I am a major Domino fan. I have been reading it for two years, living vicariously through its profiles of well-heeled decorators and clients, and the resulting photo shoots. I never used to read decorating magazines because I found them a little stuffy or hilarious, but Domino strikes the right balance between whimsy and realistic. So the book - 4 stars. Why not 5 stars for a 10 star magazine?
The book is, well, a rehash of Domino photos for the past few years. The book is a roundup of decorating elements that have appeared in the magazine - patterns, objects, furniture, objets d'art - and they are presented in a format similar to the Lucky Magazine book on fashion. (Both magazines are published by same company.) The book is high on pictures but low on practical advice. You see pictures, a summary of key elements (as in shapes of furniture, a few keywords about the style). There is some information on how to go about the process of DIY decorating or the professional route, but I really missed the details on where to buy what you saw in a picture, or the personal commentary from people who participated in the decorating that makes the actual magazine so great. I think a major element of Domino's success was to hear how living in a room felt like, and these rooms were beloved because they were very habitable, not at all untouchable or filled with dangerous-looking items (Kelly Wearstler, I'm looking at you). But here you just get the end result, without the process, which is what decorating and creativity are all about.
I would recommend this to people who have NOT ever read Domino, or who don't have the patience for it and would prefer to just look at pictures for ideas on how to fix a room, or to get a sense of what they do like. Faithful Domino subscribers (and the book does include a subscription) might prefer to stick with the back issues. I wish I hadn't been forced to throw mine away due to a move to a smaller place, so this book is a nice resource, but it does not measure up to the real thing.
Some pluses, however, since I would like to end on a positive note for a magazine I've really adored:
- great section on small spaces and how to deal, particularly for renters
- how to put together a not-embarrassing kid's room (!)
- love the hand-drawn illustrations (not found in the real magazine)
Ideally, I'd give it a 3.5/5.
on January 29, 2012
After hearing such rave reviews for this book, I eagerly waited for it's arrival and gobbled it up the moment I held it in my hand. Unfortunately, I was left with much disappointment. There are some good points for newbie decorators like myself - how to find your sense of style, how to go about decorating a room from scratch, etc - but this is within the first 20-something pages of the book and information that you'll likely find displayed on many design blogs. I also liked that in each section, the authors give an overview of different furniture styles, pros and cons, and what they would match well with. But other than that, you can tell that this book was written for a certain crowd and not the average household. Most of the design examples are in lofts with tall ceilings and seemingly endless space and not in a traditional space ie: moderately sized rectangular rooms with doors and windows to consider. There are some small-space examples but the authors seemed to forget an equally important space size - medium! Homes are not either big or small; some are moderate and I really wished that the book had more examples of that size, along with more traditional floor plans. The floor plans would have been extremely helpful if I had a loft, an oddly shaped room, or something that looks to be a 30x20 ft room.
Outside of the sizing issue, I think that the design elements of the book are for 20-something art decorators with small or no children and their friends. Most of the examples seem either really cluttered or completely spartan but of course, most of the photos only show a small part of the room and you have to take the author's word that the other half of the space blends seamlessly with the small section that we see. I do like some of the suggestions given but I feel like the examples didn't convey it properly for me - nothing wrong with Domino on that part; it's just my personal taste.
I don't know what exactly to call Domino's style since it seems to be just random stuff thrown together [which I usually like but it didn't work for me in the examples given] but if you're into the loft, art-deco, shabby chic [to the extreme] look then this book would be perfect for you. Otherwise, you may want to look elsewhere.
on October 3, 2008
More often that not decorating books are just eye candy; after read them once you are satisfied but done. This is NOT the case with domino's first book. The domino team has managed to create a book that you will keep reading it again and again. It is simply brilliant!
Even though I have kept every issue of domino and go through them regularly, the book's format allows for a deeper approach to domino's mission. They have really worked hard to make the book into a usable tool. With more than just pretty pictures and stories, this book provides a framework for how to think about putting together a room (and yes their is new content).
I am only disappointed in two ways: 1, I wish the book referenced the issue each in which each room originally appeared and/or provided information about the products in each room. Perhaps there was not enough space, but access to information is one of my favorite parts of domino's monthly. 2, They also overlooked closets as room. And lets face it they have featured some stunning closets over the past few years.
Buy this book, you will NOT regret it!!!
Domino: The Book of Decorating is a terrific book for beginner decorators and people in their twenties to thirties, as I think the style and language is most appealing to young adults.
The introduction sets up the mission of the book: "How can you decorate without making making unnecessary, costly, and time-consuming mistakes? How can you produce a result that reflects who you are, how you live,--and perhaps even the image you want to convey?"
Getting started has lots of tips like: find inspiration, determine your style, draw a floor plan, set and budget, research and more--all designed for the beginner to gain confidence in the decorating process.
Next, how to decorate room by room. Great photographs with styles like "cool collector," and "brave bohemian."
The book is filled with tips, advice and tricks on how to decorate. There are also small space solutions and advice on how to select major pieces of furniture.
There is a handy section on window treatments and upholstery.
Finally, the authors include a terrific resource guide that includes prices ranges and is titled: "The Big Black Book."
By the author of the award winning book, HARMONIOUS ENVIRONMENT: BEAUTIFY, DETOXIFY & ENERGIZE YOUR LIFE, YOUR HOME & YOUR PLANET.
on October 10, 2008
Domino Magazine came on the scene in 2005 just three short years ago. It melded fashion and decor and immediately energized the shelter magazine market, appealing to 20 to 40 year olds, and finding an even wider Baby Boom audience. Its hip and refreshing "how to" attitude to creating your own pretty decor soundly resonated.
Even the professional designers presented had a homey approach using revamped flea market finds, big box store items, and their own personal products.
It provided a "power to the people" approach. Everyone can shop at a flea market, Target, CB2, or eBay, etc. The message is: Everyone has access to a happy looking and pretty home.
Domino The Book Of Decorating is written by the magazine's editors, and it continues the grass roots philosophy of the magazine, using their own homes and thought processes and sources as examples.
The book is written is a fun and breezy manner, and it reminds me of another book: Decorating Is Fun! by Dorothy Draper. This 1939 (!) classic has recently been reissued, and it's enduring advice is timeless and current. I think DTBOD has the same appeal and chance to become a classic of it's time (and possibly a candidate for a nostalgic re-issue 50 years from now).
The book is published without a dust jacket, a compact volume, very beefy and satisfying in the hand. It reminds me of a text book, and indeed it could be considered as such for anyone who loves decor, whether you are the home decorator, layman, or professional.
So do buy this enjoyable book, and get happy being your own decorator!
If you are lucky enough to be able to hire a professional (and please do!), this book will help you understand the nuts and bolts of decorating, and allow you be a proactive participant in this fun and exciting process.
A lot of reviewers are saying this book skews very young/modern. I wouldn't quite say that about the rooms in the book, but it's "young" in the sense that the aesthetic is much less rigid than more traditional looks.
If you're unfamiliar with the magazine, I'd describe the overall look as polished eclectic. It's not super-casual, and definitely not matched. For example, there is a fondness for incorporating very traditional, formal pieces or elements (such as molding or antique chairs), but instead of following that particular style with the rest of the furniture and decor, the designers will incorporate a variety of different pieces.
In other words, this is not a look for people who like to buy furniture in sets. Nor for people who like to adhere faithfully to a particular style. Unlike another reviewer suggested, I think this is not necessarily about budget as it is just a different perspective. Of course, eclecticism is helpful or inevitable when you are on a limited budget, but this is by no means a book on thrift, and, unless you really are loyal to following a style, you won't think these rooms are jumbled together.
What I appreciate about this book is that it does try to teach how to accomplish mixing these very different items successfully and avoid the jumbled mess. They break particular rooms into elements (furniture, upholstery, hardware), and show how they come together. I also really liked the pages that showed how a designer took her particular inspiration and created a room piece by piece.
My favorite chapter is probably bedrooms. I think the Domino look is most striking here because, conventionally, bedrooms can go over the top with matching everything (bed in a bag, after all) and throwing pillows on every available surface. Domino features a lot of contemporary, fresh bedrooms that are beautiful and sumptuous without being fussy or overly feminine.
on March 22, 2010
My husband and I were tired of living like grad students, so I bought this book. I never read the magazine and knew NOTHING about decorating. Somehow, after flipping through it a few times, I felt confident to attack the apartment. One month later, we now live like adults, and I love coming home to our organized home with real furniture. I found the book so accessible and sensible in terms of costs (no telling me to drop a couple grand on an armchair or whatever... unless I want to) and effort (no one suggesting I retile my own floor).
I can't speak for people who already know what they're doing in terms of interior design, but for a novice like me, this book has been worth every penny.
I'd never heard of the Domino magazine, therefore I began this book with no expectations, but it didn't surprise me that it seems to be sort of a collection of magazine advice. Rather than a step-by-step decorating guide for the clueless, it contains more general, wide-sweeping advice, such as how it's okay to mix and match.
It's divided into sections (Entryway, Living Room, Dining Room, Kitchen, Bedroom, Bathroom, Office, and Kid's Room) and each section shows pictures of several rooms, each decorated in a different combination of contrasting "styles": Edgy Classic, Romantic Modernism, Vintage Modern, and so on. It gives a few reasons for why the various elements work together, then explains the basic categories of whatever the main furniture for that room is (eg: types of beds for adult bedrooms include Sleigh, Iron Canopy, Modern Platform, Four-Poster, Upholstered, etc). It then offers decorating tricks, such as how to mix and match items of different styles, or substituting unexpected furniture for standard pieces, as well as suggesting tips for renters or those limited to small spaces. At the back of the book is a section that describes (with illustrations) the basic kinds of curtains, valances, shades, sofa cushions, bed canopies, throw pillows, and upholstery trims.
I came away with a few ideas for decorating our new house, the most promising being the suggestion of placing an old-fashioned dressing screen several feet away from our French front door, to create an entryway and offer privacy to the rest of the living room. Other than that, however, most of the decorating schemes in this book were nowhere near my style. Despite the authors' claim of wanting to open decorating up to the average person, I found the styles represented to be fussy or ultra-modern and unappealing to my taste. I could easily see these rooms in a New York townhouse or a loft in L.A., but not the average family home. Most of them lacked a sense of comfort, if that makes sense. But I'm aware that a lot of people like that sort of style, so there will be plenty of readers who find the designs in this book appealing.
I give the book three stars only because, as I said, most of the styles didn't suit me, so I got very little out of it. It's worth reading if you're looking for a new direction to inspire your decorating efforts, or if you really like the kinds of styles represented within.
on July 15, 2013
I was very disappointed with this book after reading all the great reviews. It is simply a picture book of interiors from the houses of domino's design team. Don't buy if you want to learn about interior design concepts.
Geared towards young urbanites, this may not be for everyone. This is for the 20/30-somethings that have graduated from IKEA and Target as they primary decorating influences. More than just hip - it's sophisticated. Domino editors did a wonderful job of making this part eye candy and reference guide.
Instead of just pretty pictures, you get some professional design guidance. Inspiring for those who've been decorating for a while - very fresh. But even better for first-time home/apartment buyer/renter. Most people don't have the money to hire a designer for their first apartment or house, this book can provide some nice guidance. There are lots of space solutions, color guides.
One of the best features is the "decorator's handbook" section which has line drawings and descriptions of decorating elements - so you can explain what you are looking for with the right terminology. Buying guide is also very helpful!