''Pad: The Guide to Ultra-Living'' (Chronicle, 2000) takes a no-holds-barred approach to home decorating that emphasizes projects made of cheap, unlikely materials and day-glo colors. Not for the timid, ''Pad'' is an idea book aimed at funky, creative hipsters looking to spruce up their places with elbow grease, flea market finds and a certain flair for the bizarre.
Splashy photos profile homes and give the reader something to shoot for -- such as the padded-cell theme in one man's zebra-striped office -- while step-by-step instructions tell exactly how to do it. But duplication is not the goal of ''Pad'' -- inspiration is.
''What's interesting about any home,'' reads the book's intro, ''is what it says about the individual who created it.'' And ''Pad'' seeks to bring out the individual in its reader. By picking projects that appeal to you, the result is bound to be a singular and personal message. For example, ''I need severe psychological counseling'' screams a toilet seat lid decorated with an ex-lover's photo, ribbon trim and a plastic spider.
The guide to flea markets throughout the country promises to keep readers in raw materials for years to come, and, if nothing else, the book makes for an entertaining read. Available at major booksellers for $24.95.
The bachelor pad of yesterday: ratty recliner patched with duct tape, milk crate dresser and a mattress on the floor. The bachelor pad of today: streamlined sofa with attached accessories, inspired shelving and playful leather-topped tables with golf club bases. Not quite your son's place? It will be if a trend toward guy decor takes off.
Several manufacturers have begun designing products aimed at the single, professional male.
Cassina, USA, (800) 770-3568, developed the ''Lazy Working Sofa,'' a fully-loaded couch with its own lamps and tables attached. Vanguard Furniture (828-328-5631) has created a ''Stetson'' line that features American West-inspired furniture, such as a black, mahogany gentlemen's chest, and a ''PGA Tour'' collection that might appeal to the 26.5 million U.S. golfers. Thomasville's, (800) 586-2595, newest additions to its Ernest Hemingway line simply reek of macho chic with manly leathers and dark woods.
So, gentlemen, there are no more excuses for laying a board across two concrete blocks and calling it a coffee table.
You're a college graduate with a degree to show for it and a futon, card table and stereo. Those fit the bill as essentials in school, but the real world suggests your bath towels should match and your drinks have coasters. AtomicLiving.com, a new online general merchant, is the one-stop shop for twenty-somethings looking to furnish their first place.
Featured is the latest gear in apparel, linens, electronics and housewares interspersed with street-smart editorial pieces that deliver a sassy spin on current events and product reviews.
Distributed by the Los Angeles Times-Washington Post News Service
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