Journalist and syndicated columnist Marni Jameson dishes up advice for the home decorating-impaired in The House Always Wins, an account of her own trials and tribulations with home decorating. The House Always Wins covers every possible home decorating topic: finding a house; discovering your personal style; choosing the elements, furnishings and accessories that work in your home; tackling your outdoor space; even how to elegantly and affordably decorate for the holidays. Jameson added an extra section at the end that doesn’t exist in the hardcover version – a chapter called “Thirty Ways to Patch Money Leaks at Home.”
This book is chock full of good advice delivered with a healthy dose of humor. Jameson consulted many experts during her own home decorating (mis)adventures, and she generously shares their tips and tricks. She gently instructs the reader how to deal with contractors, how to compromise with family members who disagree with your style choices, and how to avoid making common decorating mistakes.
Jameson never gives the impression that she’s a home decorating expert. Rather, she points out the many, many mistakes she has made and what she has learned from them so the reader can avoid doing the same thing. For example, it’s refreshing and reassuring to read that she has difficulty keeping plants alive. It makes it easy for those struggling with a black thumb to identify with her. It is situations like this when she calls on the experts and shares their advice.
As with any home decorating book, not everything will work for every reader. Those who decorate on a shoestring budget can’t afford to hire a professional to come in and give them advice. Jameson mentions doing this frequently. But there are kernels of wisdom for everyone.
It’s worth noting that if you pick up this book expecting to see photographs of beautiful, well-appointed homes, you’ll be disappointed. Jameson does not include any photographs in her book, because typical home decorating spreads rarely reflect reality. The point of The House Always Wins is that you must create your own dream home in a realistic and affordable way that works for you.