Saturday, September 23, 2000

Discovery Channel star debuts decorating book

By Shauna Scott Rhone
The Cincinnati Enquirer

        Discovery Channel dynamo Christopher Lowell is at it again. The multi-talented host of the Emmy award-winning Christopher Lowell Show has taken his interior design show to another dimension with Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design (Discovery Books; $29.95).

        Mr. Lowell will sign his book Tuesday evening at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood.

Christopher Lowell
Christopher Lowell
        “Actually, I did this book just to document my seven-layer format of decorating” — covering everything from paint to plants, Mr. Lowell says.“In fact, season six (of the TV show, starting Monday) will coincide with the things covered in the book.

        “I want people to be inspired by the book,” he says. “I want them to know there's a process in decorating. I want them to spiritually and mentally process their own creativity. . . . I didn't want to teach them step by step because that's not how it should be done. . . . We want them to have fun.”

        Born Richard Madden in the mid-1940s, the “decorator with a heart” created the persona of Christopher Lowell to promote his creative side. While running his home arts center six years ago in Chagrin Falls, Ohio, he pitched a decorating show to the Discovery Channel. First named Interior Motives, the 30-minute show was expanded to an hour and, in 1998, became the Christopher Lowell Show, a fast-paced romp through the world of design laced with outlandish humor by the festively dressed tour guide. The show is seen in 23 countries.

    What: Discovery Channel's Christopher Lowell signs his new book, Christopher Lowell's Seven Layers of Design.
    When: 7 p.m. Tuesday.
    Where: Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Rookwood Pavilion, Madison and Edwards roads, Norwood.
    Information. 396-8960.

        In addition to his book tour, Mr. Lowell is unveiling his “fearless, fabulous decorating” line of customized design materials and home arts merchandise, including premixed paint, window treatments, bedding and accessories. The Christopher Lowell Home Collection will be available in November exclusively at Greater Cincinnati Burlington Coat Factory stores. Prices will average $99-$300 per room renovation.

        Mr. Lowell has been surprised at the makeup of his audience.

        “I didn't realize the ratio is about 50-50 with men watching the show as much as women,” he says. “Women would tape my show and then watch it in the evening when their guys were home so they ended up watching it, too.

        “Couples actually break up over decorating, so I had to be careful with what I put in the store. The colors and style in my line are tailored for him while being luxurious for her.”

        Mr. Lowell's plans include producing an accompanying video for the book, launching a magazine in 2001 and, returning to his earlier fashion career, designing clothing lines for men and women.

       In addition to his Burlington-related Web site,, fans can visit Mr. Lowell at his Discovery Channel Web site,

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