• NZ Booklovers

The Alchemy of Things by Karen McCartney


This handsome coffee table book explores the home of 18 creatives from around the world, from London to Paris, from Milan to Melbourne. Photographer Michael Wee and stylists David Harrison spent a month travelling the globe, and author Karen McCartney is known for her work in the world of interiors, architecture and design. This is a dream team who have worked together to create a book that is truly stunning.


To describe the book as a coffee table book is possibly doing The Alchemy of Things an injustice, however. It does look fabulous on a coffee table, but the content is remarkable. We get a glimpse into homes of some artists, interior designers, architects, stylists and collectors, many for the first time – and it fascinating to see the unique way they have approached their living spaces.


While I didn’t like all the homes featured in the book, there is much to admire on the pages with things working together that are so beautifully curated. It is the juxtaposition of items in many rooms that I thought worked so well, creating homes with lasting style. The photographs are stunning, and there is enough text to give some insight into each of the home’s owners.


The Alchemy of Things is a handsome book featuring a variety of homes – the whimsical, the eccentric and the downright clever – but each property has loads of personality. For anyone interested in interior design and architecture, this book is a must-have.


Reviewer: Iain McKenzie

Murdoch Books, RRP 69.99

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