Living Great

Living Great

by Linda Dano, Anne Kyle


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Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780399524844
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 04/01/1999
Pages: 206
Product dimensions: 7.56(w) x 9.06(h) x 0.63(d)


On April 8, 1998, on AOL welcomed Linda Dano to our Authors@aol series to discuss her latest book, LIVING GREAT. Linda Dano is most widely known for her Emmy Award-winning role on NBC's "Another World." She owns and operates a New York-based fashion consulting service, Strictly Personal, and designs a line of women's fashion accessories for QVC. Her latest book, LIVING GREAT, is available at keyword: bn.

JainBN: Welcome, Linda Dano! We're thrilled you could join us tonight to chat about your new book. If only all our homes were as stylish as yours! How do you do it?

Linda Dano: Thank you so much for having me. It's really fun to spend this time as an author. My new love affair with writing has become so exciting, and I enjoy hearing from everyone with their comments and ideas.

Question: First you wrote LOOKING GREAT, and now LIVING GREAT. What do you have planned for your next book?

Linda Dano: There are a couple of things being talked about right now. One is a third nonfiction book about entertaining, food -- making those parties memorable. And of course, all of it with style. And believe it or not, I am working on my first novel. Eek! I will let you know how that goes.

Question: What came first, acting or your love of designing?

Linda Dano: Absolutely it was my love of designing; all of my childhood was around that. My focus in school was in the arts, because I loved both fashion and interior design. I was never sure which direction to go in. I have been very lucky to have had the chance to do both and to also act. It has been a wonderful life. Thank you!

Question: What do you think about the current "Another World"?

Linda Dano: Well, what can I say? It's certainly gone through some changes lately. I wish I could give you the reasons. I know how hard it is for viewers to understand all that has taken place this past year, with the latest being Charles Keating. It is also very hard for all of us left who do the show. It's scary, lonely. It feels uncertain, and even though I have been told that things will settle down, it is pretty hard to believe that. All I can say is stick with it, if you can.

Question: Does your book cover decorating a kitchen? I have recently moved into a new apartment that actually has a pretty big kitchen which is very well lit. Any suggestions? Or do you have to see the room before decorating it?

Linda Dano: Congratulations on the new place. And a big kitchen -- wow, most of us can't say that. I would give you better advice if I could see it first. Let me give you a few general tips. Don't be afraid to use color either in paint or wallpaper. Try and make the kitchen part of the rest of the house, in those colors and fabrics. And try to bring your personality into a very utilitarian room. In other words, put a jug of utensils, stack cutting boards, put up wonderful prints in pictures, add colorful towels. Pay attention to detail; you will like being in there and you will like to cook.

Question: Do you have any general advice for a tight-budgeted individual who wants to decorate but doesn't have the money?

Linda Dano: I don't believe decorating is about money. Take the most prominent piece of furniture in your living room, the sofa. If it has many colors, pick one of those colors and paint the room. Find a solid fabric that color and drape it over a table. Find picture frame mats that reflect that color. Make some pillows. And you want to know something? Stand back and look at what a terrific room you have created with a little paint and a little fabric. Also, fill your homes with memories: shells that you found with your boyfriend, pictures that your children draw, gifts from your grandmother or your favorite aunt. Let your home be about you.

Question: Where would you recommend shopping for the appropriate materials to fix up one's apartment?

Linda Dano: There are many good stores out there now, that have really great stuff to choose from. For instance: Crate & Barrel, Pottery Barn, Pier One, and, of course, there are Bed, Bath and Beyond and Linens & Things. They all have inexpensive, stylish, good quality items. It is up to you to be disciplined in choosing them. Keep your buying within three colors, no more. And try and put those three colors in all your rooms in one form or another. You will look like you had a professional decorator.

Question: Can we talk about window treatments? My windows are total eyesores. I look due south and get a lot of light, so I don't necessarily want to lose that. How far beyond the sill should curtains go?

Linda Dano: Window treatments are as varied as are T-shirts from The Gap. Almost anything goes today; just be careful that whatever you do reflects the rest of your room. In other words, if you have a linen sofa and director's chairs and everything is very casual, don't put up heavy velvet curtains. If your windows get a lot of light, you are right in not trying to block it. It gives a lot of personality to the room. Frame the window in a soft fabric and something light, because you don't want it to fade. Also, think about plantation shutters, shades, fabric that is just draped over a rod. There are a lot of things to do. Really look around, or even get a catalog. If you don't spend a lot you can give yourself the luxury of changing the windows for the seasons.

Question: I'm wondering if you take into consideration any of the principles of Feng Shui when decorating your home?

Linda Dano: I have not, but I must tell you, I have thought about it. Have you done that? And is it working? Can you tell me?

Question: I have a very narrow New York City galley kitchen. How can I give the illusion of expansiveness? Any color suggestions?

Linda Dano: I have the same kind of kitchen in New York, and I don't think your focus should be in making it bigger. I think your focus should be in making it charming and really put together. There is something about a room where everything goes together that makes it look larger, makes it look more inviting. Not a little tiny, unimportant space. It's about illusion. My kitchen in New York, which you will see part of in the book, is so adorable and it is the size of a closet, and when you look at it, you don't think, "Wow, what a tiny little kitchen this is." You think, "Wow, isn't that adorable." It is all about illusion.

JainBN: Linda, thanks so much for all of the helpful hints tonight. I think we're all ready to go shopping and make our houses into homes!

Linda Dano: It really is fun to make our private worlds, and all that we dream about them being. You can, you really can. And the joy that it will give you is unbelievable. Good luck, call me if you get in trouble (leave it on my Web site), and I hope the book will answer all your questions. Good luck. Much love. --Linda.

JainBN: Thank you, Linda! Good night!

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Living Great 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
carterchristian1 on LibraryThing 26 days ago
This is very much an uncluttering book. There is one especially useful few pages describing and showing examples of style categories - classic,modern,sporty or country,romantic, elegant, and ecclectic. Which are you ? There is a checklist of furniture for each room. The sofa styles examples are excellent.