Monday, April 22, 2013

The Design Cookbook ~ An Interview & A Giveaway

I have a nice treat for you today!  I had a chance to review The Design Cookbook by Kelly Edwards recently.  In The Design Cookbook, Kelly offers some beautiful photographs of interiors along with her tips, ideas and design philosophy.  Broken down by room and style, her rooms show a variety of ways to add color as well as different styles to your d├ęcor.  “Recipes” for creating a particular look are laid out as in a cookbook, with ingredients followed by the recipe.

“Recipes For 5 Minute Decorating” was a favorite for me, because sometimes that’s all we have time for before running out the door.  Kelly also has some DIY projects in the book for you to try in your own home. It’s a wonderful book for inspiration and to just enjoy some beautiful design. 

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I recently had the opportunity to interview Kelly:

What was the inspiration for your book title The Design Cookbook? The concept for the book was actually my dads idea. I told him I was wanting to write a design book and he said, "Why don't you make one that looks like a cookbook?" I thought, " that's ingenious!" Truth is... people love to read cookbooks even if they can't cook. It's such a great approach to design. If you give someone a photo, a recipe and a list of ingredients it makes it so much easier to complete a room! I wanted to show people that with a recipe for a room, they can be their own designer.

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Who would you say has been your design influences, both personally and professionally? Wow, I wish I had one. I have MANY. I get a lot of my inspiration from design magazines. I have a millions of them. If I get in a design rut, Ill pull one out from 4 years ago and get some great ideas. If you'd ask me who my favorite designer is though...I'd have to say Windsor Smith. Her kitchens are AMAZING!


Making over furniture is a big thing in the DIY blogging world.. Is there a piece that you made over that you fondly recall? I remember on Design on a Dime I took an old television armoire and made it a craft station. I loved that project. Old armoires are the best for a kids room, a craft room or an office. It's the magic of spray paint!

If someone had $1,000.00 to invest in adding a piece to one room, what suggestions would you offer them? A great sofa. You can't go wrong and you won't regret it.

I noticed there is some whimsy in the decor you've added in, in the pictures in your book. What are some ways we can do this? Whimsy to me means adding in your personal style or touch. This could be anything. I like to do it with fabric and spray paint. I once spray painted a chair hot pink and reupholstered my favorite wing back chair in faux fur. That’s my personal whimsical style. Think of what’s personal and carefree to you and go for it.


If someone were just starting out in their own place, what 5 pieces would you suggest they focus on purchasing first? A great sofa, a dining table and chairs perfect for entertaining, ambient lighting (this could be an amazing chandelier), great living room textiles, soft bedding and a record player. Listening to a great record makes everything look and feel better! I think I just gave you 6, maybe 7. :)

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What are some ways you like to bring some style to a room inexpensively? Do it with texture. If you have an inexpensive sofa use some velvet pillows on it to make it look more expensive. Also great throw will dress up any chair. For instance, I have faux sheepskin on a few of my dining room chairs. It just makes them look more luxurious. Reflective pieces work well too. Go with glass, metallics and my favorite...great lighting. Everything will look better when you have great lighting.

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What is an easy way to blend styles (i.e. romantic, rustic, etc.) in a room? Long gone are the days of matchy matchy. Mixing up furniture pieces really is the way to go. An easy way to make sure it all lives together well in your place is to limit your color palette. Pick a few colors and continue them throughout the space so everything feel like it works together. For instance, if you have a vintage shabby chic pillow that you love, carry over some of the same colors in the pillow with a classic stripe on the other side of the room. Same goes for furniture. If you have a rustic coffee table, you should incorporate a few other rustic pieces into the space. It could be as simple as placing a few wicker baskets around the room to hold your throw or extra pillows for the space or incorporating a classic old fabric to match the rustic feel.

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Gallery walls seem to be very popular right now. Do you have any tips for putting such a wall together? I like to stick with the same color frame. Maybe add in a few odd balls, but overall stay pretty consistent. It will look more intensional and less random. Same goes for the color. If you stay within the same medium it will look more like an installation.

What are some of your favorite color combinations in home decor today? I love the classic black, white and gold right now. Its so clean, fresh and modern. I pair it with a deep lavender. The look is so chic to me. I'm also loving pink and orange. So fun!

Kelly Edwards

This Giveaway has Ended.

Thank you, Kelly! I was kindly given a copy of the book to giveaway to one of my readers!  I’m going to keep it easy and just have you leave a comment below if you’d like to be entered for a chance to win.  I will use to choose a winner and the giveaway will end on April 27, 2013.  Sorry, U.S. residents only {as I’m doing the mailing}.  You do not need to have a blog to enter, but must leave me a way to contact you.  Winner will have 48 hours to confirm or a new winner will be selected.


Marty@A Stroll Thru Life said...

Great interview, I love her suggestion of mixing and for great lighting. I would love to be entered. Hugs, Marty

Ann said...

The cookbook idea is great! This is one design book that would bring hours of pleasure and lots of ideas.

Jan said...

I love the interview post I always learn so very much. Thank you both for your time and the give away!!!!!

Cynthia said...

Great interview, I enjoyed it very much.


Stitchfork said...

Interesting interview Kath! Love the kitchen canisters.

Olive said...

Inventive format for a design book. I do read cookbooks. xo, Olive

This N That said...

Interesting interview Kathy..Thanks for sharing...

Linda@Coastal Charm said...

This sounds like a really neat please count me in.


Susan said...

Awesome interview! Please put my name in the hat for a chance to win. I am your newest follower.

The Polka Dot Closet said...

I agree, what a cute idea to have a decorating cookbook! Throw my name in the hat!


Blondie's Journal said...

I love the "cookbook" concept Kelly used for this design book. It really sounds interesting. She gives some really good advice in the interview, too. I'm trying to do a gallery wall and so her idea was helpful and the same for mixing styles.

Thanks so much, Kathy and thanks also for having the giveaway!


Ann said...

Of course I would like a chance to win such a wonderful tome. Count me in!

Lori R. said...

What a great give away!

pam {simple details} said...

So sweet, thanks for the chance to win the book, Kathy ~ great interview!

Manuela@A Cultivated Nest said...

Great interview Kathy! Her book sounds really interesting and I'd love to win it.

Shirley@Housepitality Designs said...

Great interview Kathy...I love that her dad gave her the idea for making it look like a cookbook....Dad's are very wise men!....Great giveaway...thanks for the opportunity to win this fantastic book!!

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Kathy this is a wonderful interview and I love that your giving away her book. What a great giveaway.
You have been on my mind a lot lately because I am wanting to redo an old desk and when I think of creating something pretty I think of you.
Love ya

Sonya@Beyond the Screen Door said...

This looks just like my kind of cookbook! Love all the gorgeous images. Thanks so much for the chance to win, Kathy!

Gail said...

Great interview Kathy! Count me in!!

Tea in the Library said...

Great interview. I am always inspired by a visit to your blog.

Gypsy Heart said...

I would love to be entered! I'm moving soon and looking for decor ideas.

Thanks so much for the opportunity to win!


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