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Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Inspiration and Cues from Today's Top Designers Hardcover – March 27, 2012

4.1 out of 5 stars 35 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Be Your Own Decorator, by Susanna Salk, presents rooms by well-known designers like Jamie Drake, Ruthie Sommers and Kelly Wearstler that are intended to inspire readers to take things into their own hands." ~The New York Times

"Easy strategies to make the place where the day starts (and ends) more beautiful and comfortable." ~O - The Oprah Magazine

"For ages I have ripped pages from magazines, safely tucking them away for when I need inspiration. Now, it is as if my friend Susanna Salk did all of the work for me." ~AlltheBest.com

"...another example of the author’s ability to analyze trends and translate them so that they are easy to incorporate into our lives. It will be difficult not to dog-ear the big, gorgeous picture book." ~CamilleMaurice.com

About the Author

Susanna Salk is the author of Room for Children and Weekend Retreats and a contributing editor for 1stdibs.com and ivillage.com, as well as regularly producing decorating segments for NBC’s Today Show.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Rizzoli (March 27, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0847838447
  • ISBN-13: 978-0847838448
  • Product Dimensions: 8.8 x 1.1 x 11.3 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (35 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #673,917 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By BeachBrights VINE VOICE on April 4, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Length: 3:04 Mins
A great reference for the DIY decorator who is looking to be inspired by others. Fresh looks & styles are captured in every photo. Many different styles, lots of color & great advice from some very talented decorators. Take a look at my video-I flip through the pages to "give you an idea" of what the book is about. Enjoy ;)
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Format: Hardcover
If you are a decor maven, blogger, or an interior designer you undoubtedly collect hundreds, maybe thousands of images in good old fashion folders and clipping files, or in files on your computer. It gets a little unruly sometimes, trying to remember where you put a favorite image when you need it.
I always thought it would be a great idea to have a beautiful coffee table book filled with some of the favorite images of the rooms by the designers we all collect. And lo and behold here comes Susanna Salk's "Be Your Own Decorator".
First I love the empowering message of the title, allowing one and all to forge ahead to make a well designed room or home.
Add to this all the great images Susanna has curated and collected into this one terrific volume, and folks we have a winner here.
The book is organized in a way to be useful and aspirational, and Susanna writes to inspire.
Susanna is a wonderful expert and personality in the design world, and she shares so much for all to partake of.
So, buy this book, and enjoy!
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I read several reviews about this book and ordered it looking forward to rooms that were more liveable than the often overly done pictures in magazines. The photographs are lovely. There are some wonderful ideas to be gleaned from looking at them. The copy? Well, I've never been a fan of small type overburned on color. Particularly when the type is in a color as well. If the copy isn't worth reading, don't include it. The design of this book is truly abysmal. I'd even call it arrogant is its total disregard for the READER!
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If you are looking for ideas and inspiration from almost 100 top interior designers, this book offers a diverse, uniquely-curated collection of rooms.

Color, mix, arrangement, balance, whimsy, accessorizing and rule breaking are exemplified in rooms with some written tips. What is great about interior design is that you can learn by just looking--you don't have to read and memorize. Your eye is being trained by looking at great design.

In this book you can look at a room--there's 261 large pages of them--and see what your eye is attracted to. What are you being drawn to? What tantalizes you is clues to your taste and it might be an object or feature you want to incorporate in your home. You can learn a lot about your taste--and expand it--by approaching a room in this way.

Interior designer David Hicks said one of the most instructive exercises in art school was looking at everything and forming an opinion about what you see. Taste is about exposure. This book exposes you to the work of 100 designers working today. It's also instructive to identify what you don't like.

Although this is not an design "how-to" manual, tips are spread throughout. And then you can see how the tips look in actual rooms. Some favorites:

*"I always try to mix the humble with the grand. For example, the curtains are inexpensive Italian bedspreads." Bunny Williams p.18

*Linen is always a great foil to accentuate the architecture of an antique furniture piece while instantly updating it. Period damask would have made the room feel too stilted." Darryl Carter p.83

*Miles and I designed the big table to double as both a dining and a library table. When I'm not serving dinner there, it's stacked with books".
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I am a certified decorating book junkie, and for more years than I care to admit I have also been tearing pages out of magazines that catch my eye - possible projects, inspiration, or anything else. I was very excited about this book and hoped that it would allow me to perhaps throw away at least a few inches' worth of my beloved magazine pages. Well, bottom-line, I am so disappointed in the book I have returned it. Although there are some lovely pictures, it certainly does not reflect the best of each designer's work - merely what the author was given permission to re-publish. As mentioned by other reviewers, the text on the photos themselves is about the worst I have seen in years. Much of it is almost illegible, being close in color to the background photograph, or printed in a color that does not pop out, but merely blends into the page. Why bother adding text at all? If you are looking for a book that compiles different designers and their work, with legible and informative text (long or short), there are plenty of other fabulous books out there that offer much more than this book could possibly begin to offer. For now, I will get much more out of tearing apart my own magazines. In sum, very disappointing and a waste of money.
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I waited a few months for this book to become available, and let me say I was not disappointed... This book has something for everyone, and this book will evoke your passion to surround yourself with all the things you love, and even give you some new ideas... I can't say enough good things about this book, and the cover is so "HAPPY" that everyone who passes the side table in my entry way stops to look thru it... (I know what everyone is getting for Christmas lol)
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