The Weekend Australian - Travel - - NEWS -

A house, as they say, is not nec­es­sar­ily a home. To put your stamp on a res­i­dence (or as the breath­less life­style pro­grams would have it, “work with a blank can­vas”) takes cre­ativ­ity and some­times in­volves a risk or two. Aus­tralian stylist Emma Blom­field runs The Decorating School, an on­line busi­ness aimed at teaching home­own­ers how to “dec­o­rate with con­fi­dence”. This handbook is a nat­u­ral ex­ten­sion of her courses, il­lus­trated with line draw­ings show­ing how to place fur­ni­ture and ob­jects in myr­iad ar­eas. No one-size-fits-all ap­proach is go­ing to work, how­ever, so var­i­ous styling tips are in­cluded, even down to “cush­ion place­ment”. Square or lum­bar shape? Would two cush­ions on a three-seater sofa be enough? Four too many?

How to make a strong state­ment with art­work? Again back to those line draw­ings to find op­tions. Much of this looks like com­mon sense to me, plus ad­vice such as “a round ta­ble is ideal for chil­dren to play around … be­cause they won’t be bump­ing into sharp edges” does seem (um) bleed­ing ob­vi­ous. Bed­room ba­sics? Blom­field sug­gests “pieces that can be used to fur­nish a bed­room” in­clude … a bed. Wow.

The sec­tion on rugs is more help­ful, fea­tur­ing info on types of ma­te­rial, un­der­lays and how to zone off ar­eas in open-plan rooms. But the ed­i­tor of this oth­er­wise rea­son­ably use­ful and well-in­ten­tioned guide should be hiding their head un­der a sisal, hemp, sea grass or jute mat.


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