Designer, writer, and illustrator Meg Mateo Ilasco certainly knows how to keep busy. Not only is she the owner of Mateo Ilasco, a design studio in the San Francisco Bay Area that creates paper and home goods, she's also written several books, including Craft, Inc. Along with Anh-Minh Le, she's also launching the design and lifestyle magazine Anthology, which comes out in October.
Ilasco's latest book, Crafting a Meaningful Home ($25), features 27 projects from artists and craftspeople across the country. The book is beautifully photographed, and moreover, nearly every one of the DIY projects is intriguing. I love crafting, but I'm not a fan of adding items to my home that simply clutter it — I want something handmade that's also beautiful.
Nearly every project that Ilasco includes in her book easily meets these criteria. My favorites are Jean Lee's doily rug, Diana Fayt's folklore chair, and Nick and Lisa Wong Jackson's love notes. Some of the projects require serious dedication (for instance, Lee's rug calls for 300 yards of cotton piping cord, crocheted together). However, since the entire point of this book is crafting a meaningful, long-lasting home, you probably shouldn't be able to finish a project in one sitting in the first place.
As compelling as the projects are the book's narrative introductions to each featured craftsperson or artist. From meet-cute couple stories to heartfelt remembrances of family traditions, I enjoyed these narratives at least as much as I did the projects.
Ilasco's book is a hybrid of a home décor book, a DIY project manual, and a group memoir, and I absolutely love these intersections. Crafting a Meaningful Home is a delightful read, and I can't wait to dig into some of the projects she so lovingly documents. Take a peek at some photos from the book below.