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on December 29, 2011
I loved Domino and was so sad when the magazine became a victim of the recession. So when I found a book by the former editor, I got excited. The best thing about this book is how practical it is. I have so many things that I've picked up over the years and it can be completely overwhelming figuring out what to do with them all. This book is like decorating geometry - if the sofa is x then there should be y chairs in z places with appropriately arranged tchotchkies. Like a textbook, only fun and with pretty pictures. Love it.
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on February 5, 2012
I've never bought a book on home decorating because all the ones I looked at were little more than furniture porn and a lot of snooty claptrap about color, useless for anything but looking at and wondering how much THAT couch cost.
I opened this book yesterday in my local B&N, and was charmed by the warm, chatty text and watercolor-style illustrations. Next thing you know, I'm headed for the register with it clutched in my hot little hands.
The author addresses the most important function of home decorating, making your house a beloved home. I read the entire thing yesterday afternoon and I'm sitting down with a cup of tea today to re-read it..after having re-arranged my bedroom this morning in a most satisfactory manner. This book instructs, inspires, and encourages anyone looking to make their house feel more like a cozy, welcoming extension of themselves.
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on January 9, 2012
This book is a philosophy of decorating to enhance life. This makes it refreshing and helpful in designing your own place. Rather than imitating design-porn, it enables you to start our working out what will work and be beautiful for you and your life style. I liked the acknowledgement of real life through acceptance of 'mollifiers'. There was a bit of snob factor - Deborah Needleman clearly has a much larger budget than I do. But I can use her ideas scaled down, and casual-ised for my more laid-back and cheaper life.
I can see this book would be most helpful if you already had an interest in and had looked at other design stuff already. Its not a book to look at if you have NEVER read/looked at anything else. But once you have that information, it is a great refiner and filter for all the ideas you might have.
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on March 21, 2016
A friend recommended this book to me because I was feeling a little lost about how to move forward with decorating my new house. The way this is written and the pictures inside have inspired me. She doesn't tell you what you must do, she makes suggestions and encourages you to find things you love and have fun making your house a cozy home. I really enjoyed reading this.
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on April 2, 2014
This is a lovely and beautifully illustrated book with real, practical advice on home decorating. It explains what types of items will achieve certain looks, and how to make decisions about where to place items for the best effect.

The real achievement is that it manages to inspire you without making you think "if i could find a ___ exactly like the one in that photo, my room would be complete!"

Ive read mine cover to cover, and keep it on my coffee table to reread regularly. I have given it as a gift 4 times, and I always get a call later to tell me how much they love the book.
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on November 5, 2013
Received my copy today and read 70 pages in a flash. I originally bought the book because I love watercolor paintings and decorating books. I am enjoying Needleman's views of making a home lovely yet liveable. I'm happy to know I already do a few of the things in the book! The paintings of professionally decorated rooms provide great inspiration, too.

Funny, very informative with attractive pictures. The book itself is attractive too!

The [hardcover] book is great quality and would make a really nice gift.
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on July 15, 2015
Love this book. After borrowing it from the library I decided I wanted this one for my bookshelf. I just got rid of several outdated decorating books and wanted something new and different. I like the honest, conversational approach the author uses as well as the lack of pretense. Ms. Needleman presents decorating as it can be used in the real world and can be interpreted for even a modest budget. Nowhere does she say "This is the room you should want" but rather explains the elements that work together to give you the home you want. I will be ordering another one as a bridal shower gift in the fall.
BEWARE: there are no photos in this book - at first I thought that might not work for me. But Virginia Johnson's watercolor sketches work beautifully to illustrate M. Needleman's points and provide inspiration.
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on December 2, 2011
There is a ton of warmth, humor, and brilliant advice about both living and decorating to be found in this book. It isn't preachy or static - perhaps due to Deborah's candid and conversational tone. She's a great writer, so even though each page feels as though she's sitting in a chair sharing her thoughts quite casually, don't expect a bunch of flippant chat. This clearly comes from her heart and personal experience while it weaves in the pragmatism of a working mother, gracious hostess, and the critical eye of one of the design industry's top editors. The concepts she describes are illustrated by charming watercolor renderings which allows you to take the advice she gives in an emotional context, rather than literal. It is really refreshing and inspiring. I don't normally write reviews and am struck with the urge to because this book is exceptional! Soon to be a gift to everyone on my design team.
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on December 14, 2013
Finally got our house done remodel-wise, and I've been redecorating it myself. I'm definitely not a decorator :-) This book gave me a few great ideas, and gave me a nice reassurance for what I was already doing. I liked the illustrations, I find that photographs are too specific and found the drawing gave more of the "feel" of the room which was nice. Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot.
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on February 28, 2014
I enjoyed reading this book but would have liked real pictures not water color illustrations. To each their own I guess. Like one person wrote,buy your sheets from Italy, in-house laundress, your own upholsterer and iron your sheets, I don't think so. I am anxious to view the websites she has at the end of the book to see what the rich buy.
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