3 practical guides to designing and styling your home

Designing a space that suits your taste and your life can be a challenge, particularly if it’s just not your thing. We all know the bachelor or bachelorette who lives a spartan lifestyle in a home as bland as unsalted saltines crackers. Maybe he or she just can’t be bothered. Or maybe the poor soul just doesn’t know where to start. A new crop of books promises to help even the most nonchalant interior designer, discover and apply the keys to a happy home.

Apartment Therapy: Complete + Happy Home by Maxwell Ryan & Janel Laban, (Crown Publishing, $35) : Ryan and Laban are founder and executive editor respectively of Apartment Therapy, the online community that connects readers with resources to create organized and happier homes. In their newest and most comprehensive book, they offer practical ideas for setting up, organizing and living in whatever place you call home. The three-part book first helps you understand and evaluate your space and your personal style. In section two, you begin to train your eye by looking at 75 of the most well-styled rooms in the country. Finally, a guide to cleaning, repairing and room-by-room organizing helps you maintain your happy home all year-long.

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Modern Mix: Curating Personal Style with Chic & Accessible Finds by Eddie Ross, (Gibbs Smith, $45): Ross shows readers how to hoard with style. This guide to navigating thrift shops, yard sales and flea markets will leave you itching to go in search of a sale. Ross educates readers on the finer points of second-hand finds including how to recognize high quality glass, metals, ceramics and textiles, then he shows you how to score those items. His tips are tailormade to the shopping situation from flea markets to tag sales and he shares some of his favorite finds from each. Once you’ve purchased your items, you’ll need to learn how to restore them and Ross again offers tips on making the old look (kind of) new again. Finally, he shows you how to curate, mix and style the items you purchase in your home. The book is sure to be a huge help for hoarders who can’t fight their desires, but aren’t sure how to put it all together.

On Thursday, Oct. 8 from 5 – 8 p.m., visit Steve McKenzie’s in West Midtown for cocktails to celebrate the book’s release. Steve McKenzie’s, 999 Brady Avenue NW, Atlanta. RSVP to shop@stevemckenzies.com.

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“Styled: Secrets for Arranging Rooms, from Tabletops to Bookshelves,” by Emily Henderson, (Potter Style, $32.50): Coming on October 13, Henderson, HGTVDesign Star winner, offers her tips for making the rooms in your home look like the ones in magazines. You can have all the right colors, furniture and organization, but without a few styling tips, it may still fall flat. First Henderson helps you figure out your style (are you seventies or traditional? Modern glam or bohemian? ) then after hipping you to a few industry terms, she takes you through 10 easy steps to transform your rooms. A final room-by-room guide helps you find style secrets that work with each space.

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