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3.8 out of 5 stars
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3.8 out of 5 stars
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on 11 April 2010
Don't get me wrong - I adore Kelly Hoppen - but I don't know what her publishers are playing at. They publish the exact same titles and content - with different covers - under different ISBN numbers. So now I have TWO books of Kelly Hoppen Style (one that shows a series of the same objects: stairs, chairs, screens, pots; and the other, which shows a staircase and two large wooden pots on a black floor). So much as I love her and I think this book is excellent - I really didn't need to end up with two.

Here are the lists of books that are duplicate but look very different if you look at her covers:
Kelly Hoppen The Golden Rules of Design (two versions)
Monochrome Home and Close Up are the exact same book with the exact same contents
Home has two different covers...

Don't judge these books by their covers - they are probably the same ones underneath!!!
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on 19 June 2010
Not having heard of the author before, I was somewhat taken aback by her extreme self-confidence: "I am aware that mine is a look that has spawned a thousand imitators. Yet few really tap into the essence of what I do. This book is for those who love my style, yet feel that when they attempt it, they slightly miss a beat" (p.6). Wow! Talk about speaking down to your readers.

Personally, I was not blown away by her designs, which look like they would best suit a somewhat uninviting, pretentious hotel, rather than a comfortable family home. A lot of the designs would require expensive structural alterations to a house in order to implement (glass walls, sculptured ceilings, etc.), so would only be useful if you were willing to hire an architect and builders. There are some nice, simple ideas, but these are under-represented and overused: I lost count of the number of times a spherical glass vase containing lengths of rope or coral makes an appearance.

But design is a personal matter, so I would not mark the book down on this alone. My major criticism is that the book doesn't do what it claims: it does not provide any "golden rules of design". There is nothing didactic about the text, apart from the occasional suggestion to "draw a plan". While there are text boxes that purport to be "Golden Rules", each containing five points on a particular aspect of design, they merely describe the accompanying photo. E.g. her number one, golden rule on Spatial Elements reads: "Curved glass panels set into the upper walls of this dramatic round entrance hall open up the space even further. The wood frames also make a visual link to the black lacquered floor below." (p.36). This is not a rule. The book contains no golden rules.

In summary, if you are a failing, wannabe imitator of Kelly Hoppen (whoever she may be), then, as she says, this is probably the book for you. If, on the other hand, you are looking for clearly-stated instruction on the basic principles of interior design, you should look elsewhere.
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on 23 May 2014
You're really paying to look at pictures, as there's little actual advice in the book. Kelly seems to be obsessed with the colour taupe, which is fine, but it's a little bit samey. It's all very minimalist - height of fashion etc. Everything looks expensive, mainly due to the muted shades and lack of tack that some people have littered everywhere.

There's something a little bit dull about the whole thing, and I suspect that lots of people aspire to her style simply because she designs for the likes of Victoria Beckham. But we don't all have that sort of money. Besides, I'm bored of everything being beige, beige, beige!
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on 27 February 2013
The book is full of pretty pictures but not really informative on key principles of Interior Design. If you have researched even a small amount on interior design this book will be superfluous to requirements.
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on 5 January 2013
actually disappointed. rules are rules good to follow but a little rigid, still worth having on the shelf - but not in trplicate
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on 24 February 2014
Just watch out if you buy the Hoppen series - Some of these books have different covers but the content is the safe
Be sure to do your homework
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on 20 July 2009
The illustrations in this book are truley captivating, however I found the written content balanced with the images distracting because I was looking for a book which offered quick referencing, but also design solutions to more conventional room shapes. This is a personal view, but it shouldn't put anyone off buying it.
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on 8 April 2013
I have looked at this book so many times- some times to just give me an idea and some times to make sure I am not making a costly mistake.[ I do some times forget the size of my rooms].
Kelly gives good advise on just designing for you and not following her. pictures are nice a good coffee table book
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on 14 May 2010
Kelly writes with passion and desire, as she always is about interior design. Book well worth having with really good information about design.
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on 26 July 2014
great ideas and beautifully put together
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