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House of Havoc: How to Make - And Keep - A Beautiful Home Despite Cheap Spouses, Messy Kids and Other Difficult Roommates
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House of Havoc: How to Make - And Keep - A Beautiful Home Despite Cheap Spouses, Messy Kids and Other Difficult Roommates

3.21  ·  Rating Details ·  77 Ratings  ·  26 Reviews
From AmericaOCOs home style guru, tips for how to turn your hectic home into a haven
ebook, 288 pages
Published January 5th 2010 by Da Capo Press (first published September 22nd 2009)
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(showing 1-30)
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I should have suspected from the cover copy that this book would not be my fav, but I was lured by the promise of a "laugh-out-loud home improvement guide" for "anyone looking to create calm out of chaos and beauty on a budget." Um, no.

First of all, this book is really aimed at moms, with chapter titles like The Nice Thing About Kids is They Take Your Life Apart a Piece at a Time and When School Projects Hit Home. I didn't blink at this because lots of home improvement books and websites have se
Feb 14, 2011 Emma rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Well this book was funny, and lovely if you really want to decorate your house and have no budget and a house full of people who don't care! It does not work so well if you, personally, are the one who does not care. That is me. Do I care that my bathroom mirror has no frame? No. Do I care that my towels don't match? No. Do I spend time trying to make my house look better? Yes, I clean. Sometimes. Entertaining.
May 29, 2010 DixieJo rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I didn't feel that this book hit anywhere near my reality. The author's Havoc and my Havoc are two very different things. Examples: Should I put knobs or handles on my kitchen cupcoards or leave them sleek and handle-less? I can declutter my mail pile by going through it when it arrives. Every room should have fresh flowers and bling. Don't buy a soapdish for your bathrooms until you have painted/wallpapered, hung drapes, bought the rugs and replaced the mirrors. . . ?

This was a cute home-improvement book, more about encouraging you to figure out what you like and take steps to achieving it than for do-it-yourself instructions. No glossy pages of pictures, so don't look to it for visual inspiration, and I'm sort of sorry for that - it would've been fun to see the author's home.
Feb 06, 2013 Megan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This is one of my favorite newspaper columnists and here is a book of her essays and suggestions for organizing your household. I really liked the ideas. And they made me feel pretty good about my housekeeping skills.

A quote from chapter one: "Grocery shop only once a week - with coupons and a list. Have a place for everything and put it there. Handle every paper only once. Make your kids think housework is fun. Do a little laundry every day. Keep closets neat and pared to only items you have w
I chuckled several times while reading this book, particularly in the first half, which is always a good sign. However, my reality does not match the author's reality--hers is much fancier than mine--so not many of the tips were really all that useful to me. And I have no intention of paying or bartering with anyone to add "bling" to my ceilings or mirrors or anything else, really. Not as she described it. I will be doing well to someday (soon?) purchase a home I can paint as I like! My current ...more
Oct 29, 2013 Peter rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I wonder who came up with the title of this book. I'm guessing it was an Editor, or maybe someone in Marketing, since it's not really so much about organizing and controlling clutter as it is about what a great designer she thinks she is. She apparently does not like the color beige and thinks any similar color should not be used in a home, preferring colors that 'pop' instead. I'm sorry but there's no way I'm going to display my family photos, kids artwork, or framed paintings on bright green p ...more
Sep 30, 2012 Meg rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: non-fiction
This book is geared toward someone who has all the issues of a family but wants a designer house. There were some good tips, although the ones that I would use I have heard before. There was a lot in this book that I would never use-like custom bedding, especially having it made by a company, and adding “bling” to the ceiling (seriously? People do that?).

There was a lot of humor; however, the idea that her children actually talk like that to her is concerning. She was too obsessed about having a
Fun and lite-weight. Marni Jameson is a gas. I never expected to laugh reading a book like this, and she had me laughing every other page. In the end I got tired of the sex roles (tidy woman frets about stains on the couch, slob of a man watches sports on the big screen, etc. etc.) and tired of the bourgeois assumptions about style and taste and lifestyle, and... began to feel starved for informational calories. But it was a fun little cruise, thanks to Marni's sense of humor.
Mar 18, 2013 Trisha rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I had high hopes for this book, but Marni's sense of humor became tiresome and was sometimes simply rude. I did find some of the author's suggestions helpful, especially the encouragement to use that glue gun, but other than that and a few more, the hints seemed very shallow and overall not life-changing.
Carla Collette
I don't read self-help books that often, but I must say that this one was engagingly written--quite funny. I skimmed through it; she did lose me when she started giving decorating and design advice, but there were some good tips on keeping some sort of order in the home. Most of it, unfortunately, involved consistent work.
Kimberly Nelson
I always enjoy reading books on how to make my home better organized and less cluttered. I thought this book started out okay, with good tips and advice on organizing. But the parts about beautifying your home, were a bit outdated and just not what I was looking for.
Elke Ursin
This book was OK. She had a good voice, but I didn't really get all that much useful information out of it. Could be that I'm reading too many of these books lately and they all seem to say the same things.
Marianne rated it really liked it
Nov 18, 2011
Treesa rated it it was ok
Sep 01, 2011
Rosemary Miller
Rosemary Miller rated it really liked it
Jul 25, 2010
Jennifer rated it liked it
Feb 02, 2013
Maria Knight
Maria Knight rated it it was ok
Jan 12, 2016
Sarah rated it liked it
Jun 07, 2011
Gretchyn Bailey
Gretchyn Bailey rated it it was amazing
Jul 27, 2010
Helpful common sense decorating hints made this a quick read.
Deirdre rated it it was ok
Oct 28, 2010
Kate Sinclair
Kate Sinclair rated it really liked it
Nov 14, 2010
lesleymac rated it it was ok
Jul 19, 2013
Susan B
Susan B rated it it was amazing
Jun 04, 2010
Gerrie Leinfelder
Gerrie Leinfelder rated it really liked it
Dec 08, 2012
Megan rated it really liked it
May 01, 2011
Laura rated it liked it
Aug 17, 2015
Jennifer rated it liked it
Nov 12, 2014
Mar 09, 2010 Angie marked it as to-read  ·  review of another edition
Just being clear: I don't have a cheap spouse.
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