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4.0 out of 5 stars28
4.0 out of 5 stars
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on 25 April 2011
This is a beautiful book filled with gorgeous photographs that will inspire you and I love the idea of a book which combines ideas with how-to advice. However, the actual practical advice is very broad and general and I would not recommend thinking you will have enough information to get on with it with this book alone, especially for things like drilling and putting up shelves. Its a great pity that the author didn't dedicate a few extra pages to adding more detail to these sections, viz. how to tell what kind of surface you're working with, how to choose the right length screw, how to use common fixing types i.e. all the basic issues you might run into when trying to do these sorts of DIY jobs, which are exactly the types of DIY jobs women are most likely to try and do themselves. Because its lacking that little bit of extra detail, I now have to buy a proper DIY book just for the few pages it has that provide this information.
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on 29 March 2011
I'll admit, I tend to seek out light and bright spaces over edgy, slightly dark ones but Abigail Ahearn has made me a firm believer in her deliciously dark style and lured me in with, A Girl's Guide to Decorating. Her rooms are as if Oscar Wilde or Edgar Allan Poe could be lurking somewhere in the shadows...

Her style is both edgy and smart, quirky and sexy, salty and sweet, bold and still. The gorgeous rooms in this book provide for lots of eye candy and inspiration. Many make me feel like I'm walking onto a film set because they have an almost cinematic element to them.

I love the way Abigail uses contrast and plays with scale to create interest - and always a dash of bold color to liven the mood - genius! Her book is filled with inspiring images and some great DIY ideas for the home that I found useful.

Abigail has put me in touch with my dark side (we all have one) and instead of letting it hide, she encourages us to tap in and experiment with rich texture, bold pattern, saturated color, grand scale... I enjoy her unconventional color schemes the most along with her love of texture. Chalky paints, saturated furniture, bold canvas prints, black wall paint, nothing about this book says "shy" or "common". This is a fantastic gem and I highly recommend it to all!
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on 4 February 2015
Meh. I have to say from a design point of view its pretty uninspiring. Full of DIY thriftiness for the beginner upcycling enthusiast or house proud student. If this is the category you fall in to then its perfect. If not, Pintrest is cheaper, more informative and inspiring. I had a quick 15 minute read and it went straight on the shelf.
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on 23 June 2013
Lovely completed interior ideas but lacking in overall practical DIY tips as well as being low on information regarding basic colour combinations. Some before and after pictures would have been good.
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on 14 November 2012
Just received my paperback copy from an amazon seller, glad I only paid £7. I follow her blog and caught up with all her past blogs since 2009, ONLY there you will photos to inspire how to decorate your house, unlike this book.
The pages are extra thick giving you the impression it is huge in contents but not really. Some of the photos aren't even inspiring with very plain bedrooms in white shades. Now we all know Abigail raves about dark and dramatic shades!
Too much DIY photos about how to hang a nail etc. I can google that on youtube myself no need to tell us or show us.

What we do need is photos, more more and more photos of how stunning one can decorate rooms with ABIGAIL AHERN'S blooms, animals objects, oversized lamps, great patterns and texture, vintage and new finds. You will find very little of this in her first book and I am seriously hoping she will take this into account for a forthcoming book in 2013!
So my advice, don't bother, go to her blog instead or make a London trip to her shop on Upper Street where you will be truly inspired. I have spent probably over £400 in that shop in one year alone! on her wonderful flowers & couple of vases, they have turned my house into something else! Follower her blog and her facebook page, and you will be better off than this book.
This is coming from a true fan.
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on 4 September 2015
I love this book. I bought it as a gift - she loved it too! I previously borrowed a copy from my local library - it has great pictures and lots of ideas and tips. It's great quality - perfect as a gift or for yourself and looks good too!!!
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on 29 March 2016
I really like what Ahern curates for her shops and interior design projects but I was underwhelmed by this book and expected so much more. The book 'New London Style' is far better if you're in to eclectic interiors. Or just head to Pinterest. I doubt I'll ever look through this book again, there's very little of interest in it.
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on 2 January 2010
The imges and use of colours in the book are fantastic for inspiration. My head is absolutely buzzing with ideas, thats all it was for me a picture book, quite a few of the images i'd seen before in old living etc issues. So some ideas not so new but great all in one place. the definite downside was the actual diy advice - do we really need to know how to hang a picture or her instructions to construct flat pack cabinets? if your the sort who'd google "how to dig a hole" then this book is basic enough for you. Just wish it had more advice for custimising antique pieces. Still love this book though and now know why quite a few of my friends all have grey walls!!
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on 11 October 2009
Like many children of the Thatcher age, I am very well educated but lack any proper DIY skills!

This book is sumptuous with glorious pictures and full of great ideas. Really challenges the idea that all rooms have to be light and airy. How about dark and cosy?

Despite the title, very handy for men who have trouble with DIY (like my husband, although he'll never admit it).

Definitely worth a read and you'll come back to it time and time again.
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on 15 August 2014
A bit too home made for my taste but lots of different ideas
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