Emmerling may have made a name for herself decorating homes in the Hamptons and the Carribean, but she's no great shakes when it comes to decorating for real folks, i.e., people who intend to live in their houses year-round. Sure, she's got the antique thing down, but her "trademarks," like the all-white sofa, are impractical for anyone with kids -- heck, they're impractical for anyone with a husband who insists on eating dinner on the couch (Emmerling mentions her children in the book, even includes pictures of them when they were younger, but they are suspiciously perfect in appearance and I began to wonder if they were real). Most of the tips in this book are over simplified, to the point of being flat-out silly. "How to Casually Throw a Blanket on a Chair" (just toss it!) or "How to Give Your Kitchen a Sense of Bounty" (put out bowls of fruits and veggies -- whoopee) are akin to wondering "If I'm serving Chicken Nuggets, What flowers should I put on the table?" (try red and yellow daisies for that casual, McDonalds chic...) If it's not insultingly simple, it's financially impossible: like decorating a living room in a day....which you can do (according to Emmerling) with several expensive antiques (presupposing, of course, that you can even locate such pieces) wall sconces (doesn't anyone ever have to rewire but me?) and collections of American primitives, the ammassing of which represents several lifetimes worth of work. I think she really believes anybody can do this stuff. I say, anybody with a big fat wallet probably can. For the rest of us? Puh-leez, Mary Emmerling...get real.