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Speed Decorating: A Pro Stager's Tips and Trade Secrets for a Fabulous Home in a Week or Less Paperback – September 29, 2009

4.0 out of 5 stars 33 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Vegas helps would-be decorators fast-forward their dreams in Speed Decorating. The book is in large part a typical decorating primer, but with a focus on getting things done fast. Vegas guides readers through such steps as assessing a room, setting a timeline and shopping smart, and gives suggestions for specific rooms. She offers lots of handy tips, such as ways to corral and disguise lamp cords and quick ideas for freshening a kitchen."— Mary Beth Breckenridge, Akron Beacon Journal

 "Jill Vegas knows how to make any home beautiful.... Her talent and work are priceless!"  --Barbara Corcoran, founder, The Corcoran Group

It's like speed dating but only better. Speed Decorating: A Pro Stager's Tips and Trade Secrets for a Fabulous Home in a Week or Less (The Taunton Press; $21.95) by Jill Vegas is everything that hiring an interior decorator is not. That means you have to actually do most of the work yourself. There are a few rules to follow — or break if you dare. First, learn the seven principles of decorating: calm; condition; style; arrangement; light; color and texture; and details. Then incorporate the three-step process: Evaluate the situation, explore solutions and take action. These must all be done fast; otherwise it's not speed decorating! Most tasks fall into one of three categories. A magic-wand makeover takes a few hours or a day. Mini boot camp can be done in three days. Slowpokes have a week to complete an ultimate boot camp. --Martha Phifer, Orlando Sentinel

If  you're like me, after a day parading through the Parade of Homes, you get home and wish your house looked like those on the tour. Speed Decorating by Jill Vegas (Taunton Press) might help. Vegas is a home stager whose work has been featured on HGTV, National Public Radio and other places. One idea: Stack books on a chair, put a lamp atop the books, and you have an instant nightstand. I wouldn't have thought of that. The book doesn't get into big, involved projects. But it gives tips for changes you can make in a few hours, over a weekend or in a week. It also gives quick cleaning tips, guides you through a closet makeover and offers shopping tips and lighting rules. --Debra Boyette, News & Observer

Review

"Jill Vegas knows how to make any home beautiful.... Her talent and work are priceless!"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Taunton Press (September 29, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1600850332
  • ISBN-13: 978-1600850332
  • Product Dimensions: 8.7 x 0.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.3 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #837,207 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
I had high hopes for learning professional tricks that would add a final polish to my already furnished and clutter-free rental home. Unfortunately for me, the genuinely speedy advice in Vegas' book covers familiar ground like buying candles and flowers. Her advice strongly emphasizes decluttering and replacing furniture. Plus, she sees a complete kitchen rehab as a project that can be planned and accomplished in under a week, which will be news to anyone who's done one (and is of no help to us renters). Needless to say, her tips are not inexpensive, either! On the plus side, the photos show handsome clean-lined spaces; and the text layout does a good job of pulling out the quicker -- if predictable -- hints for easy use.

If you intend to spend a week per room reviving your home, I'd start with Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan's Apartment Therapy instead. If your hope is to add grace notes, any of Alexandra Stoddard's decorating books may be more inspiring.
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Yesterday, I read two books and watched one video on staging. This book is the one I learned the least from and found the least helpful. I stage rental houses. I'm not a professional--just self-taught--but I do read a lot about it; have visited lots of model homes that were staged; and have watched lots of HGTV shows about staging. I didn't learn one new thing from this book. It was a waste of my money. There were no before and after pictures of the staged rooms. The decorating style shown in the pictures was the same throughout the book--a sort of contemporary look with some 1970s and mid-century modern mixed in. If you like other styles--traditional, country, romantic, shabby-chic, rustic, asian, colonial--you won't find pictures of them in this book.

The title is VERY misleading. The author talks about making changes that take FAR more than a week to do. I didn't learn any "trade secrets" either. Really, the book is a waste of time and money and I feel the title totally misrepresents the content.
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Format: Paperback
Don't be taken in by the glowing 5-star reviews...click on their 'see all my reviews' to find out why.

As the other 1-star reviewer writes, this is a clever title disguising poor content and bad production - the interiors are dated, the text banal and badly written, the paper is really cheap so the colours look strange. There are no 'before' shots, there's nothing in the way of 'speedy' projects, and there's no home featured here that doesn't already have great architecture and designer furniture.

if you came looking for this book, as I did, after seeing it on the Apartment Therapy blog, save your money: they've already used the best pictures online.

I'm returning mine to Amazon for a refund - the first time ever I've done this.
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This author is very creative in her approach to interior design. There is a fresh slant on the spaces that we live in every day. We like the trend toward a more contemporary style. Of course, as with any design, it would be adapted to work in different homes, but it certainly is inspirational, and fun to look at in this book!
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A rare decorating book - one that gives you practical advice that you can actually apply! So many design books just show pretty pictures that are totally unattainable for the reader. Speed Decorating has the inspiring photos, but also gives you step-by-step info on how to transform your home quickly and affordably, room by room. Jill Vegas has you pin-point what you want to change, and inspires you to do it, from decorating to critical repairs. My dining room table had been wobbly for months. Thanks to Speed Decorating I finally took the time to make a quick fix that makes a huge difference in my home. This book is like having a decorating pro by your side at a fraction of the cost. And if you're trying to sell your home in this market, it's a must-read.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It's OK. There's tons of pictures although not a ton of BEFORES and AFTERS, which is always neat to see and learn from when it comes to staging. Not as impressed as I was with Barbara Schwarz's HOME STAGING book that I bought in 2007 when I first became a Professional Stager.
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I was a little disappointed with the content of the book, I wanted more ideas for regular people to arrange their own spaces, such as a template to use for spacing, would have been nice, and floor plans, and more accessories to choose from. Not a lot of innovative suggestions here, honestly, more on Pintrest. Magi
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Format: Paperback
I just logged on to Amazon to order a copy of "Speed Decorating" for my mom for Christmas. I have my own copy and love it, and know my mom will love it too, she's always fussing with her house, and her interiors have reflected her evolving sense of style over the years. I don't often write reviews on Amazon, but felt I had to speak up about this one after seeing the negative review left by the U.K. reader. That person seems to know a lot more about high design than I do, and maybe that was his/her beef with "Speed Decorating," but I have to say, that's not what I was looking for in the book. As someone who lives in a small NYC apartment, and who loves shelter mags as a guilty pleasure but eschews fancy design elements in my own home (a. I can't afford them, and b. I want my house to represent ME), "Speed Decorating" hits just the right chord. It has been a source of totally yummy inspiration, as I've always continually added, subtracted, and rearranged pieces in my home (like mother, like daughter I suppose). Sure maybe I could find some of the advice in the book by trolling Google, but where the heck is the aesthetic pleasure in that? Not my cup of tea. I'd rather curl up with a delicious tome every time. I keep dipping back into the book, and for me it feels like a sort of manifesto that's part feng shui, part practical housemaker, part Martha Stewart, part funky flea-market fabulous. I actually can't recommend it highly enough.
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