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Decorating with little but ideas

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Decorating on a shoestring budget is an endlessly intriguing subject to people without much cash or who are frequently on the move. Likewise, putting a home together with ingenuity, imagination, and personal style is a matter of fascination to a great many people.

One recently published book are aimed at helping these cost-minded but creatively inclined people find some innovative ideas for solving their own decorating problems is "Your Space: How to Put It Together for Practically Nothing," by Jon Naar and Mary Ellen Moore (New York: St. Martin's Press. $12.95 cloth, $6.95 paper).

These authors say they are chiefly concerned about "mobility, crowded schedules, and soaring costs." They interviewed dozens of people who designed their own places for practically nothing. Mr. Naar photographed the results of their efforts and Miss Moore describes in words what she calls "alternative approaches to decorating." She also refers to these novel do-it-yourself jobs as "anything goes," "underground," and "anti-traditional" decorating.

Mr. Naar says he photographed rooms that would never be seen in slick magazines, and he is absolutely right. The rooms he photographs have one thing in common: Each is permanently unfinished. They ever evolve and change as new additions of "found, recycled, and homemade objects" are added. The whimsical and sometimes bizarre decorating schemes they cover tend to include such titles as "art wrecko," "cheap chic," and "the flea-market factor." "Found furniture" is just that -- other people's discards and trowaways, found usually on curbsides and in trash rooms.

The authors tell people to look at things with the idea that the items could be something other than what they are. Old office and dental lab furniture, for instance, finds infinite new storage purposes in these apartments. Mr. Naar and Miss Moore advise readers not to rush into decorating, but to relax, take time, and get acclimated to new surroundings before trying to arrange things to suit themselves.

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