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Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces Hardcover – March 27, 2012


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Frequently Bought Together

Living in a Nutshell: Posh and Portable Decorating Ideas for Small Spaces + The First Apartment Book: Cool Design for Small Spaces + Small Space Decorating (Better Homes and Gardens) (Better Homes and Gardens Home)
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Download an excerpt from Living in a Nutshell [PDF].

Product Details

  • Hardcover: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Design (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0062060694
  • ISBN-13: 978-0062060693
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 7.2 x 0.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #312,417 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

A fireplace on wheels?
A chandelier light by Xerox?
A shrink-wrapped designer closet?

These are just a few of the more than one hundred innovative projects in Living in a Nutshell, a DIY guide of decorating ideas that fool the eye into seeing and believing a little lair is larger and more glamorous than its four walls. Here are fresh ideas for enhancing every living area of a tiny space. All are simple, affordable, portable, and big on style. An illustrated survival tool kit as well as extensive listings of untapped, off-the-beaten-track design resources and a select buying guide round out this invaluable book.

About the Author

Janet Lee is an Emmy Award-winning television show producer, styling and producing for leading home decorators, entrepreneurs, and designers such as Martha Stewart, B. Smith, and Thom Filicia. During her ten years as a senior producer for The Oprah Show, she worked closely with such style greats as Nate Berkus. She has also been a home décor producer for Lifetime Television's Our Home and was featured on camera as the show's weekend decorator, demonstrating chic, easy DIY projects. She has also appeared on CBS's The Early Show, where she demonstrated her high-end-for-less décor ideas. Now a freelance producer, she lives in New York City.


More About the Author

Janet Lee is an Emmy Award-winning television show producer, styling and producing for leading home decorators, entrepreneurs, and designers such as Martha Stewart, B. Smith, and Thom Filicia. During her ten years as a senior producer for The Oprah Show, she worked closely with such style greats as Nate Berkus. She has also been a home décor producer for Lifetime Television's Our Home and was featured on camera as the show's weekend decorator, demonstrating chic, easy DIY projects. She has also appeared on CBS's The Early Show, where she demonstrated her high-end-for-less décor ideas. Now a freelance producer, she lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews

Lots of great ideas!
Two Crows
I also love that the ideas for decorating a small space feel fun & doable, even for a decor-challenged person like myself.
momoftwo
Her ideas are fresh, too, even for a book published in 2012.
Madelyn Griffith-Haynie

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

44 of 46 people found the following review helpful By moi surtout on June 24, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I'm no stranger to small spaces, having spent much of my adult life in a string of shoebox apartments from Boston to Osaka. There've been several books about decorating small rooms, and my main criticism is usually that the author and I have different definitions of 'small'. (I'm looking at you, Better Homes & Gardens.) The advice is usually given by someone who does not really understand what it's like to live in a small space day after day and is only guessing at what might be helpful for those who do.

Janet Lee's book is a refreshing change. The spaces shown are genuinely cramped with few architectural merits - finally! This isn't one of those glossies that hype small-scale minimalism by showing off white-on-white rooms with a murphy bed and a wall-to-wall view overlooking Rio. It is likely that at least one of the 100+ ideas in this book will work for your space if you give it a chance.

Now, this isn't for the faint of heart. The colors are vivid; if you like Jonathan Adler's Happy Chic books then you'll love the colors here. If you were hoping for something more neutral... well, give color a try anyway. Many people stick with pale tones thinking it'll make their tiny room look bigger, and buy small neutral pieces that won't overpower. This results in a perfectly fine room with as much personality as a dentist's office. If you've done your best but your little home still looks wilted, get this book. Even if you don't want to do every project, it might spark some ideas.

Still, I have mixed feelings about this one. Though quirky and vibrant, there's a kitschy shallowness. Part of me says it's not pretentious because nobody will really believe your logo-stamped jute rug came from Hermes or that Louis Vuitton monogrammed your filing cabinet.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By momoftwo on April 29, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Beautifully written with exquisite photos and clear, easy to follow tips, this book is a must have for anyone decorating a small space. Other design books haven't captured my attention like Living in a Nutshell, I think in part because this book has so much personality. I was really charmed by the author's warm style & for me, her writing genuinely served to inspire rather than intimidate. Not only does Lee give clear & well thought out instructions on how to re-create the gorgeous looks from the book, she also provides a detailed index to make the whole process seamless. I also love that the ideas for decorating a small space feel fun & doable, even for a decor-challenged person like myself. Janet Lee deserves accolades for a rare decorating book that goes beyond decor, giving the reader fresh, actionable, and frankly, brilliant ideas for making a home feel unique, personal, and lovely, no matter how small.
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24 of 30 people found the following review helpful By NWMDesign on May 10, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Living in a Nutshell was very disappointing to me as I live in a nutshell of an apartment and was looking for ideas to make my space seem larger. For instance, I have a double duty table in my living room right now. It is a console table which the sides expand and the top flips over and it becomes a dining room table. The book however, is full of cute craft ideas. Example: You can get rubber stamps of a horse and carriage to stamp the edge of a rug so people will think it's an Hermes rug. If you are that concerned about fooling your friends into thinking what you have is a designer brand, good luck. This book is for those who like cute crafts. I would NOT suggested this book to anyone.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By saramable on April 11, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I bought this book because I saw a review of it on Design Sponge and thought that it looked interesting. It has lots of great ideas for decorating your space that are easy, and that you can take with you/remove if you ever move. And it's got some fantastic eye candy! I totally recommend getting this book.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By Ashley Kendall on May 31, 2012
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
As a former Southern girl, my best description, in a nutshell, is darling. Having read & owning way more decorating & design books than I'll ever be able to use, I found this book: fun, light-hearted & entertaining. It's a book that encourages creativity &, by that I mean, not only trying a project or two, but coming up with your own possibilities. & it's not just for small spaces. Extra applause for rating the time involved. Definitely, five stars. Off to my favorite thrift stores!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Lesley on October 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
I purchased this book based on the recommendation of a blogger.

I must say I enjoy browsing through the pages to get inspiration for my own interior projects. My favorites are those that involve "removable" decor you can easily change when you move or as you change your personal style. And like Janet, 3M Command Hooks have become my best friend.

The colorful and sometimes (too) fun decor applications may not work so well for shared spaces with a spouse, though. Had this book been published when I was still single, I must've tried lots of the creative projects described by the author. The use of bright colors, feminine trimmings, and glamorous finishes to add life to every nook and cranny make the book such an eye candy but actually, most of them won't work for my own home.

Fortunately or unfortunately, the author's blog also features most of the projects included in the book. She features them almost one by one, and expounds on some. So if you don't mind picking ideas from her blog, you may actually not need this book. But if you are like me who enjoys collecting pretty books with ideas you'd want to refer to over and over again for inspiration (even while offline), then this book will be a nice addition to your personal shelf!
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