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Beci Orpin · Home

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Thursday 31st October 2013

Beci Orpin’s new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant is out TODAY!  These pics (of the book) by Eve Wilson.

Colour-popping page spreads by Beci Orpin in her new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant.

Beci Orpin’s new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant.

Beci Orpin’s new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant.

Beci Orpin’s new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant.

OK we thought we were doing ok in the multi-tasking stakes around here, but if there’s one woman outdoing us on that front it would have to be Beci Orpin!  OMG.  What this woman gets done in a year is nothing short of a miracle.

In between her illustration and design work, exhibitions, workshops and being mum to two energetic boys, SOMEHOW she has found the time and brain capacity to write another brilliant book, Home, published by Hardie Grant, just one year after the release of her super popular first book, Find and Keep.  What is her secret!?

In Home Beci shares 25 inspired creative projects for the home, split up across three sections – eating space, sleeping space and living space.  Interspersed throughout are lots of inspiring snaps of Beci’s own home and the living and working spaces of some of her talented creative pals.  And of course, being Beci, the book is a visual feast, full of beautiful new illustrations, vibrant pattern and colour.

Home by Beci Orpin is officially out TODAY!  To celebrate its launch, Beci is running a MEGA giveaway on her blog today – do pop over and check that out!

ALSO, MELBOURNE peeps will be pleased to know that Beci will be joining us for a special book signing at The Design Files Open House !  Please join us and Beci at TDF Open House on Sunday November 24th at 11.00am to check out the book, meet Beci, and partake in the usual Open House MADNESS!

We asked Beci a few questions about Home, and her super-human work ethic  –

This time last year we were congratulating you on your first DIY book, ‘Find & Keep’, and less than a year later we are here introducing your follow up book, ‘Home’! What can we expect to find inside the pages of Home, and what are you most excited about in this new book?

I know! Crazy right?! I can hardly believe it either! So, Home is similar to Find and Keep, but I think a more fine-tuned version. Similar to Find and Keep, it is again broken up into three chapters, each one revolving around what I think are the most important spaces in a house – Eating Space, Sleeping Space and Living Space.

For each chapter I photographed some of my very kind friend’s houses to show some home inspiration, and then there is also of course DIY projects that you can make for your spaces too. I have also written some musings on what inspires me in my own home.

But seriously, in between your freelance and commercial work, exhibitions, workshops and being a mother, how do you have the time or brain capacity to even think about making another book, let alone doing it in such a short period of time? What is your secret to being Melbourne’s most efficient woman?

I have a motto: Sleep is for the weak. JOKING. I actually don’t think I’m Melbourne’s most efficient woman (that would be you Lucy!). Often I don’t have the brain capacity for everything and forget really important things like people’s names or how to make bolognese sauce. I guess I do a lot of multi-tasking (a working mother’s best friend), prioritising and also work pretty solidly during the hours I can (i.e. no or very little internet shopping/pinteresting during that time).

When it came to book two, I knew what was involved this time (as opposed to the last one which almost killed me!), so it was all about planning, and being able to dedicate weeks just to working on the book. I also have an excellent team of helpers I often call in. Sometimes there were up to five crafty ladies in my not-so-big studio! It was a craft explosion and many cups of tea were had.

Can you tell us a little about the publishing process in making this book, from the conceptual stage to having it finally appear in bookstores? Who was involved in bringing this book to life?

I worked with a very similar team to Find and Keep aka my book-making dream team! Paul from Hardie Grant called me at beginning of this year, and asked if I was interested in making another book. Once I had picked myself off the floor and started breathing again, we had a meeting and together with Heather (Hardie Grant art director) we worked out the concept for Home. After that Hardie Grant pretty much left me do my thing.

Next stage is several meetings (many over lunch) with my completely brilliant book designer Michelle Mackintosh. We work out things like the page layouts, colour palette, mood boards for styling, props etc. While she is fine-tuning details and also doing lots of technical book-layout things, I develop all the DIY projects – much writing, testing and making takes place (this is where many helpers often come into play!).

Once the DIY projects are resolved and made, we (myself and Michelle) head up to Butterland for a week of shooting the project hero and instructional shots with Chris Middleton. Chris also took photos in my last book, and is a genius and the nicest person you will ever meet too. Being at Butterland for that week was magic – amazing light and so many beautiful textures and areas to set up great shots, not to mention an overflow of props just hanging around thanks to Greg and Katie. Plus you can’t beat country air for inspiration. Regardless it is still a BIG week, with lots to get through, so we have many lovely volunteers that helped out too. My assistant Alice Oehr was there for the whole week as well. Alice did everything from rescuing baby lambs to making us lunch everyday – what an absolute champ she is!

Once the shoot is complete, I spend a few weeks taking the other photos, creating extra designs/ and finishing off the text. Then Michelle puts all the bits together and TA-DA – we have book!

What are you looking forward to?

I have a spate of events planned with the launch of  Home, first off is the Melbourne launch tomorrow night at No Vacancy gallery (all welcome!), a book signing with you guys at The Design Files Open House on Sunday 24th November, some workshops with Dumbo Feather and Notemaker, and The School next year too. It’s all a bit of a (super fun) whirlwind, so actually, I am looking forward to lie down and a gin and tonic when it’s all over.

Raph and I have had a new office/studio designed and soon to be built by Julian of Mr. Kitly, after six years of working from home – now that will be AMAZING! Plus Raph and I are working on something else new together too, which will open in the summer. get your taste buds ready Melbourne!

Beci Orpin’s new book, Home, published by Hardie Grant.

Handpainted cork coasters in Beci Orpin’s new book, Home.

Paper puppetry in Beci Orpin’s new book, Home.

by Lucy Feagins, Editor
Thursday 31st October 2013

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