This being my first time reading an interior decorating book cover-to-cover, these ideas reflect my state of infancy on the genre. I've been a reader of home decorating magazines since I was ten years old, so I thought I knew what to expect!
Initially, I found the book confusing to navigate. There are formal pages with a single illustration of a famous, decorated room, but these are presented right in the middle of journal-like exhibitions of Charlotte Moss's own decorated spaces. This seemed a disjointed style of presentation at first, however, as I progressed through it I noticed it encouraged a unique stance of perusal. Rather than being drawn into some narrative and becoming a passive viewer, I found I was always a step away from the presented spaces, as though Moss was encouraging me respectfully, and in full egalitarianism, to be a critic. She certainly made a nostalgic and personal case for her spaces, so I always felt like a benevolent evaluator, put in a position to enjoy and analyze a new friend's endeavours. I enjoyed this perspective, and I hope I can carry that angle into future reading of any topic.
There weren't many precise tips, which is sort of what I'd anticipated; as a magazine would show you how to create a style in your own home by purchasing a particular lampshade. Instead, and I'm not entirely sure where in the text this occurred, I got the sense that I was being shown and analogously taught an intuitive sense for design. That enhancement to my intuitive skill is much more valuable than a topic-limited tip could be.
I felt the book lacked a pretty specific detail that I'm shocked was overlooked, given the title and Moss's eagle-eye. I want to know what the rooms were for each photograph taken. Some even sounded like they weren't Moss's design, and many were the same room on pages later that I would've liked to reference back to. Moss seems to have taken great care to preserve whitespace in the layout, and I have confidence that her design skills could have lent something as practical as a brief reference note, even while there might not be much practicality in her seemingly endless tables with decorative displays. Although they too had good design sense.
I feel richly educated in something non-specific about reading and also about design, and unlike other occasions when I've sought to improve my design eye, I don't feel burdened with an overly sensitive and enlightened savoir-faire that makes my humble but comfortable office feel unbearably gauche. I observe a new kind of mindfulness in my consideration of style. But it's in a harmless, simple confidence and maybe a bit of satisfied smugness, which almost certainly rubbed off from the author's self-admiring tone.