigloss stock and appreciate the color-coded chapters and useful index.

copyright: Brit Morin, HomemakersNext, the content: For this review, I focus on the kitchen and dining room chapters, but the features I mention are found throughout Homemakers. Morin starts with the most basic of basics for each room, such as how to chop an onion and how to set a table. Next is a pretty graphic showing that room's essentials (see the image to the left for some of the kitchen tools). For the dining room, she suggests wine opener, tablecloth, candlesticks, cocktail shaker, and so on.

Morin then turns to gadgets and apps, which make up some of my favorite sections of the book. Although I'm not interested in all of the small appliances Morin features (no SodaStream for me), I liked reading her suggestions. I researched the apps from the kitchen chapter and found Foodily to be worth further investigation but discovered that Ziplist was already defunct (a risk with any app list).

The final sections for each Homemakers chapter are DIY and a look to the future. For the kitchen, DIY equaled simple recipes, but for the other chapters, Morin gives instructions for easy crafts projects, like etching glass, decorating a tablecloth, and using washi tape. The look to the future was intriguing: I'm not sure I'd buy a dining table with built in touch pads. On the other hand, I might stand in line for car that drove itself.

copyright: Brit Morin, HomemakersRecommendations: In the end, I found a few crafts projects I might tackle and some apps I might download. At my stage in life, I don't think I'd buy Homemakers for myself. But this book would make a great gift for college students and young professionals. Some of the decorating ideas look easy to duplicate with a minimal investment in time and money. I recommend you check Homemakers out of the library before buying. Or visit the Brit + Co. website to see if Brit Morin's style is right for you.

Photo credits: I scanned the images for use with this review. The images in the book look much better than these do and all rights remain with the original copyright holder: Brit Morin. Click images to see them full size.

Published by HarperCollins / William Morrow, 2015
ISBN-13: 9780062332509
Source: Review (see review policy)
Copyright © cbl for Beth Fish Reads, all rights reserved (see review policy)

NOTE: some people are having trouble with Mr. Linky. If you're one of those people, just leave your link in the comments. :)


Kay 3/21/15, 6:26 AM  

This one certainly has a bright, cherry cover. My thought as I was reading was that this would be good for a new homeowner - a younger one than me. Bet it would be fun to look through though.

Tina 3/21/15, 7:31 AM  

Sounds interesting. I am a kitchen gadget junkie so I know that chapter would appeal to me.

As you mentioned "at this stage of my life" ....I think I am in the same place as far as taking on too many projects for the home. After living her 25 years I have things where they'll stay, most of it anyway!

Sarah's Book Shelves 3/21/15, 7:52 AM  

This does sound like a great gift for those just starting out with their own apartment or house.

JoAnn 3/21/15, 8:58 AM  

I think my daughters would get a lot more out of this book than i might, but Foodily has possibilities.

bermudaonion 3/21/15, 9:02 AM  

I don't think that's for me either but it does look like a great resource for someone just starting out.

rhapsodyinbooks 3/21/15, 9:13 AM  

Looks like a great wedding shower gift! (although, who waits to live together until the wedding nowadays?)

Anonymous,  3/21/15, 9:22 AM  

My husband likes the ChefTap app to keep track of online recipes - is this what foodily does? I just use Pinterest.
I can think of one friend who would love this book (or wish she had published something similar herself!)

Katherine P 3/21/15, 10:17 AM  

This sounds interesting and Brit + Co is new to me as well. Like you I don't think it would be as useful to me as someone who's just starting out but I'd love to see if I can get it from the library. Thanks for sharing!

Esme 3/21/15, 10:21 AM  

I received this and have just scanned it. It is not exactly what I thought it would be but I have yet to really read it.

Karen 3/21/15, 1:35 PM  

I'm definitely not hip enough to have heard of her either! ;)

Yvonne @ Fiction Books Reviews 3/21/15, 1:43 PM  

Hi Beth,

I have nieces and younger friends who would probably get more out of this book than I would.

I know they would relate to the colourful images and trendy ideas, whereas a visit to the kitchen for me, is solely one of function and necessity these days :)

Thanks for hosting and have a good weekend,


Trish @ Love, Laughter, Insanity 3/21/15, 7:47 PM  

Seems like a fun little flip through book--I've been taking a sewing class to learn how to use my decorative stitches and your scanned photo gave me an idea to buy some Ikea white linens that I could embroider. Of course...all these ideas swim in the head but to make them a reality I would need many more hours in the day!

Anonymous,  3/22/15, 5:48 AM  

This sounds like a great book to flick through and get ideas from. I tend to get these from the library, take what works for me from them but am not crafty or homemaker'y enough to invest the money I must admit. Emma

Beth S. 3/22/15, 8:35 AM  

I agree with your assessment. I wouldn't buy this book for myself but it looks like it would make a nice gift for someone just starting out.

Laurie C 3/22/15, 11:01 AM  

I can't imagine buying that yellow sofa! I think I'm also at the wrong stage of life for this book. My furnishings style has always been early Goodwill, so I know I'm not the right audience for this one. I'll just bury my nose in a novel and continue to ignore my home's lack of style!

(Diane) bookchickdi 3/22/15, 1:14 PM  

I like the cover as well, and this would be a great gift for someone just starting out.

Melynda@Scratch Made Food! 3/22/15, 2:41 PM  

Not my idea of a good read, but then we each decide that for ourselves. I really like that you review the different books that come your way. With an open mind and fair opinion as well, thanks!

Roberta Gibson 3/22/15, 8:23 PM  

Just discovered Weekend Cooking and am thrilled. You feature two of my favorite things, books and cooking.

Belle Wong 3/23/15, 1:10 AM  

This looks like a cute read. I've never read a book like this that had a lot of techie stuff in it, so I'm intrigued!

Daryl 3/23/15, 5:29 AM  

used to cook and bake from recipe from scratch .. not any more .. but this weekend even tho i didnt cook i did a lot of eating out and photographing of same so i am joining the linky

that cookbook is a perfect gift for a friend of mine who is indeed still a cook .. a good one

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