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Christopher Lowell's If You Can Dream It, You Can Do It!: Dream Decor on a Budget Hardcover – September 10, 2002


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 176 pages
  • Publisher: Clarkson Potter; 1 edition (September 10, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 060960970X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0609609705
  • Product Dimensions: 10.3 x 9.4 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,150,069 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Lowell, the host of an eponymous home decorating show on the Discovery Channel and the author of the very successful Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design, has a vivacious, flamboyant persona that's garnered him a considerable squadron of fans. His forte: inspiration on the psychological side, and re-design on the physical. Taking a room in a modest house or apartment, for example, he applies a theme ("Theater Living," say, or "Zen-sational Office") to liven it up; "every dream, like every good room," he writes, "needs a theme." Unfortunately, most theme projects provide an opportunity for cliché: "Martini Lounge" means zebra print pillows and bar stools; "Moroccan Mystique" translates into hanging tapestries and paisley prints. The unifying style that Lowell achieves is something cramped, gaudy, and busy to the point of exhaustion, flooded with the brilliant color spectrum of the mall teen-furnishings store. On the other hand, he does empower his fans to pursue their home decorating fantasies in whatever wild and potentially wonderful direction they may lead.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From the Inside Flap

Emmy award-winning author Christopher Lowell is back with his second groundbreaking book, ready to inspire his millions of fans with hundreds of ideas that can transform their homes?and their lives. With his first book, Christopher Lowell?s Seven Layers of Design, Lowell introduced design basics layer by layer, demystifying and reassuring the first-time home decorator. Now he takes the process one step further, encouraging readers to discover their own hearts? desires so they can turn their dreams into unique realities.

Taking us by the hand, Lowell starts with his own experiences of self-discovery as a guide for the dreaming process. Next he provides a questionnaire that helps you identify your own sources of pleasure and fulfillment. Finally, he illustrates the process with exciting design projects built on particular themes. The longing to entertain friends in a cozy cocktail room transforms an awkward space into a ?Martini Lounge?; dreams of living
by the seashore become ?Coastal Living?; the desire for travel and theatrical surroundings informs ?Moroccan Mystique?; and a nostalgia for the mid-twentieth century finds its creative expression in ?Retro Chic.? Each of these imaginative rooms not only expresses the creative spirit, but also feeds the soul.

As Lowell explains it, no matter what your budget, no matter what your talents, if you begin to understand the relationship between the interior of your mind and the interior of your home, you can create beauty in both. The sense of satisfaction promised by a home that you yourself decorated is not beyond your reach or your budget, if you follow the simple steps of America?s favorite design guru.

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Customer Reviews

4.3 out of 5 stars
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I love Christopher Lowell's books.
Stephanie Farr
He has a way of convincing you that you CAN do it, and of course, offers loads of wonderful examples from which to get some basic ideas.
George B.
Christopher's rooms are always excellent (even those featuring my not-so-favorite color schemes).
Mahogany

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 40 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Lynn Farley on November 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
"That is the ugliest room I ever saw" "Why on earth did he do that?" "I would certainly have done something different there" are some of the thoughts I had while reading this book. Precisely. What a springboard he is! While looking closer (in order to argue better) I noticed something else. Every single one of these rooms Worked, and worked well. Chris Lowell's real genius (aside from his showmanship) is furniture design and placement. You can see this in the drawings and plans for a freestanding desk, a headboard/vanity, and other ingenious plans. You wish for more instruction on how to build some of this stuff, or get that paint effect. Maybe that can be his next book. I wouldn't choose his colors or fabrics a lot of the time but I'd love to have those built-ins. Nobody breaks down the functions of a room so brilliantly. Nobody adds functions to a space better -- see "Family OnLine". So he inspires two ways - function and taste. You find yourself thinking outside your own boxes, and that's quite a gift. Thanks, Chris!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful By ReadNReVu on August 22, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Don't get me wrong, I love his shows, although I think his rooms are somewhat overfilled with stuff. His built-ins and projects are great!

However, unless you've taped his shows, the instructions for the few projects he did include (l really would have liked the instructions for the desk in the kid's race car room but it wasn't there--looked very "Jetsons") leave a LOT to be desired. And instead of nice pictures of the entire room and full furniture layouts, you got a lot of his drawings over the color pictures.

So, bottom line, you cannot just pick up this book and hope to do this stuff without watching the particular episodes he's referring to.

I hope future books are written to correct this problem (present in all the books except his entertaining book), and also that he puts out a book with ALL of the projects he builds in it, with good instructions and lots of pictures.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Virginia Allain on May 6, 2005
Format: Hardcover
This was my first encounter with Christopher Lowell and his energetic decorating. I'd recommend starting with his Seven Layers of Decorating book first. If You Can Dream It builds on that earlier book.

This is not just a collection of pretty room photos. It really makes you think about how decorating relates to your inner feelings and dreams. He gives the reader a great tool in the Dream Questionnaire, then explains how your answers can be applied to home decorating.

His own questionnaire reveals his love for things tropical/water/organic/bamboo, etc. That explains the dramatic rooms pictured in the book which may be overly theatrical for some people. The martini lounge and the retro room put me off, but I fell in love with his down-by-the-sea bedroom and some of the others.

Sandwiched in are projects (usually 2 pages each). These include making a circular pouf, a saucer fountain, a bookshelf room divider, an ottoman, modular bookshelves, a nautical bedside table, deco sconces, a bed/storage combo, refacing kitchen cabinets, and finally a car bed for a kid's room.

Well, worth a look.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By K. Enger on August 15, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I really enjoyed the first section of this book--practical advice plus his "you can do it!" enthusiasm. By the end of the book, I wasn't underlining text anymore (I don't have need for a martini lounge). I need more advice on spaces I use most--living rooms, bedrooms, dining rooms. But overall, Christopher is a much-needed voice in the decorating world. Thanks, Christopher!
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Mahogany on December 30, 2004
Format: Hardcover
I love this book! Christopher's rooms are always excellent (even those featuring my not-so-favorite color schemes). But, no matter which color he chooses, I always find several things I like about each room - which is more than I can say for most books of this type! This particular book is a must have for anyone who likes zen, moroccan, or coastal/nautical designs. There is more, of course, but those are my favorites.
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12 of 15 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Another excellent book by Christopher Lowell. I really enjoyed reading Christopher's personal history. I have a 27 inch television yet the pictures in the book are even better than those shown on the television show. I took it to work and my co-workers (all men) and I really enjoyed this book. I only gave it four stars because I want it to be bigger and contain more pictures. I never wanted it to end!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Julie Norman on April 26, 2007
Format: Hardcover
I've seen his show a few times and really like how he envisions things and carries them out. This book is about the same thing, only with more description and instructions - plus you get to see how he did his bedroom. I liked the fact that he has you take a "personality-type quiz" and take those elements into your decorating. But if you're not a creative person, it may be harder to make the transition.

Though I admire his ability to transform rooms, none of them were really my "style." Lots of great ideas, but this book just wasn't for me. My house is just your normal 70's style split level so any of these ideas would take a lot of imagination and a bit of money. This book would be better for someone who has a larger home with character. Also, this book is filled with posed pics of Christopher - can be annoying if you're not a huge fan.
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