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 Home Rules : Transform the Place You Live into a Place You'll LoveNate Berkus, regular contributor on The Oprah Winfrey Show, contributing editor of O, The Oprah Magazine, and nationally renowned decorator, has created a book inspired by his belief that everyone should love the way they live. This step-by-step guide to achieving your own beautiful rooms is based on Nate+s signature style and innovative approach to design. As a small boy, Nate could often be found rearranging his room (as well as helping his mother and the other neighborhood mothers rearrange theirs). Throughout the years his passion continued to grow, and soon Nate was heading his own award-winning firm with an elite roster of clients. But it was Oprah Winfrey who gave Nate the chance of a lifetime-the opportunity to go into millions of homes around the world and join her mission to help people live their best lives. -It has been a dream come true that has absolutely changed my life,+ explains Berkus. -Not only has working with Oprah helped me redefine my own vision and purpose-but she continues to challenge me to use my own life to help others live better. And there is nothing that makes me happier or more grateful than to be a part of that.+ As Oprah always says, -your home should be a reflection of who you truly are.+ Nate says, no matter how much money you have, he believes that is so very true. -I am honored to share my love of design to help everyone make that dream real for themselves with this book.+
  Date Published 11/1/2005

Average Rating: Rating Average
Rated By: Nicholas Carroll
From: Smyrna, GA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Finally, an organizing book for a disorganized guy like me!
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 thank you Nate for publishing this. Its a Christmas gift I am giving to myself this year.
Rated By: Afdhere Jama, Huriyah magazine
From: USA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: all the rules you need in your home!
nate berkus wants you to transform the place you live into a place you will love. he really gives us the (sane) rules one needs in any home. it has a lot of moments where you really start to believe in the art of (interior) design.

simple laws, great outcomes. :)

oprah has been asking him to write a book. it has been a few years... but it is finally here. i'm sure it is going to become a bestseller as soon as it is on oprah's show... but it really is one that is deserving of all the success that it will get. it should be in every home.
Rated By: Amelia Bluestocking
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Bloom Where You Are Planted
In the modern, instant-gratification, "the grass is always greener on the other side of the fence" world, it is wonderful to find a common sense approach to making your home into "your" home.
Rated By: happy lady "cyn_the_win"
From: Provo, UT
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Thank you Nate!
What I love about Nate's book is that he is not afraid to give you HIS opinion of his likes and dislikes. That's what I want--someone to hold my hand and say, "This doesn't look good." He states in his book that he loves classic white subway tiles and that he's not a fan of a TV being on constant display in a family room or bedroom (unless it's the latest in technology). He even shares a few of his favorite color palettes with us. That's exactly what I wanted! HIS opinion. I love his style and want to incorporate his ideas into my home. Thanks Nate for giving us your opinions and guidance. I'll incorporate them for sure.
Rated By: A. Corn "jcorn59483"
From: Indianapolis,, IN
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: I've been waiting FOREVER for this book to be published
After seeing some of Nate's Before and After decorating transformations on Oprah Winfrey's show, I did a search to find his book on decorating, assuming that he HAD to have a book. But no, not a single one, even though he kept appearing on the show, and I kept searching for the inevitable book which I figured HAD to appear.
Well, now it finally has and,happily, it is just as wonderful as I'd hoped. For one thing, this is a guy who understands how to make very personal spaces which fit the person who lives there. Every one of his rooms are unique and each one contains personal touches, special momentoes or collections that are meaningful to the owner. These aren't rooms that not only delight the eye but made for living and, even better, they are often low maintenance and practical, even though they look luxurious.
I particularly like the fact that Nate realizes that most people have lots of "stuff" (CDs, videos, photos, books, children's toys) and those items need to be stored somewhere - so there is plenty of emphasis on attractive storage solutions where all those extra items can fit, leaving the room looking uncluttered.
This is also a guy who is not afraid to express his opinions (no wallpaper borders, please).
Finally, I have to admit it...I'd have bought this book just to be able to look at that cover photo. Brings a smile to my face every time I do. I'm looking forward to adding it to my bookshelf, cover facing OUT, so I see that gorgeous face whenever I walk in the room.
Rated By: Sally Wagner
From: Cleveland, OH
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: I love Nate, but not this book
Well, I very very very much could not wait for this book...since I loved watching Nate on Oprah.

I know people love this guy... and I do to... but there was A LOT of ideas/photos, etc. in this NEW book that I already saw in O: at Home magazine.

I was expecting a new book... full of new ideas and new photos...not a rehash of ideas.

Maybe Nate is too busy... but I didn't think he put much time into this.
Rated By: steve ""
From: Memphis, TN
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: NATE does it again
After watching Nate on Oprah for several years, and marveling at his creativity and style, I was pleasantly surprised to find his book just the same. Filled with great suggestions, and accompaning photos. The book was long in being released, but well worth the wait. Thanks Nate for sharing your decorating ideas with us all.
Rated By: Heather
From: Nashville TN
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Great Book
Really helps you figure out the things that will work best for you and gives you lots of great info to go on. I love to color pages. He gives you different color combinations and the feel they will give a room.
Rated By: Janice
From: Arlington, VA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Simple and Elegant
After watching Nate Berkus on The Oprah Winfrey Show, I went to the library to get his book, "Home Rules: Transform the Place You Live Into a Place You'll Love." Berkus went from room to room and provided suggestions and ideas on making each of the room more appealing and inviting. In addition, he covered topics such as colors, making the most of smaller places, and just organizing in general.

Personally, I find the his coverage of making the most out of smaller spaces very useful. Berkus suggested using light monochromatic scheme to make smaller spaces bigger as well as minimizing the amount of patterns. He also suggested the use of screens to allow a room to serve more than one purpose and that the place should be kept clean and crisp. Lastly he recommended that people use to use baskets or document boxes for storage.

This is quite a useful book to have to gain a better understanding of how to conduct make overs of various rooms. Berkus's ideas were simple, elegant and seemed easy to implement. Highly recommended!
Rated By: Handmade Christmas Cards
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Great
Nice cover, great advice. It is truly possible to change your place that you live in into a place that you love. The book is very much detail-oriented and offers a unique approach to decoration. I liked most of the ideas and recommendations in the book. I am in the process of redecorating a few of my rooms. I find his coverage of making the most out of smaller spaces very useful. Great ideas. Way to go Nate!
Rated By: Samantha Benson
From: Ft. Worth, Texas
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Hip and cool (also check out "Kitty Bartholomew's Decorating Style")
This is a very beautiful book, full of interesting and attractive ideas. Lots of celebrity homes that Berkus decorated, showing before and after shots.

The rooms in this book are quite cool and contemporary.

But if cozy is more your style, check out "Kitty Bartholomew's Decorating Style," which came out earlier this year. Kitty is another frequent decorator on Oprah's show. Kitty is less pushy than Berkus about telling you what colors and styles are cool and hip. Rather she leads you on a journey of discovery for what works for you and your family. Indeed, Kitty's book is much more family oriented.
Rated By: Little Miss Cutey
From: Melbourne, Australia
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Oprah's cutie pie
I love Nate Berkus. Not only is he hot, but he's so talented. I had only ever seen the work he's done on Oprah, and was glad to see that in his book is more of his work and some brilliant ideas. He's a master in what he does and the final outcomes are nothing short of incredible. I'd love him to do some work around my house. He's talking here on a par with most people. He understands that there's going to be major clutter in some homes and I love his storage ideas. I love his use of colours and the more I read this book, the more I want him to open up a branch of his design company here in Melbourne. I'm just sorry it took so long for this to come out, and hope that he'll write more books soon.
Rated By: A Reader
From: San Francisco, CA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: The emperor has no clothes
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...)
Rated By: Conan "The Contrarian"
From: Austin TX
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Wow, I needed this!
It's an understatement to say I'm disorganized. My home is like a perpetual "Before" picture with no apparent "After" possible. But this book has helpd me clean up my act so that I, too, now have a place to live that I love. This book spared me the necessity to get married just so I'd have someone to straighten up my mess. Thanks!
Rated By: B. Ackley "jumpstudios"
From: Douglasville, GA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A fantastic guide
The world of Interior design/Home decor books is for the most part a crowded and somewhat cluttered area. With Trading Spaces, Home & Gardens and even Pottery Barn entering the market there are so many choices for consumers to choose from.When I picked up Nate Berkus' book "home Rules" I was amazed and excited by the exciting and easy to follow decor book he had put together. Rather than a boring read into concepts behind design the book is a handy reference guide. The book is profusely illustrated and is broken up logically into sectiosn of the house. Nate gives examples of makeovers he has done, explains how to change the room you want to redo. Where applicable he has included a sidebar of helpful info. For example in the bedroom section he explains thread count, textile weave and fibers in quick easy to understand statements. The text is enough for you to get the idea but is brief enough to allow for more pictures. I have used this book and Kerryn Harper's equally fantastic book "Home" to give several places a fresh new look. A fantastic book!!
Rated By: Sarah F.
From: New York, New York
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Sarah F.
I think this book is just more of Nate promoting himself and his new found stardom, with little in the way of helpful tips to the novice homeowner. It isn't worth the money.
Rated By: Cynthia Patrice
From: Santa Fe, N.M.
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Oprah's shoe closet? Kirstie Ally's kitchen? Do I care?
I guess America is obsessed with celebrities, but I'm kind of tired of that obsession. So Nate goes in and organizes Oprah's hundreds of pairs of expensive shoes. Gosh, how helpful is that to me? And Kirstie Ally's kitchen? Who cares!!!

I'm more interested in MY house and what works for ME and MY PEOPLE, not emulating some self-important, secretly insecure celebrity.

As another reviewer mentioned, I got much more out of a book written by another frequest Oprah guest, Kitty Bartholomew.

Her new book, "KITTY BARTHOLOMEW'S DECORATING STYLE" is all about designing a personal home for you, your family, your friends, your life. That's what it's all about--something that feels good to me, not what one of Nate's celebrity clients may like. Who cares!!!!!

Try Kitty's book and feel good inside your own skin, and in your own house.
Rated By: KDrvol
From: Longmont CO
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A dissapointment if you watch Oprah
I looked forward, with great anticipation, for this book to come out. Unfortunately, it was a big dissapointment if you are a viewer of the Oprah show. The book is simply a recap of the room makeovers Nate has shown on Oprah, along with the same commentary. There is very little that is new in this book. A producer on the Oprah show could have put it together and published it. The book does have detail in the back of the companies Nate used as resources, which might be helpful to some. I hope Nate writes another book that uses fresh material.
Rated By: A Penguin Lover who Adores Books
From: Oshkosh, WI
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: What's all the hype?
I believe Nate is getting the same treatment as Dr. Phil. Everyone gets in a frenzy just because Oprah likes him. Frankly, I don't understand what is go great about either Nate or Dr. Phil. They are pretty ordinary and give ordinary advice that has been heard before. I don't recommend the book. I took it out of the library and ended up taking it back the next day.
Rated By: Jody A. Iddings
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: excellent book, great advice
loved the book. I am in the middle of decorating my house and this had some wonderful advice. Loved the color combinations advice. Nate does some amazing work. Wish I had the money to hire him myself.
Rated By: C. Guariglia
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: A bit disappointing
I expected more good ideas from Nate after seeing the "magic" he can create on Oprah. Beautiful book but I really didn't come away with new ideas.
Rated By: M. Bernhardt
From: Austin, Texas
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Fabulous as Nate is!
Nate has written a design book with easy to follow design rules. I read a lot of design books and I love his ability to put things into rules and steps that are easy to follow.This is a great book for anyone to use.
Rated By: D. B. Lieberman
From: New York
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: NoSubstance
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.
Rated By: Teresa Blackwell "tara-jane"
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Nice photos, but I didn't find it helpful at all
I saw a lot of lists of rules, some of which seem to be good advice, but no real directions as to how to use them. Personally, I am looking for help and guidance. This book did not provide what I wanted.
Rated By: P. Robichaud "prisrob"
From: New England USA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Making Your Home Your Greatest Pleasure
Making your home your greatest pleasure is a luxury we all need to indulge. Small luxuries, big dividends. Good sheets, plush towels, down pillows, and fine soaps make you feel pampered. Splurge on the highest quality you can afford, one special purchase at a time. Nate Berkus, "Home Rules"

Nate Berkus was born in California and moved to Illinois with his decorator mother. He knew at an early age that he had the talent for design. He began at a young age by moving and placing furniture with his mother's direction. He graduated from Lake Forest College, and took a job with an auctioneer, and then on to an internship in Paris where he really developed his love for decoration.

I am redoing my home and this book is invaluable. The book is divided into chapters "Inspirations, Color, Family Rooms, Small Spaces, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms and Organizing. At the end of each chapter are Nate's `Home rules"-a simple list to follow. These are ten rules or ten questions or ten statements to ask yourself.

For example in the chapter on"Color",
"Rule number 2:
Try out my rule of four. One color top to bottom can be a bore, two might work, three can be interesting, four adds up to a rich, sophisticated scheme."

You learn how to organize your life and your home. The home rules are but one part of this book that is so helpful. You start to think "outside of the box", which "hue" is you, which look is you, what is your idea of luxury, and creating a grand scheme. How to map and plan your ideal room. What is important to you and to your family? This is a book that lets you know that you do not need a great deal of money to change your home. Color and a few pillows will do wonders. You can move from one area to the next according to your budget. My favorite chapter of all Is "The Bedroom". `'Make the bed luxurious and inviting. Serenity is key. Have lights on dimmers. Make your bed every day. You'll feel accomplished and organized right from the start.

The photography is marvelous. The photographs are colorful, taking you from `before' to `after'; disorganized to the organized; from the simplest colors to the hues of a masterpiece. The principal photography was completed by Fernando Bengoechea, John Bessler, and Francois Dischinger.

This is a book to keep on your coffee table, on your desk, or in your bag. I take mine with me while I am browsing the stores or Lowes, or Home Depot. Where ever you are, look around and take in the sights and colors. Ask questions of your friends or someone whose taste you admire. "Make the business of the day a pure pleasure". Highly recommended. prisrob April 7, 2006
Rated By: Sonya "readaholic"
From: Dallas, TX
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Just Your Average Hyped Decorating Book
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.
Rated By: Seattle Sue
From: Unavailable
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: VERY Disappointing...
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.
Rated By: Kyle M. Menard
From: Orlando, FL
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Nate Berkus is hot
I'm not going to lie. The guy is too hot, and that's why I got the book.

Good overall detail for the imaginaton in designing. Great book for city life designing. Fantastic idea's and design issue's to ponder for yourself.

That sums it all up. Save yourself 45 minutes, and skip the rest of the reviews. Oh, and get the book. ;>