Interior designer/TV presenter Linda Barker is the ideal person to front the cover of her book. Decked in a classy sarong, white vest and white fluffy cardy, she looks as if she drifts effortlessly through the earthy, feminine interiors she creates.
There are no wild premises or promises here. This is about handy hints to update, transform, or liven up your home. According to Barker it's the "essential finishing touches that bring a room scheme together and contribute so much to the first impression as the owners walk through the door".
In the first section, Styling from Scratch, the main text (and there's a lot of it) amounts to basic common sense about creating a new look home, with advice such as covering sofas with throws, thinking about storage, and throwing out clutter. This advice continues in the following section, Instant Make-overs, which focuses on specific rooms. The eye-catching 5-minute facelift tips, are largely sensible reminders: use floral patterns for a strong message, add a sensual touch with throws, use lights for a sculptural as well as lighting element.
It's the final section, Makes, which is the strongest and which won't disappoint fans of the Changing Rooms TV series. There are 25 projects to have a go at, making this an adult child's delight. Choose from making laminated paper blinds, Japanese style seating, or even the sunburst mirror--a an ideal handmade Christmas present?!--Lorna V
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It might seem strange for a book called Finishing Touches to start with the big picture rather than the small one, but where styling is concerned, that approach makes perfect sense. After all, so many of the ideas and accessories that bring a room together with a final flourish are inspired directly by the other ingredients in the room. If you are lucky enough to begin your scheme from scratch, you can allow your imagination to roam free where styling is concerned.