Very Practical Guide to Interior Decorating
The Easy Guide to Decorating like the Professionals
by Carol Staines

(Australian Publication)

235 x 275mm

Published by Pinedale Press, Caloundra QLD.


ISBN 1-875217-19-3

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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
Decorating to Meet Your Emotional Needs
Lifestyle Issues

The Principals of Design
Design Principle of Balance
Design Principal of Rythmn
Design Principal of Emphasis
Design Principal of Proportion
Design Principal of Harmony

Colour in Combinations
The Role of Neutrals
Influences Upon Colour
Accents in Colour
Colour in Combinations
Colour & Decorator Items
Using Pattern & Colour
Colour & Your Lifestyle
Adjusting Colour for Climates
The Importance of Tonal Value

Rooms & Their Functions
Planning Spaces
Planning Comfort Levels
Design for Privacy
Decorating Poorly Designed Spaces
Renovating the Bathroom
Designing Laundries
Designing Kitchens
Buying a New Kitchen
Kitchen Benchtop Choices
Creating Space in a Small Kitchen
Buying a Stove & Oven
Buying a Dishwasher
Buying a Fridge
Sleeping Areas
Work Home Offices
Outdoor Entertainment Areas
Overcoming Poorly Designed Spaces

Furniture is a reflection of an Age
Furniture Placement
What Makes a Good Design
Making the Best Choices
Space is Important
Identifying Quality Furniture
Purchasing Mattresses
Buying Second Hand Furniture
Purchasing Metal Furniture
Collectable Furniture

Using Decorator Materials
Painting & Paints
Understanding Paint Bases
Buying Painting Equipment
Employing Painters
Heritage Houses
Buying Floor Coverings
Buying Window Coverings

Environmentally Friendly Options

Hands On Decorating
About Renovating & Redecor
Learning to Visualise
Decorating in Tropical Regions
Decorating Expensive Houses
About Older Houses
Renovating a Period Bathroom
Renovating a Period Kitchen
Having Tradespeople in Your Home
How to Compare Quotes
What are Acceptable Standards?

Decorating to Resell
Getting Ready to Decorate
Common Decorating Problems