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Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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"A radiant, high-energy mistress of ceremonies." Joyce Wadler, New York Times
"Monica Pedersen...has made her passion for home design into a remarkable and respected career." Stacy Flannery, Sheridan Road
"Very lovely and endlessly funny...We love how cool [Monica Pedersen] stays under pressure to get a home ready for market with only $2,000. And we totally respect the way she adds graphic punches to her rooms, making them not just salable but also livable." Apartment Therapy
"[Monica Pedersen] shows homeowners how to maximize their living space and beautify their homes." Jae-Ha Kim, Chicago Tribune
"Want your own bedroom haven? Master Bedroom designer Monica Pedersen from HGTV’s Designed to Sell advises: 'Invest in elegant, luxurious fabrics. And if you’ve always dreamt of solid white bedding or a dramatic canopy, then go for it.'" Domino magazine
"Monica Pedersen has certainly made a name for herself in the high-end design world. You might recognize this stunning, bubbly blonde from HGTV, where she stars on Designed to Sell and hosts the cable network’s Dream Home Giveaway 2011." Vegas Magazine
"When designer and television host Monica Pedersen isn’t helping home sellers...on HGTV’s Designed to Sell, she puts her style savvy to work on a variety of other projects here in hometown Chicago." Chicago Collection
"Some truly amazing ideas and a total inspiration for anyone looking to do a little something special at their next gathering!" —Carmen Christensen, Time2Design
"Make It Beautiful offers both design that will make you wish you were living in the pages as well as simple steps that people can implement for their own gatherings." —Maris Callahan, My Daily Find Chicago
About the Author
Top customer reviews
This book read more like a self-indulgent exercise in demonstrating how fabulous the author, her family and her friends are. Yes, there were a few photographs of decorating ideas, but there were even more photographs of the author, her family and her friends. Every chapter was a party theme and every chapter was full of these people in various poses, sometimes in the party setting, but more often simply in isolated portraits. But hey, these people are so fabulous and so wonderful, that I will love seeing them mug and smile for the camera and I will be happy to pay money to do so.
What about the text and ideas about setting up for the themes? The word "pretentious" comes to mind. Yes, I am definitely going to set up a party in Fabio's restaurant and I am definitely going to jet off to shop in high end boutiques for accessories and props for the fabulous party at Fabio's. I just love hearing about all of the author's friends and family, and about how wonderful and fabulous they are. I just love all these little anecdotes about her mother's favourite tea and her mother's advice on what container to use to serve tea. And yes, that was sarcasm. I am not sure of the ratio, but there seemed to be more text about these people than there was about entertaining ideas. I was expecting a book giving me advice on entertaining, and not a personal memoir.
Some personal anecdotes can add to a book and make it interesting, as long as they don't constitute the main portion of the book. A good author can give a brief description of a party at Fabio's, and can then demonstrate to the reader how that will translate into a party for a variety of settings and budgets. If the main purpose of a chapter seems to be to brag about the party at Fabio's, however, with little attention given to what the reader can do with the information, then the author has failed to meet the reader's expectations.
I have read other works on party and entertaining planning that focus on what the reader can do do with the information given by the author. In the best of these, the reader becomes the most important person in the book. Christopher Lowell comes to mind as someone who has mastered this ability to combine personal anecdote, specifics of a particular event, and the ways in which the reader can adapt this information to his or her own use. Monica Pedersen's book falls far short of the ideal, and I would not recommend it. I got her book for free and it was still a waste of time.
The baby shower- she hired an artist to make a custom blackboard for the babies room, then had the event catered. The cake came from a bakery. How is this really DIY for an event? Maybe I misunderstood the thrust of this book.
There is a lot of "I did this" or "I did that" but not really how.. for example, with the graduation party, "I chose a sage green fabric." the book is more about the parties she threw and how fabulous they were, than anything that would help me throw a party. Lots of pictures of her, her friends etc, but not a lot of pictures on how to decorate or combine. And again the event was catered. Picking up a phone and calling a catering company is not and idea for entertaining at home in my world. But then, I don't feel this book was directed to my world. The graduate's mother was out "antiquing" and came upon 26 fabulous swedish chairs so Monica told her to grab them and then they could be used for later parties. Where the heck would I store 26 fabulous chairs I found while out antiquing? (BTW, I "antique" at salvation army) One nice tip was to have everyone write in a book and present it to the graduate, but that's hardly a fresh or original idea.
And so it goes for the tea, coffee, wine tasting, etc. I did this and we had a fab party. Whip up some drapes with extra fabric one has laying around, don't we all? Hang original artwork to give guests something to converse about .. yeah, don't think my kids third grade turkey hand project is going to qualify for that one. Have Fabio cater my party.. I'm on board with that one .. sigh.. in my dreams!
This book really doesn't seem to be so much an I'll help you do this, as being forced to go to a party and sit through a slide presentation of the host's "look what I did and who I did it with, I am fabulous!"
there are some recipes in the book, that are actually more helpful than the "decorating" tips.
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Yeah, that's realistic for a homeowner.Read more