With a title like The Painted Home, Dena Fishbein’s book features plenty of it – painted walls and furniture covered with embellishments – vines, flowers, leaves, sunbursts – as well as additions like fabric, ribbon, yarn, wallpaper, buttons, jewelry, and other embellishments that make up a colorful – and sometimes cluttered and busy – home.
Fishbein uses color liberally, infusing every room with whimsy and joy. She paints and repaints furniture in her home to suit its changing needs – several rooms have been switched from their original uses – and while the ornate whole isn’t for everyone, any reader can take an idea from each project and put it to use in their own home. During this time when two out of every three books seems dedicated to organization, even Marie Kondo-style minimalists can enjoy the colors and artistry of Dena’s work. She clearly believes in style, function, and comfort, which are always popular.
Seven Oak Ranch, where Dena and her family live, is used to show the various types of design, and cover the following areas: Everyday Spaces, Places to Gather, Cozy Nooks, Private Havens, Inspiring Places, and Entertaining. Also included is “Dena’s Favorites,” a list of artisans and shops that she favors, complete with full addresses, phone numbers, and websites. A little research might be necessary with the artisans, as many of them have what appear to be outdated email addresses, but Fishbein has given the motivated decorator many of the sources needed to achieve their own individual look.
A plethora of photos are featured throughout the book, although many could benefit from enlargement, and vines and leaves are definitely overrepresented. However, the pictures are clear and deliver Fishbein’s idea that a comfortable and cozy house need not be a monochromatic minimalistic-scape. Restraint is not for everyone, which Dena recognizes and pushes to its creative limit.