Frank Fontana's Dirty Little Secrets of Design

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Interior design is difficult enough without the added stress of doing it on a budget. Frank Fontana-Today Show design expert and guru of low-cost, high-style design--is HGTV's go-to guy for chic makeovers on a dime. In a witty, conversational tone, Fontana shares his techniques, breaking down the process, room by room, project by project, and divulges his secret tips and tricks on how to create high-style homes the low-cost way. Fontana analyzes several beautiful homes, dissects the individual design components of each room, and applies his "Look for Less" principle to help readers build their own look on a budget. The book also includes DIY projects that are accessible and doable for readers with varying skill levels, as well as advice on how to be a savvy shopper when looking for home decor items or furniture.

Text of Frank Fontana's Dirty Little Secrets of Design

  • Everyone knows the expression dont judge a book by its cover, which I

    agree with. (Hey, look at my book: awesome cover, awesome book; theres

    the answer to that old dilemma!). I think you can treat the entryway like

    the cover of the interior design of your home. An entryway is the begin-

    ning of the story of your homewhich really means it is the first impres-

    sion people see of your story. If it seems like the stakes are raised . . . its

    because they arewe aint decorating no mudroom!

    But so many people are content to leave their entryways as empty

    space with some shoes lined up by the wall. (Worse: with the shoes strewn

    all over!) Others simply hang whatever extra items they have up on the

    walls and head back to the main home thinking theyre done decorating.

    This is the wrong way to go about it! You need to give a personal treatment

    to most everything in an entryway. Incorporate organization and a lack of

    obstructions into your plan, but find clever ways to show people who you

    are. You can think of your entryway as a mini-museum of the lives of you

    and your family.

    making a perfect first impressionENTRYWAYS

    c h a p t e r f i v e

    1 1 1

  • Everyone knows the expression dont judge a book by its cover, which I

    agree with. (Hey, look at my book: awesome cover, awesome book; theres

    the answer to that old dilemma!). I think you can treat the entryway like

    the cover of the interior design of your home. An entryway is the begin-

    ning of the story of your homewhich really means it is the first impres-

    sion people see of your story. If it seems like the stakes are raised . . . its

    because they arewe aint decorating no mudroom!

    But so many people are content to leave their entryways as empty

    space with some shoes lined up by the wall. (Worse: with the shoes strewn

    all over!) Others simply hang whatever extra items they have up on the

    walls and head back to the main home thinking theyre done decorating.

    This is the wrong way to go about it! You need to give a personal treatment

    to most everything in an entryway. Incorporate organization and a lack of

    obstructions into your plan, but find clever ways to show people who you

    are. You can think of your entryway as a mini-museum of the lives of you

    and your family.

    making a perfect first impressionENTRYWAYS

    c h a p t e r f i v e

    1 1 1

  • A few other problems that prevent people from

    designing their entryways with style and flair are typi-

    cally the cost, existing architectural obstructions, and

    lack of a formal entry room. Lets face it, this is not

    a high-priority place to redecorate, so many people

    would rather save decorating money for other spaces.

    Well, Ill help you drop that idea in no time. The entry-

    way is the perfect spot for you to begin your decorat-

    ing adventure! From DIY projects that embrace your

    personality to simple solutions that make you look like

    a decorating guru, Ill cover some of my favorite and

    fun methods to design to your style. Better still, the

    best DIY projects for the entryway will use items you

    already own (collections, heirlooms, and other souve-

    nirs of your life) to bring most of their style so you

    dont need to spend much on fancy materials.

    DONTS AND DOS

    Dont: Clutter your entryway with bulky objects like

    dressers, hutches, etc.

    Clutter your entryway with too many loose, small

    odds and ends.

    Place items that can be easily knocked over on

    shelves without protection.

    Use organizing feature like hat racks, umbrella

    bins, jacket trees, show cubbies, etc. that dont

    get use, add to style, or could be substituted for

    smaller options.

    Stop thinking of how you can personalize your

    entryway to set the stage for the rest of the

    home.

    f u nc t i o nYour entryway has kind of a tricky function: You want

    to allow people to pass directly through, maybe take

    off their shoes and jackets, but you also want to tempt

    them to pause for a moment and consider the space.

    This can be tough to balance! An equal mixture of

    organization and style is required.

    I find that bold dcor, compelling wall-hung photogra-

    phy, and an inexpensive, narrow tall vase filled with

    a few regional branches are excellent ways express

    style in an entryway. If possible, try relating the fur-

    nishings to hobbies, places you've been, and other

    favorite things. The best goal to have in mind is for

    your design to cause a guest to walk into your main

    space after walking through the decorated entryway

    and comment to you about something interesting they

    saw as they entered. This not only tells strangers and

    new friends something about you they probably don't

    know but will stick in people's memories when they

    fondly recall your home.

    Q.D.E. ALERT

    comment tk

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  • A few other problems that prevent people from

    designing their entryways with style and flair are typi-

    cally the cost, existing architectural obstructions, and

    lack of a formal entry room. Lets face it, this is not

    a high-priority place to redecorate, so many people

    would rather save decorating money for other spaces.

    Well, Ill help you drop that idea in no time. The entry-

    way is the perfect spot for you to begin your decorat-

    ing adventure! From DIY projects that embrace your

    personality to simple solutions that make you look like

    a decorating guru, Ill cover some of my favorite and

    fun methods to design to your style. Better still, the

    best DIY projects for the entryway will use items you

    already own (collections, heirlooms, and other souve-

    nirs of your life) to bring most of their style so you

    dont need to spend much on fancy materials.

    DONTS AND DOS

    Dont: Clutter your entryway with bulky objects like

    dressers, hutches, etc.

    Clutter your entryway with too many loose, small

    odds and ends.

    Place items that can be easily knocked over on

    shelves without protection.

    Use organizing feature like hat racks, umbrella

    bins, jacket trees, show cubbies, etc. that dont

    get use, add to style, or could be substituted for

    smaller options.

    Stop thinking of how you can personalize your

    entryway to set the stage for the rest of the

    home.

    f u nc t i o nYour entryway has kind of a tricky function: You want

    to allow people to pass directly through, maybe take

    off their shoes and jackets, but you also want to tempt

    them to pause for a moment and consider the space.

    This can be tough to balance! An equal mixture of

    organization and style is required.

    I find that bold dcor, compelling wall-hung photogra-

    phy, and an inexpensive, narrow tall vase filled with

    a few regional branches are excellent ways express

    style in an entryway. If possible, try relating the fur-

    nishings to hobbies, places you've been, and other

    favorite things. The best goal to have in mind is for

    your design to cause a guest to walk into your main

    space after walking through the decorated entryway

    and comment to you about something interesting they

    saw as they entered. This not only tells strangers and

    new friends something about you they probably don't

    know but will stick in people's memories when they

    fondly recall your home.

    Q.D.E. ALERT

    comment tk

    FR

    AN

    K F

    ON

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    NA

    S d

    irty little

    SE

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    ET

    S O

    F D

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    1 1 2 1 1 3

  • Do: Focus on convenience for your guests and

    provide for it in the right details.

    Incorporate easy to spot, condensed or multi

    functional organizing spaces for items like

    shoes, coats, hats, etc. (There are plenty of DIY

    suggestions further in.)

    Use dcor and comforting flourishes to tempt

    guests to linger in the entryway.

    Find lighting that complements your space and

    design style.

    TRUE CONFESSIONS

    On Design on a Dime and Takeover My Makeover, we

    are rarely asked to touch the entrywayif someone is

    given the choice between redecorating a living room

    or entryway, how often would they say: Oh, my entry-

    way! Redo my entryway!? It doesnt happen.

    THE NOSE KNOWSScents are a great way of adding appeal to your

    home. After all, if you dont take some control

    of a spaces smell there are lots of nasty odors

    that will! Nowhere are scents most effective than

    in the entrywaya good (but not overpowering)

    scent will make visitors feel welcome and cared

    for. Think about yourself tooyou can arrive home

    every day welcomed by a fragrance that you love

    and will, in less time than you think, associate with

    home. Find candles, incense, potpourri, plug-ins,

    and the infinite other objects available for scent-

    ing roomsyou can even make a hobby out of

    finding new scents to rotate amongst. A scent col-

    lection is easy, exciting, and affordable!

    DIRTY LITTLE SECRETS

    ambianceThe entry is the very first opportunity to make a state-

    ment about your home and yourself