Home: The El­e­ments of Dec­o­rat­ing


This lit­tle book, by a Syd­ney-based dec­o­ra­tor and stylist, is the most prac­ti­cal guide to in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing I’ve yet laid my hands on. Call­ing it a cof­fee ta­ble book would be to do it a dis­ser­vice. De­spite its pe­tite size, this is an hon­estto-good­ness man­ual, full of prac­ti­cal ad­vice, such as sug­gested floor plans for your liv­ing room (which dif­fer de­pend­ing on whether you pre­fer a con­ver­sa­tional or tele­vi­sion fo­cus), cush­ion con­fig­u­ra­tions for so­fas and beds, and the amount of push-back space you should leave for din­ing chairs (50-70cm). It is il­lus­trated with Blom­field’s de­light­ful wa­ter­colours (I loved her de­pic­tions of dif­fer­ent in­te­rior dec­o­rat­ing styles). She de­lib­er­ately chose not to use pho­to­graphs as a counter to the com­mon im­pulse to try to im­i­tate a pho­to­graph of some­one else’s home. In­stead, she aims to “in­spire a sense of fun and cre­ativ­ity” in her read­ers. Andrea Warm­ing­ton is an Auck­land writer is recorded. When build­ings have been de­mol­ished or sub­stan­tially al­tered, he has used ap­peal­ing il­lus­tra­tions that work well along­side the gen­er­ous num­ber of pho­to­graphs. If, like me, you’re an ad­mirer of art deco style, you’ll en­joy brows­ing this book’s well-re­searched pages. Richard Brun­ton is NZ House & Gar­den’s art di­rec­tor

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