Thursday, September 10, 2009

Trading Spaces

I was at the library recently browsing the design section. I always like to look at coffee table books before I purchase them to see if they are something I can continually open and be inspired by.

Just for fun I picked up Laurie Smith's book Discovering Home.

Yes, Laurie Smith from Trading Spaces. I admit, when the show first launched I was an addict. I had just had my first son and was in the dreadful feeding stage of sitting on the couch 24/7. (Okay, not really sitting up for all those hours but still on the couch. Really. For months.) I lived for Trading Spaces. Gone where the days of going out to dinner and a movie. My date night was now with Trading Spaces. Sad, but true. I mainly watched to see the dreadful spaces some of the designers created. Hildie - shame on you for covering an entire bathroom with fake flowers (with a glue gun no less!) Or the time you turned a room into a circus tent. Frank - I can't even begin to mention all the dreadful rooms of pigs and cows...

However, I was usually impressed with Laurie's designs. She usually created a well thought out design that looked expensive. She didn't shop the local dollar store. She picked out classic items at the local thrift store and combined them with great contemporary fabrics. She created a real room that could be lived in. A room that didn't need to be dismantled when the crew left town. (I've always wondered what happened to those poor souls once the designers left. Did their ceilings cave in? Did the painted fabric on their sofa rub off on their pants?) I need to know... Please send me information if you know anyone who was on the show.

Laurie uses the remodel of her own house to discuss her design process and offer useful tips. The photos are beautiful. Her house is contemporary yet classic. Her bookshelves are bananas!

Call me crazy, but this book is worth reading and Laurie is a true designer.


Dianne said...

This is my all time favorite design book. Yes, I said it. I own a million decor books but this one stands alone. Her renovation of the house and all those decisions are backed by solid advice and reasons why she did everything. The art in her house is amazing! This one should have been in's a classic as well as a DIY!! Loved it!!

cotedetexas said...

I love this book! hi dianne! haha! I just told Dianne one day I'm going to write about this book but you beat me to it. I wonder if she still lilves there.

Anonymous said...

I bought this book on Joni's advice. I always loved her designs the best.


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