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Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime Paperback – January 5, 2005


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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Sheila Bridges is president of Sheila Bridges Design, based in New York City, and host of the television show, Sheila Bridges: Designer Living. Her own Manhattan apartment and those of many of her clients, have been featured in magazines and books, including The Best of Martha Stewart: Living and Decorating Details, House and Garden, House Beautiful, Elle Decor, Martha Stewart Living, Harper's Bazaar, Vanity Fair, In Style, and Town & Country.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 184 pages
  • Publisher: Bulfinch (January 5, 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0821261800
  • ISBN-13: 978-0821261804
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.6 x 9.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (21 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,279,022 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Named "America's Best Interior Designer" by CNN and Time Magazine in 2001, Sheila Bridges is a Harlem, New York based interior designer, product designer, author and former TV Host.

Sheila's first book, Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing For a Lifetime, was published in 2002 by Little Brown and Company. Furnishing Forward quickly became a trusted resource to help homeowners, apartment dwellers, and decorating enthusiasts define and express their sense of personal style in their own homes.

The Bald Mermaid: A Memoir, will be published in 2013 by Pointed Leaf Press and is Sheila's second book. This beautifully illustrated memoir comprises a series of deeply personal vignettes that explore questions of race, identity, family, beauty, femininity and what it means to "have it all."

Originally from Philadelphia Pennsylvania, Sheila Bridges moved to New York City in 1986. She holds degrees from Brown University and Parsons School of Design, and studied decorative arts at Polimoda in Florence, Italy. She lives and works in Harlem, New York and relaxes at her weekend home in New York's Hudson Valley.

Customer Reviews

4.0 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

35 of 38 people found the following review helpful By "twilliams131" on April 8, 2002
Format: Hardcover
Great book! I can see why Time magazine named Ms. Bridges #1 Designer for 2001. This is the first design book that I have enjoyed reading. Usually I just look at the pictures. The writing in most design books is normally so distant and professorial...while Furnishing Forward is very personal and funny, yet also practical and relevant. The pictures, which are beautiful, are used to show examples of the writer's point...rather than to just "show off" beautifully designed homes.
I believe the book is is a must read for people who are transitioning from temporary apartment living to a real home. It takes a lot of the mystery out of design...in an unusually upfront and truthful way. Due to my personal transition from "black-leather-sofa apartment living" to "a mix of antiques and country furnishings in a real home", I can relate to many of the issues and solutions provided by this book...and since this transition is never over, as the book points out, I will continue to use it as a reference.
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22 of 24 people found the following review helpful By Annalea on June 27, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is a fun read, and doesn't take too long. GREAT pictures, and a very articulate and educated style. Bridges shares from her wealth of experience and expertise to convince you to furnish your home comfortably and with quality pieces that will last.
However, if you're looking for a book to help you learn how to design interiors, go check out Straight Talk about Design by Lynnette Jennings, or something similar.
It's a good read, but I wouldn't say it's worth the [money]. If I had it to do again, I'd go to a book club or get it used.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Gail L. Faulkner on April 17, 2002
Format: Hardcover
For the first time in the several years I have been "reading" books on interior design and decorating, Sheila Bridges writes a book I actually took time to read and enjoyed. She is humorous, down to earth, no nonsense, as well as practical. She writes as though she were sitting right there with you developing the client/designer relationship, walking the client through each step guiding and advising you on the simple yet elegant ways to decorate your home. Incorporating beautiful photography while defining the different styles of design such as modernism, eclectic, simple, country, classic,comfortable/casual is a unique touch. Anna Williams is an awesome photographer. As a team the book is dynamic! Sheila'a ability to demonstrate her diverse decorating styles makes her the designer of the century!
Great book! Great job to both the author and photographer!
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful By "vrhphoto" on May 22, 2002
Format: Hardcover
What could have been so difficult to do, became an exciting and fun filled time when I followed the wonderful and practical suggestions shared in this beautifully written and illustrated book. Ms Bridges explains in easy to follow language, how best to turn your living space, whether it be a house or an apartment, into a comfortable and delightful home to enjoy with family and friends. When you're ready to express your own special taste in furniture and accessories, and before you toss all the 'old stuff', you will want to read and re-read this book with its splendid ideas. The book is also a 'find' for older folks, 'empty nesters' for example, who may be moving into a smaller space, not knowing what to hold onto and what to purchase for their new lifestyle. I am just beginning my own redecorating, and have saved time and money already by better planning. Buy it! Even after the decorating is done, I know I will enjoy browsing through it and sharing ideas with my friends.
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15 of 17 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 21, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I jsut finished reading Bridges first full length book on design and I was amazed. Her advice about selecting and building a comfortable home enviornment hit the spot for me. I am in the market for a major living space overhaul to accomodate my new in home office and her advice was so practical. I have always been afraid to use colors and was inspired by the vaiety shown in the book. I could totally relate to her antedotes about our furniture life cycles. I think it is about time I get rid of my shag carpet and particle board furniture. The reading was light and easy, but very informative. The pictures are so great, the book qualifies for my coffee table.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful By peter hellman on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I opened Furnishing Forward to the author's advice on dealing with "emotional-attachment" issues between married couples. It might have fended off some nasty arguments if both my wife and I had read it before we crossed swords over a matter as small as which constitutes the ideal trash can. "If compromise can get us out of the Cuban Missile Crisis," writes Bridges, "surely it can get us out of decorating disagreements." There's solid, ever so practical advice like that throughout this truly helpful book.
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 29, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I just finished Furnishing Forward. Sheila Bridges' advice on decorating is so straight forward and reasonable; she makes a novice decorator feel confident about the daunting task of furnishing a home. I also really liked the way the photos of the home in the book included many Afrocentric touches. Without ever mentioning it, she makes it clear that one can decorate a home expressing one's ethnic heritage without losing sight of the basic elements of design and good taste. Bravo!!!!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on May 28, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This book is awesome! The author/designer has very practical advice for decorating. It felt as if I was actually talking with the author instead of reading. The photography is great too! Ms Bridges' style evokes a classic and understated elegance that I am trying to adopt. I am anxious to get started on my next projects using what I've learned from this book.
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