Devotees of Payne's HGTV series, Designing for the Sexes, will welcome this richly illustrated user-friendly guide to interior design. Payne, a California interior designer, has compiled frequently asked questions he has received from viewers since his show first aired in 1998. Divided into sections by rooms, the author addresses design issues such as color, space, light and budgetary considerations.
For example, a stay-at-home working mother who is using a guest bedroom for an office wonders how to make the room most attractive and efficient for both her and sleepover guests. The author suggests purchasing a "Murphy" bed that can be housed behind wall cabinetry with shelves that can be closed when the bed is not in use.
Payne is also adept at resolving conflicts in taste between two people who are living together. He helps a husband and wife who are planning to remodel their living room in order to reconcile the husband's love of new design trends that emphasize light metals with his Japanese wife's desire to incorporate elements from her culture. Since both tastes begin with simplicity, Payne demonstrates a design marriage between traditional Asian simplicity and geometric lines. The color photos complement and strengthen the author's solutions. Although Payne does take budgetary and space constraints into account, this manual will be most useful to upper-middle-class families who live in houses rather than apartments.