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Big, Easy Style: Creating Rooms You Love to Live In Hardcover – October 4, 2011


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Big, Easy Style: Creating Rooms You Love to Live In + New Orleans New Elegance + Vintage Remix: The Interiors of Kishani Perera
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Potter Style; 1 edition (October 4, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0307591905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0307591906
  • Product Dimensions: 10.2 x 7.9 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.4 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (23 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,650 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Amazon.com Review

Guest Review: Janie Bryant Reviews Big, Easy Style

Emmy-winning costume designer Janie Bryant creates all of the looks seen on TV's Mad Men. She has worked on numerous films and TV shows. In 2005, she won an Emmy for her period costumes on HBO's Deadwood and this year, she took home the prestigious Outstanding Costume Design award from the Costume Designers Guild. Bryant also authored The Fashion File: Advice, Tips, and Inspiration from the Costume Designer for Mad Men.

Bryan Batt and I have been friends ever since his first costume fitting on Mad Men, and I was so delighted to hear about his home design book, Big, Easy Style. As soon as I started flipping through the pages, I immediately wanted to go home and redecorate my entire house!

As a Southern girl, I’ve had a love affair with Bryan’s New Orleans store, Hazelnut, for years. My husband and I even registered there for our wedding. Now everyone can be inspired by Bryan’s gorgeous designs and favorite rooms, which are splashed across these pages. The book is written in such a clever way, and you really get a feel for Bryan’s whimsy and his Southern, melodic voice. The text is even broken up with lighthearted headings, such as “A Call to Armoires” and “Home Wasn’t Built in a Day,” that really draw you in, and the gorgeous photographs keep you turning the pages.

My favorite chapter is “Don’t Be Afraid of Color” (Bryan jests, “What did it ever do to you?”). As a costume designer, I’m always playing with different colors and implementing them into my designs. I love to use color to tell a story about a character, and it’s clear that Bryan uses color to tell a story about a room. He encourages us to embrace color wholeheartedly. Then, he very deftly shows us how to “get a color clue” with a paint-by-number section that breaks down eight of his favorite swatches for each color of the rainbow, with photo examples. And if you don’t end up liking the color on your wall, Bryan reminds us that it’s only a can of paint—you can always start over. Of course—how quickly we forget!

Great designers hone their visions and then pair unexpected items that work together perfectly. That is overwhelmingly true about Bryan—in fact, he devotes an entire chapter to this idea and calls it “the mix.” Whether that mix is shaken or stirred, it’s how you blend a variety of styles that will, as he says, “keep your eyeballs moving around the room.” This ideology is also very New Orleans; using a combination of classic (especially French) and modern elements to create eclectic and beautiful designs is so intrinsic to the style of the city.

It is really impossible to choose a favorite room in Big, Easy Style. Bryan has created a book that is warm, elegant, and whimsical, and it makes decorating very approachable.


Review

"You’ll love his collection of photographs of beautiful New Orleans rooms layered with his design tips and anecdotes of his own design experiences."—Southern Living

"[Big, Easy Style] reads like a hard-copy extension of Batt's personality--elegant, gregarious, funny, showman-like. The rooms he's chosen to showcase are painstakingly designed, yet, in that enviable way, appear so easily tossed together."— Susan Langenhennig, The Times Picayune

"With great passion and a zest for creativity, [Bryan Batt] and Katy Danos offer thoughtful tips on color, collecting, patterns and much more along the way. Kerri McCaffety captures the beauty of each room in her inviting photographs. I love Batt's unique whimsy style. How many of us would think of placing giant decorations from a Mardi Gras float in a lavish dining room? Or how about hanging an ornate crystal chandelier in the kitchen? Or what about painting a Chippendale-style chair mellow yellow. But they all work!"—Jeryl Brunner, Stylist.com

"If you've missed Bryan Batt since he left the set of Mad Men in 2009 (he played Salvatore Romano), catch up with him in a decor ode to his hometown: New Orleans. [In Big, Easy Style], we're treated to his vision of making rooms inviting, festive and ultimately setting the foundation for entertaining, which is what this get-down town is all about."—San Francisco Chronicle

"The book is full of Batt's tips. It's like spending an afternoon with someone who you'd like to watch decorate a home."-- Karen Dalton-Beninato, Huffington Post Books

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Customer Reviews

4.5 out of 5 stars
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Bryan's style and taste is wonderful.
Melanie J. Schnieders
I like the very different period pieces he uses in a each room and weaves them together to create such a personal, bright and intimate space.
Hillwood
The pictures are beautiful and inspiring and the text is extremely interesting and thought provoking.
Mombo

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Sauce on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
The visuals, advice, and ideas in this book totally spoke to my tastes... eclectic and interesting ideas that are easy to translate and implement into one's own environment. I found it very inspiring. I find so many design books to be more of the same, with the same few ingredients "re-worked" to make a different room or so-called "look" (like ordering sushi... same ingredients, just thousands of combinations of how to put it all together). For me, this book has been great for spurring my own creative design juices - so real, and more interesting than anything else that I have seen lately. I love the advice on color, as well as the ideas for fabrics and use of furniture shapes/styles and combinations. I'm just about to make a change in my living room area as a result. It's interesting to me that inspiration from a simple source can change so much about your daily environment, and I'm looking forward to the changes.

Importantly, I found the ideas for picture arrangements to be just what I needed. I had tons of framed pieces piled up against a wall in a spare room (been gathering there for years). I grouped them, weeded some out, replaced a few frames (inexpensively) and now I have a whole new look going on with one wall. It suddenly seemed easy - such a sense of achievement!

I love this book - it's what I consider true "design" to be about - bringing together the old and the new into something that is so uniquely special, that it becomes art unto itself, while still being something that you can truly live in, and engage in, and enjoy. Environment has such a profound effect on so many things - so it's nice to have inspiration to bring everything together so that a room becomes truly unique and beautiful, not to be duplicated. This book helps you achieve that - very satisfying. And while it is very New Orleans in its inspiration, these styles and inspiration would be appreciated anywhere. This book, for me, was money very well spent.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Leslie E Castay on October 15, 2011
Format: Hardcover
Full disclosure: one of my rooms is featured in this book. Having said that, I was blown away when I first had the full copy in my hands. Not only have Batt and Danos selected eclectic, tastefully original rooms that reflect their owners' personalities, but the stories accompanying the sumptuous photos are a great and entertaining read. It's true that beautifully designed surroundings can improve the quality of one's lives. Bravo.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Melanie J. Schnieders on October 14, 2011
Format: Hardcover
I've just been reading and looking through this book. Bryan's style and taste is wonderful. So daring and fun!! I love the way different period pieces are combined to create such a personal and intimate space in each room. The use of color is spectacular and the ideas I'm getting from this book will last me a lifetime. The writing is very interesting and amusing as well. Basically, Bryan says show who YOU are in your home - I love that!!! And let's not forget the beautiful Katy Danos who helped Bryan with this book. She deserves applause as well!! :D
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By artemis on May 17, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The rich Caribbean colors and curvilinear Victorian wood carvings that make New Orleans an unusually romantic setting do not get much exposure here. Antique lace and velvet are neglected for functional, modern looks that do not make the heart beat faster. It could be anywhere, USA after the 50's. As he points out, his design esthetic is masculine. If you're a guy, it may make your heart beat faster.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lisa on January 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I love this book so much! New Orleans has a distinctive style unlike any other North American city. It's interiors are a fusion of French, Caribbean, Spanish, African and traditional Southern styles.

It may be the only city in America where the cool, fun, creative people still own antiques. If you like, or have inherited, antiques but don't want your house to look like Grandma's, this is an essential book (along with Southern Cosmopolitan).

Big, Easy Style is incredibly chic, but the writing is non-snobby New Orleans hospitality. Bravo.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Ethel Mermaid on October 20, 2011
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Big, Easy Style is a guidebook for creating unique environments of every dimension. A sitting room, a tiny hallway bath, a grand salon or a hallway, Bryan takes the reader step by step to take things we love and use them to their greatest visual impact. Even better, he shows us how to use them effectively, but without looking too studied.
The best lesson, and perhaps the main theme of Bryan's entire book, is to throw out the rules of decorating. Don't fear color, but embrace your favorites as neutral backdrops (even purple, orange or red) to showcase your favorite things. Your room won't decorate itself, but evolve as you start with a few key pieces and begin to build on them.
When Bryan tells stories about his charmed New Orleans childhood and love of diverse architectural styles, you can see that his experiences mirror our own: visiting Grandma's formal home and drinking in its personality, hanging out in his parents' more modern place, and strolling through the ornate French Quarter, perhaps thinking "If I lived there..."
Bryan has provided us with artistic photographs of rooms of many styles, and shown us how to use amazing finds like hanging Lucite bubble glass chairs, Louis IVX settees and artwork of every style. The seamless but casual way he integrates everything from suptuous antiques to attic treasures and thrift store lamps is an outstanding primer that any novice can enjoy and use to help find his or her own big, easy style.
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