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Design Rules: The Insider's Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator Paperback – November 3, 2009


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Frequently Bought Together

Design Rules: The Insider's Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator + Sabrina Soto Home Design: A Layer-by-Layer Approach to Turning Your Ideas into the Home of Your Dreams + Decorate: 1,000 Design Ideas for Every Room in Your Home
Price for all three: $59.66

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham; 1 Original edition (November 3, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592405061
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592405060
  • Product Dimensions: 9.1 x 7.5 x 0.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #545,388 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Booklist

Ignore the sugars, honeys, and dollfaces you may find here, and avoid any sentence ending with an exclamation point. Once you look beyond the cutesy trying-too-hard-to-be- colloquial prose, New York City interior designer and magazine contributor Griffin does have decorating secrets and tips to share—and to use. Much of her knowledge is revealed through black-and-white illustrations, a better perspective on home realities than fancy four-color photographs. And much of the book’s value lies in the very pragmatic ideas and techniques promoted. Afraid of color? Remember that if the combination exists in nature, it’ll work in your home. To ensure that bathroom wallpaper endures (at least for a while), open the door (and window) right after a shower or bath. Looking for empty decorating space? Try over the headboard or beneath the hall table. Don’t let the book’s very traditional organization—by room—dissuade you from more than a glance; despite some seemingly arbitrary likes and dislikes (for instance, go to the big-box store for kitchen and bath design!), Griffin’s know-how will successfully populate any room in the house. --Barbara Jacobs

Review

"It's by far one of the best practical decorating guides to come down the pike."
-Jennifer Boles, Peak of Chic

"Elaine Griffin is the Diana Vreeland of decorating. Ignore her smart and stylish directives at your own risk! This book has the answers to so many seemingly simple decorating questions-- I love it!"
-Kate Betts, editor of TIME Style & Design

"Creating one's own style at home can be daunting. Elaine Griffin demystifies the process with a smart and savvy, no-nonsense decorating primer. Translating the basics of chic design for the nonprofessional, she provides irresistible, foolproof tips that make sense for every taste, style and budget."
-Margaret Russell, editor in chief of Elle Decor

"[A] great new book...I love Elaine's accessible writing style, a breath of fresh air in the often stuffy atmosphere of decorating. Thrilling!"
-Temo Callahan, creative director, Studio Printworks

"Elaine nails it with her step-by-step, practical approach...Design Rules is a great tool and inspiration for all."
-Colin Cowie, designer and author of Colin Cowie Chic


More About the Author


"A person's home -- what it looks like, where it is, how it's lived in -- reveals more about him than absolutely anything else in the world," says New York interior designer Elaine Griffin. "Now creating a beautiful home is definitely a time-consuming task, but, sugar, I promise you that it'll never be a thankless one! When you make the effort to style up your castle, it will love you back every time you walk in the door and say, 'aaaaahhhhhh.'"

Elaine is a graduate of Yale University and studied at the New York School of Interior Design. She began her design career in the office of architecture and design legend Peter Marino. A recognized tastemaker known for her infectious sense of humor, Elaine designed the Good Works Makeovers for Oprah's O at Home, and is ranked as one of House Beautiful's Top 100 American Designers. Her work frequently appears in design magazines and on television nationally.

A native of the Deep South, Elaine was the designer of the acclaimed Fall 2006 Southern Accents Showhouse at Hampton Island, Georgia. Design Rules: The Insider's Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator is her first book.

Customer Reviews

LOTS of great ideas in this book as well.
T'sThoughts
I saw a review about this book and ordered it right away.
Ima Reader
What I love most about Elaine's book is that she teaches.
Reginald Lewis

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 30 people found the following review helpful By K. Waldron on November 14, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If you are looking for a book to make decorating more approachable, then this might be a good book for you. If you are looking for more advanced guidance - beyond "wallpaper looks great in X room" to "the best sources for wallpapers are A, B, C" - beyond "mix two or more stains [for wood floors]" to "this mixture looks great on white oak: XYZ" then this book will not be satisfying. I have read countless decorators say that mixing several stain colors produces better results, but which colors? Which brands of stain? What percentages of each color?

I was excited about this title because I saw it reviewed - very positively - in two shelter magazines I read, but it is disappointing because it is so very basic. This book may be useful if you have never decorated a room before and have no intuition for how to do so, but it lacks depth. I have read it cover to cover, and I have not learned anything I did not already know (and I am not a professional decorator). Perhaps because I was expecting the book to be a resource, I was also annoyed by the "we're close friends having coffee" tone of the book (the reader is "sugar" "doll" and "honey" throughout). The conversational tone makes weeding through the chit-chat for the information even harder.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By Kentucky Girl on November 13, 2009
Format: Paperback
I really wanted to like this book as I am decorating my home on a budget and felt that learning a few decorating tips would enable me to avoid costly mistakes. First and foremost, this is the first decorating book that I've read that lacks photographs. There are a handful of sketches of room layouts and furniture styles, bur absolutely ZERO photographs. I understand that the book has an instructional objective, but photographs would have been most helpful.

The book is also not well organized. There are many sections in the book that are six or seven paragraphs long and have no bullet points or lists to highlight the important information. Additionally, I found the author's rambling, Southern style of writing ("Designer Girlfriend can't have that honey") to be quite annoying.

While the author may offer a few helpful tips, the book lacks photographs and is not pleasingly organized. I would not have purchased this book had I flipped through it at the bookstore.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Reginald Lewis on December 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
What I love most about Elaine's book is that she teaches. Most decor books are all about "showy" interior pics and aspiration-al living that most people can't live up to. But Elaine's book teaches us how to work with what we have and how to love it. To me that's what a good decor book is all about.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By BS on November 15, 2009
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I am loving this book! It makes decorating so easy and simple. I actually like that the design layouts are sketches and blueprints because then its easier to imagine your own style in the space. I am not bothered by her "flavored" speech...its not over the top in my opinion, just sprinkled throughout. It does help make it a little more fun, and not so technical. However, she does NOT skimp on the technical details...she gives measurements and ratios for EVERYTHING under the sun. I will definitely be taking this along with me before I buy furniture again. If you are decorating for the first time, this is a GREAT book to purchase!
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful By Molly Mcdermott on November 23, 2009
Format: Paperback
I LOVE this book! I think it's a brilliant departure from the traditional interior design books out there, which usually just show instead of teach the readers! Elaine, who in my mind is my best friend who advises me on every major purchase decision, FINALLY gets that readers need a little finessing and a little teaching! I don't know composition, so to see the line drawings - instead of pictures - I finally started to learn! The book can't teach you taste, but Elaine definitely helps readers define/refine theirs!

And wow how refreshing was it to see BROWN type, instead of black! It was so unexpected - and yet so easy on the eyes!

So Thank You Elaine for sharing your tips - and being the voice of support I needed in my home makeover!
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Jane Alter on November 3, 2009
Format: Paperback
Reading this book is like having a super, savvy, stylish and funny friend personally guide you through the mysteries of the design world. It is a must-buy for anyone planning to make any purchases for their homes and a wonderful gift. The sound, sensible advice applies to everything from a one-room studio to a mansion. Brava!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Judith T. Strollo on September 6, 2011
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Good book but I was dissappointed without pictures! A design book should always present plenty of pictures. It shows the reader more of a whole pictur of designing rooms!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By shelly on February 20, 2010
Format: Paperback
I've been into design for quite awhile and I have even done some rooms for friends and family, but reading most books and taken classes is technical to sit through at times. I read through this book at lightning speed and after about 10 pages I was finally able to design my living room so it was comfortable and pleasing to look at. I love this book and will be handing out copies to friends. Thanks Elaine for making the task of creating easy and painless. Though I will say I could use more pictures throughout for better explanation.
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