“I hate my kitchen!” Beci Orpin replies when I hazard a guess as to the favourite room in her house, before qualifying, “I love what comes out of it, but the actual room is terrible.” Beci’s abode, which she shares with husband Raph Rashid (of Beatbox Kitchen and Taco Truck fame), sons Tyke and Ari and cats Miso and Tio, is the hot topic, with the release this week of the Melbourne-based illustrator-designer’s second book, HOME. [fold] Following on from her 2012 release Find and Keep, HOME is a collection of 25 DIY craft projects with step-by-step instructions, accompanied by Orpin's humorous observations and candid photographs from around her own home and her creative friends’. “The main thing I wanted was for the book to feel approachable,” says Orpin, citing Apartamento magazine as an aesthetic influence, “I think it’s so much more interesting to see pictures of people’s homes as they really are.”
The projects contained within the 200-page hard-covered, round-cornered tome are split between different areas within the home – Living Space, Working Space and Sleeping Space. They’re the kind of cool objects you might spot on Orpin's blog and wonder where she found them: wooden bead trivets, braided rag rugs, triangular box shelves and our favourite, a multi-coloured ‘Chaos’ tablecloth. “That’s my favourite too!” says Orpin, explaining she discovered the technique when she accidentally spilt dye on her table while working on another project. “It came out looking awesome! Then we had to figure out how to do it on purpose.”
Though the process of working on HOME has been “intense”, Orpin enjoys the offline nature, explaining “it gets me away from the computer for a while, back to working with my hands.” All the effort is worth it, too, when she holds the finished product in her hands and takes a first read through. “It’s so nerve-racking but really exciting at the same time.”
HOME by Beci Orpin is published by Hardie Grant, available now from all good booksellers.