I never heard of Dorothy Draper until I attended Interior Design Show West back in September, and some panelist happened to mention her as her favorite interior designer and recommended her book. So I searched for the book and discovered that it was published in 1939! But I read the book anyway thinking at least its quaint domestic advice would be give me some good laughs.

Surprisingly, though, I found Draper's ideas refreshingly simple and contemporary. I think most of her principles of decorating are timeless. And her enthusiasm was really inspiring. Although, I wouldn't go for some of Draper's colour and pattern combinations and furniture selection, her advice regarding giving a room balance is very sound and, most importantly, it yields the result you want. Moreover, her approach to decorating is budget-conscious, which would definitely speak to anyone trying to beautify their home today.