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 Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a LifetimeSheila Bridges shares both professional and personal anecdotes as well as lots of solid information to help home and apartment dwellers make the transition from Ikea to eclectic, from milk crates to furniture that will endure for years. Furnishing Forward guides the reader through finding and implementing a personal style within a realistic budget, with advice on where and how to shop for quality pieces as well as working with design professionals to create the look you want. With its witty narrative tone and its design-by-personality-type approach, no other decorating book is as useful for a younger audience while displaying a timeless style. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
  Date Published 1/5/2005

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Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Bridges Hits Home Run
I jsut finished reading Bridges first full length book on design and I was amazed. Her advice about selecting and building a comfortable home enviornment hit the spot for me. I am in the market for a major living space overhaul to accomodate my new in home office and her advice was so practical. I have always been afraid to use colors and was inspired by the vaiety shown in the book. I could totally relate to her antedotes about our furniture life cycles. I think it is about time I get rid of my shag carpet and particle board furniture. The reading was light and easy, but very informative. The pictures are so great, the book qualifies for my coffee table.
Rated By: "twilliams131"
From: Boston, MA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Furnishing Forward
Great book! I can see why Time magazine named Ms. Bridges #1 Designer for 2001. This is the first design book that I have enjoyed reading. Usually I just look at the pictures. The writing in most design books is normally so distant and professorial...while Furnishing Forward is very personal and funny, yet also practical and relevant. The pictures, which are beautiful, are used to show examples of the writer's point...rather than to just "show off" beautifully designed homes.

I believe the book is is a must read for people who are transitioning from temporary apartment living to a real home. It takes a lot of the mystery out of an unusually upfront and truthful way. Due to my personal transition from "black-leather-sofa apartment living" to "a mix of antiques and country furnishings in a real home", I can relate to many of the issues and solutions provided by this book...and since this transition is never over, as the book points out, I will continue to use it as a reference.

Rated By: Gail L. Faulkner
From: Grand Blanc, MI
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Love the Book!
For the first time in the several years I have been "reading" books on interior design and decorating, Sheila Bridges writes a book I actually took time to read and enjoyed. She is humorous, down to earth, no nonsense, as well as practical. She writes as though she were sitting right there with you developing the client/designer relationship, walking the client through each step guiding and advising you on the simple yet elegant ways to decorate your home. Incorporating beautiful photography while defining the different styles of design such as modernism, eclectic, simple, country, classic,comfortable/casual is a unique touch. Anna Williams is an awesome photographer. As a team the book is dynamic! Sheila'a ability to demonstrate her diverse decorating styles makes her the designer of the century!

Great book! Great job to both the author and photographer!

Rated By: Peter Hellman
From: New York, NY
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Comments: No Frills Advice
I opened Furnishing Forward to the author's advice on dealing with "emotional-attachment" issues between married couples. It might have fended off some nasty arguments if both my wife and I had read it before we crossed swords over a matter as small as which constitutes the ideal trash can. "If compromise can get us out of the Cuban Missile Crisis," writes Bridges, "surely it can get us out of decorating disagreements." There's solid, ever so practical advice like that throughout this truly helpful book.
Rated By: "vrhphoto"
From: philadelphia, PA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: beautifully written and photographed, a book to treasure
What could have been so difficult to do, became an exciting and fun filled time when I followed the wonderful and practical suggestions shared in this beautifully written and illustrated book. Ms Bridges explains in easy to follow language, how best to turn your living space, whether it be a house or an apartment, into a comfortable and delightful home to enjoy with family and friends. When you're ready to express your own special taste in furniture and accessories, and before you toss all the 'old stuff', you will want to read and re-read this book with its splendid ideas. The book is also a 'find' for older folks, 'empty nesters' for example, who may be moving into a smaller space, not knowing what to hold onto and what to purchase for their new lifestyle. I am just beginning my own redecorating, and have saved time and money already by better planning. Buy it! Even after the decorating is done, I know I will enjoy browsing through it and sharing ideas with my friends.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Absolutely Fantastic
This book is awesome! The author/designer has very practical advice for decorating. It felt as if I was actually talking with the author instead of reading. The photography is great too! Ms Bridges' style evokes a classic and understated elegance that I am trying to adopt. I am anxious to get started on my next projects using what I've learned from this book.
Rated By: A reader
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Finally, Practical Advise on Decorating
I just finished Furnishing Forward. Sheila Bridges' advice on decorating is so straight forward and reasonable; she makes a novice decorator feel confident about the daunting task of furnishing a home. I also really liked the way the photos of the home in the book included many Afrocentric touches. Without ever mentioning it, she makes it clear that one can decorate a home expressing one's ethnic heritage without losing sight of the basic elements of design and good taste. Bravo!!!!
Rated By: HB2
From: San Francisco, CA
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Good insight. Great advice. Engaging pictures: What a Book!
Sheila Bridges, the self-described "walking, talking, fabric-wielding designer-decorator-stylist-psychologist-florist-accountant-collection agent publicist-attorney-trucker-analyst with a Stanley Powerlock twenty-five-foot tape measure", obviously knows the business and art of decorating inside and out. Great!-but the clincher is that she is able to convey this immense knowledge in such a straightforward and totally non-intimidating way. Her very use of familiar and enlightening quotations coupled with the witty chapter titles helps comfort the readers yet piques their curiosity with each turn of the page.
Rated By: A. Eastley "Mom and Reader."
From: United States
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Humourous and Helpful
This is a fun read, and doesn't take too long. GREAT pictures, and a very articulate and educated style. Bridges shares from her wealth of experience and expertise to convince you to furnish your home comfortably and with quality pieces that will last.

However, if you're looking for a book to help you learn how to design interiors, go check out Straight Talk about Design by Lynnette Jennings, or something similar.

It's a good read, but I wouldn't say it's worth the [money]. If I had it to do again, I'd go to a book club or get it used.

Rated By: M.D. Roettger
From: Clayton, MO
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Disappointing
After getting this book and being very disappointed-it offers nothing new and doesn't do as good a job of explaining design as some other books I have-I realized that all those positive and detailed reviews must have been written by the author or the author's friends. I feel cheated.
Rated By: K. Furlong "janeloo"
From: New York, NY
Rating: Rating Average
Comments: Traditional approach
Very pretty book - but rather tradional taste and style. Not a very thorough guide book - more of a coffee table book.
Rated By: Clrudy S Brown
From: Coral Springs, FL
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Comments: Looking for more...
I've seen many of Sheila's works in magazines so I anxiously bought the book for what I thought would be a more comprehensive analysis, interpretation and implimentation of her style. Instead I found myself reading thoughts and views but no real process to achieving the style.

As an apprentice and in the process of implementing what I have learned in my own home, I would not recommend this book as a tool for learning more for understanding a person's views.

Rated By: gizmoshore
From: Unavailable
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Comments: Boring...
Is this really a designer? I found this book completely lacking in interest with nothing inspiring or innovative. One humdrum and boring room after another. Quite plainly... "plain"! These rooms do not breath with any real "life" at least not for me.
Rated By: Barbara
From: San Francisco, CA
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Comments: Great Real Life Stories and Pictures
I really enjoyed this book! I found it very helpful to hear other people's stories about how their lives and their homes "grow together". The pictures were of rooms that I could easily see myself living in -- very "real", not too high-brow.

I enjoyed thinking about how I'd design my own home, once I leave my studio-apartment-of-many-years, and get my long-dreamed of condo!