Decorating - General
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||November 01, 2005|
|Average Customer Rating:
|| based on 60 reviews|
Average Customer Review:
( 60 customer reviews )
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167 of 178 found the following review helpful:
NoSubstanceMar 21, 2006
By Charmed Life
I picked this book up looking for lots of ideas for the home I have just bought. Maybe Nate does great stuff on Oprah's show, but I can honestly say I did not get one new idea after reading all 175 pages of the book.
What I did get was a lot of fluff--- wasted space made up of glossy photos of Nate (barefoot on his couch, hailing a cab in the city, at the flea market), empty statements like "Candles and soaps are wonderful luxuries, indulge!" and really common sense tips like 1) keep kids stuff organized in easy to reach places 2)use pretty boxes/baskets to stow away your stuff, 3) if you want open cabinets in your kitchen make sure you keep them organized.....etc. etc.
For the size of the book I was expecting more before and afters, and a lot more how-tos. The photos were beautifully done, but too many of them were of Nate and not of interiors.
Some of the makeover projects featured inside I recognized from O at Home magazine. Nate claims to have "too many makeovers to include in the book" and yet rehashes some of the same ones that were already featured in magazine spreads!
Overall, I came away with nothing from this book other than a sense that Nate Berkus is hugely overrated.
Stick to reading the occasional design magazine and you'll be in much better shape.
91 of 98 found the following review helpful:
Just Your Average Hyped Decorating BookApr 18, 2006
By Sunny Skies
I am really glad I checked this book out of the library. I would have been really upset if I had paid for it prior to reading it. I had never heard of Nate until I happened to watch an episode of Oprah (which I hardly ever do anymore) and saw his decorating style. The show was touting his new line and new book.
* Nice blend of a kind of contemporary/modern traditional style
* Large font is easy to read
* Nice photography
* Like his color combination choices (not too out there or garish)
* MAJOR PROBLEM FOR ME: The "Before" and "After" pictures often did not gibe.
The "After" pictures were almost consistently of a different viewpoint than the "Before" pictures. I spent quite a bit of time trying to figure out what area of the room the "After" picture was shot. On page 68, the "Before" picture shows two window on each side of a narrow wall with a picture. The left window is next to a counter/bar area. The "After" photo shows a room with one window. Is it the same wall or another wall in the room? I honestly could not tell, the bar isn't in the photo and there is part of a chaise in the "After" picture.
* "After" pictures missing a "Before" picture or vice versa. On page 52, the "After" picture shows a beautiful room with a window...there is no "Before" picture.
* Very little explanation of how and what he did to get to the "After" product. On page 99, there is a "Before" and "After" of a kitchen. The "After" description says, "Wallpapering the cabinet's recessed door panel gave...a custom decorative touch". The "Before" pictures do not show recessed door panels! Did they put in new cabinet doors? Did they keep the existing doors and put a paneled edge on each of the cabinet doors after they wallpapered? What did they do?
* The "Home Rules" are list of 10 "rules" that appear throughout the book - basically common sense or things you already know...but it fills up a page quickly. An example of these rule (from page 141): 1) Make the bed luxurious... 2) Serenity is key, so keep wall color soothing... 6) Use an armoire or cabinet to conceal the TV when not in use; 10) Make your bed every day.
This book has definitely been hyped up, which is okay with me, if it lives up to the hype. With all the hype, I would expect this book to contain some useful, innovative information, it doesn't. I would suggest others check it out of the library and determine if it is something you would find useful. I determine whether to buy a decorating books based on if there are great designs, decorating info or photos that I would refer to again, this book meets none of that criteria for me.
I would recommend HGTV Before & After Decorating by Amy Tincher-Durik (even if you are not an HGTV fan) or Real Life Decorating: Your Life, Your Style, Your Home by Linda Hallam.
142 of 156 found the following review helpful:
Finally, an organizing book for a disorganized guy like me!Nov 03, 2005
By Nicholas Carroll
When I saw this book, I was glad he decided to publish a book of how to create/maintain your own unique style. I have seen him on a few episodes of Oprah and think he is a great designer, as he finds out what the owner likes/dislikes and uses creative ideas to transform inexpensive things into beautiful works of art. His sense of style proves that you don't need a whole lot of money to transform your living abode into an oasis worth coming home to at the end of a long, busy workday. His book features many great photographs, which will inspire you to find your own style. This book is great to get for your own reference and makes an outstanding gift idea for that friend of yours who may need a little help getting his/her place in order. For a guy like me, having difficulty organizing my things into a comforting style, I'm very appreciative of this book. I've been wanting to get a home lifestyle book for some time now and am glad I waited. The others seem to be a bit too "trendy" for my tastes, and Nate Berkus is a down-to-earth kind of guy who knows style...so thank you Nate for publishing this. Its a Christmas gift I am giving to myself this year.
48 of 52 found the following review helpful:
The emperor has no clothesJan 03, 2006
By A Reader
Nate Berkus is the "organizer for the stars". As an ordinary person, I found this book totally useless. The book jacket claims Nate will "transform the place you live into a place you'll love...[Nate will] hold your hand through the whole exciting process... reveals his award-winning decorating tips and innovative organizing ideas". The book shows makeovers of Hollywood stars' houses. The makeovers in the book include Kirstie Alley's house (a kitchen remodel that must have cost at least $250,000) and Oprah's closet (which is about the size of my entire house). The before and after pictures are not from the same angle, so you can't really see what was done in the makeovers in the book. More importantly, however, Kirstie Alley's house and Oprah's closet don't really help me with my ordinary suburban organizing and decorating problems, like piles of papers on the kitchen counter and mismatched furniture. The book is filled with such organizing and decorating "tips" as "shutter the clutter", "carve out a corner where you can be inspired", "tile not in style", and "seek sleek storage". However, the book gives basically NO USEFUL IDEAS for HOW TO "shutter the clutter", "carve out a corner", or "make every inch [of a small room] count".
A book that I have found helpful is The Organizing Sourcebook by Kathy Waddill. She emphasizes making an honest analysis of who you are, where you are in life (new job? new mother? just moved?) and how you live, and taking these factors into account when you try to re-organize or redecorate (don't try to pretend you are Kirstie Alley or Oprah...)
43 of 48 found the following review helpful:
VERY Disappointing...May 10, 2006
By Seattle Sue
Well, I have to admit that I am a self-admitted design junkie! I am familiar with most of the television designer/decorators out there and have a fair collection of books on the subject. The amount of real and useful information in this book could have easily be covered in a short magazine article. Nate is selling "Nate", not creative design, (like many others I'm sure, I was suckered in by the "image"...) Put side by side with Candice Olson's new book, which I also just bought, this one doesn't even register on the scale (and it's twice the price). Do yourself a favor and check out Candice's book first. It runs circles around this one for content, ideas, before and after photography and most of all really great design.
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