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Friday, 6 May 2016

Home Instruction Manual: A Manifesto for the Messy

Home Instruction Manual by Jan McCullough is a book for all of us who are not anally-fixated, minimalist tidy-nuts, who don't have a home that looks like it came out of the World of Interiors, for whom interior design means how you line up your knickers on the radiator, how you cover up those drill holes in the plasterboard wall that didn't quite fix properly, or what to do with the cat that likes sleeping 'asshole down' on your 'face pillows'.


The answer to that is you stick him on the 'GUEST bed' because 'He can do what he likes in that room.'

Actually, face pillows is pushing the boundaries of my interior design, but I'm guessing that McCullough is a bit more sophisticated than me, and a bit more tidy.

The book is a mix of pictures of McCullough's home, a home she decorated in keeping with comments she found on a 'chat forum in which self-described experts were exchanging detailed instructions'.

So McCullough designed her house according to these instructions and the book is the result; a mix of the pictures and the text.

It's kind of anti-design, full of people who stick plants in corners because there's nowhere else to put it, or have rooms that you can't open the door to because it's too full of stuff. There are stains and smells and cats arses.

The pictures go with that flow; they are anti-pictures that match the descriptions. So the picture of the 'hideous 90's bin with tesco bag bin liner' matches that evocative description; it's matter of fact not-very-attractive.

And it works. There's a plastic band and a map of the house attached and altogether it's very entertaining. I don't think it is a manifesto to all us messy souls who secretly have the living room layouts in IKEA box-stores as the pinnacle of domestic order, it's a bit too Dutch for that - and surely there must be a whole bunch of untidy Dutch people with couldn't design a paper bag. I hope so. It'd be worrying if there weren't.

But I can think of it as a manifesto. I like to think of it that way. Yes, why not! Home Instruction Manual: It's a Manifesto for the Messy!

Buy Home Instruction Manual Here. 

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