In Jeffrey Bilhuber’s fifth book to date, Everyday Decorating, the New York-based interior designer takes an unusual yet highly appealing approach that strays from the project-by-project design book formula we’ve come to expect. Instead, Bilhuber provides a decorating compass filled with advice, staple tips, and encouragement for the uncertain design aficionado on how to create an alluring and inviting home.
Bilhuber dedicates entire chapters to how to instill comfort, happiness, color, personality, lightness & brightness, sexiness, charm, and coziness into diverse spaces in this inspiration-filled book that spans the style gamut. These might be the eight essential attributes to leaving an indelible design mark, and the designer breaks down each tip by pointing out specific decisions he took in every beautifully photographed room. The idea behind the book is to instill the reader with a basic foundation on decorating that will work regardless of style, budget, or location.
The seriously striking cover image, for example, is from Bilhuber’s “Comfortable,” chapter. The designer points out how the exotic upholstery pattern actually hides the incredibly large scale of the sectional sofa, and instead just creates a seemingly open space that invites everyone to lounge in. By adding patterned pillow pairs in each corner, he further gives the illusion of less imposing size.
In the “Cozy” chapter, Bilhuber expands on what he explains “conjures up an immediate sense of, well, everything that you want in a home.” The culmination of every other chapter, cozy can be glamorous, it can mean breaking the rules, adding details to create intimacy, and it can also signify that contemporizing an early 19th-century family heirloom is the right decision.
In Everyday Decorating, Bilhuber expands on the idea that despite taste, locale, blue-chip art or not, the end goal is always to create a livable, beautiful space we can call our own. In “Personal,” Bilhuber might give the best advice of all: “Don’t build a showhouse or a model apartment inspired by someone else’s fantasy of how you should live. Instead, be true to yourself and create a home that you want to live in.”