I read plenty of interior blogs, magazines and books so I was eagerly anticipating receiving Decorate. I love Holly's blog (Decor8) and her book didn't disappoint!
It's full of gorgeous homes and photography but what makes it stand out is its usability. It inspires me to translate the ideas into my home and it will definitely be a book that I keep coming back to time and time again. It also features some of the best interior stylists, photographers and designers so its a real treat to see their work and get such good advice all in one place!
If you are an interior lover this is a must-buy, it's a pleasure to read, a constant source to refer back to and it will look gorgeous on your coffee table!
This is a stunningly gorgeous book which is absolutely crammed with design inspiration. It takes you step by step through the process of the interior design process and is packed with very specific suggestions and advice.
The first section, "Space Matters" gives pointers to assess the space that you have, how to make the best use of it and ways that you might alter it to make it feel larger or brighter. The next section, "Setting Your Style" talks you through the process of creating a mood board and identifying your own personal style. Maybe you want your home environment to be colourful and uplifting or calm and soothing, perhaps you want it to be about glamour or perhaps a more lived in flea market chic is your style. Regardless, you will find help and inspiration here.
The third section talks you through very specific tips and ideas, room by room, including lots of layout sketches and explanations about the design elements that are contributing to the overall feel. I particularly liked the sections on children's rooms and workspaces - divine! Finally, the authors talk about the details that pull a room together and ways to display collections of items. There is also a comprehensive index of suppliers whom the writers recommend for sourcing furniture, rugs, fabrics, vintage homewares and lots of other beautiful items.
Quite aside from the wealth of useful information, this is a beautiful book which is a delight to look through (and which will keep you going for a long time). The houses that are featured are from countries as diverse as the US, UK, Australia, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Denmark and Sweden.
I have had this book since 2011 and have decorated several rooms since then. I bought this book hoping to get ideas on how to decorate rooms and have gone to it several times hoping to get inspiration. Each time I was sadly disappointed.
What I was thinking/hoping the book would help with: various colour schemes or advice on how to counteract bad lighting in rooms, e.g. if your room is north facing what to do; use of wallpaper, different paint effects, different styles, e.g. the colours to use and how to decorate if you want a Moroccan style, Scandi/Retro etc. Unfortunately there was none of that.
The book seems to recommend placing a load of nik-naks in your room - the rooms seem all very busy with ornaments and white walls, mismatched furniture. No inspiration for me at all. I am about to get rid of the book. Not worth the shelf space.
I am very excited to finally own this long awaited gem of a decorating book.
My first impression was that this is a book of substance; at 288 pages it is not one that can be looked through in one afternoon. The quality of the cover and pages is high and I was particularly impressed by the many beautiful quoted by leading designers and stylists that run though the book. Photographer Debi Treloar has once again captured beautiful spaces in an effortless way - she understands how to maximise light and bring out the essence of interiors.
The book is perfect for people who are starting off with a blank canvas or those simply wanting to update their space. It is a reference book and you simply won't be able to read through it without coming away with lots of ideas, big or small to execute in your own home. Decorate is filled with advice from leading design experts around the world yet it has a very approachable tone thanks to the wonderful writing style of Holly Becker and Joanna Copestick.
The book is broken down into four sections: 1) Space Matters - a planning section that encourages you to take stock of what you have and what you assess your design needs to be. It has useful tips and illustrates points clearly through case studies. Floor plans are used throughout the book to illustrate furniture placements. 2) Setting your Style - this section encourages to find your unique style. It talks about where to find inspiration. I particularly love the section on creating mood boards. It is not only visually beautiful but very helpful to anyone wanting to create their own. This section then goes into various design styles (simple, natural, modern, flea market, colourful, floral, eclectic, modern glamour). Each style is illustrated by a home that represents that style as well as 10 guidelines/tips to achieve that look and feel. 3) Room by Room - this is a very practical section in that it has lots of very useful tips in planning each room of the house. Kitchen design, furniture selection and placement, storage solutions and creating functional work spaces are only a few of the topics covered in great detail. 4) Attention to Detail - this final section talks about the finishing touches and home accessories that make all the difference.
What makes this book stand out from so many of the interior books I own is that it doesn't simply show beautiful interiors that seem unachievable to many, but guides you through the process of creating your own space that reflects who you are. It is filled to the brim with ideas and inspirations and doesn't follow one particular style or design aesthetic. This book will be one that I know I will refer to for years to come as it doesn't follow current trends but encourages an individual approach to decorating a home that is timeless and unique to you.
I must confess I have quite a collection of interior books, the ones with beautiful photos of people's homes. The thing that surprised me upon settling down to look through my copy of Decorate for the first time, is how unique it is.
Its not at all like other titles I have on my bookshelf already. Its a weighty book, both physically and in the amount of information it imparts. It could so easily be overwhelming, yet the balance is kept and it is interesting, informative, instructional and inspiring, in equal measure.
The rooms are from homes around the world, which gives such a variety of styles from which to choose. The influence of different countries is evident yet the book retains an overall cohesiveness.
The photography is done in such a way that you feel a part of the rooms you are looking at and can almost imagine living in them, curling up on an inviting sofa, washing up a plate or two at the belfast sink....
I must admit to not always finding the text inviting to read in other decor books i own, and I tend to take in more from the photography alone. Yet here in Decorate the writing sections are laid out in such a way that you find yourself drawn into reading them, almost without trying!
I especially like the quotes (both in large type and smaller) dotted through out the pages and inside the front & back cover. I'm a quote loving girl, but as well as simply bring pretty to look at, the words within them are really helpful tips that stick in your mind.
There is a place for online decorating inspiration of course and especially blogs, which bring us so much on a regular basis (the author Holly writes one of the best herself) but then there is still equally, a place for books. It seems easier to find the spark of an idea for your own decor when you can turn the pages at leisure with a nice cuppa and notebook to hand. I have only had my copy a day and already I have an idea for a fireplace and a bathroom wall. Two things I had searched online for inspiration for- and not found.
Decorate is an encyclopaedia of knowledge that can't fail to inspire whatever your budget or period of home.
There are dream rooms to emulate, there are little touches to replicate.
There are also practical tips you can use with ease, ways to organise your belongings in a stylish way and recommendations on how to plan your projects to successfully fufill what you envision.
It will help you add colour and life to your home, in however small or large a way you would like. I guess it's like having an interior designer all to yourself,whenever you need their advice you just need to open the book and turn the page! - kathryn
The content of the book is structured around 4 large sections: 1. Space Matters: 'using', 'linking', 'flexible', 'compact' 2. Setting Your Style: 'simple', 'natural', 'modern', 'flea', 'colourful', 'floral', 'eclectic', 'modern glamour' 3. Room by room: 'kitchens', 'urban kitchen', 'cook's kitchen', 'sociable kitchen', 'living spaces'... 4. Attention to Detail: 'finishing touches', 'mirrors', 'lighting', 'cushions', 'flowers', 'table settings'
There are many nice quotes by professionals or connoisseurs into interior decoration, most of them rather inspiring, although sometimes they might contradic one another, which is a reflection of the open-endedness of the publication.
There are specific case studies of homes discussed in further details.
Some pictures/examples are featured twice throughout the book, which might feel a bit cheeky, especially if the book is read from cover to cover.
It is actually advisable to read the book from beginning to end, then to come back to it according to your needs or interests at any given moment, as it is also to a great extent a picture book.
From this angle, it also puts the book under strain as there is nowadays an unbeatable picture book, ie. Internet.
But this book might prove especially useful for beginners in decoration, who need some pointers to start with.