Thursday, June 01, 2006

"Trading Spaces $100 to $1,000 Makeovers"

I was an early fan of the TV show "Trading Spaces." I put up with annoying host Paige Davis because I loved seeing what two crazy designers and four amateurs could do with $1,000 in just two days. The tension of what the homeowners would think of their redesigned room would make even marathons of the show fly by. But, to be honest, I can't really say I got a lot of helpful decorating tips from the show.

Nor did I from this, the second Trading Spaces book, called $100 to $1,000 Makeovers: Maximize Your Decorating Dollars! (Meredith Books, 2004). The meat of the book is 14 redesigns from episodes on the show. There's Vern's earthy living room, Laurie's floral girl's room, and Edward's Buddha bedroom. Sprinkled throughout are sidebars galore, most with basic info that could easily be found elsewhere, such as different kind of light bulbs or types of wood floors.

The most interesting section of the book is the feature that describes how to redecorate a kitchen, living room, or bedroom with $100, $500, or $1,000, which can illustrate how to build on small changes at first until you can save for the larger ones.

But, except for that, this book is fun to flip through but not a good source of real ideas. And it's not just the wildest decorators (Hildi with a hideously boring living room and Doug, who thinks it's cool to create a bedroom that resembles a prison) whose ideas are off the wall. One craft project suggests making curtains out of a dress. I think I'll stick to House Beautiful.

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