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Posted September 23, 2011
New Orleans Fabulous! Exciting Design Book!
"The Big Easy..." is a beautifully written book in addition to being a book with gorgeous photographs of homes in lush details and sophisticated tastes. Bryan Batt displays his Renaissance man characteristics not only in acting, it seems, but in writing, decorating and presenting himself as an entertaining man-about-town in New Orleans. This is a book of many surprises, one that you'll be pleased to reference, and have available for friends and family. I love 1800's period homes. Having been an interior designer myself, and having owned a few houses in that time period, I know the joys and the challenges they can present. Mr. Batt has shown them off and led us through those with panache! It's a real joy to see and read his excitement over the smallest of details that makes a house a home and a room spectacular. In terms of learning to decorate for oneself, Bryan gives so many practical examples and easy lessons covering such things as: ~ attention to lighting ~ importance and use of paint, which paint co. he uses, and some color choices specifically ~ sophisticated small things that enhance ~ how to use a splash of strong color for taste and drama ~ bars that set a mood and sparkle ~ art to bring a home to life It was particularly heartening to read how much support Bryan gives to clients and readers of his book in the very common area of decorating fright. Here, I quote him: "..never make a decision based on fear; one can never be truly stylish without taking a risk or two." Regarding our color education and use in our own home design, he urges us to keep our eyes open in nightclubs for colors, in art galleries, museums, books, and when we travel. In "Big Easy..." he also shows the gorgeous home of one of his school friend's, a local New Orleans artist, who employs her own artwork and crafts to fill her house with personality and punch. I loved when he wrote: "...think of this (your powder room, specifically,) as a perfect chance to express yourself and get your ya-yas out!"? So funny, and so true! He suggests an antique gold enamel paint, a piece of art inspiration, a theme that can set the tone such as; "The Last Emperor" or "The Secret Garden." I once had a powder room designed around the small mistress eye paintings that were done for noblemen during the Renaissance to carry with them in secret. These beautiful eyes, peeking out of knot holes of alabaster, exotic woods, agate and the like gave me a jewelled palette from which to decorate that little room for guests. It was such fun and I called it my "Little Jewelry Box." With his homebase of New Orleans, his apparently fabulous decorating shop (it has to be spectacular!) called "Hazelnut," with a nod to his beloved mom; and, including the cultural mix of Mardi Gras...Bryan Batt has shared with us his whole heart and gifts in this special book. It's visually a treat, it's a happy read, it's helpful and it's a reference for interior decorating. I would recommend it for everyone who loves their home, who wants to gift a loved one or newlywed, or friend; and a decorating professional looking to build her/his reference library. *Early copy received w/ no monetary exchange for honest, personal review.
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