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Diana Phipps's Affordable Splendor: An Ingenious Guide to Decorating Elegantly, Inexpensively and Doing Most of It Yourself Paperback – November 1, 1983


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 276 pages
  • Publisher: Random House Inc (P); 1st Vintage Books ed edition (November 1983)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0394721748
  • ISBN-13: 978-0394721743
  • Product Dimensions: 9 x 7 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,355,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 11, 1999
Format: Paperback
With charm and wit, Ms. Phipps shows you how to create high style European interiors on a limited budget. She shares her practical techniques of faux graining, faux marbelizing, glazing walls, and reupholstering both furniture and walls in several of her own houses and those of her clients. Her illustrations are amusing and informative. The photographs show magical transformations of formerly dull rooms.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Sharon Lynn Farley on February 1, 2002
Format: Paperback
You probably won't make your own lampshades, but Diana Phipps can show you how. She knows how to do everything - or at least, some version of it. She's modest about her considerable accomplishments, and her good humor makes this book enjoyable as well as useful. When last heard from (in Architectural Digest) she was back in the Czech Republic, refurbishing the family castle. But if Random House wanted to make a buck or two, they could reprint this book: it's timeless. If you like the look she gets (and I do, I passionately do) you couldn't ask for a more encouraging guide.
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12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Lolalu on June 4, 2005
Format: Paperback
Do you still remember the joy of a discarded refrigerator box? Cutting the windows and doors, stapling scrap fabric to make curtains, drawing a flower box on the side? "Affordable Splendor" describes creating dramatic, low-cost interiors that are actually play houses for adults.

Phipps' stone barn in Oxfordshire is a filled with trompe l'oeil such as faux stone tiles, tapestries, and even kitchen items painted on non-existant shelves. She's endlessly clever and can put together a canopy bed out of a swaths of fabric or make an alcove into a cozy nest. She offers line drawings, photographs and instructions on low-cost decorating that can't possibly be confused with mass produced furniture. Guaranteed: your neighbors won't have anything like it!

I've enjoyed this book for over two decades, and it's one I come back to again and again. Highly recommended.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 17, 1998
Format: Paperback
This book told secrets for many cheap effects, such as painting wood to look like marble or stone, or painting cheap wood to look like a better quality. It also told how to gild and re apholster furniture. Besides all that though, it let you see into the personality of the author and was somtimes funny. I think this is the best decorating book that anyone could ever want.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 2, 2004
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I really enjoy this book every time I pick it up. I may not want to completely cover the walls of a room in fabric, (although now I know how) but I do want to make the most of a very small decorating budget in my pretty average home. Diana Phipps helps the reader to see how much can be done with a staple gun, some paint and imagination. I am now making over a powder room with an ugly floor and battered vanity. Instead of spending my money on replacements, I'll spend my time making them unique! Although Ms. Phipps' style is very traditional in most of the photos, I think the methods she uses could be applied to more contemporary settngs also. You do have READ the book as there are not as many photos as most decorating books published now. Well worth the small sum I paid--my house already looks and feels more beautiful.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Kathryn Klein on December 22, 2001
Format: Hardcover
I have had this book since it was published and I continue to reread it at every decorating turn. It takes all the intimidation out of decorating.....and makes it fun! I wish she would write another volume soon.
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