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Be Your Own Decorator: Taking Inspiration and Cues from Today's Top Designers [Hardcover]

Susanna Salk
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
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Book Description

March 27 2012
Selecting favorite rooms from more than fifty renowned designers such as Kelly Wearstler, Bunny Williams, Albert Hadley, Nate Berkus, and Mary McDonald—and shot by the world’s top shelter photographers—Susanna Salk offers insightful advice on how to apply basic design principles to interiors.

Organized into chapters on balance, color, mixing, accessorizing, arrangements, rule breaking, and whimsy, Salk walks through the process of great design, illustrating how the featured designers made the decisions they did to make these rooms look so great. The book’s encouraging, conversational tone, practical tips and ideas, and quotes by the designers themselves explaining their philosophies empower the reader to create stylish, functional, and unique rooms of their very own.

Covering a range of styles from traditional to modern, formal to whimsical, and showcasing some of the best work by the best designers of our age, Be Your Own Decorator is a rich resource for the aspiring decorator.

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Be Your Own Decorator, by Susanna Salk, presents rooms by well-known designers like Jamie Drake, Ruthie Sommers and Kelly Wearstler that are intended to inspire readers to take things into their own hands." ~The New York Times

"Easy strategies to make the place where the day starts (and ends) more beautiful and comfortable." ~O - The Oprah Magazine

"For ages I have ripped pages from magazines, safely tucking them away for when I need inspiration. Now, it is as if my friend Susanna Salk did all of the work for me." ~AlltheBest.com

"...another example of the author’s ability to analyze trends and translate them so that they are easy to incorporate into our lives. It will be difficult not to dog-ear the big, gorgeous picture book." ~CamilleMaurice.com

About the Author

Susanna Salk is the author of Room for Children and Weekend Retreats and a contributing editor for 1stdibs.com and ivillage.com, as well as regularly producing decorating segments for NBC’s Today Show.

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Most helpful customer reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars Be your own decorator Sept. 27 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I found the book to be uninspiring with few fresh ideas. The photo quality also leaves much to be desired. Very poor choice on my part.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  30 reviews
71 of 77 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Video Review April 4 2012
By BeachBrights - Published on Amazon.com
A great reference for the DIY decorator who is looking to be inspired by others. Fresh looks & styles are captured in every photo. Many different styles, lots of color & great advice from some very talented decorators. Take a look at my video-I flip through the pages to "give you an idea" of what the book is about. Enjoy ;)
19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Valuable and Beautiful Reference Book March 29 2012
By Valortie Hart The Visual Vamp - Published on Amazon.com
If you are a decor maven, blogger, or an interior designer you undoubtedly collect hundreds, maybe thousands of images in good old fashion folders and clipping files, or in files on your computer. It gets a little unruly sometimes, trying to remember where you put a favorite image when you need it.
I always thought it would be a great idea to have a beautiful coffee table book filled with some of the favorite images of the rooms by the designers we all collect. And lo and behold here comes Susanna Salk's "Be Your Own Decorator".
First I love the empowering message of the title, allowing one and all to forge ahead to make a well designed room or home.
Add to this all the great images Susanna has curated and collected into this one terrific volume, and folks we have a winner here.
The book is organized in a way to be useful and aspirational, and Susanna writes to inspire.
Susanna is a wonderful expert and personality in the design world, and she shares so much for all to partake of.
So, buy this book, and enjoy!
33 of 38 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars I can't see clearly now April 17 2012
By Artful Codger - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read several reviews about this book and ordered it looking forward to rooms that were more liveable than the often overly done pictures in magazines. The photographs are lovely. There are some wonderful ideas to be gleaned from looking at them. The copy? Well, I've never been a fan of small type overburned on color. Particularly when the type is in a color as well. If the copy isn't worth reading, don't include it. The design of this book is truly abysmal. I'd even call it arrogant is its total disregard for the READER!
11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Back To My Magazines Aug. 9 2012
By nola - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I am a certified decorating book junkie, and for more years than I care to admit I have also been tearing pages out of magazines that catch my eye - possible projects, inspiration, or anything else. I was very excited about this book and hoped that it would allow me to perhaps throw away at least a few inches' worth of my beloved magazine pages. Well, bottom-line, I am so disappointed in the book I have returned it. Although there are some lovely pictures, it certainly does not reflect the best of each designer's work - merely what the author was given permission to re-publish. As mentioned by other reviewers, the text on the photos themselves is about the worst I have seen in years. Much of it is almost illegible, being close in color to the background photograph, or printed in a color that does not pop out, but merely blends into the page. Why bother adding text at all? If you are looking for a book that compiles different designers and their work, with legible and informative text (long or short), there are plenty of other fabulous books out there that offer much more than this book could possibly begin to offer. For now, I will get much more out of tearing apart my own magazines. In sum, very disappointing and a waste of money.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Do You Want to Learn from 100 Top Designers? May 1 2012
By L. M. Keefer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
If you are looking for ideas and inspiration from almost 100 top interior designers, this book offers a diverse, uniquely-curated collection of rooms.

Color, mix, arrangement, balance, whimsy, accessorizing and rule breaking are exemplified in rooms with some written tips. What is great about interior design is that you can learn by just looking--you don't have to read and memorize. Your eye is being trained by looking at great design.

In this book you can look at a room--there's 261 large pages of them--and see what your eye is attracted to. What are you being drawn to? What tantalizes you is clues to your taste and it might be an object or feature you want to incorporate in your home. You can learn a lot about your taste--and expand it--by approaching a room in this way.

Interior designer David Hicks said one of the most instructive exercises in art school was looking at everything and forming an opinion about what you see. Taste is about exposure. This book exposes you to the work of 100 designers working today. It's also instructive to identify what you don't like.

Although this is not an design "how-to" manual, tips are spread throughout. And then you can see how the tips look in actual rooms. Some favorites:

*"I always try to mix the humble with the grand. For example, the curtains are inexpensive Italian bedspreads." Bunny Williams p.18

*Linen is always a great foil to accentuate the architecture of an antique furniture piece while instantly updating it. Period damask would have made the room feel too stilted." Darryl Carter p.83

*Miles and I designed the big table to double as both a dining and a library table. When I'm not serving dinner there, it's stacked with books". Gil Schafer with Miles Redd p.163

*"A great deal of mid-twentieth-century furniture is inspired by eighteenth century models so mixing the two periods keeps the room from becoming static." David Kleinberg p.161

*"Most people just put a chest and mirror in a foyer. I love a banquette--it says 'kick off your shoes and stay awhile'." Melissa Ruffy p. 169

"This book is about emboldening you so you can embolden your rooms. I want you to be inspired rather than intimidated by my most favorite rooms from some of the best designers and tastemakers around," writes author Susan Salk. This book has a fresh, vibrant mix of rooms for you to study and be emboldened by.
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