16 July 2011

101 Things I Hate About Your House

 

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Californian interior designer James Swan recently came out with a new design book entitled “101 Things I Hate About Your House.”

 

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If you have been an avid blog reader for a few years, you may remember that two years ago Swan teamed up with Ballard Design, the premier home décor catalogue, to design a houseful of rooms using all Ballard design products.  Above is the dining room he designed using only Ballard products.

 

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Several blogs, including Cote de Texas, did stories about the collaboration – one of the first that Ballard Design had done with an interior decorator.  My story from 2009 is HERE.   Above is the living room Swan designed using all Ballard merchandise.

 

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And, the bedroom, done by James and Ballard Design.

 

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When I saw the title of James' new book, I was so excited to read it.  Boy, that title alone was such a draw!  I had no idea what the book would be like – and I have to say it was a complete surprise.

 

 

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One of the book’s many illustrations.

First, the book is illustrated, much in the way that Charlotte Moss’ earliest books were.    Also, at the end of each chapter there is a photograph, but otherwise the book is all printed word.  Each chapter is a separate room, like Entry Way, Powder Room, Kitchen, Bedroom.   It’s a textbook on how to furnish your house properly.  It gives tips and ideas for every room and truthfully, who doesn’t need help or a refresher course on how to make your house more beautiful, more functional, and more welcoming.  I loved it.   Plain and simple.  I got so many great ideas from it.   The chapters are short and easy to read but there is so much to learn here, AND so much to giggle at too.

 

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Of course, we thought James would be a perfect guest for the Skirted Roundtable and he was.  After we talked for a little while, he got down to business and took a few chapters from the book to explain how to make those rooms better.   We had a great time listening to James.  I think you will too!  Try it – on the Skirted Roundtable, HERE

 

 

To order James Swan’s book, double click on the title below:

 

101 Things I Hate About Your House: A Premier Designer Takes You on a Room-by-Room Tour to Transform Your Home from Faux Pas to Fabulous

 

 

AND IN OTHER NEWS:

Velvet & Linen’s Brooke and Steve Giannetti’s book Patina Style is now AVAILABLE!  To order, click on the title below:

 

 

AND FINALLY:

The five winners have been picked for The Bella Cottage giveaway of Tara Shaw Maison’s hotel silver.  If you won, you will be getting an email announcement!  Thanks again to all who entered!

 

27 comments:

  1. The title made me giggle, too. I actually laughed outloud when I saw the title of your post pop up on my blog. I'm off to hear the dish and buy the book!
    Brooke's book is so gorgeous - I can't wait to see the inside!
    Hope you are having a good weekend, Joni!
    xo Isa

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  2. I will have to get a copy of both of these. Have a great weekend.

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  3. seriously, just from listening to the podcast, i've already made some changes in the new house!

    xo

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  4. I have to be totally honest here and this is my own opinion but I won’t be ordering James’ book. One, I found the title very off putting, he’s assuming everyone needs a fix. Two, he doesn’t know my style and me so again he’s making an assumption. Three, I like books with pictures accompanying the writing not a child’s illustration. Four, he’s basically boxing everyone into the same niche…why? I’m sure his book is fine but just the title has me looking the other way. I have ordered Brooke and Steve’s book and can’t wait for it to arrive!

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  5. Joni- Listened to the TSR interview yesterday and will try and get my hands on the book! Sounded so clever!

    Loretta

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  6. Thaks Joni,for the heads up on these two great books...and Sunday is the perfect day to visit the bookstore and come home with these great reads!

    Off to listen to TSR

    Have lovely day!

    Kit

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  7. two more books for the reading list! What an interesting concept on the first...

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  8. Well I've changed my mind, I listen to the podcast and now I want the book. Now I understand and everything you talked about on the skirted table made sense. (Except I still like photos...lol.) I've ordered the book!

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  9. Looking forward to listening to the SRT discussion. I preordered my book, Patina, it is so wonderfully written and photographed. Absolutely beautiful a book you want to look at over and over, such gorgeous images, Kathysue

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  10. Joni... I will go get these two books...firstly to get great tips on decorating... and how I love patinas.. thank you

    Victoria S.

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  11. I'm a big fan of James Swan and have his book too. A fun, informative read, I was also surprised when I opened the book. I expected lots of photo examples!
    I look forward to listening to your interview on SRT!
    ~Delores

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  12. ...the book reminds me of the books of alexandra stoddard...she has very few pictures...yet she gives wonderful ideas for making our homes beautiful for ourselves and others...however no one would ever connect this title to the very lovely ms stoddard (the very thought makes me smile)...i think james is on to something...with both title and content...

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  13. I'm downloading the SRT to listen on my walk tomorrow morning. I always love taking a walk with you, Megan and Linda :) I've ordered James Swan's book and look forward to its arrival!

    Thank you Joni for letting everyone know that Patina Style is now available!
    A reader also told me that Barnes and Noble has copies ready to ship as well. http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/patina-style-steve-giannetti/1100232598?ean=9781423622536&itm=1&usri=patina%2bstyle

    xo
    Brooke

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  14. I thought it sounded so good listening to it on SRT. I called Barnes & Noble and had them save the last copy for me and I ran out and bought it. I thought it had a few funny comments in it but overall I think most of us already know not to do the 101 things he hates - I was disappointed.

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  15. I have brooke's book and it is so beautiful. I ordered the other ... Thanks for the heads up.

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  16. I have this book and I have to say it's really amazing. The illustrations are just beautiful. It's a great coffee table book

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  17. Both books are wonderful! What a grand job of talking about them you have done. Thank you xxpeggybraswelldesign.com

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  18. I listened to the podcast and have to say, it sounded like a lot of finger pointing and judgement on James' part. He kept saying how he "hates" to go to people's homes and see "this or that." I love beautiful interiors but I wouldn't my friends and guests judging me. I just want them to relax and have fun so I don't think this book would be for me.

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  19. Hmmm... I haven't listened to the podcast yet, but I was surprised that there aren't many photos in the 101 Things book. I'm familiar with James Swan's Facebook albums under 101 Things I Hate About Your House. There he posts photos of ordinary middle class and blue collar people's homes, many of whom obviously cannot afford the luxury of decorating a room all at once, let alone hiring an interior designer, and then hundreds of strangers rip them apart in the comments for sport. It's like feeding emaciated stray dogs to hungry lions for the amusement of onlookers, and I find it in very poor taste. It's one thing to critique professionally designed homes featured in shelter magazines, but I didn't get into this business to try to make (the vast majority of) people who can't afford design services feel bad.

    I expected Swan's book to be a collection of his essays and shame-on-you photos, so I'm pleasantly surprised to hear that he's put together something more constructive and helpful. I'll withold judgement until I have a chance to flip through the book at the book store.

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  20. These rooms look great, lots of colour, character and great accessories and furniture thanks for posting these!

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  21. I love all the looks in these photos, it seems like a great book, I'm gonna place my order soon

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  22. ...rebecca grace's very thoughtful comments remind us why we should be very careful to what we attach our names...if mr swan's facebook (and here i am taking rebecaa for her word) is as she says...shame on mr swan...a quirky title to be used as a draw to a helpful and fun book is one thing...openly making fun of people and their homes in a public forum is somthing entirley different...we need not ever step on someone else to lift ourselves up...

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  23. Joni:

    Interesting post - I live in Pemaquid and will have to do a little stalking myself to find the house James Swan just purchased. Unfortunately, I missed his talk and book signing at the Bristol Library which is just up the road from me. Pemaquid IS on the other side of world, but it is beautiful here on the peninsula with it's rocky coastlines. We have a gorgeous beach, an old Fort and Pemaquid Point Lighthouse which was chosen for the Maine Quarter. The area is full of great antique shops many owned by older experienced dealers and it has many wealthy summer residents and retirees. It's beautiful and booming in the summer, but unfortunately in the winter there isn't much activity. So we've learned to travel the extra miles to find what we want. Portland is a cultural little city with a fabulous mall and Rockland next to Camden has been growing even in this economic climate.

    Always enjoy your Roundtable talks and learn so much. Thank you for your fabulous blog.

    Janice
    Pemaquid

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  24. James Swann used to post professionally designed rooms (to much the same reaction of everyone ripping the room apart) on facebook - but I imagine he didn't have permission to post the content and stopped. He likely doesn't have permission to post everyday people's photos either. Maybe he's betting on no one hiring a lawyer.

    I was a reader of his facebook pages for about a month - right when he started to change over to everyday people. What everyday people do is sometimes inadvertently funny, or junky or poorly executed, but that doesn't constitute a license to hold up their project to public ridicule. Being an everyday person myself, it made me wildly uncomfortable.

    So, that attitude convinced me to drop it. Plus there is a controversy/scam around him scheduling design seminars, collecting fees in advance, then canceling the seminars before they were held but not refunding prepaid seminar fees.

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  25. But it's their house? what's it to anyone what it looks like. This is AMERICA.

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  26. Just ordered James Swan's paperback book on amazon. can't wait to read it. It sounds hilarious, and i'll probably get some very good ideas of what to avoid from it / how to do things better from it too!

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