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Elegant and Easy Rooms: 250 Trade Secrets for Decorating Your Home Paperback – September 8, 1997
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It's easy to see why this nifty little book is already a bestseller in the crowded home-decorating field. If you're put off by--or just need a break from--all those plush design books filled with gorgeous but intimidating photos of rooms you can't afford, Elegant and Easy Rooms can help you meet your decorating needs as it gently but firmly shatters common decorating myths and offers countless specific alternatives. For example, white walls aren't the best neutral or the ideal way to maximize space, but there are plenty of other "safe" choices; a tiny wallpaper pattern won't make a small room seem airy but a bolder motif actually will. Those color coffee-table volumes are great for inspiration but often require effort to extrapolate specific, usable ideas. Here you can open any page at random to find concise, terrific advice drawn from the author's own considerable knowledge and from noted designers and design publications. You'll also find strategies for working with a professional designer even if you're on a tight budget. There's so much excellent and readily accessible information that even seasoned do-it-yourselfers will find themselves spurred to spruce up their decor after perusing this book. --Amy Handy
From Library Journal
Each of these books gives a different view of some of the major issues in home decorating. Interior designer Hanby-Robie has written an easy-to-read workbook to be used by the do-it-yourselfer. She discusses furniture, wall and window treatments, fabrics, flooring, interior design accessories, and planning. For all topics she never advocates a particular style but gives practical advice to enable consumers to make knowledgeable home-decorating choices. Landis, a contributing editor to Metropolitan Home, takes a "helpful hints" approach to interior design, much like Leslie Linsley does in her 15-Minute Decorating Ideas (LJ 5/15/97). The "workable (and) designer-tested" tips are divided into chapters for topics such as color, windows, and display. Appendixes provide information on hiring an interior designer and a helpful list of mail-order resources for home furnishings. Stoddard, the interior designer and much-published writer, updates Edith Wharton and Ogden Codman's classic The Decoration of Houses, first published 100 years ago. More style conscious and less tip-oriented than the authors of the other two books, she gives her own comprehensive interpretation of how to decorate a home in the last years of the 20th century. All three titles would be excellent, broad-interest additions to every public library.
Copyright 1998 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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I think this book is full of all kind ideas and how to create them. And it' is addresses to both - expensive and affordable option, you just have to use your imagination. Having elegant pictures drawn instead of photos taken reduced the price of the book and makes it affordable for everyone. I will recommended this book(and her others) for open minded and imaginative who does not mined of some home/leg work done and have fun with it and decorating...Can't believe that someone complained that they actually "have to go to the store to see how paint looks like" I think with attitude like that it is better to hire a decorator instead of critisizing the book
The book talks constantly about using antiques and custom furniture and how guests won't be fooled by "new machine made Oriental rugs". Of course not! That's not the point to a book that is supposed to be about *affordable* design solutions. Mentioning and recommending "designer" paints as opposed to paint of the same quality found at Home Depot isn't "budget minded". The examples of art pieces (eg. authentic African tribal stools) given are not pieces that the average person can lay their hands on, let alone afford. The author would be better placed to say that "reproduction type pieces are available from import stores such as Pier One and Cost Plus".
The book gets three stars as there are some decent concepts and ideas presented once you get past the author's attitude, but if you're looking for real inspiration, instruction, and personality in a design book, get "Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design". He is far more helpful and practical in creating truly "easy and elegant" rooms. And, he shows *how* to create them for us visual types, instead of using cute illustrations that give little inspiration to the content.