Book Review: The Big Ass Book of Home Decor by Mark Montano

There are plenty of home decor books with perfectly perfect ideas offered on perfectly designed pages with perfectly polite instructions and quite frankly, I find them perfectly boring. If you want perfectly perfect, buy your decor at Pottery Barn. Creativity isn't about perfection. Creativity is about the willingness to roll up your sleeves and make glorious messes. TV Host and author Mark Montano gets that. How could you not love someone who fully embraces the beauty of imperfection and encourages you to design without a net? How could you not love someone who names his book The Big Ass Book of Home Decor? Mark Montano's fantabulous new book is a crafty revelation!

This irreverent tome is simply bursting at the seams with fresh approaches to traditional techniques with a generous dollop of totally new concepts that will leave your brain spinning. Mark throws so much stuff at you on every page you're going to need a thermos of espresso, a sketch book and an oxygen canister at the ready. He fully exemplifies the mantra 'It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it' and Mark does it with such flair and panache it's positively mind blowing. You may have decoupaged or texture painted or used plaster of Paris before, but I can guarantee you that you've never done it the way Mark does. If you love to dance on the edge of good taste, if you love a heaping helping of kitsch in your decor, if you are a frugalista who needs solutions to help you take your el cheapo finds and make them el fabuloso, this is your book.

What impressed and intrigued me the most was the abundant array of aesthetics Mr. Montano explored on every page. Nothing was the same old, same old and everything had it's own unique design appeal. Whether you're a mid century maven, a shabby chic sophisticate, a Deco doyenne, a graffiti guru or a Belle Epoque believer...Mark gives you a plethora of fun techniques and concepts and shows you how you can tailor them to suit your personal sense of style. There are over 100 projects in this book to explore using affordable and easily accessible materials, which means there literally is something for everyone. If you can't find something to love here, might I suggest one of the aforementioned perfectly perfect home decor titles. Snore.

Some of my personal favorite projects include: Garden Side Table, Mirrored Glass Candle Holders, Tramp Art Cardboard Frame, Silhouette Wall Treatment, Modern Office Flower Art, Circus Tables...and the list goes on and on and on. So many of these ideas make you smack your forehead and say, "Why didn't I think of that?!" For those of us who've grown weary of cookie cutter furniture with names like Flargensnorp and Gertlesnark, Mark works his design magic on those Ikea staples along with charmingly imperfect and dated flea market and thrift store finds. The projects are straightforward and easy to recreate, but rife with potential for further embellishment and personalization. You can take them as far as you like, mix and match ideas to make them your own. Mark makes even the entirely technically challenged feel empowered.

I'm simply mad for Mark Montano and I'm quite sure after reading The Big Ass Book of Home Decor, you will be too. Perfect, schmerfect. Take a walk on the wild side, you'll be so very glad that you did.

Margot Potter
Author, Designer, TV Personality
The Impatient Beader Series, Beyond the Bead and Bead Chic


Miss Loretta said...

It could also be titled, The Big Bad-Ass Book of Home Decor. I have an Amazon coupon that would work might well with it.

Jeannie said...

Hi Margot
You use so many big words in this post, but I love the title of the book, it get that. I'll check it out.

Margot Potter said...

Miss Lo

I like that!


Margot Potter said...


The gist of it is that it's 100 funky and creative projects using lots of fun techniques. I think that about covers it.

I happen to LOVE words. I've taken the time to learn them and galdangy, I'm going to use them.