Most helpful critical review
81 of 108 people found the following review helpful
on July 11, 2011
The first thing I disliked was that it appeared by the cover to be a book on decorating with 50s/midcentury American style pieces. Yes, there were a few lamps from the period, butterfly chairs, some wonderful Eames style tables, etc. But most of the book was other vintage pieces thrown together. To me, maybe it's just my taste, just any old piece of junk can't be used as "creative." Here you'll find lots of what we call Shabby Chic, which is not my cup of tea. Headboards and cabinets that look as if they've been in a field since WWII just doesn't do it. Specifically, what you'll find here are: bedrooms so old fashioned looking that they reminded me of the dead mother's room in Psycho. A room with at least six different mismatched wallpapers (on the same wall!) with a mattress on wheels serving as a bed, covered with about five hideous quilts and crocheted blankets, again, none remotely matching. Throw pillow on the bed that doesn't match any of the hundreds of colors already here, nail a picture of a poodle up, and that's one room for you to emulate. Now, mixing patterns can be great if done right. But some of the rooms looked like the apartment bedroom of a college grad on her first job. She couldn't afford half a dozen blankets so she went to Goodwill and bought them cheap. The cover shows a wonderful minimalist decor, clean white walls, etc. Inside however, we find that white walls are the enemy, and it is suggested that we hang a mix of colored bead necklaces across the entire length of the wall! But nothing beat the bedroom with dark blue or black walls, red/white striped curtains, mandatory ugly quilt, and what appear to be the tops of suitcases with handles tacked to the wall for decoration! I can't imagine someone wanting a black room with Big Top curtains. Kitchens? One here has that ancient rotting look wood that some find appealing, and the bathroom right off the kitchen has a curtain for a door. I'd love to be at a dinner party and have to use the bathroom with only a curtain dangling between me and everyone there. Bathrooms aren't too hideous, but no toilets are shown. I suspect, with all the abandoned farmhouse furniture, the toilet would actually be a latrine dug into the ground, with a moth-eaten quilt there for color. Anyway, if you want a book strictly on 50s or 60s vintage looks, keep shopping. The few examples here aren't worth the other 97% that is old lady quilts, odd ideas (using a stack of books as a table with rotten wood box containing hand statue), and WTH moments including a "clever" display of someone's collection of broken alarm clocks. Dump 'em in what appears to be a searchlight and put that sucker in the entry. Call me traditional but...