Looking for a fresh idea (or just a pile of delicious pictures to sink into?) Try a new design book on for size.

"Flip! For Decorating" (Ballantine Books, 242 pages, $24) "Today" show lifestyle expert and decorating editor Elizabeth Mayhew offers a stripped-down decorating book that breaks it all down to the essentials. She goes through rooms step-by-step (love the flip-book-style photos, which start with empty rooms that progress to their fully furnished state) and offers a few truly ah-HA! Ideas. (Use sconces instead of a chandelier to avoid having to place your table in the center of the dining room.) "The Find" (Clarkson Potter, 239 pages, $27.50) Author Stan Williams offers a lesson in how tastemakers (design editors and stylists) do thrift. Lots of well-styled photos of found objects recast as eye-catching accessories and great ideas on how to display and use your finds at home. And the thrift shopping tips are right on target. "Perfect Curtains" (Clarkson Potter, 192 pages, $35) Gobs of wonderful design porn from photographer Simon Upton make this book what it is: a trove of lovely rooms to linger over. Plenty of inspiration above and beyond the window-treatment variety, and nice, useful bits about the structure and service of curtains. (Sample tip: One should only use a colored sheer with a same color curtain. Otherwise, opt for ecru or white sheers.) "Downtown Chic" (Rizzoli, 175 pages, $45) Focusing on Robert and Cortney Novogratz and family, this book chronicles a series of spaces the designers have renovated and redecorated over the years -- tales that take us from demolition through finished spaces. The Novogratz look is, as promised, delightfully downtown, hip but relaxed with the right touch of whimsy. We especially loved the kids' spaces. "Glamour: Making it Modern" (Filipacchi, 240 pages, $40) This book by Michael Lassell and the editors of Metropolitan Home focuses on the keynotes of modern glamor, organizing them both by concept and by room. Extra credit: Lots of star designer wisdom on glamor and how to get it into your home. (Think multiples: "Any repeating geometric shape is glamorous.") --Cindy Dampier
Tribune photo by Bill Hogan
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