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.