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Some good ideas, however...
on 17 November 2011
There are some good ideas presented in this book--this I shall not deny. However, there are some common decorating ideas that leave me speechless. For example, in many models, the room has piles of books scattered on tables or floors. This tells me people don't really read them, they just like a cluttered, Bohemian look. Which brings me to another point: the authors seem to advise the lady of the house to forego the traditional "tidy" look and go for the "we-were-met-by-a-hurricane" look.
Some of the design ideas proper were odd and off-putting. On p. 41 it is suggested one might make a hallway "intriguing and original" through use of a single, repeated motif. The motif in the picture is an American flag...12 that I could count. Such a design would suggest need of therapy, not originality. The previous page has a Prussian blue zebra print in the hallway, suggesting "an exciting lead-in to a serene living room".
The book does have strengths though. There are scenarios addressing all sorts of problems and difficulties, presented with resolutions. Small fixtures, paintings, tables and their uses are also covered. Perhaps the most useful to me was matching colors with respect to patterns (colour-matching is most successfully addressed in Kevin McCloud's "Choosing Colours".
I should recommend about 30% of the book; since one is unable to purchase the book by page, I reluctantly admit the book is useful.