Decorating Ideas for the Pyromaniac

Nell Hill's Rooms We Love - Mary Carol Garrity
You know how Good Housekeeping and Redbook both have sections, like, 20 Ideas to Transform Your House for Fall for Under $50, or something like that? This book is pretty much just like that.

...And that isn't necessarily a good thing.

Maybe it's because I don't live in the Midwest, but I found a lot of these decorating ideas tacky. The hunting lodge living room, for example, with the plaid armchairs that looked like they'd been made from old flannel shirts - so not me. Especially when you mix prints! No, no, no, no, no. And mounting animal heads on the wall is just plain tacky. One house also had these hideous mugs made to look like the Kings of England. They were the kind of stuff nightmares were made of. I also wasn't too keen on the flower wreaths. They looked like something you would have to make as a class project in elementary school, and quite messy.

I think for people trying to make their house look expensive on a small budget, this guide might be useful. The photography was lovely and some of the decor was quite nice, but as a whole, I don't think I would make this my refurnishing bible. Another thing I noticed was how inconvenient (and even unsafe!) some of the decor was from an ergonomic perspective.

1. One house had a bench built into the wall of the foyer. About two feet above the bench were a row of coat hooks. Not only would the bench keep the coats from draping, causing them to bunch up on the seat and wrinkle, but it is a hazard for people sitting on the bench to get nasty bruises and cuts.

2. Another house had a little kitchenette built into one wall. They had a rail for hanging shirts over the stove, and the curtains of the window were literally right next to the oven. If that doesn't scream fire hazard, I don't know what does. (And why would you hang shirts over the stove? To dry them? Why not use the dryer?)

3. The third bedroom had a chandelier hanging over the bed. This isn't quite as bad as the two former issues, but it still is a potential hazard. I wouldn't want a heavy construct of glass and metal and electrical wires dangling over my head. It's like a ticking pendulum.

Maybe this book just wasn't to my taste, though I think people should also consider safety when refurbishing, refurnishing, and remodeling their homes.

1.5 to 2 out of 5 stars.