Home Style: A Hands-on Guide to Decorating


240 pages
Contains Photos, Index
ISBN 0-394-22206-7
DDC 747




Illustrations by Tina Holdcroft
Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



This attractive, practical book has three parts. The first is a guide to
the look and feel of six decorating styles. The second is an analysis of
how those six styles can be achieved, and the third is a how-to section
for specific projects, plus sources and resources.

The six styles selected for the work are those the authors feel are
most popular in Canada: English Country, French Country, Southwest,
Folk, True North, and Contemporary. The premise that these are the
styles Canadians most crave is endlessly debatable. While most interior
decorators/designers would include English Country and French Country in
their top-six list, the other styles would likely face at least some
challenges. For example, True North—characterized by twig furniture
and moose antlers—may be great for hunting camps, but would prove a
dubious choice for most homes. Be that as it may, for those interested
in these particular six styles, the book is an excellent guide. Its
strength is that it recognizes that a given style can be achieved in
many ways, with few if any “must-haves.” Lots of full-color photos,
and a text that both interprets and explains the components that go into
creating a style, allow the reader to translate the information into
real-life situations. The emphasis is on creating a specific “look”
in homes where furniture and objects that are not in the desired style
must be accommodated. For each style, key colors, textures, and wall and
floor treatments are suggested.

The how-to section covers the basics of making floor plans; window
treatments; measuring for wallpaper, bedding, and draperies; and
estimating paint quantities. The project section includes detailed
directions for sponge painting, making English Country-style cushions,
painting trompe l’oeil chests, stencilling, milk painting, creating a
pickled finish, quilting, making a twig planter and table, and painting
a chair for a contemporary look. The sources are Canadian.


Colville-Reeves, Lynda., “Home Style: A Hands-on Guide to Decorating,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed April 16, 2024, https://cbra.library.utoronto.ca/items/show/11707.