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 Decorating Basics: Styles, Colors, Furnishings (Better Homes & Gardens How to work confidently with color, fabric, collections, furnishings, and accessories in a chosen style (French, modernist, traditional, Southwestern, country colonial).
  Date Published 8/15/2001

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Rated By: Joseph Boone
From: Irvine, CA
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Comments: A Great Primer on Decorating
This is everything you might hope for in a basic decorating book. The first half is devoted to illustrating various styles of decorating and explaining how to make them work. The selection of motifs is quite eclectic (although not exhaustive) so there is something for everyone here. The remainder of the book discusses design elements such as colors, patterns, furnishings, window treatments, etc. The focus throughout is on giving concise, practical advice with over 200 color photos to support the text.

This is an easy read with a wealth of useful advice and a more than adequate number of pictures to help generate ideas. Want to know how best to showcase a collection? Trying to figure out which color to paint the walls to best highlight your wood furniture? The answers are here along with a great many other common issues.

If this book has a limititation, it is this. It is not an encyclopedia of decorating, it's a starting point. Since the title of the book is Decorating Basics, however, I do not consider this a flaw. For a modest price, you can get a great book to get you started on visualizing what kind of decor might work for you.

Rated By: Amy Hilliard
From: Glen Allen, VA
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Comments: Not such a great deal
The price may be cheap but you get what you pay for. I think that there are other books out there that do a better job of introducing interior decoration to first timers. This book did not show a wide range of design styles and the pictures are starting to look out-dated.

Recommendation: Choose another book.

Other Sources: If you want a better basic introduction to interior decoration, I suggest 1000 Practical Ideas for Home Decoration. This book even has tips for those who are design junkies. It has beautiful photographs, and many different styles are represented. Plus, the author has a great sense of humor. If you want to learn more about different design styles in particular, a good choice is The Ultimate Home Style Guide by Katherine Sorrell, or try the books from the Architecture and Design Library. They have books on styles ranging from Arts & Crafts to Retro Modern and from India Style to Mediterranean Style.