‘Design Rules’ Book Review & GIVEAWAY

November 17, 2009

Several weeks ago, Gotham Books sent me an advance copy of Design Rules: An Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator, written by Elaine Griffin, an interior decorating specialist, and also rated one of the country’s top 100 designers by House Beautiful.  I was delighted to be included among the group of bloggers that were given copies of this text. 

Perhaps you’ve read a few of these reviews, like my friend Lindsay over at Living with Lindsay who wrote an incredibly insightful review, as did the marvelous Kimm at Reinvented.  Once I read their reviews, I simply had to read Elaine’s book cover to cover for myself !  I’m so glad I finally did, because I carried away dozens of helpful tips and tricks.  And now I get to giveaway a copy of this text to one of you !

Design Rules: The Insider's Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator, in stores November 3

Elaine breaks down what seems an intimidating science into simple, manageable, easy techniques for getting a designer look without actually paying for a professional.  She offers us all some very helpful tools to do it ourselves, like the proper scale and proportion of furniture, as well as many rules of thumb used by designers.  This charming and seasoned author and designer is sharing her knowledge so that her readers can truly decorate their homes themselves.  As an avid DIYer, this completely appeals to me.   

When we all admire the best designed spaces, what is it we notice time and again?  Take a look at this living room space designed by Elaine, and notice how several of her practical tips are incorporated. 

elaine griffin move sofa console table

The furniture is pulled away from the walls, floated in the middle of the room and anchored on an area rug, yet it still allows for proper flow of traffic.  There is a mixture of wood tones, and the clever use of the versatile console table, with its perfectly paired candlestick lamps.  The furniture is not upholstered in all the same fabric (a big design no no), rather there is a medley of complimentary textures and patterns in the fabric choices.  An upholstered ottoman serves the same purpose as a coffee table, completing the look with a practical tray, some flowers, and hardcover books. 

elaine griffin bathroom

In the bathroom, Elaine makes these observations.  Stylish bathrooms often use field tile to add wainscot to the walls that ends about 48” above the floor.  A guaranteed chic design even with simple white tile is when it’s installed in an offset pattern.  And when it comes to bathroom fixtures, it is perfectly okay, in fact encouraged, to be ‘matchy matchy’ with your faucet finishes. 

This book breaks down many of the tricks of the design trade room by room. 

Are you struggling with how to create a foyer where there is none, or how to fill your entryway with stylish yet practical furnishings? 

Do you long for tips on how to to display art in an interesting way ? 

Have you ever wondered where and how to install proper lighting, whether it should be overhead, direct or indirect, task or decorative?  

Want the skinny on proper proportion for coffee tables, end tables, sofa tables, and just about any piece of furniture ? 

Then you will value this book.   And if you want it all shared in a casual and laid back presentation, complete with plenty of honeys, darlings, and sugars, then you’ll appreciate Elaine’s informal writing style, and feel like this Southern gal’s best friend in no time.  You can pick up your very own copy of the book right here

For your chance to win a free copy of Elaine’s book Design Rules: An Insider’s Guide to Becoming Your Own Decorator, simply leave a comment.    

Giveaway ends Sunday November 22, 2009, at 8 p.m. PST.  One winner will be chosen by Random.org, and forwarded your own personal copy by Gotham Books.

All images via ElaineGriffin.com


349 Responses to “‘Design Rules’ Book Review & GIVEAWAY”

  1. les says:

    I love your blog and would love to win this book. Thanks!

  2. Melanie says:

    I could use this book right now with the move to the new house. We have a two story greatroom that is going to be a delimma to decorate.

  3. CindyJ says:

    Wow! This book looks fabulous! Can’t wait to read it!

  4. I’m asking for this book for Christmas–unless I win. ;-)

  5. DeboraR says:

    I could really use this book. Searching the internet for inspirational pictures of bathrooms is how I came upon your blog. (Love yours by the way!) It is so hard for me to make decisions..so many choices out there! Thanks for the opportunity to win this book.

  6. Grace says:

    I was about to order this book on Amazon but will wait to see if I am lucky enough to win this fantastic giveaway! Thanks!

  7. Robin says:

    That books looks exactly like what I need. One that I would use a lot. Thanks for the giveaway!

  8. Laura E says:

    Love the site – and would love to have this book!

  9. barbara says:

    Oh I LOVE your blog….!! What a wonderful book and I would love to be blessed with it..(ohpleasepick me). we are trying to juggle multiple home projects , some of them a ripple effect of the big fire 2 years ago….our french doors broke open and altho our street did not burn, others a few blocks away did and we had extensive soot/smoke damage, even a large ember found on our wood floor. we also need new windows….ripped out the carpet and wallpaper upstairs due to smoke (ins only pays for cleaning….our noses knew that was not enough!)…but new floor will be last…so many decisions to make and budgeting…YES! This book sounds like it would be VERY helpful! Thank you for considering me.

  10. Stacy says:

    This book is on my Christmas wish list! Maybe I’ll win it from you and save Santa the trip! ;o)

  11. robyn says:

    Ohh – if i don’t win I will have to ask for it for Christmas. What a great book!

  12. Jennifer says:

    This book sounds wonderful! Just what I need!

  13. kara says:

    I really really want this book. :)

  14. Jenna W says:

    I have so much to learn about decorating, this book sounds perfect!

  15. Yisenia says:

    I would love to have this book to referenceas as I go on my new DIY decor adventures.
    Thanks for posting.

  16. Rebecca says:

    Love your blog! We bought a fixer upper 6 years ago and have slowly (and budget-mindedly) been DIYing our way into the home we want. I would love another book on the subject!

  17. voula says:

    I really would love to have this book.Pick me, pick me, pick me!!!

  18. Emily says:

    Sounds like a great read. Sounds like it would be a good one to look over before our big Christmas party. That’s the excuse that I’m giving to all of my home projects. Not much more time left! Eek!

  19. Rena says:

    I need this book so very much! Thanks for the give away.

  20. Susan says:

    What a GREAT book. We rent, so I cannot knock out the wall between the family room and the formal dining room, or even put a couple of windows in there…I could really use this book.

  21. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for such a fun giveaway! This book looks great.

  22. Sounds like a wonderful book.

  23. Maryann S says:

    Wow, this book looks like it has great information — and inspirations. I would love to win this book. Love your blog! Thanks!

  24. oooohh i would LOVE to have this book! sounds like a fun read with lots of good tips :)

  25. Katie says:

    Sounds like a great book. I definitely need some help in the design department

  26. Smitha says:

    Oh I would love to get my hands on this book. Even though I know what I like, it’s hard to pull it all together, so some simple rules from a professional will definitely help.

  27. Laura says:

    Definitely could use these tips!

  28. Lynn in MD says:


  29. Kim says:

    Hoping for this new book! Thanks for offering it up! Someone will definitely be happy. :)

  30. stacey says:

    we are dreaming of our first house in the next two years, so this would be perfect to get us started on the right track!! :)

  31. Derrelyn says:

    As a younger newly married woman, who doesn’t come from a decorating background, I would LOVE to have this book. It would be such a valuable tool for me to learn. :)

  32. Jacqui says:

    I’d love to win this book! But I’m never quite sure if prizes can only be shipped in the US only? There are lots of us international readers out there :) Love your tree advent calendar. Cheers from Down Under!

  33. Jet says:

    This book looks so good! I think I’ll put it on my Christmas list. Unless I win it, of course!

  34. stephanie says:

    that bathroom is beautiful!

  35. Stephanie says:

    Thanks for the chance to win! I need all the help I can get!! :)

  36. Lisa says:

    Oh how fun! Thank you for offering this! I am so excited about learning more about home decor even though it’s overwhelming, lol. I just found your blog and am a HAPPY new follower. :)

  37. Jessi says:

    This book sounds awesome! We would be very helpful as we move into our first home in December.

  38. diXymiss says:

    Great review. I’d love to get my hands on a copy of this helpful book ~ thanX for the chance to win!

  39. Rebecca says:

    I have not been blessed with the home decorating gene and my poor little house suffers for it. I’d love have a copy of the book to break down the “rules” of good design into bite sized pieces for me. I love your blog . . . your foyer transformation made me want to add a second story to our house – just so I could copy it. :)

  40. Leslie says:

    I love your blog… hope to have a chance to win something ……at least one time in my life!!!
    The book looks GREAT!

  41. Amy says:

    Oh I need this book! A toddler, an infant, tons of kid stuff, all in 1100sf apartment. I need help!

    Or, I should just give in and move to the suburbs. But reading this book would be easier, no?

  42. Karen says:

    No one needs this book more than me! Love your blog. You are very generous in sharing your ideas.

  43. Stephanie says:

    This books sounds so helpful – our new house if still half empty, I don’t know what to do with it!

  44. TraceyCK says:

    That looks like a fabulous book! I an always use more creative ideas : }

  45. Katie says:

    I would love to win this book!

  46. Holisticgal Jen says:

    Thanks for the giveaway, Kate! Loved your dressers re-vamp-stunning gray-, and the advent tree was brilliant!

    Enjoying the daily eye-candy,
    Holisticgal Jen

  47. Terri says:

    OH, I need this help!! Thank you!

  48. […] better.  Why?  Why the lovely Elaine Griffin, that’s why!  You may recall I reviewed her book last year, and was delighted to find so much practical advice from one of the Top 100 Designers […]

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