Budget Apartment Design With 'The Big-Ass Book of Home Decor'
You might remember Mark from his TV hosting duties on TLC's "10 Years Younger" or as the eccentric designer from "While You Were Out." His goal in life is to be creative everyday, and he shares his experience in creating design ideas on a budget.
Here's what he has to tell RentedSpaces...
RS: What was your reason for writing this book?
It was really in response to the financial collapse. People didn't need to be depressed because they couldn't afford new furniture or accessories. Instead, I wanted to show them ways to transform what they already had into totally new creations and give design ideas using inexpensive items from the dollar store or thrift shop.
RS: You have residences in both New York and California. Do you use these design ideas in your own homes?
Absolutely! As a matter of fact, the entire book was shot on location at my home in L.A. Every photograph of every item was taken in the very spot it can be found today.
RS: How would you describe your design style?
I call it "insane eclectic." I made everything in there. Why buy something when you can make it yourself? I created the art, sewed the bedcovers and pillows, and changed every piece of furniture. I even have a chair reupholstered with duct tape! I like to have fun with home accents.
RS: What advice do you have for people just starting out with apartment decorating?
Most people in their 20s and early 30s haven't developed their sense of style yet. This book will expose them to all different design ideas to help them get in touch with their own personal style. The best thing is, the projects in this book are low-cost options for apartment décor. If their taste changes, they haven't spent a lot on what they've got.
RS: How do you come up with all of these design ideas?
I experiment all day long. I try to look at old objects in a new light. I am always looking for inexpensive materials at the dollar store that I can turn into home accents.
RS: Who was your target market for these design ideas?
Twenty- to 30-year-olds are great for this design style because they are anxious to get in there and get their hands dirty, and have an apartment décor that is truly their own. It is novel, exciting and fun. But really any generation can benefit from the book. It is a great answer to the mass consumerism before the financial decline. Anyone who likes to craft can create home accents with very little money or time.
RS: How much money and time can people expect to spend on these projects?
Many of these items don't cost a thing, and I think the most expensive item would be about $30. I'd say most of them won't cost more than $15 or take more than an hour or hour and a half.
RS: Apartment dwellers don't usually have spare space for crafting. Do you have any suggestions for a good place to create?
My apartment in New York is only 500 square feet! I push the furniture against the walls and spread out on the floor, or I work on my kitchen table. Since inhaling the fumes from paint can be dangerous, I go out on my fire escape for painting.
RS: My favorite craft in the book is the mirrored glass candleholders. They would make beautiful home accents. Which one is your favorite?
It is so hard to choose a favorite. It is like asking someone which child is your favorite. But if I must, I would say the lucite plate holder chandelier would be my favorite. I love how I was able to turn inexpensive plastic plate holders into an elegant chandelier.
Montano is already hard at work on another "Big Ass" book and has a new television show in development. If you want additional design ideas you can subscribe to his blog - each day or two he posts a new craft with step by step instructions and a photo of the completed project. His blog is a testament to the fact that Montano is full of great interior design ideas perfect for apartment decorating or for people on a budget.