Home, garden and DIY

From decorating with fashionable monstera leaves to growing pot-grown vegetables; from organising in a GoodHousekeeping way to upholsterying with style. Enjoy this month’s hand-picked Home, Garden and DIY blog!

Crops in tight spots : grow amazing fruit and vegetables wherever you live / Mitchell, Alex
“Short of outdoor space but want to grow fruit and vegetables? Congratulations. Really, lucky you. Not for you the back-breaking trudge of tending large spaces of land, the weeding, digging and pest vigilance. Gluts? They will mean nothing to you. Instead you can look forward to small but perfectly formed bursts of flavor. Handfuls of fresh leaves, berries and tomatoes, just when you want them, and at arm’s reach…” (adapted from Catalogue)

All you need is less / Vrint, Vicki
“We live such busy lives, rushing from one thing to the next, that we barely give ourselves time to catch our breath. But what would happen if we aimed for less? This little book, filled with practical tips and ideas, covers a range of topics that could lead to a simpler way of life. By choosing a lifestyle that is less busy, less cluttered and less stressful, you will instantly feel healthier and happier.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Amazing furniture makeovers : easy DIY projects to transform thrifted finds into beautiful custom pieces / Crider, Jen
“This book is packed with ingenious, approachable projects to turn old chairs, tables, sofas and more into gorgeous furniture. …Beginners can dive right in with quick tricks and techniques like applying stain for a luxury wood finish and using paint to make details pop. More advanced projects are accessible to all-levels with Jen’s super helpful step-by-step instructions and photos.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Design outdoors : projects and plans for a stylish garden / Keightley, Matt
“Do you want your outdoor space to look as stylish and as well designed as your home? RHS Design Outdoors will give you the ideas and know-how you need to make that happen. Award-winning designer Matt Keightley has curated a collection of 35 gardens, created either by him or by other leading contemporary designers, that will provide the inspiration to transform your outdoor space. This wide array of garden styles means that there is inspiration for all types of garden, and for all types of gardener.” (Catalogue)

Big style in small spaces : easy DIY projects to add designer details to your apartment, condo or urban home / Dorsey, Sarah
“Sarah Dorsey, founder of Dorsey Designs and professional interior designer, has created over 30 beautiful, multifunctional d cor projects that are perfect for your small home. …The pieces in this book were designed for apartments, rental spaces and smaller homes to help you pack a lot of style into a little footprint. All of these projects are doable in a single weekend–or even a day–and budget-friendly, making it easy to create the stunning space of your dreams.” (adapted fromCatalogue)

Gertie sews jiffy dresses : a modern guide to stitch-and-wear vintage patterns you can make in a day / Hirsch, Gretchen
“In the ’50s and ’60s, Simplicity released their popular line of Jiffy sewing patterns, which had minimal pattern pieces and simple constructions, yet were chic enough for fashion-conscious customers. This approach appeals now more than ever as stylish women are continuously looking for ways to fit their love of sewing into busy lives filled with family, work, school, and countless other obligations.Gertie Sews Jiffy Dresses is Gretchen Hirsch’s modern reinvention of this simple idea, focusing on easily mastered sewing skills, minimal pattern pieces, and fabulous designs. And the best part? Readers will end up with a sparkling wardrobe of easy-to-wear, fun-to-style dresses that will fill busy modern lives with retro charm.” (Catalogue)

Homegrown and handmade : a practical guide to more self-reliant living / Niemann, Deborah
“An old-fashioned approach to modern homesteading. Food recalls, dubious health claims, scary and shocking ingredients in health and beauty products. Deborah Niemann is a homesteader, writer, and self-sufficiency expert who presents extensively on topics including soapmaking, bread baking, cheesemaking, composting, and homeschooling. She and her family raise sheep, pigs, cattle, goats, chickens, and turkeys for meat, eggs, and dairy products, while an organic garden and orchard provides fruit and vegetables.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Simple organizing wisdom : 500+ quick & easy clutter cures
“The ultimate guide to decluttering! GoodHousekeeping will help you organize your home, simplify any task, and tidy up faster. Hundreds of tips and tricks explain how to keep a well-ordered fridge, gain counter space, style shelving displays, clear up desks and digital spaces, streamline closets and the garage, and more. Keep this book handy, refer to it often, and say goodbye to the mess.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Urban garden design : transform your outdoor space into a beautiful and practical escape / Gould, Kate
“A stunning guide for gardeners keen to transform small and awkward outdoor spaces into beautiful and practical escapes. This carefully illustrated guide ensures gardeners of all abilities achieve the best results outdoors. Creating a personal and unique space is also at the heart of each project and Kate makes sure to discuss how to tie each design back to the interior of the home.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Wood craft : master the art of green woodworking / Barn the Spoon
“Looking for a simpler, more natural way of working with wood? Create beautiful wooden objects from fresh green wood by becoming skilled in the crafts of whittling, axe-based furniture making, and turning. Wood Craft brings up-to-date a newly resurgent folk craft and makes it truly accessible to all – no workshop required. So what are you waiting for? Get in touch with nature and find harmony working with your hands.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Upcycling with style : a step-by-step workbook / Heeringa, Sarah
“You don’t need a dining table or a cluster of couches to have a conversation, but they help. This interplay between life and stuff is what makes interior design such a fascinating discipline. Rather than mimicking interior design trends this book provides both the inspiration and practical information to upcycle tired objects and give them a new lease of life. Comprehensive step-by-step photographs help as a guide to clever project ideas that will help to create stylish and unique living spaces.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Home, garden and D.I.Y.

This month’s Home Garden and DIY blog features books for adding  popular plants such as Fiddle Leaf Figs and decorative stands to your indoor space;  creating your own yogurt and food wrap;  and planting luscious edible garden.

Stash knitting : 25 quick and easy projects to make / Osmond, Emma
“Make the most of that stash of yarn that so many of us have lurking in a cupboard or drawer with this exciting collection of patterns. Each fun project uses between 2 and 4 balls of yarn to create something delightful for your home, to give as a gift or to enjoy yourself. Suitable for different levels of knitting expertise, there’s something to suit every knitter and every stash.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Ultimate storage solutions
“Tackle your biggest storage problems with our all-new organization book, The Family Handyman Ultimate Storage Solutions. Inside you’ll discover 450+ clever projects & tips that will help you manage the mess in one weekend or less. Designed for every level of do-it-yourselfer, we’ve included a 54-page DIY skills tutorial that shows you how to correctly use tools and complete project tasks. And a special section on Hacks and Shortcuts” (adapted from Catalogue)

The generous gardener : private paradises shared / Donald, Caroline
“What do the celebrated actors, the bestselling novelist, the Nepalese Sherpa and the famous model have in common? Like millions of us, they love their gardens–and with good reason, too. Gardening is an art form through which we can all express ourselves. In the words of that grande dame of gardeners Penelope Hobhouse, “Gardening makes people happy.” And, as gardening editor of The Sunday Times, Caroline Donald has been allowed beyond the gate of many a private paradise to share this passion.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Living decor : plants, potting and DIY projects / Colletti, Maria
Living Decor shows you how to integrate greenery to your space …a manual to introducing the life and beauty of plants into your home in creative ways. This guide to houseplants guides you through modern trends in filling your space with plants, such as display with macramé , concrete planters, new plant stands for popular botanicals like Fiddle Leaf Figs and Monstera, and also shows what a beautiful, unique and even artistic experience living with plants can be. (adapted from Catalogue)

The DIY style finder / Wood, KariAnne
“Home decor expert KariAnne Wood takes you on a tour of five different home representing five different design styles, all with the goal of helping you create a style that is uniquely your own. Get the confidence you need to create a look you’ll love. From the entryway to the living room to the kitchen to outdoor spaces, you’ll find tips and decorating inspiration for each of these different styles–to encourage you to create a home that’s amazingly, wonderfully, uniquely YOU.” (adapted from Catalogue)

A garden can be anywhere : creating bountiful and beautiful edible gardens / Kranz, Lauri
“Edible Gardens LA founder Lauri Kranz shares her secrets for planning, planting, growing, and maintaining luscious edible gardens, no matter the setting or size of the plot. Through gorgeous gardens created for her well-known clientele, Lauri shares her essential methods for growing abundant organic food. This practical guide is built around Lauri’s philosophy that nourishment and beauty are not separate goals.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The Kew gardener’s guide to growing herbs : the art of science to grow your own herbs / Farrell, Holly
The Kew Gardener’s Guide to Growing Herbs is an exquisite mix of practical and giftable gardening reference for beginners and enthusiasts who want to grow herbs beautifully. Combines practical advice, 12 easy to follow projects and choice illustrations from the Royal Botanic Gardens, Kew archive.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Homemade : 80+ household essentials to inspire your everyday / Ozich, Eleanor
“In Homemade, bestselling cookbook author Eleanor Ozich shares clever, eco-conscious recipes for daily household goods – all incredibly easy to make at home.You’ll learn to create your own homespun essentials, such as mayonnaise, crackers, yoghurt, bread, muesli bars, hummus, cheese, and more.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Make a home to love : how to bring joy, order and beauty into your home the Scandinavian way / McNamara, Anna-Carin
Make a Home to Love takes you through ten simple steps that will help you to review your home and turn it into a place you can love and be proud of for years to come. Written by Swedish-born interior designer Anna-Carin McNamara, the book offers practical, accessible advice on how to turn any home into a stylish Scandinavian sanctuary.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Outer order inner calm : declutter & organize to make more room for happiness / Rubin, Gretchen
“With 150 concrete clutter-clearing ideas, insights, strategies, and sometimes surprising tips, Gretchen tackles the key challenges of creating outer order by explaining how to ‘make choices’, ‘create order’, ‘know yourself’, ‘cultivate useful habits’ and, of course, how to ‘add beauty’. At home, at work, and in life, when we get our possessions under control, we can create a more serene environment.” (adapted from Catalogue)

All your D.I.Y needs: Recent Home and Garden picks

This month’s blog features innovative and cost-effective DIY ideas for kids furniture, pallet bookshelves, fancy interior, pebble gardens and much more!

Big impact landscaping : 28 DIY projects you can do on a budget to beautify and add value to your home / Bendrick, Sara
“If you’ve ever looked at the weed-filled expanse that passes for your backyard and wondered why your family never uses it, then this book is for you. Sara Bendrick… addresses the most common homeowner requests for affordable ways to bring privacy, shade, dining areas, fire features and manageable plantings into their yards to increase their enjoyment of outdoor spaces and increase the value of their home.” (Catalogue)

Affordable interior design : high-end tips for any budget / Helmuth, Betsy
“Homeowners and renters of all means dream of having a beautiful home. The media makes it look so easy, but many of us have less to work with and still long to live in style. Affordable Interior Design makes luxury an affordable reality. In this DIY home decorating handbook, Helmuth reveals insider tips and her tried-and-tested methods for choosing colors, creating a gallery wall, how to use accent tables, entry benches, rugs, and more!” (Catalogue)

Big ideas for small spaces : creative ideas and 30 projects for balconies, roof gardens, windowsills, and terraces / Maguire, Kay
“Instructions and photographs show to make 30 easy projects for the garden using inexpensive or found materials. Provides practical solutions to greening a small and otherwise barren area including outer walls, tiny patios, balconies, courtyards, terraces, windowsills and rooftops. Also includes instructions on the basics of gardening.” (Catalogue)

Outdoor woodworking : 20 inspiring projects to make from scratch.
Outdoor Woodworking is an impressive new title containing a collection of projects, all ideal for the garden, patio or deck. There are some projects ideal for those just starting out in woodworking and others that will challenge even the experienced woodworker. All of the projects include clear guidance on how best to approach the construction of each piece…”–Amazon.com.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Brickwork projects for patio & garden : designs, instructions and 16 easy-to-build projects / Bridgewater, Alan
“From the decorative to the practical, Brickwork Projects for Patio & Garden offers a range of projects for all levels of expertise. Sixteen original projects range from a simple garden wall to a beautiful raised herringbone patio. Each project has been photographed step-by-step during construction and the finished piece is shown in its garden setting. Clear construction diagrams and concise text accompany every project.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Pebble mosaics : 25 original step-by-step projects for the home and garden / Schneebeli-Morrell, Deborah
“You can take pebbles and other natural found objects and turn them into beautiful useful and decorative objects for the home and garden. Using easy methods and everyday materials, author Deborah Schneebeli-Morrell demonstrates in full color, step-by-step photographs how to create such beautiful items as a simple teapot stand to a rustic mosaic hearth.” (Abridged Catalogue)

Make : soft robotics : a DIY introduction to squishy, stretchy and flexible robots / Borgatti, Matthew
“Soft robotics is an emerging field that approaches robots in new ways, enabling them to operate in environments that are unstructured or unstable and to perform tasks that require delicacy and malleability.” (Book jacket)

The pallet book : DIY projects for the home, garden, and homestead / Peterson, Chris
“Author Chris Peterson presents everything the enterprising handyperson needs to know to reclaim and reuse pallets in innovative, useful ways. Just some of the projects included are: A handy vertical planter; Coffee table; Spice rack; Serving tray; Compost bin; Dog house; Bookshelves; Wine bottle rack; Side table; Adirondack chair. In addition to dozens of projects, the book includes a variety of pallet-specific knowledge. You’ll find a guide with the basic skills and tools needed to rework pallets, information on where to find and source pallets, a guide to decoding pallet markings, and important pallet-related safety.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The PVC pipe book : projects for the home, garden, and homestead / Peterson, Chris
“Whether you’re a homeowner, gardener, homesteader, prepper, or just a parent looking for some new toy ideas, the projects in The PVC Pipe Book give you plenty of options. For anyone who needs some insight and a few tips on working with PVC, Peterson covers all the basics, as well as finishing techniques.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Easy garden projects : 200+ simple ideas for your yard, garden & home.
“With its simple tutorials that anyone can do to enhance their space, Easy Garden Projects appeals to a wide swath of gardeners. Whether it’s a homemade faux-stone planter filled with succulents or a potting bench made from reclaimed wood, each design features a finished-project photo and step-by-step instructions to guide you on your gardening path. The look and feel of the book reflects the breezy, rustic, and organic style of the Country Gardens brand.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Build a better vegetable garden : 30 DIY projects to improve your harvest / Russell, Joyce
“From simple woodwork projects for tunnels and frames to gadgets that deter slugs and carrot root fly, the results are well-designed as well as decorative.” (Book jacket)

Building unique and useful kids furniture : 24 great do-it-yourself projects / Carlsen, Spike
“Easy-to-build, affordable, beautiful, durable, fun furniture projects kids will love. You don’t need advanced skills. You don’t need specialized tools. You don’t need expensive materials. All of these projects can be built using basic tools and materials from any home improvement store. Step-by-step instructions and color photos show you exactly what to do–and many projects are labeled “Kid Friendly,” so your child can safely help you build it, developing their skills and confidence.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

The latest Home, D.I.Y and Garden books

Root, Nurture, Grow book cover

This month’s Home Garden and DIY blog features books about binding, sewing, planting and sharing; and are perfect for your new year resolutions.

Wood pallet wonders : DIY projects for home, garden, holidays and more / Lamb, Becky
“Packed with color photos and easy-to-follow instructions, Wood Pallet Wonders shows you how to build, paint, stencil and finish unique seasonal and holiday projects.” (Catalogue)

Machine sewing : top tips and techniques for successful sewing / Shore, Debbie
“The focus of this book is machine sewing, and with her characteristically friendly and easy-to-follow style Debbie delves deeper in detail than her previous books, bringing you 10 must-make projects and the confidence to sew them. The book is packed with hints and tips for successful machine sewing and will walk you through every aspect of your sewing journey.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Complete book of outdoor DIY projects / Swift, Penny
“Provides step-by-step instructions and color photographs to build outdoor stone, water, wood, and brick features for a yard and garden”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBound : 15 beautiful bookbinding projects / Rachel Hazell ; photography by Susan Bell.
“In this accessible collection of creative projects, Rachel Hazell shares exciting paper crafting techniques to develop your bookbinding skills. After explaining the tools and materials needed, Rachel takes you through each project with step-by-step instructions. Different techniques for cutting and folding are demonstrated, and, once you are happy with the various techniques, you will then begin to bind your own books with stitches such as ladder, dash and chain.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRoot, Nurture, Grow: The Essential Guide to Propagating and Sharing Houseplants [hardback]
“Plants are designed to multiply. They spread their roots, send off inquisitive shoots, and regenerate themselves in all sorts of exciting and unexpected ways without any help. Even for the beginner indoor gardener, a single leaf can hold enough life to be successfully grown into a brand new plant. With Root, Nurture, Grow, you’ll learn pruning methods that produce no waste, organic rooting medium recipes, and eventually enjoy gifting and swapping newly grown greenery with friends, family and other houseplant hoarders you’ll meet along the way.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMaking poor man’s guitars : cigar box guitars, the frying pan banjo, and other DIY instruments / Shane Speal.
“Many books have been written about how to build cigar box guitars and other unique hand-made instruments… but few have touched on why. This book presents the authentic stories of American DIY music with step-by-step projects, photo studies of antique instruments, interviews with music legends, and historical accounts. Shane Speal, the ‘King of the Cigar Box Guitar,’ brings the making of music and musical instruments back to its roots. From a simple two-string tin can guitar to an electrified washtub bass, Shane shows how anyone can build amazing musical instruments from found items.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMade of wood : in the home / Mark & Sally Bailey ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“The first half of the book explores the many ways in which we can use wood in our homes–sculpted, left in its natural state, roughly sawn or smoothly planed, recycled, or painted. The second half of the book, Wooden Stories, contains 12 case studies, each one offering a glimpse into the homes of people who have used this most ancient and versatile of materials in creative and inspiring ways.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Breaking the pattern : a modern way to sew / Huhta, Saara
“From the Finnish sewing duo behind the dressmaking fashion label Named, Laura and Saara offer up an enticing selection of tops, dresses, skirt and trousers for the modern seamstress. You will build your skills as you work through the book and with plenty of variations suggested for each garment, there’s lots of room for you to add your own personal touches and quirks to each design. Taking you beyond the patterns featured in this book, Breaking the Pattern will inspire you to not only build on your sewing repertoire but to grow in confidence with your own sewing.” (Adapted from Catalogue)

Top 50 indoor plants and how not to kill them! / Thomas, Angie
“House plants are well and truly back on trend – they instantly lift an area, make a room feel fresh and welcoming, and brighten your mood. On top of this, indoor plants are great for purifying the air and creating a healthier home. Together with microbes in the soil, plants work wonders to reduce harmful pollutants released from indoor furniture. (It’s true: look at the study conducted by the University of Technology, Sydney.)” (Adapted from Catalogue)

All things Home, Garden and D.I.Y.

This month’s recent pick features great ideas for Christmas cooking, urban and contemporary gardening, and DIY guides. Enjoy!

The natural home : tips, ideas & recipes for a sustainable life / Nissen, Wendyl
“Wendyl Nissen shares her approach to living a balanced and sustainable life based on an old-fashioned model of growing and cooking your own food, avoiding artificial products and doing your best to avoid letting unnecessary chemical cocktails into your life.” (Catalogue)

Home made Christmas / Boven, Yvette van
“The holidays can be overwhelming, but Yvette shows you how to make them easier with her “make ahead” recipes, giving you time to enjoy your company when they arrive. Home Made Christmas includes more than 100 recipes for the holidays (organized by Prepare Ahead and To Finish It Off) that are all easy to make and delicious… Yvette even provides menu ideas to make all your planning easier. Whether you’re celebrating your first Christmas with the love of your life or cooking for your entire family, this cookbook makes sure you’re fully prepared to entertain your holiday guests with a delicious, satisfying meal.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Slow down and grow something. : the urban grower’s recipe for the good life / Smith, Byron
“Growing and eating food from your balcony or backyard is insanely addictive – a chance to pocket a slice of farm life in the city, even if it’s just for a few minutes a day. Join the grow-you-own revolution one lemongrass mojito at a time, with the help of Byron Smith, who has created urban food oases in even the tiniest of plots. Whether you’re considering cultivating a few pots of seasonal fruit and vege through to a rooftop farm for your apartment block, this book is your blueprint for the good life in the city. It’s jam-packed with projects, advice and 50 mind-blowing recipes that will inspire you to get digging and start growing now.” (Catalogue)

Make ink / Logan, Jason
“An illuminating guide to making eco-friendly ink at home using scavenged materials from the founder of the Toronto Ink Company. The Toronto Ink Company was founded in 2014 by designer and artist Jason Logan as a citizen science experiment to make eco-friendly, urban ink from street-harvested pigments. Logan delves into the history of inkmaking and the science of distilling pigment from the natural world.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Simply clean : the proven method for keeping your home organized, clean, and beautiful in just 10 minutes a day / Rapinchuk, Becky
“No matter how big your home or busy your schedule, Rapinchuk believes that in just ten minutes a day your can keep your house clean and decluttered. She shares her system to turn cleaning from a chore into an effortless habit, and also shares recipes for organic, environmentally conscious cleaning supplies.” (Catalogue)

Fewer, better things : the hidden wisdom of objects / Adamson, Glenn
“Curator and scholar Glenn Adamson opens Fewer, Better Things by contrasting his beloved childhood teddy bear to the smartphones and digital tablets children have today. He laments that many children and adults are losing touch with the material objects that have nurtured human development for thousands of years… Fewer, Better Things explores the history of craft in its many forms, explaining how raw materials, tools, design, and technique come together to produce beauty and utility in handmade or manufactured items. Whether describing the implements used in a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, the use of woodworking tools, or the use of new fabrication technologies, Adamson writes expertly and lovingly about the aesthetics of objects, and the care and attention that goes into producing them.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Beehive alchemy : projects and recipes using honey, beeswax, propolis, and pollen to make soap, candles, creams, salves, and more / Ahnert, Petra
Beehive Alchemy is every beekeeper’s (and bee lover’s) guide to transforming the bounty of bees into practical and beautiful products for health and home (and)offers a comprehensive introduction to incorporating the miracle of bees into everyday life. With this new book, beekeepers (and bee lovers) will learn about the benefits and attributes of beeswax, honey, propolis, and more alongside a full range of projects and techniques to process and harness the amazing gifts of bees.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The tool book : the Australian companion to over 200 hand tools / Davy, Phil
“A complete visual guide with more than 800 images, The Tool Book pays homage to generations of craftsmanship, ingenuity and know-how. Clear photography and illustrations present more than 200 hand tools from every angle, showing you how to use and care for them, why each tool is right for the job and why it deserves pride of place in your collection.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

Root to bloom : a modern guide to whole plant use : harvest, cook, preserve, heal / Pember, Mat
Root to Bloom equips readers with the knowledge and tools to grow, eat and celebrate every edible part of the plant. The book will explore the lesser-used parts of a plant that are often snubbed in favor of the produce we’ve come to expect. It includes a comprehensive rundown of 35 edible plants (from cilantro to onion to yams), covering extra components of edibility, including flowers, roots and weeds. It educates people about ideal growing conditions, the nutrition level of the parts, as well as activities on how to prepare/preserve them for eating – with recipes… As well, it includes six breakout chapters on key related topics: medicinal; herbicides; skin care; weeds/foraging; the orchard; and preserving flowers.” (Adapted from the Catalogue)

The nature of home : creating timeless houses / Dungan, Jeffrey
“Following in the tradition of populist architects Gil Schafer and Bobby McAlpine, Dungan designs new traditional houses for today–houses with clean lines, made with stone and wood, that carry an air of lasting beauty and that are made to be handed on to future generations. In his first book, Dungan shares his advice and insight for creating these “forever” houses and explores eight houses in full, from a beach house on the Gulf Coast to a farmhouse in the Southern countryside to a family home in the Blue Ridge Mountains. All speak of authenticity, timelessness, and lived history that reveals itself through the rich patinas and natural textures that come with age. Layered in between are thematic essays and imagery celebrating the importance of elements such as light, stone, and rooflines in creating a home.” (Adapted from the catalogue)

Comfortable and eco-friendly homes

Build or style your home using ideas, tips and information from these new books. Read about trends in residential design (including modular and environmentally minded housing), smart homes, styling thrifty chic interiors, building with recycled materials and more. Have a browse and enjoy!

Movable architecture
“Recycling materials to build with is becoming increasingly acceptable and encouraged as the world moves towards greener architecture. This book features creative container architecture and also focuses on its advantages from a green perspective. Inspiration for architects and designers alike, this book promotes sustainable housing in an informative and accessible format.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Thrifty chic : interior style on a shoestring / Bauwens, Liz
“Learn how to reuse, recycle, restyle, restore, and revamp your old furnishings to create a stylish and unique home, without spending a fortune! Whether you are on a tight budget, or simply want to give your existing home a new look, Thrifty Chic provides a treasure trove of ideas at your fingertips.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Prefab housing and the future of building : product to process / Aitchison, Mathew
“As we stand on the cusp of a fundamental restructuring of the housing and building industries, this book provides a timely overview of prefabricated and modular housing. The current international housing shortages and affordability crises have given a new urgency to the need to transform building construction in the 21st century. Richly illustrated and drawing on historical examples and contemporary design studies, the book takes the reader through the history, theory and design of the prefab, leading up to a discussion of contemporary problems and opportunities.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

New eco homes / Gutiérrez, Manel Couto
“Discover the latest in eco-friendly home architecture and design. New Eco Homes features twenty-two sustainable homes from around the globe that showcase the newest innovations in environmentally minded home design.   Inside you’ll find the latest design strategies such as various ways to use natural light and ventilation to reduce energy consumption, new methods to integrate home construction into the surrounding landscape, and the numerous recycled and green construction materials that are available today.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Going green with vertical landscapes
“In the 21st century the architects and designers of urban spaces face great challenges to integrate nature in order to transform cement forests into forest cities . Perhaps the best solution is to go green with vertical landscapes. More than just a decorative trend, this is a means of bringing life and greenery into metropolitan areas by using different framing systems to create compositions of plant life and adapt them to diverse settings, including offices, factories, parking lots, hotels, and installations within larger parks. ” (Adapted from Syndetics)

Creating the vintage look : 35 ways to upcycle for a stylish home / Laycock, Ellie
“Upcycling is about taking something old, vintage, treasured or possibly even broken, and giving it a new lease on life by turning it into something new. Its a thrifty way of decorating and enhancing your home that avoids waste, but is also stylish.” (Adapted from Syndetics)

 

Roll up your sleeves! New home, garden and DIY books

Circle Gardening book cover

Roll up your sleeves, make some cool decorations and show off! This month’s home garden and DIY features stylish designs that are easy to make and with wood and fabric. Also featured are gardening design ideas. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverWoodworking : traditional craft for modern living / Samina Langholz and Andrea Brugi ; with photography by Ditte Isager.
“Using simple techniques, Tuscany-based woodworkers Samina Langholz and Andrea Brugi teach you how to make 20 beautiful wood objects for the home. From an egg cup made from a reclaimed beam and broom handle to a chopping board featuring a hand-carved “butterfly” – an old trick for stabilising a crack – here are a wonderful selection of approachable carpentry projects that don’t require complicated tools, and can be done easily in the home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSimple & stylish woodworking : 20 projects for your home / edited by Scott Francis.
“One of the rewards of woodworking is getting to show off your work–either as part of your home decor or as handmade gifts for family and friends. This book provides 20 small-scale projects that can add a touch of style to any living space. Practise a wide range of woodworking techniques! Dovetails, Mortise and tenon, Finger joints, Miters, Veneering Bent lamination… The projects in this book are a great way to practice your craft–plus you might just end up creating a treasured heirloom that looks great on the wall or mantel.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHeavy-duty sewing : making backpacks and other stuff / Anton Sandqvist.
“From the founder of iconic outdoors brand Sandqvist, this cool craft book is all about using needle and thread, a sewing machine and stiff materials to make your own practical, hardwearing functional objects. From hiking rucksacks to knife holders, vanity bags to aprons, there are projects for the experienced home sewer who is looking to try something new, for people who find the idea of sewing fun but may not have come up with a suitable project and for those who have never even used a sewing machine before. Explaining the basics of making textile products and which materials to use, as well as the equipment and work techniques, this book teaches you all about leather and how to repair your own belongings.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCircle gardening : growing vegetables outside the box / Kenneth E. Spaeth Jr.
“Through years of experimentation, Spaeth has found circle gardening, an ancient method as old as agriculture, to be not only an efficient but also an aesthetically pleasing way to grow plants. By arranging them in a concentrated circle rather than in rows, gardeners are able to conserve compost, fertilizer, and water. Depending on the number of vegetables planted, this design can save time and be less physically demanding. The rationale for planting your veggies in a circle is scientific, too–many plants clump together in nature and thrive in groups, and so planting in circles actually mimics natural plant distribution.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverComplete Dressmaking: Essential skills and techniques for beginners
“The book begins with a description of the kit you really need, including how to choose your first sewing machine for dressmaking. The second chapter describes how to choose and prepare textiles, and/or alter a paper pattern. At the heart of the book are the chapters on technique. All the techniques are shown as step-by-step sequences, which you can read at your own pace.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Garden Farmer
“A punnet of plums from your tree, a handful of gooseberries; home-grown nuts and herbs, and a few freshly laid eggs from your hens – all enjoyed in your own small plot. What could be more satisfying? Each chapter of The Garden Farmer offers insight into the topics and projects you might be contemplating that month, along with planting notes and timely advice, and a recipe that honours the fruits of your labour.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRescue, restore, redecorate : Amy Howard’s guide to refinishing furniture and accessories / Amy Howard ; photography by Quentin Bacon.
Rescue, Restore, Redecorate has all the design and refinishing secrets you need to bring heirlooms back to life and to easily refresh flea market finds. Gathered from Amy Howard’s beloved classes, these refinishing recipes and tecniques are foolpoof, making it incredibly easy to get great results. Along with a treasure trove of finishes, Amy shares antiques and flea market shopping advice and beautiful before-and-after furniture makeovers.” (Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverFresh clean home : making your own natural cleaning products / Wendy Graham.
“Making your own cleaning products is easy–and the results are kinder to your skin, safer for the environment, and as effective as anything store bought. All these recipes use common, inexpensive ingredients such as bicarbonate of soda, vinegar, salt, and citrus fruit, and they’ll leave every room, from the kitchen to the bath, sparkling clean. The products include Long-Lasting Fridge Freshener, Burnt Pan Rescue Remedies, Orange & Grapefruit Laundry Powder, Disappearing Stain Spray, Miracle Tile & Grout Paste, Sweet & Simple Beeswax Candles, and Pine-Scented Wood & Laminate Floor Spray.” (Syndetics summary)

Secret gardens / Cantwell, Matthew
“From pint-sized gardens to rambling grounds, Secret Gardens is a visual feast of contemporary residential landscaping, offering a rich resource of inspiration to readers, regardless of the size of their own patch of potential paradise. This book tells a story in pictures, with luscious photography of 24 of Secret Gardens’ favourite projects. Each garden is accompanied by descriptions in which Secret Gardens director Matthew Cantwell tells the story of each project, explains how their dramatic transformation was achieved and reveals a few tricks of the trade in the process. The gardens are grouped into three sections, based on the size of each project: Compact, Room to Move, and Free Reign.” (Catalogue)

New home, garden and DIY picks

Design By Nature

This month’s home, garden and DIY blog features  upcycling for gardens, decorating stylish homes and even building solar powered robots at home.

Syndetics book coverHome sweet maison : the French art of making a home / Danielle Postel-Vinay.
“How do the French create the elusive and alluring sanctuaries they call home? This question long intrigued Danielle Postel-Vinay. Thanks to a chance encounter with a French expat in La Crosse, Wisconsin, and years of immersive research, she embarked on a quest to discover the secrets of the French home aesthetic. Experiencing first-hand la belle vie–the beautiful life–Postel-Vinay now shows everyone how to create their own French sanctuary, a home sweet maison, no matter where they live.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUpcycling outdoors / Max McMurdo ; photography by Brent Darby.
“Following the success of his first book Upcycling, Max has turned his thoughts to the outdoors with this truly inspirational collection of inventive projects, each built from recycled materials and unwanted ‘spare parts’. Whether you want to create a firepit from bicycle wheels, an outdoor plant display from a painted dressing table, or fashion a potting shed from three vintage doors, Max provides invaluable know-how on the tools, techniques and materials required to take you on an outdoor creative journey.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Anatomy Of Treehouses: New Buildings From An Old Tradition
“This beautiful book shows how the treehouse can be many things: from simple structures based on centuries-old woodworking skills to modern geodesic forms strung high up above the treeline. There is something magical about treehouses – whatever your age. There are treehouses with wood-burning stoves, some with copper baths and some with elevated linking walkways obscured by the canopy of trees above. The book offers both visual inspiration, but also the human stories behind the creation and design of these treehouses.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDesign by nature : creating layered, lived-in spaces inspired by the natural world / Erica Tanov ; photographs by Ngoc Minh Ngo.
“Inspired by nature’s colors, textures, and patterns, design icon Erica Tanov uses her passion for textiles to create beautiful, timeless interiors that connect us to the natural world. Now, in her first book, Design by Nature, Tanov teaches you how to train your eye to the beauty of the natural world, and then bring the outdoors in–incorporating patterns and motifs from nature, as well as actual organic elements, into simple ideas for everyday decorating and design.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew order : a decluttering handbook for creative folks (and everyone else) / Fay Wolf ; illustrated by Jeremy Gates.
“Can a decluttered space fuel a creative mind? Heck yes, says organizing expert Fay Wolf, who has helped everyone from Hollywood celebrities to schoolteachers to work-from-home parents achieve a simpler, more fulfilling life. Here, Wolf outlines her basic rules for saying goodbye to the stuff crowding up your space and hello to new habits that free you up for the things you’re passionate about. And it can all be done in as little as a few minutes a day.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new seed-starters handbook / Nancy Bubel with Jean Nick.
“An easy-to-use reference that gives readers the most up-to-date information on how to start seeds successfully and grow their favorite plants from year to year. Step-by-step guides to starting plants from seed, which allows for earlier harvests, greater variety, and healthier seedlings. It also presents an encyclopedia of more than 200 plants–including vegetables and fruits, garden flowers, wildflowers, herbs, trees, and shrubs–with details on how to start each from seed.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome robotics : maker-inspired projects for building your own robots / Daniel Knox.
“Relying on common, easily-sourced components, an illustrated guide for both beginner and intermediate robotics enthusiasts offers step-by-step instructions to design and build their very own robot beginning with a simple cardboard creation to a robot powered by solar energy.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCraeft : how traditional crafts are about more than just making / Alexander Langlands.
“In a period of meaningless mass manufacturing, our growing appetite for hand-made objects, artisan food, and craft beverages reveals our deep cravings for tradition and quality. But there was a time when craft meant something very different; the Old English word craeft possessed an almost indefinable sense of knowledge, wisdom, and power. In this fascinating book, historian and popular broadcaster Alex Langlands goes in search of the mysterious lost meaning of craeft.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFrom Fibre to Fabric: The Ultimate Guide to Soft Furnishings [hardback]
“This ultimate reference book for everyone involved in interior designer presents the technical knowledge needed to make the right choices. It covers the variety of fabrics available, how fibres are turned into fabrics, and how they are used in the home. The photography will inspire and delight.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTruly Nordic : Nordic craftsmanship, branding campaigns and design.
“Nordic design exhibits a philosophy that’s characterised by efficiency, clean lines and a simple and cheerful palette. History and culture have been the fundamental premise of their aesthetic approach, imbued with a respectful attitude towards nature visible in their material choices and graphic expressions. With a notion to examines creative works by regional influences, Truly Nordic explores contemporary design emerging from Denmark, Finland, Iceland, Norway and Sweden. The book spans cutting-edge projects from brand identities to set designs and everything in between.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew minimalism : decluttering and design for sustainable, intentional living / Cary Telander Fortin + Kyle Louise Quilici ; photography by Kelly Ishikawa.
“This book promises an opportunity for self-reflection and lasting change, by getting to the bottom of why we’ve accumulated too much stuff in the first place, therefore allowing us to transform our lives. Professional decluttering and design team Cary and Kyle of New Minimalism will take you through every step, from assessing your emotional relationship to your stuff to decluttering your home to then turning it into a beautifully designed space that feels clean and tidy without feeling sparse or prescriptive.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe sewing book / Alison Smith.
“250 step-by-step techniques will guide you whether you are sewing clothes, making soft furnishings, or doing alterations. Master hand and machine sewing with close-up photographs and clear instructions to demystify even the trickiest techniques, and choose from 15 stylish projects to practise your sewing skills. Every project is brand new for this updated edition of the ultimate sewing bible, with 5 new sewing techniques now added. With in-depth coverage of sewing tools, techniques, and fabric, this is the ultimate sewing resource for beginners, students, and seasoned stitchers alike.” (Syndetics summary)

Enjoy our latest hand-picked home, garden and DIY books this new year

Get great ideas for decorating, renovating, tinkering, personalising, and most importantly enjoying your home with this month’s hand-picked home, garden and do-it-yourself books.

Syndetics book coverTinkering : Australians reinvent DIY culture / Katherine Wilson.
“At a time when the labour market is failing as a source of security and identity for many, domestic tinkering is emerging as a legitimate vocation, in ways we haven’t seen since pre-industrial times. Practices of repair, crafting, invention, building and improvising …are becoming a vital part of our informal economy and social cohesion, complicating distinctions between work and leisure, amateur and professional, production and consumption. …with a journalist’s impulse for the currency of her story, Katherine Wilson documents domestic tinkering as an undervalued form of material scholarship, social connection, psychological sanctuary and political activism… (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRenovate innovate : reclaimed and upcycled homes / Antonia Edwards.
“From converted factories and chapels to cabins built from salvaged wood, this collection of innovative, beautiful, and sustainable dwellings showcases a worldwide trend for upcycling in home design. …This international sampling of stunning new buildings and renovations will inspire readers, designers, architects, and dreamers alike to reimagine lived in spaces” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSecond bloom : Cathy Graham’s art of the table / by Alexis Clark ; foreword by Joanna Coles ; photography by Quentin Bacon and Andrew Ingalls.
“Artist, collector, and entertaining guru Cathy Graham shares her secrets for gracious living and memorable get-togethers in Second Bloom. Graham covers the essential elements that make every event shine–flowers, paper components, table setting, and food presentation. Quentin Bacon’s photographs of a seaside gathering, a casual cocktail party, or a lively dinner in honor of a friend show how to achieve winning possibilities with ease.” (Syndetics summary

Syndetics book coverEveryday chic : my secrets for entertaining, organizing, and decorating at home / Molly Sims with Tracy O’Connor.
“Once upon a time, Molly Sims was a single girl who stored cashmere sweaters in her oven, and whose shoe collection far exceeded her recipe collection. But today, one husband and three kids later, a lot has changed. Supermodel? Try Supermomma! Molly has taken her style from the runway to the domestic arena, embracing the roles of home chef, party planner, organization expert, and design guru, as only she can…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLife in the garden / Penelope Lively.
“Penelope Lively has always been a keen gardener. This book is partly a memoir of her own life in gardens: the large garden at home in Cairo where she spent most of her childhood, her grandmother’s garden in a sloping Somerset field, then two successive Oxfordshire gardens of her own, and the smaller urban garden in the North London home she lives in today. It is also a wise, engaging and far-ranging exploration of gardens in literature, from Paradise Lost to Alice in Wonderland, and of writers and their gardens, from Virginia Woolf to Philip Larkin.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTake a seat : 16 beautiful projects for your home / Jemima Schlee.
“Be seated in style and comfort with this gorgeous book full of ideas to revamp the things you sit on everyday. If your chairs are looking past their best, or in need of a makeover, you will find beautiful projects that can turn sorry-looking seats into stylish centrepieces. Jemima Schlee’s clever use of fabrics, textures, yarns and paint not only add personality and character to any interior, they are also an ideal way for thrifty types to create a new look on a budget.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding with secondhand stuff : how to reclaim, repurpose, re-use & upcycle salvaged & leftover materials / Chris Peterson.
“From deconstruction methods and salvaging tips to plotting efficient cutting plans and devising creative new uses for everyday items, this book is packed with clever ways to obtain low-cost materials and ingenious projects you can build yourself. …This book is a hands-on, do-it-yourself guide that shows you how to identify materials that can be salvaged efficiently and give you step-by-step instructions on how to build cool things with what you find…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRemodelista : the organized home : simple, stylish storage ideas for all over the house / Julie Carlson and Margot Guralnick ; with the editors of Remodelista ; photographs by Matthew Williams ; creative direction by Alexa Hotz.
“…Whether you’re a minimalist or someone who takes pleasure in her collections, we all yearn for an unencumbered life in a home that makes us happy. This compact tome shows us how, with more than 100 simple and stylish tips, each clearly presented and accompanied by full-color photographs that are sure to inspire. Readers will learn strategies for conquering their homes’ problem zones (from the medicine cabinet to the bedroom closet) and organizing tricks and tools that can be deployed in every room…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMary’s household tips & tricks : your guide to happiness in the home / Mary Berry.
“…Easy to use, practical and gorgeously illustrated, Mary’s Household Tips & Tricks covers everything from Mary’s golden rules for baking to her favourite flowers for each season, from how to polish silver to whether tea should be poured before or after milk. With secrets for accomplishing the most challenging home-keeping tasks with ease, Mary’s wonderfully simple book will help turn any house into a home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA well-crafted home : inspiration and 60 projects for personalizing your space / Janet Crowther ; photographs by Julia Wade ; illustrations by Tate Obayashi.
“More than just “DIY” crafts, these carefully designed projects call for good materials–like linen, leather, and wood–so the finished product will last you a lifetime. Ranging from beginner to more advanced, each item elevates a room in a way you’d never expect: a large-scale painting with an effortless “dot” design looks like a modern piece of art, flax linen bedding sewn with a few easy seams is gorgeous way to set off the bed (and is more affordable than you would think), and a copper pipe rack for hanging clothes is so pretty, you’ll want to keep it on display…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverA sense of home : eat, make, sleep, live / Helen James.
“From leading Irish designer and food blogger Helen James comes a beautiful book for all who enjoy making their house a home. Room by room, Helen shares her distinctive design sensibility inspired by the natural world, as she considers the spaces where we spend so much of our time – indoor and out – from a sensory perspective: taste, sight, scent, touch and sound. Combining over 60 delicious, homely recipes – from bedroom feasts to ‘movie-night’ suppers – with essential design principles, natural beauty products, gardening plans and more, A Sense of Home is stunningly illustrated throughout. A sumptuous journey that is as pleasurable to browse as it is to put into practice – and the ideal gift.” (Syndetics summary)

Brilliant New Year ideas for your home

Give your home and your beloved objects an exciting new life using unique ideas found in this collection of books, including inspirational real-life stories from downsizers revealing how successfully they’ve handled the challenges. Happy reading!

Syndetics book coverMake yourself at home : design your space to discover your true self / Moorea Seal ; photographs by Marissa Maharaj ; illustrations by Julia Manchik.
“Part self-help, part memoir, part decor inspiration, fans of Moorea Seal will love this book for its warm voice and candid exploration of what it means to create a comfortable home. Organized room by room, each chapter delves into what each room represents in our lives, and how we can feel at home in our spaces and at home in ourselves. You don’t have to have the perfect life or perfect home in order to infuse your space with your signature spark and feel relaxed in your space.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBooks make a home : elegant ideas for storing and displaying books / Damian Thompson.
Books Make a Home explores the important role they play as Decoration, as well as functional items. Author and bibliophile Damian Thompson tours the rooms of the home in turn – Living Rooms, Home Libraries & Studies, Kitchens, Bedrooms & Bathrooms, Corridors & Staircases and Children’s Spaces – discovering a host of techniques for stacking, shelving and closeting volumes, and illustrating how each space can be brought to life by books.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThrough the French door : romantic interiors inspired by classic French style / Carolyn Westbrook ; photography by Keith Scott Morton.
“Welcome to the world of designer and decorator Carolyn Westbrook, a world of beautiful French-style interiors and chic decor. Carolyn is known for her love of French design, and here she combines her expertise in interiors and her romance with everything French, to show you how to transform your home into something stunning. Through the French Door is a celebration of Carolyn Westbrook’s signature style–timeless, sophisticated, comfortable, and inspiring.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRecycled home / Mark & Sally Bailey ; with photography by Debi Treloar.
“In this beautiful book, Mark and Sally Bailey of Baileys Home Store share their passion for rescued, repaired, reused, and recycled pieces. The look they love is simple, stripped back and stylish, focusing on the integrity of the materials and surface quality–chipped paint revealing the layers beneath, combinations of rough textures with clean lines, or old materials with sleek stainless steel or concrete. Discover the untapped potential of rescued or repaired objects with Recycled Home.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWooden houses : from log cabins to beach houses / Judith Miller ; photography by James Merrell.
Wooden Houses places the wooden house into a historical, social and decorative context, explores the decorative potential of wood in our homes and provides inspiration for anyone who appreciates the beauty and soul of this wonderful natural material. Wood has always played an invaluable part in construction, architecture, and interior decoration and has long been valued for its practical benefits. Whether it is left in its natural state to show the variety of grains and depths of colors, or used as a bare canvas for paint techniques, wood is a beautiful and timeless resource.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverUpscale downsizing: creating a stylish, elegant, smaller home / by Leslie Linsley.
“Less CAN be more! Whether because of a change in circumstances, an empty nest, or simply an itch to start from scratch again, people are downsizing their space . . . while remaining upscale in taste. Decorating with style is crucial when every square inch counts, and fortunately downsizing elegantly is an art you can learn. Home-style guru Leslie Linsley shows you how to achieve maximum aesthetic results even in a minimal space. She offers solutions to every problem–storage tricks, entertaining in small spaces, flexible layouts, ideas for arranging art and collectibles, living with what you absolutely can’t live without, and more. In addition, inspirational real-life stories from downsizers reveal how others have successfully handled the challenges–so you can do the same.” (Syndetics summary)