Monday, November 09, 2009

Elaine Griffin and "Design Rules"

Elaine Griffin understands "The Rules", and fortunately for us, she's ready to share. When I say rules, I don't mean "The Rules" that women were told to follow a few years ago. Remember that book? Don't say yes to a date if the man asks two days in advance. Why pay for the milk when a man can get the cow for free. Etc. Etc. The rules that Elaine wants to talk about are Design Rules. Thank goodness!

I recently spent a weekend reading Elaine's new book, and I have to say that it is a very worthwhile guide to decorating. Elaine spells out in an easy to understand way how to place furniture in a room, how tall end tables and bedside tables should be, even how to transform the forgotten basement into a room in which people want to spend time. There are chapters on kitchens, dining rooms, window treatments, and such. And the great thing is that the book is never dry. I think what I found most helpful is that there were certain rules that I knew and that made sense to me, but I never knew why we did it that way. Elaine eliminates the mystery.

I attended a luncheon with Elaine last week, and her enthusiasm for design is infectious. She told us that she wanted the tone of her book to be like a best friend giving decorating advice to the reader. After meeting Elaine and reading the book, I think she accomplished this most successfully.


  1. Oh - I need a book like this right now. I can't wait to get my hands on it! Thanks!!

  2. Sounds like a great holiday gift. As you often say Jennifer, I think a lot of people want (or need) to do their own decorating but just want some concrete guidance. Elaine's friendly tone should be a bonus.

  3. Sounds like a best friend one doesn't feel guilty for using. Perfect!

  4. J Tackett3:36 PM

    It is interesting that you mentioned the height of bedside tables. I recently read an interview in which a "hot" designer expressed frustration over how so few understood the importance of low bedside tables. Personally (or professionally for that matter) I can not understand why some would want a height that was not taller than the mattress. My favorite bedside furniture is a writing table!

  5. Thanks for this review! I saw this book written up in a magazine and thought about getting it as I want to learn how to design for myself and thought it might be useful, but haven't had the chance to look at the book indepth yet. This gives me more confidence that it will be just the book for me! Thanks!