101 Things I Hate About Your House by James Swan with Carol Beggy

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Subtitle: : A Premier Designer Takes You on a Room-by-Room Tour to Transform Your Home from Faux Pas to Fabulous 

Stars: *****

Summary: 101 THINGS I HATE ABOUT YOUR HOUSE starts at the street, moves through the front door, and doesn’t stop until it has taken a peek into every room of the house. Swan numbers the “101 Things” that make up this book so readers can easily reference items they find helpful, painful, or just too funny to forget. – Quote from website.

James Swan and Carol Beggy take us on a tour of the different rooms of a house and point out the most important things we should fix about our house. A lot of these tips aren’t just going to make the design better but also make it more functional by default.

A few examples from the Media section of the website:

#1.  Dreary Little Mess:  Nothing screams “dreary little mess” quite like a front door masquerading as last winter’s snow tires.  Clean it up.  Wipe it down.  Patch it, paint it, stain it, wax it, but just get the door to your home speaking a civilized language that is perfectly synchronized with the impression you want to make.
#71.  Age-Appropriate Design:  Mom and Dad, it’s time to get over your heels dragging on the subject of the kids growing up before your very eyes. They will grow whether you want them to or not, so make the best of a maturing problem and match their chronological age with the furnishings in their rooms. A teenager (13 and older) should be sleeping in a double bed, not in a childish twin. The progression from twin to double is a rite of passage. Make it memorable for your young lady or gentleman.
#25.  A Room without a Soul: If the gods of decorating are to be found lurking in the details of your home, what do your details say? Take a critical look at the small things that fill your table tops and shelves. Do they tell a beautiful story, the story you want told? If not, then it’s time to edit and rewrite your story.

So who are these people telling us what to do with our house?

ABOUT JAMES SWAN:  Author James Swan has built a twenty-year career crafting classically influenced interiors across the United States for clients who have included captains of industry, movie studio heads, investment bankers, and real estate developers. He is consistently in the media spotlight with speaking engagements, regular guest spots on national radio programs, and appearances on HGTV’s Homes across America. He is a featured design partner with Ballard Designs, which is releasing a line of Swan’s custom-designed furniture in early 2011.

ABOUT CAROL BEGGY:  Contributor Carol Beggy is an award-winning journalist who left the Boston Globe in 2008 after more than ten years as a writer and editor. She is a senior consultant with Saragoni & Company and has collaborated with photographer Bill Brett on four books about Boston.  She was also part of the team behind Ted Kennedy: Scenes from and Epic Life.

The book often mentions the website for product ideas in the Resource Section.  The back of the book has a spot to fill in the blanks and make your own list of the top things you need to fix in each room and what you are going to do about it. This is perfect as reading all these ideas is good but you won’t remember to actually do it. By making a list you have something you could cross out or check off as it gets done.

I appreciate that the authors don’t assume we all have tons of money and huge houses. Although all the sample photos and many of the tips apply to big houses, they do make suggestions for small houses and small budgets.

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 *Disclosure: I received the product(s) mentioned above free of charge by the company or PR representative for evaluation purposes. No other compensation was provided.

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About Kathleen

I've been a nonfiction lover for as long as I can remember. I love children's nonfiction as well and love to share my knowledge and the books I gained them from, with the world. I wish more people would give nonfiction a chance.