Saturday, November 13, 2010

REVIEW: The Only Decorating Books You'll Ever Need

(part of this post is re-printed from my blog, The Blissful Bed and Bath)

Gorgeous, full-color home decorating books, whether on your bookshelf, coffee table or nightstand, can be a costly addiction habit. Just trust me on this one.

My friends often raise their eyebrows at my HUGE collection of home decor tomes. “YOU bought all of these?” Um, yes. What,  so because I’m an interior designer all my ideas are supposed to just pop into my head while I sip my daily organic green tea in my “meditation corner?” If only! I always say, a designer is only as good as her resources, and it’s my job to see what’s going on in the world. And besides that, these books are so pretty.

So then the next thing my friends ask is “Well, which one do you think I should get?” Which is, in fact, a sticky one because everyone’s taste is different and sometimes people don’t like what they think they like (does that make sense?)

Not to worry! To paraphrase Russel Wright, the best and most useful home decorating book I can recommend is for EVERYBODY. It truly is the only decorating book you’ll ever need (notice I didn’t say it’s the only one you’ll ever want, which is a different matter altogether.)  It has no photos(just drawings) and costs just over 10 bucks. And you know what else? It fits in your purse.
It’s Apartment Therapy: the eight step home cure, by Maxwell Gillingham Ryan, the mastermind behind the ba-rilliant Apartment Therapy website. Don’t let the title throw you, this book is a handy guide to every room/area of your home, whether that home is a tiny NY studio or a sprawling McMansion in Texas. What to know how to create an oasis of peace in your bedroom? It’s in here. Want to know how to make your home “flow?” It’s in here. (NOTE: This is not the “companion” volume, Apartment Therapy Presents, though that book is good too.) This book is compact and accessible, taking you on a process of self-discovery to help you make the most of your home, whatever that may be.  You can do the recommended “8-week cure” (even implementing some of his tips can make a huge difference) and you’ll not only have a happier, more peaceful home that feels like YOU, you’ll have a party at the end to celebrate with all your friends!

The other decorating book I find myself reaching for again and again is Tim Street Porter's Casa Mexicana. 
It's out of print, but very easy to find on Amazon and even in some stores. Even if you're not latina (like me) you'll find this book is filled with all kinds of ideas big and small, that you'll want to try in your own space. From the large, austere homes of Barragan, to festive ideas for table settings, art display and entertaining, this book shows all of the practices discussed in Apartment Therapy implemented in living color. And because Mexican interiors (like their American counterparts) come in a vast array of styles, I can safely say there's something in this book for everyone. I've had this book for at least 10 years and never run out of inspiration from it's vibrant photographs. If you happen to come across it in your local used bookstore-BUY IT!

So you see? I had to buy all those other books so I could be sure and recommend the best ones to you. And I’m afraid I’ll have to keep buying those big, expensive picture books, you know,  just to be absolutely sure. Because I care.

Wishing you love with extra cheese,
Nacho Mama

No comments: