‘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


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