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Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home Hardcover – May 8, 2012
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100 Books for a Lifetime of Eating & Drinking
If you want to make an authentic tagine, bake mouth-watering cakes, or vicariously experience the life of a chef, you’ll find the book for it on this list.
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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.Read more ›
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..Read more ›
Each event covered in the book such as a baby shower, wedding reception, book club meeting, or wine tasting among others is covered in a chapter of its own. There is a text description of the event, people who attended, where it was held, and so forth. While there are photographs of the events, they are heavy on people who attended and light on detailed closeup pictures of the design elements and decorations. Photographs of how to accomplish the designs and decorations are non-existent. No discussion of budgets or the approximate cost of any of the items is mentioned for any of the events.
Part of the sub-title of the book is "Designs and Ideas for Entertaining at Home." That is misleading since most of the events covered do not occur in the author's home. Many occur at either another person's home, a golf course, a park, or a restaurant. At none of the events does the author cook a meal, snack, or other refreshment except hot cocoa. The food is either catered, purchased at a bakery, or prepared by someone else. There are recipes included for several of the items served at events, but only one is from the author herself: the hot cocoa recipe that can be found on a can of Hershey's cocoa. So food preparation for entertaining at home is not Ms. Pedersen's forte.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This was purchased as a gift for my wife and she is a huge fan, I am told there are many wonderful ideas for party setups. Read morePublished 20 months ago by Price
I first discovered this book at our library; loved it & purchased one of my own. Reading the evocative descriptions & viewing the gorgeous photography makes me feel like I am a... Read morePublished on May 25, 2014 by K. Bunge
The book was interesting, it had some great ideas. I'm not sure how many of the specific parties that I will implement, but I can see taking some bits and pieces and applying them... Read morePublished on July 21, 2013 by Jessica Johnson
But I had wished there were more and larger photos. I know that seems to be the norm for a design book but you can't increase the photos to see the quality of the items she writes... Read morePublished on May 15, 2013 by Laura
While Monica Pedersen's style of entertaining isn't exactly my style (she presents sit-down meals, I always choose a buffet), her Monica Pedersen Make It Beautiful: Designs and... Read morePublished on May 4, 2013 by Grandma
"...quickly sewed floor-length drapes for the room with extra fabric that I had brought..."
Yeah, that's realistic for a homeowner. Read more
I thought the book would have more pictures. I was disappointed that it didn't. Good info though, but left a lot to be desired.Published on May 4, 2013 by Runner2b
The ideas for decorating specific parties are most helpful. I especially like the use of unexpected fabrics and products used outside of their usual use.Published on January 6, 2013 by Jeri
Monica Pedersen's book is so incredibly beautiful while staying wonderfully personal. I love that she shares her life experiences and inspirations with the reader. Read morePublished on July 24, 2012 by blmchicago