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Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime by Sheila Bridges, Anna Williams (Photographer) Furnishing Forward: A Practical Guide to Furnishing for a Lifetime
by Sheila Bridges, Anna Williams (Photographer)

Hardcover: 182 pages ; Dimensions (in inches): 0.78 x 10.46 x 9.36
Publisher: Little Brown & Company; 1st edition (May 2002)
ISBN: 0821226991

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Book Description: Sheila Bridges shares both professional and personal anecdotes as well as lots of solid information to help home and apartment dwellers make the transition from Ikea to eclectic, from milk crates to furniture that will endure for years. Furnishing Forward guides the reader through finding and implementing a personal style within a realistic budget, with advice on where and how to shop for quality pieces as well as working with design professionals to create the look you want. With its witty narrative tone and its design-by-personality-type approach, no other decorating book is as useful for a younger audience while displaying a timeless style.

About the Author: Sheila Bridges is president of Sheila Bridges Design, a New York-based company. Her own Manhattan apartment and many of those of her clients have been featured in magazines and books, including The Best of Martha Stewart: Living, Decorating Details, House and Garden, House Beautiful, and Town & Country. She lives in New York City.

Customer Reviews
Traditional approach, July 21, 2002
Reviewer: janeloo from San Antonio, TX United States
Very pretty book - but rather tradional taste and style. Not a very thorough guide book - more of a coffee table book.

Humourous and Helpful, June 27, 2002
Reviewer: andalee from United States
This is a fun read, and doesn't take too long. GREAT pictures, and a very articulate and educated style. Bridges shares from her wealth of experience and expertise to convince you to furnish your home comfortably and with quality pieces that will last.

However, if you're looking for a book to help you learn how to design interiors, go check out Straight Talk about Design by Lynnette Jennings, or something similar.

It's a good read, but I wouldn't say it's worth the [money]. If I had it to do again, I'd go to a book club or get it used.

Good insight. Great advice. Engaging pictures: What a Book!, June 7, 2002
Reviewer: HB2 from San Francisco, CA USA
Sheila Bridges, the self-described "walking, talking, fabric-wielding designer-decorator-stylist-psychologist-florist-accountant-collection agent publicist-attorney-trucker-analyst with a Stanley Powerlock twenty-five-foot tape measure", obviously knows the business and art of decorating inside and out. Great!-but the clincher is that she is able to convey this immense knowledge in such a straightforward and totally non-intimidating way. Her very use of familiar and enlightening quotations coupled with the witty chapter titles helps comfort the readers yet piques their curiosity with each turn of the page.

Finally, Practical Advise on Decorating, May 29, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from East Meadow, NY United States
I just finished Furnishing Forward. Sheila Bridges' advice on decorating is so straight forward and reasonable; she makes a novice decorator feel confident about the daunting task of furnishing a home. I also really liked the way the photos of the home in the book included many Afrocentric touches. Without ever mentioning it, she makes it clear that one can decorate a home expressing one's ethnic heritage without losing sight of the basic elements of design and good taste. Bravo!!!!

Absolutely Fantastic, May 28, 2002
Reviewer: A reader from durham, nc
This book is awesome! The author/designer has very practical advice for decorating. It felt as if I was actually talking with the author instead of reading. The photography is great too! Ms Bridges' style evokes a classic and understated elegance that I am trying to adopt. I am anxious to get started on my next projects using what I've learned from this book.

beautifully written and photographed, a book to treasure, May 22, 2002
Reviewer: vrhutton from philadelphia, PA USA
What could have been so difficult to do, became an exciting and fun filled time when I followed the wonderful and practical suggestions shared in this beautifully written and illustrated book. Ms Bridges explains in easy to follow language, how best to turn your living space, whether it be a house or an apartment, into a comfortable and delightful home to enjoy with family and friends. When you're ready to express your own special taste in furniture and accessories, and before you toss all the 'old stuff', you will want to read and re-read this book with its splendid ideas. The book is also a 'find' for older folks, 'empty nesters' for example, who may be moving into a smaller space, not knowing what to hold onto and what to purchase for their new lifestyle. I am just beginning my own redecorating, and have saved time and money already by better planning. Buy it! Even after the decorating is done, I know I will enjoy browsing through it and sharing ideas with my friends.

No Frills Advice, April 18, 2002
Reviewer: peter hellman from New York, NY United States
I opened Furnishing Forward to the author's advice on dealing with "emotional-attachment" issues between married couples. It might have fended off some nasty arguments if both my wife and I had read it before we crossed swords over a matter as small as which constitutes the ideal trash can. "If compromise can get us out of the Cuban Missile Crisis," writes Bridges, "surely it can get us out of decorating disagreements." There's solid, ever so practical advice like that throughout this truly helpful book.

Love the Book!, April 17, 2002
Reviewer: Gail L. Faulkner from Grand Blanc, MI United States
For the first time in the several years I have been "reading" books on interior design and decorating, Sheila Bridges writes a book I actually took time to read and enjoyed. She is humorous, down to earth, no nonsense, as well as practical. She writes as though she were sitting right there with you developing the client/designer relationship, walking the client through each step guiding and advising you on the simple yet elegant ways to decorate your home. Incorporating beautiful photography while defining the different styles of design such as modernism, eclectic, simple, country, classic,comfortable/casual is a unique touch. Anna Williams is an awesome photographer. As a team the book is dynamic! Sheila'a ability to demonstrate her diverse decorating styles makes her the designer of the century!

Great book! Great job to both the author and photographer!

Furnishing Forward, April 8, 2002
Reviewer: twilliams131 from Boston, MA United States
Great book! I can see why Time magazine named Ms. Bridges #1 Designer for 2001. This is the first design book that I have enjoyed reading. Usually I just look at the pictures. The writing in most design books is normally so distant and professorial...while Furnishing Forward is very personal and funny, yet also practical and relevant. The pictures, which are beautiful, are used to show examples of the writer's point...rather than to just "show off" beautifully designed homes.

I believe the book is is a must read for people who are transitioning from temporary apartment living to a real home. It takes a lot of the mystery out of an unusually upfront and truthful way. Due to my personal transition from "black-leather-sofa apartment living" to "a mix of antiques and country furnishings in a real home", I can relate to many of the issues and solutions provided by this book...and since this transition is never over, as the book points out, I will continue to use it as a reference.

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