Annette Tatum

Annette Tatum is one smart cookie. Her interior decor lines businesses, House and Little House, are in over 700 boutiques around the U.S., and she's designed for Marcia Cross, Minnie Driver, Owen Wilson, and others. We just received a copy of her first book, The Well-Dressed Home: Fashionable Design Inspired by Your Personal Style (Clarkson Potter, 2009), and in a word, it's brilliant.

Tatum has gone right to the heart of home decorating and design - it's all about personal taste and style. In her book, she's created fashion categories that homeowners can use to find a style that they feel comfortable living with in their homes.

Your clothing and accessories mirror your unique personality and style, and so should the decor of your home. By using the same style choiced used to fashion your wardrobe, you will uncomver your own distinctive interior design decor. Your home will become like your wardrobe, a unique, one-of-a-kind expression of you.

The first part of the book delves into a design style guide, giving you concrete examples and beautiful photos for the following fashion styles: Romantic, Couture, Classic, Casual, Bohemian, Retro, Resort, Modern, Eclectic, Vintage, and Eco.

Here's an example of the Modern design niche, which Tatum describes as "living life on the edge; a little bit classic, a little bit pop culture, it reinvents itself along the way and pushes new possibilities forward." She describes a Modern home as "a universe defined in black and white. Its yin and yang approach relies on dramatic contrasts for impact."

For the Eclectic design style (note that we're selecting two of our favorites to illustrate), Tatum says that it has "boundless potential for invention and makes anything possible." She sagely observes that to achieve an eclectic interior, you have to drop the "match" from "mix and match." It's a "spectacular panorama of old and new, formal and funky."

But the brilliance in Tatum's book is the way she shifts gears and encourages you to blend fashion styles. In her clever "Mixing Fashionable Home Decor" section, she shows how combining two styles can give you a great look, e.g. Eco Bohemian, Retro Resort, Casual Romantic, and Couture Bohemian. The end of the book gives you Tatum's favorite design and fashion resources. Shown below are examples of an Eleclectic Modern style, including a dining room scene from the 1950s home of an art gallery owner.