In Be Your Own Decorator, author Susanna Salk wants you to be confident when you are decorating at home. After all, after a successful career as a design writer, that same confidence has served her well, when decorating her home. However, if you are looking for a “how-to” book, she mentions early on that this is not that book. It’s actually about the “why-nots” of decorating.
The book, filled mostly with inspirational interiors and sprinkled with tips from A-list designers, surprised me with how much I enjoyed it. Mostly because, with chapters like, Color, Mix, Whimsy and Rule-Breaking, I found myself asking “why not” instead of “should I” when it came to decorating my own space. For me, it’s so much easier to tell people what to do design-wise. However, by nature, I edit myself sometimes. Instead, this book reminded me that trusting my instincts serves a better guide than being shy about my tastes at home. I mean, if it works for the likes of Mary, Miles and Bunny, then, “Why Not” me?
And, as I hosted my first brunch at my NYC apartment, my home, still a work in progress, garnered much acclaim from my guest. Thank God I didn’t go with all those neutrals in the name of “good taste”, instead choosing a more adventurous palette with colors and patterns that are beautiful, rich, fun and, dare I say, me. Even designers need reminders now and again.
© Be Your Own Decorator by Susanna Salk, Rizzoli New York, 2012. Received courtesy of Rizzoli New York.
Of course, as a reader of design books, I always want more words, but again that is not the point of Be Your Own Decorator. As a decorating enthusiast, you should take this book, and see each chapter’s introductory essay as Salk’s personal decorating pep talk to you. She may give you a few parameters such as, ” Whimsy should never forget it’s place.” Then, she pretty much tells you to get some inspiration, read the tips, be empowered and decorate. It’s definitely worth a good read or ten, especially over the weekend.
Speaking of…I’m out of here!