I'd like to develop an eye for room design...
May 1, 2008 10:50 PM   Subscribe

Books, blogs, or tips for an interior design newb?

The HGTV shows make it look so easy! Any simple, instructional books or blogs on interior design you can recommend? Apartment Therapy is really neat... but not that instructive. I like the show "Design on a Dime;" the solutions are affordable, there are some do-it-yourself projects, and they give prices and some simple instructions for getting great results. I guess I'm looking for more of that. I think I need to see and study a lot more detailed-but-straightforward before and after scenarios to really "get" how things are put together in a room...

I know some about putting complementing colors together to design a website, but it doesn't seem to work the same for a room. I know some about lines and focal points from photography, but applying it to a room seems like a whole new level.

Thanks in advance!
posted by blahtsk to Sports, Hobbies, & Recreation (5 answers total) 38 users marked this as a favorite
You might like some of Christopher Lowell's stuff. From what I've seen, he does some good, straightforward discussions of what nebulous things like scale actually mean in terms of putting a room together, and breaks things down into steps.
posted by Gianna at 11:01 PM on May 1, 2008

These blogs often feature inspiring photos and eye candy, along with DIY projects:
anh minh
desire to inspire

handmade modern
abode a la mode
$500 Room Makeovers
The New Apartment Book
Home Cheap Home
posted by logic vs love at 11:56 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

Lawrence Llewelyn-Bowen has some information about his design process.

The colors would depend on the mood you want for a particular room. Complementary colors would be perfect for an energetic room. For a relaxing place, such as a bedroom, you would do better with an analog or monotone palette. If it's a bit boring, then you can add some accessories in a complementary or split complementary color.
posted by clearlydemon at 11:58 PM on May 1, 2008 [1 favorite]

BBC Homes has several beginner-type articles.

There's good old Changing Rooms also, which imo was the best budget home-makeover show ever. Yes it was mostly a game show, but there were lots of good ideas in there. It gets rerun a lot. Much better than the U.S. version, Trading Spaces, which is still running on Lifetime.

Laurence Llewelyn-Bowen also had a six part series called Design Rules, a real design primer type show. They may rerun it sometime on BBC America (they recently reran it on BBC Prime, which is the European equivalent of BBCA). While LLB is rather eccentric, he's a very good teacher. There's also a book, though I haven't read it myself.

Thom Filicia of Queer Eye fame has a show on Style called Dress My Nest, which is rather interesting because of the concept of taking the inspiration for a room from the victim...erm, client's wardrobe. Some of the rooms are hideous, and since it is on Style the production tends to be annoying, but there are still some interesting tips in there. This show is available on the iTunes store.

Also don't forget magazines. Domino is probably closest to what you are looking since it's aimed at a younger budget-conscious audience, but higher-end mags are still inspiration worthy. (My favorites are Dwell, Wallpaper and the Côté Maison franchise, Côté Sud in particular, but your taste may differ.)
posted by thread_makimaki at 3:13 AM on May 2, 2008

You might like the book Apartment Therapy, written by the guy who runs the blog of the same name.
posted by dobbs at 7:11 AM on May 2, 2008

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