Open Your Eyes: 1,000 Simple Ways to Bring Beauty Into Your Home and Life Each Day

Alexandra Stoddard, Author William Morrow & Company $28 (322p) ISBN 978-0-688-15904-7
""Seeing well,"" suggests noted interior designer Stoddard (The Decoration of Houses) in her 20th book, ""transforms mere existence into the art of living."" The six chapters that comprise her substantive guide to creating a beautiful home environment examine such concepts as order and balance, applying them to the arrangement of everyday surroundings. Often mining personal experience, Stoddard's appealing first-person approach to making one's home a harmonious and restorative setting focuses more on aesthetics than on period furniture or flooring materials; this is as much a training manual for observing one's surroundings--and one's response to them--as it is a book of design principles. Stoddard discusses these principles--such as proportion and scale, symmetry and depth, form and composition--and demonstrates how they can be translated into the language of furnishings, window treatments and picture arranging. Despite the annoying distractions of aphorisms (from Plato, Kant and Joseph Campbell, for example) on nearly every page and Stoddard's tiresome tendency toward injunction (Become a Critic; Be Highly Opinionated), the foundation of classic interior design is clearly laid out on these pages. Photos not seen by PW. Author tour. (Dec.)
Reviewed on: 11/30/1998
Release date: 12/01/1998
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