Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories

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9780743294744: Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories

In GOOD DESIGN CAN CHANGE YOUR LIFE, Ty Pennington shares tricks and techniques from his popular show to redesign their living, working, and sleeping spaces. Just like the show, the book emphasizes personal style, teaching the reader to take inspiration from their hobbies, interests, and surroundings. At the same time, though, Ty isn't shy about telling readers what he thinks makes a room really work, and the book instructs the reader on basic design principles that ensure the redesigned room is comfortable, beautiful, and represents a radical improvement. You will learn how to make rooms flow without making them match, how choice of paint colour affects the mood of a room, how to create dramatic and flattering lighting, and much more. There are photos throughout for inspiration and demonstration as well as an appendix with easy-to-execute home carpentry projects. Woven into the advice and instruction are inspirational stories and behind-the-scenes anecdotes from the show and Ty's personal life. These are the stories that make Ty a cult figure and make this book more than just a run-of-the-mill, how-to manual.

"synopsis" may belong to another edition of this title.

About the Author:

Ty Pennington is the host of ABC's hit series Extreme Makeover: Home Edition. He has won awards in graphic design and worked as a set designer and as a model before being cast as the carpenter in The Learning Channel's series Trading Spaces. Ty has developed his own line of home products for Sears, Howard Miller,and Lumber Liquidators and has launched Ty Pennington at Home magazine.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

Imagine that one day you inexplicably find yourself living in an extremely bad situation. Your house is in shambles, run-down inside and out, the yard choked with weeds. You've tried to fix things up, but, frankly, you've got more pressing things on your mind, including a young daughter battling cancer, a wedding ring pawned to help pay her medical expenses, and long hours at a grocery store job trying to make ends meet. Then, just as it seems almost too much to bear, you hear a very loud and annoying voice yelling your family's name through a megaphone. The next thing you know, you and your family are being whisked away for a much-needed week's vacation, while a group of TV people stick around to spruce up your house. "Cool," you think, "it'll be nice to have a room or two redecorated."

Well, not exactly.

That family -- featured on the very first episode of Extreme Makeover: Home Edition -- was more than a little surprised to come home to a whole new house, not just a few revamped rooms. Now, of course, people know what to expect when they hear me shouting "Good morning!" outside their door. But that initial makeover was a revelation to everyone involved, including me -- and I'm not talking just about the sheer amount of people power that went into the job (though that was pretty amazing, too). While I'd been crafting furniture, designing rooms, and renovating homes for years, until I began my job as team leader on EMHE, I don't think I realized how much difference having a comfortable, well-designed, and beautiful place to live can make in someone's life. Sure, I've always been passionate about houses, but the experience of creating warm, inviting sanctuaries for families who really need them has made me a true believer in the power of positive rethinking. If you want to inject light, energy, and optimism into your life, making over your home -- or even just a single room -- is a good place to start.

I know for sure that the instant that first EMHE family walked into their new house, their lives had changed for the better. I don't think any of us, including all the neighbors and community members who had come out to help us, were quite prepared for how dramatic and emotional that moment would be. When the first show aired, my brother called. "Dude," he said, "there's not a dry eye in America right now." I was crying, too, even though I was seeing the episode a second time, so the conversation was a little awkward. How, I was wondering, did I get lucky enough to get this job, the greatest, most rewarding experience of my life? And who would have thought years ago, when I was a kid drawing on the walls, breaking furniture, and pretty much destroying my family's home, that I would someday be destroying and rebuilding strangers' homes and being thanked rather than sent to my room.

You don't need to have had bad luck or a tragedy in your life to be in need of a big or even a little change on the home front. We all need change. Change is good, and that's especially true when it comes to the rooms where you've spent a good portion of your life. I'll even go as far as to say that making changes in your home can completely change your life. Think about it. When you wake up in the morning, the first thing you see when you open your eyes is your bedroom. Does that make you happy or does it only remind you of how much crap you've got piled up and need to find a place for? Either way, it's got to affect your outlook for the day. How ready will you be to tackle the day's challenges if your first sight reminds you of how you've neglected your house? And how cheery are you going to be when you step out to greet your kids, your significant other, your dog, or whoever if the state of your living quarters has already put you in a bad mood?

Likewise when you come home at the end of a day. If everything is the same as it's been for years and years -- and not comforting-same, but depressing-same -- your home will seem stale and, by extension, so might your life. Yet if you've taken the time to put some soul and feeling into your décor, things might seem quite the opposite. And the alterations don't even have to be major -- a gallon of paint goes a long way. It doesn't matter if you own or rent where you live, it's your nest, your habitat -- it's you. Make it an inviting, fun, and relaxing place to come home to.

The key is to design rooms that reflect what you're all about. Your home should be a place with colors, textures, sights, smells, and sounds that please you. It should be completely personal, the palace you've always wanted to live in -- even if it's just a mini version of that lavish pad you pictured. No matter that you can't afford the Taj Mahal; you can have the Garage Mahal! As long as the rooms are suited to you, it's going to be great.

Changing your home makes you feel like you have a chance to start over. Change begets change. Change the look of your living room and maybe you'll look at the world differently. Change your bedroom and maybe you'll begin to get a different idea of your future and what you want to accomplish. Every week on EMHE we give people a fresh start in their homes, and it so often translates into a fresh start in life. One thing I'm certain of is that a home is so much more than the place where you eat and sleep. It is -- or it should be -- a reflection of all the things that matter to you.

What most people need to initiate change is inspiration. I hope that you've watched EMHE and thought, "Yeah, my house could use a change, too." What you probably don't know, though, is that there is a lot more inspiration to be gleaned from what we do on the show that never even makes it into the one-hour broadcast. That's why part of the mission behind this book is to give you more of the inside scoop on what goes into each project as well as an insider's view of "Ty's secret rooms," the rooms that I personally create for families. I want to share my passion for intelligent, imaginative design and let you in on all the tricks for crafting unique, personal interiors that I've learned down (sometimes literally) in the trenches. By the end of this book, you'll know exactly what it takes, from Step A to Step Z, to bring a little more style into your life.

Unless you have the ABC network and your entire town standing by with a wrecking ball, it's easier and far more affordable to tackle one or a few rooms at a time, so I've narrowed this book down to three high-impact areas of the house: bedrooms, living spaces, and work spaces. I'm also going to talk about the elements of style that apply to all rooms, including what to look at before you leap (what stays, what goes, how to make a floor plan); how to decide what style you're going to go for; and how to use color and texture in ways that are unexpected, but not insane. You don't want it to look like you got inspiration from a clown college (though maybe Bozo Bohemian is your thing, which is fine by me).

I also want to encourage you and give you the nail-by-nail instructions on how to build some of your own furnishings. The TV audience might not know it, but I design custom furniture for just about every room I do on the show. Someone else usually builds it for me now only because the show's time crunch makes it impossible for me to build it myself. But I've handcrafted hundreds of different pieces over the years and I still love it. The great thing about building your own furniture and accessories is that it's not terribly difficult and it's so gratifying to know that you've created a major design element (or even a minor one) for your home with your bare hands. Your friends will be pretty impressed, too. Really. You've got to try it.

Keep in mind that you don't have to overhaul a room completely to give it a striking makeover. Sometimes fooling around with just one or two elements is all you need to do. My goal here is to give you tons of ideas from which you can pick and choose. We'll talk about walls and floors, lighting and storage, wallpaper and fabric -- yes, I'm going to talk about wallpaper and fabric. This might seem slightly weird if you, like most people, think of me as just a nail-and-hammer guy. I am a nail-and-hammer guy, but I have an extensive background in art and design, and they're my passion. Wow, did I just say the word passion? Didn't expect that either, did you?

When I was a kid growing up in Atlanta, the only way my mom could get me to sit still and focus on anything was when she gave me a sketchpad or some kind of art project to work on. Otherwise, I was wreaking havoc, unscrewing the legs of the piano, drawing a picture on the wall with crayons -- why not? -- and basically redesigning the house. I wasn't much better in school. I definitely had some issues with conduct and, being who I am, a lot of excess energy. So I caused chaos in the classroom, climbing in and out of windows, slapping Johnny on the back of the head. As it happens, my mom was studying to be a child psychologist and, as part of her course work, she came to my elementary school and asked to study the worst kid in the school. Who do you think was sent to the front? Oh yeah, it all made for some interesting school and family dynamics.

But I wasn't completely hopeless. I had some trouble studying, but I found that I could do well if I had a visual frame of reference. I was good at geometry, for instance, because it involved shapes and putting things together. And I found that I could memorize facts for history class if I drew little pictures of battle scenes or whatever event was in the curriculum. Approaching information visually made all the difference for me -- and it still does.

I always wanted to be an artist, but my parents were a little skeptical about the idea, since it's not the easiest route to a solid bank account. So I figured out that I could go to art school to become a graphic designer, which might land me a legitimate job. It turned out that I loved it. I loved it so much that when I was asked to do one project, I'd do three. (I was a real overachiever beaver on that one.) I also started doing carpentry, working on building houses, but I never thought...

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