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Book Review: Glamorous Rooms by Jan Showers

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For all us want-to-be designers, Texas-based designer Jan Shower’s has a design secret to share, “An extraordinary truth about design is that the same space can be made perfect in any number of ways, depending on who is using it and what they want.”

This simple philosophy is both liberating and slightly intimidating for those without Ms. Showers’ innate design style. But, after an afternoon spent with her latest book Glamorous Rooms, we start to understand how bringing design to our own homes is purely a matter of deciding what we want from our space and then addressing the room’s shortcomings with this goal in mind.

Famous for her modern, timeless interiors that seamlessly blend Hollywood high style, midcentury modernism, and classic eighteenth-century French styles, the book is divided into six “rooms” covering entry halls, living rooms, dining rooms, bedrooms, private spaces, and outdoor living. Each section contains practical advice on making the most of the space. For example, it’s best to use one large rug as opposed to several small ones, as it creates a grander and more gracious look. Glamorous Rooms features plenty of beautiful full page photographs, many from previously unpublished projects, to illustrate Showers’ design lessons.

Of course, the relaxed glamor of Showers’ rooms is effortlessly welcoming, but for me its the layered details that bring these rooms to life. Luxurious gold- and silver-leaf finishes, crystal and mirror play a large supporting role in her rooms, giving them decidedly feminine appeal. Over-scale items, such as mirrors, and the subtle layering of color over neutral backgrounds help bring masculine balance.

Don’t Miss: Each photograph is annotated with a design tip or tenet which can be available to homeowners with less financial wherewithal. One note of warning: furniture from Ms. Showers own design line is indicated where used, but if you are looking for a detailed resource list to accompany the photographs, you will be dissappointed.

Glamorous Rooms is both a great design reference and a glamorous coffee table treat. As Ms Showers likes to say, there are no rules when it comes to design other than, “Never be meek; always make a statement.” Mission accomplished, Ms. Showers, mission accomplished!

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