Book Review : The Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

Origami Home Book Cover

Today I wanted to share this really lovely book with you guys as I know you will appreciate it, particularly those of you who are into your arts and crafts. The Origami Home is a really unique, modern approach to the ancient Japanese art of paper folding combined with high-end interior design. The book features projects for almost every room in the home and and is broken down into chapters that have a focus on a particular room. These include: Living Room, Modern-Retro Dining Room, Loft Room, Family Dining Room, Work Space, Bedroom, Bathroom, and Terrace.

Whilst the book states it demonstrates how to make models for every room in the home, there is no chapter on the kitchen, but I guess we can forgive this as it would be extremely challenging trying to replicate a fully fitted kitchen at a fraction of the size and in paper. 

Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

The book is written by origami expert Mark Bolitho who is also the Chair of The British Origami Society. Mark is based near London and has been involved with origami for almost 35 years working on advertising and design projects for the likes of BBC TV, Channel 4, Channel 5 News, Canon, Telegraph newspapers, Sony, and the National Lottery. The photography in the book is the work of Michael Wicks, a professional photographer who works with publishers, designer, architects and corporate clients.

Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

The book starts with an introduction that talks about the origins of paper folding and gives a brief insight into how some of the models were developed. This is followed by a ‘Getting Started’ section that explains, in detail, what all the symbols used throughout the book actually mean and it gives some advice for following the instructions.

Finally, before getting into the individual projects there is a short section on colours and patterns that explains the importance of paper choice and its effect on the finished model.

The book features 32 individual projects and the list of pieces that you can create is really quite extensive. It includes all the kind of furniture you might expect like armchairs, sofas, dining tables and chairs, but it also includes some more surprising pieces like a Welsh dresser, scatter-cushions, a toilet and basin, a sun lounger and a selection of designer-style lamps.

I was really quite surprised just how complete the range of projects is. The book is full of wonderful step-by-step diagrams showing the folding process for each of the miniature designer furniture pieces and home accessories.

Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

Each step explains one or two folds and you need to follow each step in order, taking care to ensure that your model looks like the diagrams shown before moving on to the next step. At the back of the book, there is a pocket containing a selection of origami papers that you can use to get started.

There is a nice selection from floral, geometric, and striped, to pictorial and plain. Some of the papers feature recognisable designs from Jane Churchill/Colefax and Fowler, Little Greene, Malabar and, one of my favourite design brands, Mini Moderns.

Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

What I really liked about this book is the fact that all the models are presented in room sets and each set has its own interior style – from Shaker to Scandinavian, and country to contemporary.

The first thing I thought when I received this book in the post is how lovely it would be to try to make my own designer dolls house for my daughter (when she’s a bit older obviously as she would probably just eat the models at the moment). It would be so much fun choosing the style of each room and selecting the papers accordingly. And just knowing that all the lovely pieces were lovingly handcrafted by me would be so satisfying.

But then I took the first peek into the book and realised just how complicated some of the pieces are. But as my daughter is only one I guess I have a few years to practise so it’s definitely achievable…I think!

I did have a go at creating the easy chair which is the piece recommended for beginners and whilst I did struggle a little to follow the diagrams, I found it helped me to read the text instructions as I’m not very good with following visual instructions. I made a few mistakes along the way and had to start again once but at the end, I had a rather smart-looking model chair. I was very proud of myself indeed!

Origami Home by Mark Bolitho

Photography & Styling by Ruth Adams

The Origami Home is published by Jacqui Small who has kindly provided a discount code for Design Sheppard readers. To order The Origami Home at the special offer price of £16 including UK P&P, telephone 01903 828503 or email, quoting the offer code APG267 and the book ISBN 9781909342514.

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