The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home

The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home

by Kelly Edwards

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Through stunning photographs and step-by-step instructions, designer and lifestyle expert Kelly Edwards brings a myriad of looks, tastes, and approaches to chic home design in this guidebook. From the kitchen and the bedroom to the home office and the out-of-doors, Kelly illustrates how to achieve the best color, texture, proportion, and overall design aesthetic and passes along decorating tips from amazing designers and tastemakers. Individual chapters contain a wide array of images and inspiration for the respective spaces along with an assortment of do-it-yourself “recipes” to achieve just the right personality.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781605426310
Publisher: Medallion Media Group
Publication date: 05/01/2013
Sold by: Barnes & Noble
Format: NOOK Book
Pages: 335
File size: 142 MB
Note: This product may take a few minutes to download.

About the Author

Kelly Edwards is a designer, a lifestyle expert, and a television personality. She is a former cohost of HGTV's "Design on a""Dime" and Style Network's "My Awesome Room "and "Tacky House" and is a segment host and design expert on AOL "Living." She has appeared on the "Tyra Banks Show" and has been featured in magazines such as "Cosmopolitan," "Good Housekeeping," "Life & Style," "Men's Health," and "Midwest Living." She is the national spokesperson for Waterpik Showerhead. She lives in Los Angeles.

Read an Excerpt

The Design Cookbook

Recipes for a Stylish Home

By KELLY EDWARDS, Emily Steele

Medallion Press, Inc.

Copyright © 2013 Kelly Edwards
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-60542-532-0



dining room

Rustic Modern 23
Vintage Revival 27
Light and Airy 33
Bold and Beautiful 37
Retro Glamour 41
Conversational Dining 45

My DIY Slide Projector Art 47
Emma's DIY Window Film 49


I recently read in a design magazine that you don't want the chandelier in your dining room to take the spotlight away from your fabulous food. Well, in this case I say let the chandeliers shine! This dining room makes my heart sing. I am in love! I believe in having a great entertaining space with interesting design elements, gorgeous lighting, and believe it or not, reading material. Whether you're having family dinners around a banquette or hosting a dinner party, inject character and charm into your dining room. Have fun with the space. After all, that's what it's meant for: friends, family, and food!


* If you love to entertain, it's important to add as much seating as your space will allow. Not having enough is always uncomfortable. Having extra foldout chairs is the perfect solution. Tuck them away, and pull them out when you need them.

* Matching dining sets are too predictable. Mix it up by incorporating different types of seating, such as benches, ottomans, upholstered chairs, or an array of chairs in the same style but different colors.

* Lighting is the most important element for creating your dream dining room. It can set the tone for the whole space. Most overhead lighting tends to be harsh. If your overhead doesn't cast a warm, welcoming glow, don't use it. Instead opt for floor lamps, table lamps that can sit on the credenza, or install dimmers, and always use additional candlelight for a dinner party. The room will have a nice glow, and everyone will look and feel more comfortable.

* Hang a chandelier roughly thirty-two to thirty-four inches above your tabletop. Its diameter should measure roughly 50 percent of your tabletop's surface. If your dining area is fairly large, you can always add more than one chandelier. Multiples are just as fun!

* When choosing a dining table, consider the adjoining rooms. If your dining space is connected to your living room, a round or oval table can break up the harsh lines of the sofa and coffee table. Likewise, mixing up materials, like putting a marble top on a wood base, can look classic and clean and less predictable.

* If you're putting a rug into your dining area, make sure the table and all the chairs fit comfortably on top of the rug. Choose a low-maintenance, low-pile or braided rug that won't snag on the chairs. Wool, nylon, or sisal work well.

* A bar cart in the dining room can act as a host when you're busy entertaining your guests or as storage if you are working with a smaller space. If you are in need of more storage than what a cart can hold, a credenza, console, or hutch is a great option. Keep your dishes, linens, and even board games in there when you're not using them.

* A dining room is a great place to experiment with molding, wallpaper, dramatic textiles, and paint colors. Have fun incorporating florals, stripes, geometric patterns, and bold colors. If you prefer a neutral and clean look, stick to colorful tablecloths that can be removed after dinner or as the seasons change.

* Mirrors and artwork will dress up any dining room and reflect the light. Install a mirror over your credenza or use a floor mirror to ultimately make the room look larger.

* Displaying a stack of books in your dining room is a must. Choose books that spark interesting dinner conversation. You'll be surprised at the discussion that books can elicit.


I love the combination of simple, rustic, and modern pieces. Combining richly finished items with sculptural ones brings classic comfort to any dining space. This is something that Room and Board does so well. With edited-down pieces and mixed wood and steel, this room feels texturally simple but rich in design.


Steel and Wood Parsons Dining Table
Black Lacquer Wood Chairs
Industrial Shelving
Wool Rug
Sculptural Pendant Lamps
Wood Planking for Wall


STEP 1: Install wood planks horizontally. This budget-friendly look brings texture and richness to a flat wall. Stain the walls the same color as the table to match the tone of the room.

STEP 2: Add a large wool rug in gray to keep a neutral base. Like the wood, wool is a natural and eco-friendly material that provides a softness to balance the wood and the steel.

STEP 3: Bring in a steel and wood dining table to combine the texture and matte look of the overall space. Its architectural, natural, and luxurious metal finish feels very current.

STEP 4: Surround the dining table with classic black lacquer chairs inspired by a 1953 Helge Sibast design. The simple bentwood chairs add an interesting shape next to a rectangular table.

STEP 5: For shelving and storage, go a little less conventional and use a bookcase. It's perfect for storing glassware, cookbooks, and textiles. Utilitarian in nature, steel and glass are simple and sophisticated.

STEP 6: Install multiple lighting sources at different heights. Stick with sculptural pieces that look handmade to bring home the Nordic look. The white pendants give a soft, quiet beauty to the room- exactly what you want in a dining space!


A can of spray paint is every designer's best friend. Instead of leaving these vintage café chairs a cookie cutter color, Dayka Robinson painted them a sunny yellow, elevating this dining room to another level. This color accents the shape of the chairs and provides a cheery place to sit and enjoy your coffee in the morning.


Neutral Wall Paint
Black Dining Table
Set of Matching Vintage Chairs
Ornate Mirror
Yellow Spray Paint


STEP 1: Sometimes less is truly more! For a clean and simple dining space with an open feel and high style, start with a subtle backdrop utilizing neutral wall colors and, if possible, natural wood flooring. No need for a rug—the goal is to let the furniture take center stage.

STEP 2: When furniture shopping, look for well-made pieces with lines and shapes that catch your eye and play well together. As with all secondhand furniture, make sure your pieces are in excellent structural condition and need little to no repair.

STEP 3: An eclectic mix of furniture works best when the lines in each piece either mimic each other or have a bit of contrast. However, you can never go wrong with pieces you truly love.

STEP 4: Select an oval or circular dining table, then look for chairs that mimic these same shapes—think Windsor or café chairs. The idea is to reinforce the overall shape of the table with the chairs.

STEP 5: Avoid the urge to be too matchy-matchy with your furniture. Determine the amount of seating you'll need, then select a set of matching chairs that work well with your table but aren't a part of the same dining room suite. Look for pieces with cool detailing or sleek modern curves, and mix it up.

STEP 6: Don't be afraid to go bold with color! In this case, the black table not only hides nicks and dents but also acts as a great neutral base for the bright yellow chairs. The key to pulling off this look is to have high contrast between the colors of the table and chairs. A black table is a great base to match with almost any color of chair, but don't shy away from white either! Whether your favorite style is country, modern, or traditional, be adventurous! Remember you can always paint any set of wood chairs you find.

STEP 7: When selecting a wall mirror, the goal is to juxtapose the styles of the table and chairs. If your furniture is sleek and streamlined, look for a mirror with a lot of ornate detailing around the frame. If your table and chairs are detailed, choose a sleek and streamlined mirror to anchor your table in your space. Keep in mind that the size of your mirror will depend on the size of your dining room. Large room? Try using two to three smaller mirrors. Small room? Try one big mirror—the image reflection and sheer size will make it feel much bigger!

DAYKA'S DESIGNER TIPS: When in doubt, use high-gloss paint for added shine. Not only is it super durable, but glossy paint makes almost anything look good.

Keep in mind that when using mismatched dining chairs, it's very important to make sure the chairs are the same size and scale. Scale refers to dimension and proportion, and you want to ensure that the scale of each chair works well with the rest as well as with the table. You don't want to end up with one tiny chair and one huge chair and make a few of your guests feel like they belong at the kiddie table!


Heather Scott's breakfast nook is a comfortable take on the traditional banquette. I love her use of soft upholstered chairs and a settee to create a peaceful retreat for the family to come together during the day. It's like bringing the living room to the dining room.


One-by-Five-Inch Wall Boards (Shiplap)
White and Pale-Blue Paint
White Linen Fabric for Roman Shades
Sea Grass Rug
Round Glass-Top Table
Durable White Furnishings: Slipcovers and Teflon-Treated Materials
Punchy Pillows
Pair of Floor Lamps
Candleholder Chandelier


STEP 1: Transform a builder beige Sheetrock room into a cozy nook by applying tongue-and-groove shiplap wall paneling. Paint it bright white to make a small room feel larger, and paint the ceiling the palest blue to open it up and evoke the sky.

STEP 2: Purchase solid white linen fabric, cording, and wood board to make timeless Roman shades. It's quick and easy to do at home.

STEP 3: Add a simple sea grass rug to keep the room from looking too formal. All these elements create a white, bright, and neutral envelope to develop a coastal-inspired retreat in your home.

STEP 4: A round glass-top table is perfect for a small space. It keeps the room feeling open and gives you the flexibility to seat two to six people.

STEP 5: Mix up the seating by using a settee instead of traditional dining chairs to make the space more comfortable. In addition to being a place for family meals, this is now a great space for reading the paper and drinking coffee, working on your computer, or enjoying a glass of wine while chatting with friends. Durable velvet is used on the settee cushions, while the frame is covered in linen. Accent pillows add a punch of color to the room and can easily be changed seasonally or over time as your tastes change.

STEP 6: Add a pair of unique floor lamps to bring symmetry and balance to the room, making the setting pleasing to the eye. To save money on hiring an electrician, opt for a unique candleholder in place of a hand-wired chandelier.

HEATHER'S DESIGNER TIP: Make sure all the furniture materials are easy to care for by adding Teflon coating to the fabric before the furniture is made to protect it from spills or ink.


The dining room is one of the greatest places to play with wallpaper. The statement it makes is undeniable, so proceed with abandon. Go for the wow factor like Kati Curtis did by upping the ante with three designer pendants.


Bold Patterned Wallpaper
Chair Rail
Antique Dining Table
Super-Modern Dining Chairs
Antique Rug
Grayish-Blue Wall Paint
Large Round Pendant Lights
Art by Someone You Know and Love
Tea Set


STEP 1: Select a base color for your walls from one of the colors in your wallpaper. From the floor to thirty- six inches high, paint your wall color. Install the bold patterned wallpaper above the thirty-six inches. Once you've installed the wallpaper and painted the walls, you can install the trim pieces at thirty-six inches above the finished floor.

STEP 2: Have your electrician install modern pendants in a staggered pattern over where your table will go. A good rule of thumb is to have the pendants drop to thirty inches above the height of the table, but since you're staggering, make this the level of the lowest pendant.

STEP 3: Once the painting and any other finish work are complete, lay a rug pad on the floor centered under where your table will go. Throw the antique rug over the pad so it will stay put even when chairs are being pushed in and out from under the table. Make sure the rug is big enough to fit completely under your dining chairs so that you won't have wobbly seating.

STEP 4: Bring in the antique table, and center it under the pendants you've already hung. Place your modern dining chairs evenly around the table. If possible, you can have an upholsterer make cushions that fit inside your modern chairs.

STEP 5: Once your table and chairs are in place, hang a great piece of art created by someone you know and love. For a more unique and curated look, try not to match your artwork to the paper. Let it stand out all on its own.

STEP 6: Set the table with china, whether modern or your grandmother's. Again, mixing and matching styles is what it's all about.

STEP 7: Add fresh-cut flowers and macaroons, and you're ready for a proper tea.


When Kimberly Ayres was designing this dining room, her goal was to make it bright and fun. She scoured, shopped, and ultimately found the perfect place: eBay. Yes, this room came from eBay! A mix of eclectic and highly textured furniture pieces and bright colors turned this dining room into an online shopping success.


Burl Wood Classic Parsons Table
Chippendale Chairs
Blue Faux Pigskin Fabric Buffet
Grass Cloth Wallpaper
Zebra Rug
Coral Chandelier
Wall of Mirrors
Photo/Painting Art


STEP 1: Start by picking your overall color scheme. The best way to do this is to let the color pick itself. Lay out your colors in the room and let them sit for several days. Depending on the light in the room, the colors will change and one will stand out. For this room, a bright yellow made the room feel happier.

STEP 2: Kimberly embraced the existing mirrored wall and added grass cloth wallpaper to give the room a bit of depth and to break away from paint. Go for a lighter color so the furniture stays the primary focus.

STEP 3: Add a designer table. A vintage Parsons-style burl wood table is a perfect choice for bringing in texture with a mix of yellows and browns.

STEP 4: Chippendale chairs, with their geometric backing, are vintage enough to carry on the theme. When coated with white lacquer and reupholstered in a bright yellow velvet fabric, they add a level of modernism.

STEP 5: Add a blue faux pigskin buffet for storage and to break up all the yellow pieces in the room. If you are undecided about faux pigskin, go for another texture like leather or suede. Just make sure it's a deep hue to tone down the yellow.

STEP 6: Create a focal point with art. While great art can always be bought online, ask around. Someone may know a great artist. This piece is a photo/painting combo done by two talented friends.

STEP 7: A sculptural chandelier in a coral motif adds to the whimsy feeling of the room and creates a gorgeous glow off the mirrored wall.

STEP 8: Finish up by adding a zebra-skin rug to break up the pale floors and to provide your final layer of texture.


Sally Wheat's dining room was designed to be a conversation piece. Packed with texture and finishes, this room is certainly a feast for your eyes. From the large-scale wallpaper to the curiosities placed around the room, there will be no lack of conversation here!


Paisley Wallpaper
Sea Grass Rug
Plaster Chandelier
Wooden Table
Steel-Framed Vintage Chairs
Pair of Vintage French Campaign Chests
Lucite Bar Cart
Gilt Mirror
Sheer Linen Drapes


STEP 1: Select a large-scale patterned wallpaper in a muted neutral to give the room movement. This will provide enough visual interest without being too overwhelming.

STEP 2: Start by grounding the room with a large neutral sea grass rug.

STEP 3: Hang a big white chandelier above the dining table to illuminate the space. Incorporate round bulbs into the chandelier to give it more of a modern look.

STEP 4: Mix periods and styles! In order to create a room that is unique with tons of character, mix vintage, antique, and new pieces. Choose an earthy wooden table paired with modern, steel-framed vintage seats for an eclectic mix. Don't be afraid to mix and match seating. A furry, textured bench paired with four chairs is unexpected and fun.

STEP 5: Stack two vintage French campaign chests to act as a buffet. Top with a large antique gilt mirror.

STEP 6: Accessorize with interesting large conversation pieces, such as a bust. Decorate the bust with necklaces, hats, or flowers when entertaining to bring an interactive, playful element to the space.

Excerpted from The Design Cookbook by KELLY EDWARDS. Copyright © 2013 by Kelly Edwards. Excerpted by permission of Medallion Press, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents


INTRODUCTION....................     1     

DEFINING YOUR STYLE....................     3     

DETERMINING YOUR BUDGET....................     5     

PICKING THE PERFECT COLOR....................     7     

FURNITURE AND SPACE PLANNING....................     9     

RECIPE FOR 5-MINUTE DECORATING....................     11     

RECIPE FOR DESIGNING LIKE A CELEBRITY....................     13     

DINING ROOM....................     15     

KITCHEN....................     53     

KID'S ROOM....................     99     

LIVING ROOM....................     143     

BATHROOM....................     195     

BEDROOM....................     245     

OFFICE....................     293     

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The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Very inspiring! Love that different styles are presented so different tastes can be addressed.