Paula Deen's Savannah Style
Rebecca Kai Dotlich, Author, Jan Spivey Gilchrist, Illustrator
The Food Network queen of buttery Southern fare departs from publishing cookbooks to present—with help from Branch, her personal assistant and creative director—a photo-laden guide (photos by Deborah Whitlaw Llewelyn) to her style of home decorating. Like Deen's food, the decor she highlights is welcoming and comfortable, and often over-the-top (music rooms complete with harps and grand pianos; oversized crystal chandeliers). She covers plenty of topics applicable to many readers, such as “porch livin',” the practical use of slipcovers, and collecting. “There's not a house in Savannah that doesn't lovingly display a collection of plates, pottery, canes, ceramics, crafts, or anything that takes our fancy,” she explains. The frequent “Brandon's Style Secrets” sidebars scarcely offer secrets, but they do contain nuggets of fun and time-tested wisdom: “For your [holiday] flowers, use several tiny bunches instead of one big expensive arrangement. You will get the same look for less money.” Though reading Deen's accent (nothin'; havin'; fixin') isn't as charming as hearing it, the prose is friendly, and the volume offers a warm invitation to those who want a peek at how Deen and her fellow Savannahans live.
Reviewed on: 03/15/2010