Thursday, October 28, 2010

OPEN BOOK: A Peek Inside Frank Fontana's "Dirty Little Secrets of Design"

Frank Fontana, host of HGTV's "Design on a Dime" comes clean with the realities of TV, and must-have decorating tips in his new book, "Dirty Little Secrets of Design." 


On TV, he and his cohorts knock on the door with a "surprise" makeover that the owners accept with nary a word about expectations. Before you know it, they've hit a home-room; the homeowners love the new look Fontana's created! 


The reality, he confesses, is that he and his team meet with the owners in advance, devise a game plan (which he suggests we all do for ourselves), identifies their style (he defines everything from Global Eclectic to Hollywood Regency and Tudor to Tuscan -- plus numerous others -- in the book), and determines a budget.  They then transform it all -- by the book, applying his three-point formula:

1. Function. "Your room needs a very clear, very functional purpose." If it's a sewing room, then furnishings and accessories should reflect that purpose.

2. Ambiance. He shares advice on how "to listen what the room tells on its own" and how to build from there.

3. Cohesion. How do you pull it all together -- the new with the old? And how can you tell if you've nailed it? It's all in the book.


He shares his own blueprint for "high style, low-cost decorating." He also talks about:
  *When does it always pay to "go green?" (He tells the truth about TV decisions.)
*The three staple design styles for kitchens (modern, rustic European and Traditional).
                        *A room-by-room guide "to infusing your home with style." (And, he includes what he really thought when homeowners wanted their work space in the dining room.)
                        *The Dos and Don'ts of a Home Office.
                        *The Thousand Dollar Kitchen Countertop -- for Less.
                        * Lots of DIY projects with instructions.

This book is packed full of information and covers decorating advice for a variety of spaces, from outdoor areas to kitchens, bedrooms and entryways. The U.S. price for the book:  $24.95. At Amazon, it's $16.47!

A FEW TAKE AWAYS:

* When changing the color of a wall, white or tinted primer is essential to achieving the color you selected.
* Drop a few squirts of vanilla extract into your paint can to eliminate overwhelming smells.  (Fumes are masked not eliminated. Use low-VOC paints to reduce toxins.)
* Use the 60-30-10 designer rule for color: 60% of the color in a space comes from the walls. 30% comes from the upholstery, window coverings and rugs. Ten percent comes from accessories and artwork.
* Three decorative pillows are all you need for your bed. Two with matching shams and one funky one as a statement piece.
* The most essential piece of furniture for the entryway:  a chair!


photo credits: Brian Willette


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5 Responses to “OPEN BOOK: A Peek Inside Frank Fontana's "Dirty Little Secrets of Design"”

annechovie said...

Looks like a great read! Thanks for the tip. P.S. The needlepoint canvas can come with threads if you opt for that, also, that piece is good for beginners. Have a super weekend!

I would love to find this book! I've really enjoyed your blog! So much good info and beautiful photos! ♥

No matter how many designer tips I read, there's always something to take away -- everyone has their own twist, and I like the take-aways you shared.

rashid1891 said...

This book is packed full of information and covers decorating advice for a variety of spaces, from outdoor areas to kitchens, bedrooms and entryways

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