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Book Review: The Vintage/Modern Home by Katherine Sorrell

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It’s refreshing to pick up a gorgeous, full color home decorating book and learn how your unrelated furnishings can work together, no matter the style, source or period. Decorating confidence will soar when you see the full-color images mixing traditional, modern, antique, chain-store, or street corner finds. Katherine Sorrell, formerly associate editor at Homes & Gardens magazine, must have had these ideas floating around in her head for years, and she now shares her masterful sense of confident style, using patterns, texture, and whimsy. Sorrell cherishes the traditional, honors the antique, and invites fun, color, intimacy into your life, through the full color pages of The Vintage/Modern Home.

All of these elements, and a few unconventional notions, like dishes painted on a dining room wall, and an open-plan room, can have a place in your home, Sorrell teaches us two refreshing principles:

1) design has no rules and

2) never leave home without a measuring tape.

Much of the color in the book comes from fabric and clever lighting design to take your rooms from boring to fabulous. Examples range from antique glass, and a Moroccan style lantern, to a colored glass table lamp. All are extraordinary. Bathrooms are not overlooked, with options from whimsical to soothing neutral colors, mixing new and vintage fixtures and furnishings, making the bath another comforting room in the home.

If you’re a novice like me, you’ll read The Vintage/Modern Home twice: first for the sheer beauty and fun, and then again to absorb some of the principles, including more than fifty pages of case studies of design in real homes. Its refreshing, in a design book, to see this unusual approach, showcasing the individual looks created by people.

Throughout this full-color lush book, Sorrell finds ways to combine the principles of thrift and economy with beauty and irresistible visual pleasures. The book also includes a full A-to-Z source directory.

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  • Peg Miller

    I keep saying I don’t need another interior design book, but I CANNOT RESIST this!
    Very thorough review.