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Home Swell Home [Hardcover]

Cynthia Rowley , Ilene Rosenzweig
2.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (20 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Aug. 27 2002
"Sex and the City" meets Martha Stewart in this savvy and eclectic interior-design manifesto for high-flying chicks with nesting fantasies from the authors of the bestselling "Swell: A Girl's Guide to the Good Life."In their first breakthrough style manual, fashion designer Cynthia Rowley and former "New York Times" Sunday Styles editor Ilene Rosenzweig showed girls-on-the-go how to navigate the world with a little swagger and a lot of grace. Now they're taking the "Swell" aesthetic home with this inspiring guide to creating the ultimate dream pad. With more of the friendly tone and wry wit that lit up their first book, they introduce the idea of haute decor: How to make dressing up your home as exciting and accessible as buying a new wardrobe: Making it sexy. Trying new looks. Breaking rules. Mixing retro with modern. Changing with the seasons and your moods.Offering a blueprint for the entire creative process, the two best friends and coauthors take you from inspiration to practical execution. Tour the swell playhouse room by room and see how design daydreams inspired by movies, a Palm Springs vacation, a painting, a favorite dress, or your own personal nostalgia (for the Brady Bunch living room) can become reality.Full of the authors' own anecdotes and wisdom from a pantheon of swell style heroes, "Home Swell Home" has household hints, tips, and bits of history on everything you wish you'd known but never would have thought to ask. Some of the tour highlights ahead: The sixty-minute makeover for whenromantic company's comingA recipe for a four-star dining room(hint: logo-print slip covers)Furniture EMS to resuscitatedoomed hand-me-downsTurning theunderused kitcheninto a day spaWiring "moonlight" into your treesCreate the ultimate sitcom screening roomThree new uses for your coffee table"Paint" the walls with coloredfluorescent lights Get real paint out of your hair!Swinging from uptown decadence to downtown chic, "Home Swell Home" demystifies design, sweeps away snobbery, and shows how any house or apartment can be a place for high-style adventures. So come on in!

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Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Time to redecorate. Read the first page
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Concordance
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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Back Cover
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Is this for real??? March 11 2004
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This book was a disappointment. There is a small handful of good ideas (ie. using frayed denim as a bedskirt, paintng one wall a bright color and the rest of the walls white, hanging hooks on the bedroom wall to hang your outfit for the next day, etc.). However, the remaining totally absurd ideas, the constant suggestions of having a bar/minibar throughout various rooms of the house, the abuse to books (nevermind perhaps reading the books and enrichening oneself), and the flippant suggestions to just have your carpenter come over and do the work made me think the authors are just a bunch of arrogant mindless rich witches most likely on drugs. Not everybody can afford to own a place or hire a carpenter/contractor, especially during these times. The real creativity lies in making something wonderful with little resources. I also did not appreciate the broad generalizations they make and hold as truth, such as stating it is a known fact that people who can cook cannot make a good cup of coffee. Ehhh? I don't think so. This was the most irritating book to read, and I had to force myself to read it through to the end. I really felt like burning it when I finished reading. And I consider myself pretty open-minded.... It's amazing how much crap gets allowed to be published.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Cute gift or coffee table book, but... Jan. 30 2003
By A Customer
Format:Hardcover
This makes a cute gift. It's colorful and fun (like other "Swell") items, and a cute concept. It's a quick and sometimes humorous read. However, I found the prose a bit forced, i.e. trying too hard to be "zany" and "edgy," and the contents seemed a bit random. To me, it read like a book that was just cranked out by the authors due to publishing pressure (following the success of their original book). The authors even mention a couple instances in the book where they were trying to find inspiration in order to finish certain sections, and there are a few editing errors (typos, grammar). The authors also make several references to alcohol/bars/hangovers, which I found a bit odd (due to the # of times)... Maybe I'm just getting old (38). This book would likely be best for gals seeking ideas for college dorm room or first apartment, etc. Not so good for someone looking for more realistic/mature (albeit fun) home decorating inspiration. In sum, I liked the pretty cover more than the contents. [Note: Check out Target for the new line of "Swell" home dec items designed by these authors--colorful, very fun, reasonably priced--the design aspect is really these ladies' forte.]
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2.0 out of 5 stars yawn. Sept. 22 2002
Format:Hardcover
I actually had put this book on my wish list before it had come out - but decided to check it out at the bookstore before ordering on Amazon. First off you'll notice the book is thin, at only 192 pages, and remember that includes the intro, index, and bibliography, etc. Keep in mind that this is not coffee table sized hardcover either, but around 9 X 7. There are also no real pictures (save for one of the two writers/designers on the last page). A decorating book with no pictures? There are illustrations, but c'mon, we're not talking detailed images or even very imaginative ideas. I kept on going back to the table of contents thinking that I must have missed something, that they were somehow hidding pictures, or projects, or different colour schemes or anything, but alas no. If you're really looking for a swell guide to designing your digs this is surely not it. I'm pretty sure I wrote something like this book a few years back for a college 'zine. Trying for a groovy 'It' girl look? try checking out my lists, or check out design books by period, get a feel for your style, which designers you like, which period you like. If your interested in this book, i'd put the time periods around 1940s and on.
PS for some kooky rooms but great projects check out Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living -- by Matt Maranian.
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5.0 out of 5 stars a swell read from the swell gals Sept. 13 2002
Format:Hardcover
These two Swell-villistas definately took their fun loving spirit from "Swell: a girl's guide to the good life" and placed it back into this new "girl's guide" But don't be fooled, it's not just for chicks. My manly-man buds LOVE this book almost as much as I do.
This book is FILLED with room ideas that can fit even my budget. Not only that, but their room/decorating/living ideas are NOT ANYTHING LIKE all the other "interior decorating" books out there. It's not about a couch in the living room, bed with a (boring) headboard, bathroom with guest towels book. These wonderful feme fatals take the "rules" of decorating the same way they take on life: SHAKEN AND STIRRED with a healthy dash of humor.
anyone who wishes they were a secret agent, rock star, fashionista, or even a rugged outdorsey camper will get what they're looking for in this book. I can't stop reading it (along with the original SWELL).
Oh, and it helped me redecorate as well ;-)
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5.0 out of 5 stars Such Fun and Inventive Feb. 8 2003
Format:Hardcover
I love Cynthia Rowley and Ilene Rosenzweig's "Swell" series. I have every edition and must confess that I am a bit of a "Swell" addict. I found "Home Swell Home" really up my alley. I love home design and decorating. I love Cynthia Rowley. And, I love illustration (which is very glorified in the "Swell" series).
This great book is a mix between Martha Stewart (traditional) and modern chic. I find each idea very creative and while some thing's I would never attempt (way too "out-there") but there are many ideas that I have and WOULD do. I love their sense of fun about everything. From throwing a dinner party - to painting a room. It's all done with a sense of style and humor. I really love that and I will always try to bring that into my design and home.
Love the entire "Swell" series and I will continue to follow their work for as long as they do it.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Waste of time
This book has dumb dialogue and so few pictures it's a shame to call it a design oriented book. The swell line is adorable and I believed this book to be something that would play... Read more
Published on Oct. 31 2003 by niki
1.0 out of 5 stars cloying and silly
theme rooms. Wow, nobody ever did that before. turn your kitchen into a spa with river stones in the sink! Read more
Published on Sept. 23 2003 by lulu
2.0 out of 5 stars not so great
I was expecting more. For some reason I felt like this book would be more exciting and have better information. I was dissappointed. Read more
Published on July 19 2003
5.0 out of 5 stars Swell!
This book was so much more fun to read than any other (home/interior). It gave me ideas true to teen spirit and inspired ideas true to ME. Read more
Published on July 2 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars YUK
I should have read the reviews before I bought this. It comes off as trite (no new ideas here) and more than a little tacky and cheap in tone. Read more
Published on May 28 2003 by J.B. Sloan
1.0 out of 5 stars I had expected more inspiration and fun than this
I thought this book would be more inspiring and have more new ideas than than it turned out to have. Read more
Published on March 3 2003 by tommie van deusen
1.0 out of 5 stars A ....
This book doesn't contain very many pages. It also doesn't contain very many ideas. The ideas the book does have are old hat. And who are Cynthia Rowly and Irene Rozenweig?
Published on Feb. 20 2003 by L.O. Franchini
1.0 out of 5 stars Huh?
And the concept is? I'm mad at myself for buying this. I'm tired of being sold meaningless concepts. I wanted a book, dammit. Read more
Published on Feb. 12 2003
1.0 out of 5 stars silly bit of fluff
I got this as a gift, flipped through it and threw it away. The title suggested that it was old, and the content proved the point. The ideas are nothing new. Read more
Published on Feb. 7 2003 by Mervyn Passanante
1.0 out of 5 stars total fluff, total waste of money
I agree with the reviewer who said that the swell concept is forced. This entire book is forced, trying to be cool when it's simply a regurgitation of old ideas or commonsense... Read more
Published on Feb. 5 2003 by Alix Leonard
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