Complete + Happy Home {Decorating Book Giveaway}

You know those people who say they aren’t good with decorating choices? Maybe you are one of them? Phooey! I haven’t yet met someone who doesn’t know what they like when they see it. So here’s the secret to good design…it’s what makes you happy. And that’s pretty much the spoiler for the new design book from Maxwell Ryan and his incredibly successful blog and brand, Apartment Therapy.

Apartment Therapy book- Complete Happy Home review

Maxwell Ryan and his co-author, Janet Laban, bring you page after page of lovable, lived in rooms that each speak uniquely of their inhabitants, and not what some corporate buyer thinks about this year’s trendy must-have style.

The rooms featured in Complete + Happy Home have worn surfaces (from actual wear, not artificial factory aging), mixed era elements, and unique style choices that speak to that family’s interests, like biking, book collecting, travel, or even a 70’s living room.

This book has a very different feel than skimming through catalogs, which are carefully engineered to highlight this season’s colors and sale items. For example, you don’t love rose gold? Too bad, because you’ll be seeing a lot of it in catalogs this year.

But if you are looking for ways on how to use a bold blue on your walls, or make your heirloom furniture mix well with your post-college modern, or trying to make peace with a carpet or wallpaper that you are stuck with, this book is a great resource. The authors give you plenty of tips and explanations, but really, it’s the eye candy that I’m after.

Can you really make a mint-green toilet a beautiful focal point?

What if your kiddo really does want an all-pink room, mixing pinky-pink shades from top to bottom?

Trying to add whimsy to your rooms on a budget?

Need to break the rules to make a multi-tasking work-space?

Trying to figure out what’s your sweet spot between comfortable clutter and spare modern?

The spreads shown here won’t all appeal equally to you, but I found myself appreciating at least a few elements of each and every design. Maxwell Ryan, besides just being a super nice guy, has great style, but this book isn’t about him. It’s about the homes and the people who live in them.

I love that the sections on organizing flow seamlessly with the decorating. You get both!

Whether you are starting your decorating journey to make your first place feel more like you, or you are a seasoned design junkie looking for unexpected inspiration, you are going to love having this book and flipping through it again and again, finding something new to admire each time.

I can’t wait to give away a book to TWO of my lucky readers at the end of June! Just comment below and share what is one of your favorite, maybe quirky or unexpected design choices in your own home or someone else’s. My standard contest rules apply, and winners in the 50 US states only, please. I’ll pick 2 winners from the comments using at the end of the month. Good luck!

Congratulations to Heather and Rebecca!


This Post Has 22 Comments

  1. Carol

    We’ve held on to a chest and mirror from my grandmother’s farm house. Both are over 100 years old and we have them in our more modern dining room. Both have been refinished but haven’t lost their vintage charm!

  2. Ellen B

    I love when I can repurpose a item that I already have to fit a need. I repainted a yard sale toy box for a storage bench in my kitchen.

  3. Laura g.

    I leave most of the decisions to my husband because he is great with color and furniture placement.

  4. Liz

    love this! It made me really start thinking more about the design in my house! This book looks great!

  5. Linda McCar

    I re-purposed an old black and white television wood cabinet from the 1950’s into a television stand for our very new and modern digital television. The contrast is striking and it is the perfect blend of the old and the new. Plus, I’m sentimental about the old black and white cabinet, as it was the television of my childhood!

  6. Ceil

    I have pieces in my home that belonged to several generations before me. And IKEA furniture in the same room. We have a lived in house with lots of what makes us happy! I work with interior designers every day and I love when they incorporate existing pieces into new design!

  7. Karen Emerson

    We don’t have a dining table in our dining room, and our living room is our shared office. We have to use what we have, how we need it!

  8. Marcie Lovett

    After 18 years, it’s time to redo the living room, which is where we read, listen to music, watch TV, build Lego, play video games, exercise, and {sigh} use handheld electronic devices. I’m torn between two color palettes right now – open-concept floor plans are tough to work with because the colors need to be consistent in the space.

    1. Darla

      Coordinating…not matching. Related, but not necessarily the same.

  9. katie diec

    We have a mix of modern, IKEA, upcycled, and thrifted finds. I love finding new odds and ends at Target too 🙂

  10. Meghan

    This looks great!

  11. Betsy Weaver

    I have a medium size pine chest in my den that I love because my father built it as a wedding gift for me out of wood from his family farm. Dove tail corner joints and everything. I’m using it as a side table and I’ve stored my wedding veil and dried bouquet in it!

  12. OOOHHH! This book looks amazing! I find that eclectic, curated choices make me happy. I am collecting over time and still have lots of piece that are not right, but, I am patient to wait many years for the right pieces to find me!

  13. Rebecca

    Will definitely have to check this book out as we settle into our new home!

  14. Grace Butler

    Our quirkiest design elements are our ski-back Adirondack chairs on our deck! WE LOVE them!

  15. Susan B

    I need all the help I can get… I just can’t find ideas that are working for me!

  16. Karen Zap

    At the age of 57, my husband has decided HE wants to ‘help’ decorate our home. Problem is his favorite colors are brown, orange and purple :O He just recently purchased a faux mink blanket with a huge tiger on it and wants it to replace the afghan on the living room sofa…(Guess I should have read the fine print on the marriage license—this is so not what I expected after 35 years of marriage).

  17. Jenna N

    My apartment needs a lot of help, but one area that feels like home to me is my large, Ikea bookcase. I would love to have a library in my dream house, and I am pleased that my bookcase functions well as a small one.

  18. Anne

    When I got pillows and window treatments for my family room, I had to be convinced to put fringe on two of the window seat pillows. Guess which pillows are my favorite. …

  19. Jill Rickard

    I’ve collected a lot of antique items I found in my parents basement. Some were from my grandmother’s home and her parents home. She owned a country grocery store and I have some neat items from it. I am hanging them on the long wall that goes to my laundry room and powder room. Each time I see them I think of an old fashioned, simple life, and it brings back fond memories of helping her in her old time country grocery store and visiting her in her 100 year old home.

  20. Jenny Yim

    One room in our house has remained vacant for the lack of design ideas! I did ‘re-purpose’ an old bistro set for our front porch inspired by you. A new coat of paint made them brand new!

  21. Rose Chase

    would like to see if I can do any of your projects would be a great inspiration

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