Bookmarked: Easy Steps to Successful Decorating

Bookmarked: Easy Steps to Successful Decorating

Jul 26, 2007

Oh Barbara... The cover alone was enough for me to pick this book up. Look at her. She's the epitome of decorator perfection right? Barbara Taylor Bradford. The name might sound familiar. She's a pretty popular novelist who has penned titles that have become instant made-for-tv-movie-of-the-week, like A Woman of Substance, and the 1992 classic, To be the Best. But before all of the Hollywood glamour, back in the 60's, Barbara was an accomplished writer on decorating and interior design. She had an award winning column, "Designing Woman", which ran 3 times a week in 183 newspapers across America. Easy Steps to Successful Decorating (1971) apparently was her third book on the subject.

Bookmarked, is an opportunity for ATLA and our readers to revisit some of the triumphs, follies and ideas from decor publications and books from the past. If you've got a great decor photo/image or design idea from an out-of-print source, please send it to la(at)apartmenttherapy(dot)com, including the title and publication information.

As I mentioned, I was already sold just by the front cover. But flipping to the back, I swear I could have been looking at an inspiration page from Domino, with the white laquered chair and yellow trellis print wallpaper! (Sorry, my copy was pretty thrashed) Inside, she breaks the book down into 12 chapters, ranging from How to Bring a Room Into Focus, to The Importance of Lighting. As with all dated and out of print decorating books, you have to look past much of the kitsch factor. If you can visually remove some of the weird tchotchkes that many of the rooms have, there's actually some great decor and color ideas that can easily be adapted to still look amazing today. The text portion has some good "evergreen" advice as well. Here are a few more of my favorite shots from the book:

You can still get the book pretty cheap online (as low as a penny!?) Does anyone have any of her other decorating books?
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