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The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a Budget!
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The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking: Decorating, Dining, and the Gratifying Pleasures of Self-Sufficiency--on a Budget!

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3.28 of 5 stars 3.28  ·  rating details  ·  275 ratings  ·  61 reviews
With The Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking, it's possible and even convenient to create an inviting space for living and entertaining on a budget. From unique decor ideas to growing strawberries on your fire escape, Kate Payne shares fun, low-cost (and often free!) creative solutions that will make anyone feel more accomplished in minutes.

Inside this savvy motivational guide
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Paperback, 266 pages
Published April 19th 2011 by Harper Design
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 738)
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Emily
This book is breezy, fun, and incredibly reassuring to someone like me who wants to have a clean and cheerful home but isn't great at cleaning/decorating/home stuff besides cooking. Payne provides a nice overview of all the basics. I especially like that she highlights strategies that are both green and inexpensive. This is no pressure homemaking - ways to keep your apartment clean and make it homey but without crazy injunctions like "move the refrigerator o clean behind it once a week."

The dow
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Rachel
Cute idea but I felt like it didn't live up to its potential. There was one section that was obviously an earlier draft of a page that came just a couple of pages later which was odd and sloppy. I felt like some points and topics were glossed over rather quickly, I would have rather some more in-depth info than page after page of bulletpoints. Maybe someone like a young teenager who was totally new to cleaning and cooking would get more out of it? It seemed geared at adults though but I can't im ...more
Christina
This book was alright. I like Payne's blog better. There were a few good tips about cleaning but otherwise, nothing new for this lady in her prime! At first, I thought it might be good for someone in their 20s. I have 3 sisters in their 20's and I think it's too hip(pieish) for them. The big irksome tip was about using milk crates for shelving. Ack! That should only be allowed in college and then you move on to something more creative (even salvaging wood off the street would be better than milk ...more
Carissa
This book made me want to reorganize my kitchen and try making my own pickles. So yay for that.

The book definitely takes a green approach, but all the "chemicals and plastic are evil" stuff got preachy after a while. I like the environment as much as anyone, but you don't need to tell me 35 times that storing food in plastic containers is bad for me. I did appreciate that the author told you how you can make your own green cleaning products on the cheap rather than buying pricey environmentally-
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Relyn
Jun 13, 2012 Relyn rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: nobody really
Recommended to Relyn by: spotted at Barnes and Noble
This one was a dud. I guess I should qualify that statement. I am a BIG fan of shelter and homemaking magazines and books. I read them - all of them. Ok, maybe not all, but tons. And I have for twenty years. I think the "hip" part was just a marketing ploy - of course it was. But, I thought I'd read it anyway. Then, it was a bunch of recycled, old ideas. I really didn't get anything new or different from it. Well, except that it included websites. Hmmmm...


Yup. Still a dud.
Jessica
I was really wanting to like this book after reading Adulting (different author but some type of book), like I would continue to learn. I was hoping this could help with decorating, gardening and general homemaking, but it just seemed preachy to me. Now I will say some of the advice was good but it is mainly for people in bigger cities, living in apartments not people like me who are in a small town with lots of yard and space between neighbors living in a house. When I was in college living wit ...more
Lisa Urso
This is the guide I needed when I moved into my first apartment. It is simple, breaks things down into "can-do" tasks, and is not intimidating. For those reviewers who were expecting something more, I don't think this book was meant to be chunky or too all-encompassing. It is a beginner's guide to homemaking, but has tips and tricks that anyone can use. I found the chapters on furnishing and cleaning to be quite helpful.

Each chapter ends with a list of resources, both print and online, if you w
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Nova
Upon seeing this book in my local library I was thrilled. A book about homemaking with a lean towards sustainability and self reliance? Right up my ally. Once I got into the book, I was a little less thrilled. It read easily enough and the author definitely put her own personality into her writing, but the information is just way too basic. It may be useful to a privileged upper middle class kid just starting or fresh out of college, but for those of us who had to grow up improvising, or who hav ...more
Shirley
I owe a debt of gratitude to Kate Payne for the Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking. Before I had a chance to read the book, we had friends over for dinner. As I cleared the dishes I was horrified to find a red wine stain in the middle of the hand-embroidered tablecloth that had belonged to my parents for many years. I went to Kate's book seeking a solution to keep the wine from staining and her advice worked.

The book is easy to read and well organized. It is also eco-friendly. It is chock-full of he
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Bay
What a great book and resource! I HIGHLY recommend The Hip Girl’s Guide especially to my fellow friends living in a small space. This book is a fantastic resource. It’s basically a guide to all things related to home – Kate Payne covers decorating, organizing, gardening, cleaning, canning, fabric care, hosting, and more. I especially loved her chapters on organizing and decorating. She is a big advocate of keeping things low cost and utilizing garage sales, Craigslist and thrift stores. I have ...more
Jessica
I received this book for free from the publisher. All content and opinions are my own.

I've been on a bit of a "homemaking" kick lately. I've been trying to organize my household, plan meals and shopping trips better, and decorate my home more to my taste. So, I thought this book would be a fun read. And I was right. This is one of my favorite passages:

I'm not an interior designer, nor a home decor specialist. I just like pretty things. I like to surround myself with things that make me happy. Th
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Margaret Heller
If you don't know anything about keeping house, then not a bad way to get started, though she does have some fairly pseudoscientific opinions. I.e. there is really no reason to be terrified of having a microwave. And a catch-all "don't expose yourself to toxins" kind of stuff. Do your research on each individual component and decide whether or not it's appropriate to use that. For instance, I will use boric acid, but won't use chlorine bleach.

In any event, I was raised learning how to clean, ga
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Melissa
This book had a few issues. Overall, I wasn't impressed.

In the bread section the author accidentally (I assume) repeated several sentences (202 and 204 had repeats).

There were some clear opinions that the author had the for someone with my taste found to be more cluttering than productive.

The author is obviously very green which I wish I had realized before I picked this book up. Pretending that it is cheap and easy to eat organic and clean organic is not a reality. I feel like nobody ever to
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Erin
I refer to this book more than I do to the Bible. (I should probably step up my Bible reading a bit).

I think this book is cute and fun. It's given me tons of ideas. I'm surprised at all the commenters whose homes are evidently so well put together that they learned nothing. My home is not well put together, so I learn something each time I open the book. It's great for learning about green cleaning and simple living. I'm also thrilled to see a home management book geared towards low income apart
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Shanna-Mae Slight
Homemaking is at it's core, a very personal thing. Our home is an extention of ourselves, so I don't expect any book on homemaking to be 100% applicable to me. Still, I felt some of the suggestions came off as cheap, rather than thrifty.
Zita
This book failed to teach me anything new.
Also it enforces theft of milk crates which is actually a HUGE burden on small businesses that pay $100 a pop for those things.
DONT STEAL MILK CRATES PEOPLE
Staci
This is most beneficial book I've ever read. I love the numerous "hip tricks" and will definitely be making more than a few changes to my home. Knowledgeable, witty and humorous read!
jen8998
Entertaining guide to decorating, cooking, and cleaning. I liked the companion volume in cooking much better but this is still worth a read.
Stephanie
This was a fun read that I breezed through in a day. This book isn't for all audiences, but I could relate to the obstacles of city living. Everyone in NY is always looking at ways to take advantage of space and save costs while trying to create a cozy home. Some of the chapters didn't capture me and I skimmed over them. Maybe at some point I'll reference them. Other chapters inspired me to try new things like planting an urban garden, canning or becoming a member of a CSA. I am always up for a ...more
Marti
It's okay. Nothing really here that couldn't be found just as easily on a blog.
Sarah
Jan 06, 2015 Sarah rated it 4 of 5 stars
Shelves: home
As helpful as it was fun. Full of hints and tips plus great resources.
Nicole Lynn Hoefs
This book was okay. It got slow at parts, but it had some nice tips overall. Not sure I completely agree with everything said. It seemed a little like it was bashing people who don't eat organic, or use homemade cleaning solutions, or have a compost pile, etc.
Ashley
Dec 16, 2012 Ashley marked it as did-not-actually-finish
Shelves: ebook
Eh...I couldn't really get into this book. I think it would be good for people ~10 years younger than I am, headed to college or perhaps just having graduated, but at this stage of my life I am more interested in saving up for relatively quality pieces of furniture, etc., that will last me for a long time, and less interested in repairing broken pieces that I pick up off a street corner. (Where by "relatively quality" I mean things like "from IKEA, but real wood, not particle board"...so I have ...more
Ann
What a GREAT RESOURCE! Payne makes a great point when she says (I'm surmising here) the difference between owing the books and pinning it is that you are more likely to put it to action immediately than let it sit on a board waiting for a rainy day. My favorite sections are the room-by-room guides to practical placement/storage/cleaning/maintenance and finally decorating. Of course it is a great resource a-z for all things home-related for those who are seeking to make the most of what they have ...more
Martha
There was nothing really wrong with this book, it was probably just intended for a younger audience. It might be perfect for someone just graduating from college, moving to the big city, and figuring out how to run an apartment on their own, not a thirty-something woman with some life experience looking to improve the running of a household. In the several hundred pages I read, I only came away with two helpful hints from her margin notes that I didn't know about before.
Elizabeth
This book was pretty good, but it was not really for me at this point in my life. I wish I would have read it 5 years ago when we bought our house or even 10 years ago in our apartment life. It is pretty clear the author does not live with kids. Many of the decorating tips are not wise for small-child households. But, this book is worth keeping handy for the resources and quick tips for cleaning and such. I will have to try the lavender in muslin in the dryer tip!
Diana
Sometimes Pinterest and blog posts aren't enough to push you to learn a little more. I'm not a cook, baker, or domestic diva, and learning these skills doesn't come easy. This book covers all topics from decorating on a budget, cooking, baking, gardening and a few more. If you want something more detailed, this isn't the book for you, this is just to cover all the general topics. I didn't learn how to be a "homemaker" in one read but it's a good start.
Catherine
This wasn't really helpful for me. This book worked mostly in vague, read another book terms. I have to question the on a budget aspects of it as well. For example, she talks about buying 7th generation products to clean her laundry. For me, that is more expensive than leading detergents, and certainly more expensive than the one I make myself. I feel like she's trying to cover too many topics, even perhaps for an overview like this book is.
Lori Lynn
started out really liking this book but the more I read it the less I loved it. The "Hipster" talk was getting to be a little much. And seriously, do you have to cuss to write a Homemaking book??? I don't hate the book but I don't love it either. I would consider buying it for reference but I don't know that I could manage.reading it all the way through again. I had super expectations for this book but honestly it left me saying "Meh."
Katie
A good beginning guide. Payne even says whole books could be written on each chapter. Her positive attitude and "I'll give it a try" attitude are contagious. The book is easy and quick to read and worthwhile for the few tips that can be picked up.
She gets a bit "holier than thou" on her efforts to be green - It might be better to win people to the benefit of green living than to condemn with suspicious "scientific" claims.
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Kate Payne is the blogger and author behind forthcoming book, The Hip Girl’s Guide to Homemaking (HarperCollins, Spring 2011). She lives in Austin, TX and hosts food/jar swaps and invites friends over often to watch and participate in canning adventures. She posts small-batch canning recipes, gluten-free baking projects, DIY cleaning ideas and other creative home improvisations to her blog.
More about Kate Payne...
The Hip Girl's Guide to the Kitchen: A Hit-the-Ground Running Approach to Stocking Up and Cooking Delicious, Nutritious, and Affordable Meals

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