From Publishers Weekly
Readers gain the benefit of Jameson's experience—along with laugh-out-loud anecdotes—in this informative home-improvement guide. Jameson, a home improvement columnist, has consulted for, at various times, a $100-an-hour interior decorator on what knickknacks to place in the space between the kitchen cabinets and the ceiling; an interior designer to artfully rearrange her bookcase; and a Christmas tree decorator to fill her home with holiday spirit. She shares what she learned from them, as well as her own experiences designing, building and decorating three homes from the ground up. And, like most of us, she's had to complete her home while dealing with money shortages, time constraints, a skeptical husband and wisecracking kids. With real-life in mind, Jameson talks her readers through design basics such as finding a personal style, then moves through every room in the house and the yard, always maintaining a sense of humor and a scrupulous talent for detail. She even exposes the tricks design magazines use to create those envy-inspiring rooms, and dishes dirt on how home design shows cheat to create their masterpieces on time and under budget. Even readers with no immediate designs on redecorating their homes will find Jameson interesting and amusing. (Apr.)
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The only question to ask after finishing newspaper columnist Jameson’s highly personal, achingly realistic, and snickeringly funny introduction to home decorating is, Why is she read by only seven million readers in 30 markets? Through a series of real-life scenarios and authentic conversations with husband Dan and a host of interior-design experts, the author investigates every aspect of buying then transforming a house into a home. Along the way, she destroys such myths as Why your house will never look like a model and still look great. She dispenses lots of practical advice, such as knowing when the repair is a job for someone else and avoiding builder gouges on upgrades. She offers a wealth of creative solutions, whether starting a vision bag (which gathers magazine decorating clippings in one place) or providing ideas for holiday ornaments and designs. Her easy-to-read sidebars are generously situated throughout the text, capturing how-to’s in one place. Pragmatic humor is no longer an oxymoron. --Barbara Jacobs