Practical Guide to Interior Decorating
Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra QLD.
As reviewed in House & HOME Issue 47
A book on interior decorating aimed squarely at the home owner, rather than at the professional, is quite rare and there's no doubt author Carol Staines has filled a void.
She opens with some simple advice for readers to help them determine their 'style'. The book recognises that we all have different emotional needs to satisfy with our decorating and these have to be defined from the start. For instance, some prefer a nostalgic traditional look, others a homely rustic cottage feel, and for others the minimalist modern style is the go. The more clearly your needs are articulated, the easier it will be to take concrete steps towards attaining the look you want.
Basic design elements such as Balance, Tonal Values and Patterns are explained with the help of illustrations. Abstract concepts are examined, including the principle of Rhythm (which focuses on the location of patterns and colours in the room), Emphasis (the focus of a room), Proportion (classifying the relationship of one element to another in size), and Harmony (how all the elements in a room come together and 'pull' in the same direction).
The author explains the use of colour to create a certain 'mood' and the role of neutrals as a backdrop to bolder accents. Factors which affect colour appearance, such as the underlying texture of a surface, degree of surface glaze, location, and size of the application are discussed. Colour in relation to climate, light quality, age and style of house, even our personalities can affect the final result.
The planning and adaption of rooms for various functions - such as leisure or privacy - and specific solutions for problem areas are examined. The book offers criteria for choosing paints, carpeting, secondhand items and furniture, along with specific tips for renovating bathrooms and kitchens.
Thankfully, the author never beats around the bush nor does she get preachy. She recognises that Style is subjective and one person's likes aren't necessarily shared by others. Her guide to interior decoration is designed to help the reader determine - in a clear and practical manner - what they can do to successfully apply their own personal touch to their home.
Illustrations: Black & White and Colour
Finding Your Style
Principals of Design
& Their Functions
Environmentally Friendly Options