Thursday, May 14

Design Your Life: Book Giveaway!

Design Your Life: The Pleasures and Perils of Everyday Things by Ellen and Julia Lupton is new book with a fascinating new look at the world of design and the role it plays in our lives. The twin Lupton sisters are the experts on DYL philosophy, and are very well-known in the design realm. Taking a fresh, funny look at parenthood, housekeeping, entertaining, time management, crafting, and more, Design Your Life from St. Martins Press shows you how to evaluate the things you use, and how to recognize forms of order that secretly inhabit the messes of daily life, be it a cluttered room or a busy schedule.

And the really good news?! St. Martins Press has graciously offered up a copy of Design Your Life for a lucky sfgirlbybay reader! Briefly share with us what you think is your worst design nightmare in the comment section below by Friday May 22nd at midnight, and I'll announce one happy winner the week of May 25th. Be sure to include a way to contact you, either your email, or webpage/blog!

Design Your Life uses humor and insight to explore the practical side of everyday design, looking at how it impacts your life in unexpected ways and what you can do about it. Speaking to the popular interest in design as well as people’s desire to make their own way through a mass-produced world, this thoughtful book takes a fresh and humorous approach to make some serious points about the impact of design on our lives.


83 comments:

Valerie Wills Interiors said...

My worst design nightmare has to be me surrounded by clutter and disorganization.... I like structure and calm and a little pressure to keep me on track!

down and out chic said...

this looks like a great book...my worst design nightmare would have to be plastic covered couches and/or chairs. one of my grandmother's had them covering her old fashion upholstery and your thighs would stick to it and make an awful suction sound when you stood up. they were hideous and uncomfortable. i'm glad i didn't get my sense of design from her:)

lindsey said...

HMMM....dog urine carpets soaked through to the original wood floors...which were completely unsalvagable due to previous owner's "FIDO"...ugh!

poplovely said...

my design nightmare would be to overdue a specific theme, color, etc. I want to be able to do just enough.

Jo Bradford said...

I concur that my design nightmare is clutter and lack of storage and shelf space.... just cant work in clutter!! Those plastic covered charis were a nightmare too....

I will def be investing in a copy of this nook!!

Tanna Clark said...

Using the wrong color! I look back at pictures of our first home and we had a very prominent wall painted in a not so fabulous blue. When I look at those pictures it makes me feel sorry for the people who walked in our house and had to see that. :) I know better now.

Martina said...

one (conjoined) word: cowhide.

Alison said...

I still have bad memories of the country cottage phase my mom went through for a minute when I was growing up. Everything was wooden and had hearts and geese everywhere. Her favorite store was this place called Down By The Ducks where you could get all sorts of things that were light blue and had hearts and scrolls carved everwhere....napkin holders, welcome signs, belt buckles...the works. No more country picnic design!

jane said...

I think, at this point, my worst design nightmare would be going back to a time when there were no design blogs, because I love them so... ;)

This looks like a great book---thanks for the post!

stephanie said...

when we bought our house every room had colonial blue trim...nightmare! we painted trim for about 2 weeks straight.

thanks for the giveaway offer. you can find me at www.urbannestblog.com

LenkaLovee said...

my worst design nightmare would probably be a house that is messy, disorganized, old, and with way too much stuff and not enough room or natural light. {i get claustrophobic easily}.

this is an awesome giveaway.
thanks for sponsoring it.
http://lenkalovee.blogspot.com

Paint Eater said...

My entire apartment is a design nightmare! Wooden futon covered with a sheet...hand-me-down (and falling apart) IKEA chairs...mismatched tables...metal bookshelves and entertainment unit....and my art studio taking up the entire dining room. You'd think I was still a college student. Sheesh.

Julie said...

My worst design nightmare is to many nicknacks. I love *a* well-placed vase or maybe a cool sentimental piece, but if every flat surface of your home is covered in ceramic angels, cats or dolphins, you've gone too far.

Valorie said...

My worst design nightmare is walking into a completely white room. I'm afraid to touch anything! I love rich colors and warm wood. White is a nightmare.

This book sounds hilarious :)

meginstyle said...

My worst design nightmare is walking into a room covered in an array of mixed floral and geometric patterns. Picture flowers, animal prints, geometric shapes, and native designs draped in a 12’x12’ room. It would be wall to wall craziness.

I can't wait to read the book. Thanks for the contest.

Whits said...

My worst design nightmare would be an all IKEA house. I love IKEA, but it can easily be TOO MUCH.

Katherine said...

my worst design nightmare is actually better described as "non-design." i don't mind walking into a room where the colors/furniture/etc. may be a little off, but it is obvious that the person tried to do something interesting. what i dislike is a room that is plain, boring, and lacks character because either the person is afraid to take risks and fail, or just doesn't care.

ephrat said...

I painted a table bright blue, which ended up tacky in two ways: 1) the table was bright blue, 2) I used latex paint which made everything stick to it. What was I thinking?

jaime said...

My worst design nightmare is when people put things together that are not the correct scale. For example, when you put a large lamp on a small table. Or when you have a tiny coffee table for a large sofa.

Cool looking book!!

Helen said...

How nice of St. Martin's!

My worst design nightmare in one word: termites.

xo

Jeremy and Kathleen said...

If I don't win this I must buy it!

Jenna said...

Worst design nightmare - no windows. Ugh.

Stephanie said...

The book looks great. My design nightmare? We've all seen it: Awkward floor plans with too many walls, low ceilings, scant windows covered in mini blinds, wall-to-wall carpet with oversized furniture (giant couch and recliner) facing giant TV, with art hung too high. Torchiere floor lamp anyone?

Yikes

Sarah said...

Looks like an awesome book! My absolute biggest design nightmare is that I'm plagued by indecision and can't make a design decision. Oh yeah, that is my life...

Sparkie said...

Soap dishes.

Susan said...

my worst design nightmare was a window in a former apartment. It was eight inches wide and 40 inches tall. what was anyone thinking sticking an eyesore like that into a living room!

lindsayxyzsf said...

Worst design nightmare? A dark room with wall to wall carpet. Ack!

Sam said...

I think my worst design nightmare was when I tried to faux-paint a chair that I had purchased at a garage sale. Everything seemed to be going as planned until I had a little issue with the varnish coat. The chair was not the issue - the varnish was knocked over my by very large dog (Izzy) and completely destroyed the floor. Now I have a beautiful chair and a mess to deal with on the floor. Never simple.

Great giveaway!

xx,

Sam @PrettyLovely

michelle and brittany said...

i actually had the pleasure of living my design nightmare when i moved into my current home. it was built in 1979 and while there was horrible wallpaper, and popcorn ceilings, the worst thing about the place were the floors. from orange and brown linoleum in the kitchen to dark brown shag carpet in the living room (matted and caked with years of food tread and grime, mind you)...it was horrible! we have since ripped most of the flooring up and replaced it (thank goodness), but we still have a long road ahead! :]

anywho, what a great giveaway! i hope i'm the lucky one!

emjay www.aquafrolic.blogspot.com

Claire said...

I'm intrigued by this book! My worst design nightmare would be a can of bright colored paint accidentally splashing on my cream carpeted floor. How do you clean that?!!!

Jacqui said...

My wort design nightmare would be an all white apartment, with wall to wall stained white carpet. Every window would be covered by mini blinds and there would be a faint smell of cigarettes and urine. Bad, very bad.

Thank for the giveaway!
jacquisavisky@hotmail.com

Xing said...

My worst design nightmare would be a new build filled with designer furniture but no personality, like a room copied right out of some fancy catalog, not like someone's home.

Great giveaway!
hnxing@gmail.com

Margarita said...

I have two worst design nightmares:

1. To design a room, plan it, shop for it, and when it comes together, you suddenly hate it and wish you did something different (happened to me once, it sucked!)

2. Rooms that look like they were styled by The Brick or any big home store. You know, a lot of my friends are guilty of this, they buy the whole bedroom set, the bed spread and everything at one store. It makes me want to puke at the devoidness of personality and the fact that their room looks like a cheap hotel room (that traditional-tacky look)

miss britt said...

I had a boyfriend who wanted to decorate his VERY tiny living room with a 30 foot Russian icon of the Virgin Mary. We dated for like a month and then broke up over artistic differences.

mrs boo radley said...

My worst nightmare is carpet. That's right.

Or a bad paint job.

caroline duke said...

rooms without personality.

anything without personality, for that matter!

Barefoot Contessa said...

My worst design nightmare is trying to recreate something straight out of a design book, instead of taking inspiration and working what I already own.

thanks! kelseyklassen@gmail.com

Heidi Jo said...

MY worst design nightmare has to be what our house looked like before starting our remodel (which is still happening)... crooked walls, windows, fake wood paneling, brown carpet, carpet in the kitchen... yeah... you have no idea...

Carlene said...

Mine would be if all my favorite design magazines folded. Hey, wait a minute...

Acacia said...

My worst nightmare was my sister's apartment...1970s Mediterranean style dark wood furniture, upholstered with faux velvet orange fabric with (no fooling) velvet bullfighting paintings and a framed, matted print of Frank Frazetta's "Death Dealer." She also drove a yellow Firebird during this period. We swore we'd never speak of it again, but that book seems pretty cool.

Rachael, Pistachio Press said...

My nightmare is every house in a new development. You know the kind - each one has the same floor plan, white walls, beige carpet, small windows, framed posters, no trees and a big wooden swing set out back. We have friends who live in these and it pains me to walk in.

My other nightmare, picking paint colors. I often have to repaint rooms three times before getting the color right.

info{at}pistachiopress.com

RhiannonM said...

My design nightmare is my current room. One wall is eaten up by the weird catchy door-place that isn't a foyer but isn't just a door in a wall either- and the too-shallow-closet door, and one wall is taken up with windows that aren't pretty, or weather-tight. By the time I got a bed, bedstand and wardrobes in there... I can't even describe where all my stuff goes (onthefloorsoembarrassing) I hate it.
I need to read these design blogs to have hope for myself for the future. Great giveaway!

Caroline said...

My worst design nightmare is living in a (beautiful) 1928 Craftsman which I would never sell, but trying to combine my love of all things modern and Euro with the dark wood panelling...twice a year I control an urge to throw a can of white a paint on the wall..but so far resist..help..I need this book!

annie-san said...

Cool book. -- I guess my design nightmare is my workspace. Too much paper, too little file space.

Thanks for the opportunity!

Amy said...

my worst design nightmare hasn't come true [as i'm still in undergrad], but it's still a fear of mine. i have a fear that one day i will be forced [inevitably due to financial descents, lack of creative outlets, and the necessity of getting work out there] to design for corporations. i mean corporations i'm morally against, such as nike or wal-mart. not only am i morally against them for social injustices but also for just bad design. that applies more to wal-mart than nike, however. i'm as passionate about design as i am about issues of social injustice [sweat shops, sex traffiking, denial of human rights] and it would really have me at a fork in the road to have to compromise one passion for the other.

i'm totally going to check out this book more now. ellen lupton is a wonderful and throught-provoking designer.

Marian said...

I witnessed my design nightmare when I was babysitting for a mom with 4 completely spoiled kids, white leather couches, and a family that didn't know how to clean up. The house was filthy and chaotic and at 14, I almost had a heart attack. I never went back.

Beautymist said...

My worst design nightmare is paper clutter. But i'm slowly learnign to tackle the paper beast!

curious girl (lisa) said...

poorly-executed faux painting techniques. ew.

but first place has to go to the overdoing of themes, especially sunflower kitchens and those geese with the blue bows around their necks. I've never seen a goose with a bow in real life before.

wait, but then there's wallpaper borders. oh my, I could go on and on.

Siouxsie said...

My worst design nightmares are walls that can not be knocked down due to being structural; paint that takes 3+ layers to cover, and pipe going through the middel of our kitchen window which can't be removed because its a communal pipe!! All things I am experiencing at the moment in our refurbishment "project" of our newly bought 1930s flat.

Anonymous said...

good morning.

thanks for the great give-away opportunity.

my design nightmare would be having to live (even temporarily, while searching for a place to rent or buy) in a furnished apartment. "home" is too important to have other people dictate what it should look (and then feel) like.

thanks again.

kathy (hejfranmig@aol.com)

Bobbi Lewin said...

my basement! the laundry area is set up next to the furnace, with the heating duct situated so I bash my head on it every time I use the dryer.

LouEffie said...

My bathroom in my home right now is my design nightmare. It's small. It's not functional. You can't fit 2 people in there comfortably. That bathroom is the bain of my existence.

Leslie

katemakes said...

I am living in the worst design nightmare. Our bedroom (including ceilings)is bright Cookie Monster blue with purple trim and daffodil yellow in the dressing alcove. The previous tenants painted over the wallpaper and it is starting to bubble. We have three busy kids, little extra money and no way to take on the huge project of stripping, sanding, and repainting. The saddest part is that I am an interior designer...

Keyse said...

My design nightmare would be if Craigs List closed down its furniture section - that place is a heaven for ladies like me who cant pay retail but appreciate it whole heartily. I also love recycling my stuff and getting new looks in the green and cheap.

Tori said...

My worst design nightmare happens to be a living one...it's my bedroom! I feel like I put so much energy into the rest of my house I'm too tired to try to make it function in there...plus we have rubbermaids for our night stands!

Jennifer White said...

Oh where to begin.. worst nightmare? My continued lack of disorganization and the fact that I cannot get away from my constant clutter :-(

Julie PH said...

Oh, that would be “everyday stuff”.
You know, random stuff that comes straggling into the house. It’s the contents emptied out of pockets and purses, picked up at markets, and dropped through the mail slot. It’s difficult to anticipate and design systems to either ‘accommodate’, ‘reduce, reuse, recycle/trash’, or ‘pay proper attention’ to everyday things.

jamieofalltrades said...

Ha! my worst design nightmare would be living in a house that was completely decorate 'southwest-style.' i can't handle that.

CeCe said...

I call myself a "collector of ideas." But in reality I'm a magazine and design blog junkie, and photos of well-designed and completely original homes and products are my fix. I would love to redesign my home with some of the ideas I've collected, but I can't afford to spend money on remodeling because I spend too much on the magazines for the ideas to remodel. And the amount of paper I go through! I'm awash in tear sheets and print outs, which I then need to file, which means more paper in the form of folders and dividers. Then, I need a place to put all of the paper, so I need a filing system, which takes up space I don't have and money I can't afford. It's an environmental nightmare. A design nightmare. My nightmare.

Emma said...

my mother paints every room in her house beige and swears they're "brown" or "yellow" or "white"....I can't stand it! Go for some color, mom!

Belle said...

My worst design nightmare has got to be remodeling an old ataircase that's in a space that's not to code - trying to get a decent contractor to fix things is quite a challenge indeed.

kirsten said...

so far, discovering that the previous owners had painted over wallpaper - after painting over their horrible paint job.
(kirstenmrussell@gmail.com)

Sara said...

BUGS, BUGS, BUGS!! We moved into this great home a year ago and I was so very excited about finally having a home of my own to design. We had barely removed the (ugly) wall paper in a few rooms, before we discovered the huge carpet beetle infestation in the entire house. So instead of designing anything we've been exterminating, ripping out carpets and tearing down walls.
Needless to say, as the bug situation is FINALLY waning, I am very ready to begin enjoying my first home.

(cankiel@hotmail.com)

dinah said...

my worst design nightmare would be have pet hair everywhere... i love dogs and cats and hope to have some in the future but i dread the hair that would be all over the pretty furniture and floors >.<
(dinahsaurr@yahoo.com)

Gwen said...

My worst design nightmare was the raised ranch house I moved into with my ex husband.( he was already living there) It had kitties stenciled on the walls. It also had dark brown barn wood on the walls in the "basement' room and greige carpeting. There was also a bar with gold tile counter tops and a hideous mosaic of a coat of arms hanging on the walls behind the bar with mirrored tiles. There was a drop ceiling and and rust drapery which were shredded by cats. Every now and then the washing machine would over-flow and drench the greige carpets and stain the barn wood. I shiver when I think of that time in my life. I don't think anything could possibly be worse.

ann said...

I think my design nightmare would be mold. I've lived in a couple places that suddenly sprung up mold on the walls - now I fear it's just lurking anywhere!

Dos Hermanas said...

My nightmare has to be clutter. I'm interested to read about the forms of order in clutter.

Whitterbon said...

low ceilings make me shutter...and not just because i'm super tall.

Erica G. said...

My worst design nightmare is one that I am currently living through. Our "2" bedroom apartment's smaller room is not only long and thin (sort of like a wider version of a walk in closet), but has a weird jutting out angle at one end, is dominated by my husbands huge desk and bookshelves (he's a teacher and very, very attached to all these books). To make matters worse, there's only one outlet in the room so the printer, computer, fax machine, external hard drive, his extra TV, VCR and DVD player (don't ask me why we need all these things, ask him) all have to go in a surge protector in the one outlet. AND, we have a baby girl that I'd love to create a nursery for, but it's altogether too crowded and dangerous (what with all the wires), for me to feel safe putting her in our catch-all room here. So for now, and the foreseeable future, she lives in our bedroom. Help!

Sanna said...

Do you remember in Northen Exposure when the character Shelly decorated a bathroom in frilly laces and pink? That would be my worst nightmare. I can't stand pale baby-girl pink. Or too many frills.

pombamarela said...

It's not actually my nightmare but it's something that I hate to see in other peoples houses. Do you know when people collect a lot of objects about the same theme, like cats or dogs, or porcelaine dolls. It's looks very weird.

Anonymous said...

Hi
My design nightmare is builder's white walls. Most of the elderly/retired folks I know aren't happy unless they have white walls. If it's white then you know it's clean. Then I have other single friends who haven't painted since they've moved into their new condos and houses. Eck! They just can't be bothered ie.heh it's just been painted. That gives me nightmares.
Cheers.
MarionG
polo-puppy-fluffy(at)hotmail(dot)com

Jennifer Chick-Gray said...

Wow, this is my kind of book. Thanks for offering such a great giveaway!

Blue said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Blue said...

Design Nightmare- Rugs that do not allow doors to swing open...or is it doors that won't swing over rugs??
st2523 at yahoo dot com

Great Giveaway!

emilyjp23 said...

my worst design nightmare would be seeing someone use the entire bed in a bag set (down to the curtains!) in their bedroom.

Susan said...

I live with my worst design nightmare -- brown all purpose carpet...in my kitchen! Saving up for a massive kitchen reno (it's been 8 years) -- hoping to have enough $$$$$ in 2 more years. Until then...


modernrescued@yahoo.com

Julia M said...

My Worst design nightmare is my boyfriend's room at his parents house. He has not taste in design and doesn't care. His house is so incredibly late 70's with horrible light fixtures and everything. Let alone that he has a boy bathroom and doesn't even use a bath mat! It is hard to stay there for a whole weekend, I always ask him if he wants me to help the situation, which he doesn't.

nuwanda_happy@yahoo.com

robin said...

When we bought our house, every square inch of the kitchen (walls, ceiling, cabinets, window casings)was thickly covered in the most hidious Pepto-Bismol-Salmon paint! Our real estate agent promised to go shopping with me for a new paint color...took two coats of primer + three coats of paint to cover it up. BLEH!!

PS: I adore Ellen Lupton and am jonseing over this book.

JKW said...

What a great book. Retirement finds me facing a clutter nightmare. Working/commuting 6 a.m. to almost 6 p.m.; wanting a break on weekends (out with girlfriends or meetings); and spending all my funds on necessities (a/c; refrigerator; stove; hot water heater and hurricane shutters for me and then for my daughter). Help, I'm drowning :-)
Love you ideas, Jan

annie said...

My design nightmare happened when I shared an apartment in college. My roomate (whom I love dearly) was in love with all things 'country style.' Her interpretation of this included several prints of chickens and baskets and red checkered table clothes, as well as several faux-wood signs saying things like 'always kiss me goodnight' and something about flowers and sunshine. Oh, and prints of wine and cheese IN THE BATHROOM.
My other roomate, a very enthusiastic Christian, also did a little decorating, several posters with rainbows and passages from the Bible and statements like "save yourself for the one God has saved for you," and another about having to climb the tree for the 'best apples' as opposed to the 'easy' 'rotten' ones on the ground (another abstinence one).
In my room, my minimalist decoration and a certain Talous Latrec print managed to offend both their tastes.

Amy Cray said...

First off, Annie's design nightmare (above) is clearly the best of these. Hilarious!!

My design nightmare is my mother-in-law's home. It is crammed full of furniture; beautiful antiques that would look stunning if well presented, but packed into rooms alongside clearance pieces from Bombay company, all of varying styles, creating the look of a thrift store furniture department. Every single piece is covered with knick-knacks; Lladro porcelain ballerinas and Swarovski crystal hedgehogs on mirrored platters, set upon doilies and clearance tablecloths from PierOne.

The original windows drapes have been layered with modern table runners (forming some sort of valance) along the top- tacked on with velcro strips resulting in mirrored Indian patterns atop 70's floral. All the windows are darkened and furniture is placed so that it is impossible to open the windows or even let the light in. All the bathrooms are themed, the worst offender being on the bottom floor in a new york taxi theme, decorated a sense-jolting black, white and neon yellow (with a toy toilet atop the real one that makes a "funny" flushing sound when you sit down). The stairs leading to the basement are lined with velvet clown paintings (you know the kind I'm talking about!). There are oversize vases in each room with dried eucalyptus sticking out into the traffic areas so that (mixed with the furniture placement) necessitate one to do a little contortion dance to get through each room. Every surface is covered with STUFF.. and there's just no room to breathe, almost literally.

This is, in the end, a tragedy inside a four story home with stunning structure and period detail. It could be absolutely gorgeous. But for now, we sit on the plastic-covered dining table seats, adorned with plastic daisies, shield our eyes from the dog crates beneath the seating area, and sigh.

Sorry for the length. Apparently, I needed to get this off my chest :)

Callista said...

That sounds like a very interesting book.

My parent's house (where I grew up) used to be painted BRIGHT BLUE on the outside. I was known as the kid who lived in the SMURF house. Very embarrassing. It was a nightmare!

callista83 AT cogeco DOT ca