I confess: I am a decorating-book junkie. But I am also not very crafty, which creates a problem when it comes to this book. Brown 's book contains 105 do-it-yourself projects, all of varying skill levels and costs, to create unique and whimsical looks for your home. Some of the supplies her projects require are easily obtained at any hardware or crafts store. However, the entire room makeovers (bedrooms and living rooms) she features are not a selling point of this book, as far as I'm concerned. Individual projects are fine, but when combined together as they are here, they make the rooms look too impractical and often ridiculous. She does finds creative uses for ordinary objects, like a canoe oar as a curtain rod, or a wok as a lamp. But many of the projects seem to be just as expensive as buying something pre-made, and more effort than they're probably worth.
Her first style - a downtown loft - is very industrial looking, with aluminum walls, furniture on wheels, and interesting uses for things such as washboards and fry baskets. The room looks, quite frankly, dangerous and uncomfortable. The Asian pillows and the pretty orchid arrangement are nice, at least; these two projects would be attractive for many homes. The rest don't have a mass appeal, but people who like the industrial look and are not afraid to do their own projects may enjoy it.
Her next style is based on one color in various shades: gray for the bedroom and brown for the living room. While some of the projects seem weird (a corkboard floor, a coffee table decoupaged with sandpaper, and a screened-in couch), this style seems a little more practical. Again, it's the smaller details that transfer well to almost any home. As a whole, the rooms look overdone.
Her Cabin Fever and Enchanted August sections are attempts to bring the outdoors in - with a woodsy feel in Cabin Fever and a seaside feel in Enchanted August. Again, the projects are overkill when combined. The cabin look requires liberal uses of wood, leather, and plaid, and the seaside cottage look requires an overabundance of blue or green, sand, and seashells.The experiment involved three stages. The standardization period lasted three months. Here it was determined how many calories were needed for each man to maintain his weight. This was followed by a six-month starvation period, during which their calories were reduced and their diet cut. They had two meals a day and as much coffee and water as they liked. Changes were documented. During the three month rehabilitation period, each manís recovery was studied and recorded.
Her final style is for a children's bedroom and living room. The bedroom features Astroturf floors, pegboard walls, and a bed canopy hooked up to pulleys. It looks like the child is sleeping in the garage, although the furniture treatments and lamps would be cute in any child's room. The look for the living room has chalkboard walls to encourage children to draw on them, plastic covered pillows and furniture, a chandelier made of flashlights, and rag mops used as curtain rods. It's not a particularly adult-friendly space, but then most of the other styles in this book are not exactly kid-friendly.
Katie Brown's ideas will mostly appeal to people who are very adventurous decorators and like very offbeat looks. For the majority of us, there may be a few projects we find useful, but overall, this book is not one of the more inspiring ones out there.