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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
4.6 out of 5 stars
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on 9 December 2009
I have a semi-professional interest in design and a very large collection of interior design books, but my husband has never looked through any of them with anything but cursory interest...until he saw this one. "It's quite good this", he said, which is high praise indeed from a Yorkshireman.

The Domino book is unusual because it features homes with normal (ie small) domestic proportions, is full of images that include unremarkable furniture from multiple periods (ie how real people live, with a mixture of scavenged, inherited and bought bits and pieces, not an array of expensive "design classics"), and solves practical problems (a baby's bedroom that doesn't look like Toys R Us; what to do if your dining table is not to your taste but too good to give away).

As another reviewer has mentioned, the book has a great double page spread in each section which uses key images to help you define your style, so you can choose furniture and fittings accordingly.

Finally, because the 1930s and 1940s were the golden age of American building, there are also some excellent ideas for kitchens and bathrooms of that period. No UK designer seems remotely interested in the humble interwar semi, and so there is a real lack of styling information for people wanting to avoid wholesale modernisation - amazingly, this US import could be just the job to help fill the gap.

I have taken one star off because the featured interiors do favour a very distinctive style, loosely summarised as "colourful/eclectic/timeless" - this is very much my own taste, but may be a little too hokey and feminine for some readers.
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on 29 May 2010
I trained as an Interior Designer years ago and having worked around the hotel design business, recently got back into designing residential interiors. I felt I needed reaffirmation of my skills and I could never find a book that de-constructed a room so you could see all the elements and how they were put together and why. Well, what do you know - here it is! This book is clear and simple to understand with excellent photos and sketches. The text is witty and informative and you really feel the team want to impart genuine knowledge rather than just showing you some pretty photos, or overwhelming interiors in houses most people could never afford to live in with horrendously expensive products.
Each area of the house is covered in a separate chapter, Living Room, Kitchen etc. with some real examples, floor plans and description. Then for that type of room the main pieces are covered - e.g. "sofas" and a variety of styles drawn and discussed with experts tips. Then a page on how to mix and match, then more decorating tips with LOADS of photos - solutions for any problems... more real examples...each chapter is gloriously endless!
Being experienced in commercial soft furnishings I can safely say the Decorators handbook near the back is very comprehensive but nicely succinct - with a really easy to understand guide to the terminology in Curtains, Pelmets, Blinds etc. through to Upholstery with lovely sketches.
I only gave it 4 stars not 5 because, as this book is not British, the "Big Black Book" at the back is absolutely US based so useless for UK readers although useful for websites (some companies are international)
Love it. Make a UK version please.
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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.
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Really quite impressed with this book which has a lot of attractive and achievable interior design ideas, but unlike many books and magazines, does not rely solely on impressive architectural features such as huge marble fireplaces and glass staircases, which most of us won't have in our own homes anyway.

No, the focus is more on things like arrangement of furniture (changing the layout to suit either cosy conversation, home cinema, or entertaining), and colour palettes (icy pink and white for a girly but grown up bedroom, expensive looking olive, grey and beige if you want to duplicate the boutique hotel look). There are lots of ideas that anyone could attempt even on a very limited budget - my favourites are the dark hall floor stencilled with oriental crysanthamums, and an office space created from a console table along the back of a sofa.

In addition to the beautiful pictures of the authors own interiors, there is also a lot of useful design information - how many people you can expect to seat at various sizes and diameters of dining table, which furniture styles work well together, and how the length of your curtains alters the look from modern and contemporary to romantic or luxurious.

Every chapter (themed around a specific room) also has a section on decor for smaller spaces, with suggestions such as using open book cases or wallpaper covered screens as room dividers. Tips for affordeable finishing touches included paired lamps (which pull an otherwise eclectic or 'messy' room together) and framed fabrics or papers in lieu of expensive artwork.

Though the book is based around an American design publication, some British traders are included in the stockists lists (e.g Cole and Son wallpaper, De Gournay), and others such as 1st Dibs ship internationally anyway.

Very good resource!
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on 30 June 2015
I bought this a few years ago and it still hasn't left my just-leafing-through rotation. The ultimate coffee table book, having it nearby has inspired me to get off my arse and do some prettifying on more than one occasion.
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on 24 July 2015
Nice rooms, but very American. I am not sure how many ideas will be usable over here as our rooms are SO much smaller. We also seem to have a much stronger clean-and-modern vibe than our trans-Atlantic cousins; I'd never consider having as much stuff around as they seem to think is normal...
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on 21 March 2009
This is a gorgeous little book with lots of pictures and nice straightfoward tips to decorating. Pretty basic stuff, don't expect any earth shattering tips that you wouldn't find in any magazine, but nicely compiled room by room makes this an easy and practical read.
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on 9 January 2011
I'll keep this short and sweet. I purchased this book for my sister and spent lot's of time looking at the reviews for this and similar books. It's a great book, so much so that she very nearly did not get it (but I decided in the end to puchase another for myself).

It really does not matter that it is American. The best book of it's type I have seen with ordinary house interiors that everyone can aspire to or at least see how some of it can fit into their situation. Lots of examples for every room not just one or two, and the small spaces part for every room is just great. Images are lovely and clear and the rooms are not just the boring minimalist white you see in most other books at the moment.

Great book - well worth the price!
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on 2 August 2015
This is a beautifully presented book, however based on some of the reviews here I had expected something a little more based in reality. I find this book a little over the top and not entirely practical for people in real (ie small!) London properties on real (ie small!) budgets. This is disappointing as it was bought as a gift for one of those people who has just bought one of those real (ie small!) flats on a real (ie small!) budget. Nonetheless it will make a lovely coffee table book.
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on 13 March 2013
I would greatly recommend this book to anyone. Buy it for yourself or as a present. It is actual, well presented, extremely informative and so enjoyable to read.I do owe a lot of interior design books and DOMINO is definitely one of my favourite. The little negative point is everything from the resources index come from America, ( American Authors) so unless you live there , you can benefit of the useful addresses that the book recommend but there are a lot of website addresses too, which is good.

I am confident that you will not be disappointed by this purchase.To keep and cherish.
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