Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

It’s the perfect season to stay inside in your home and there is so much you can do, decorate, cook, organize and more. We’ve also hand picked a NZ home buyer’s book if you are interested in tips for buying a new home.

Syndetics book coverThe home decluttering diet : organize your way to a clean and lean house / Jennifer Lifford.
“When Lifford got serious about organizing her home, she decided to follow the principles of a typical diet designed to lose weight. Think of every item in your house– and every item you bring in– as calories in food. To maintain weight, calories in must equal calories out. To lose weight, calories in must be less than calories out. New habits must be developed; psychological issues must be addressed; and sensible rewards must be established. This yearlong plan can help you organize your way to a clean and lean house.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMorning, noon, night : a way of living / written by Jodie Harrison, Lucy Quick and Alex Hawkins.
A Way of Living charts the Soho House journey in design, food and drink. From the perfect burger to the most inspiring art, from afternoon tea to how to light a room. Developing themes from their first book Eat, Drink, Nap, Soho House shares hints and tips to get the best out of what is around us morning, noon and night. They have included their favourite recipes for every event, tips on creating an inspiring workspace, how to dress an outdoor space and much more…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe deckchair gardener : an improper gardening manual / Anne Wareham.
“For those who want to enjoy their garden but don’t have the time, knowledge or inclination to do the hard work involved, this book is an indispensable guide for quick and easy ways to look after your little patch of paradise. Weeding out unnecessary advice and pruning back complicated instructions, Anne Wareham provides you with humorous, honest tips and the essential information you need to look after your garden, saving your energy and your back.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverCushions, curtains & blinds : step by step / project editor, Anne Hildyard.
“With 25 easy and stylish sewing projects including pouffes, bedspreads, and Roman blinds, you can customise every inch of your home. Add beautiful finishing touches to your soft furnishing creations with advice from the experts on how to tailor each piece to your space, and mix and match patterns and prints to create beautiful effects. Cushions, Curtains and Blinds Step-by-Step uses simple step-by-step instructions and beautiful photography to help you achieve professional and personal results every time – the perfect guide to sprucing up your home.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuyer beware : a New Zealand home buyer’s guide / Maria Slade.
“Property prices going through the stratosphere, leaky buildings, P contamination, bullying body corporates – purchasing a house today can feel akin to entering a minefield. Written by a news journalist who has covered many of the horror stories, this book takes a no-holds-barred look at the challenges facing home buyers and offers savvy advice on how to navigate that minefield. It will appeal to all home buyers, from first-timers hoping for a small apartment to older people looking to downsize and everyone in between. With chapters on the search, mortgages and legal aspects, types of title, buying at auction, buying off plans, checks and warning signs, bodies corporate and the special problems to be found in Christchurch, there is plenty of information for everyone.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe little book of slow / Sally Wise & Paul McIntyre.
“Part nostalgia, part how-to guide, The Little Book of Slow offers practical suggestions, recipes and more for making delicious food from scratch and cultivating meaningful activities and pastimes. Bestselling cookbook author Sally Wise teams up with radio personality Paul McIntyre to help you slow your life down, relax and de-stress with vintage inspiration from a more leisurely time. Discover how to make your own bread, pickles and preserves, fresh cheeses and yoghurt. Pack the perfect picnic, cook over a campfire or host a vintage-style high tea. Or be inspired to take up slow hobbies and pastimes like beachcombing, collecting vinyl, playing boardgames or cards and holding dinner parties.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSowHow : a modern guide to grow-your-own veg / Paul Matson, Lucy Anna Scott.
“SowHow is an innovative grow guide for the modern gardener. With its fresh, bright design and clear-cut advice, this clever little book provides all the informstion you need to grow your own vegetables, herbs and edible flowers. Whether you are looking to fill a garden, ad allotment, or a patio pot, get going and grow with SowHow!” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverThe art of living with nature : 50 beautiful projects to bring the outside in / Willow Crossley.
“Learn how to make beautiful, nature-inspired, decorations, and arrangements with The Art of Living with Nature. Filled with tips and useful techniques to make the most out of your blooms, there will be a project to suit every occasion–whether you need napkin rings made of sea urchins, a stunning display of spring narcissi planted in wooden wine boxes, or a stylish wall display of antlers and feathers. By combining her passions for the great outdoors and natural beauty, Willow provides instructions about how to make the most of your flower-shop purchases, beachcombing bounty, home-grown harvests, and hedgerow finds.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe interior book / photographs by Eugeni Pons.
“The interior design of homes can be looked at as a reflection of contemporary lifestyle and of cultural changes in our society. Designing residential spaces is a complex undertaking on the part of the architect and interior designer, whose main goal is to reconcile practical requirements with the functional and aesthetic needs of their clients. This volume is a richly illustrated exploration of residential interior design room by room: entry halls and hallways, kitchens, dining rooms, living rooms, bedrooms, bathrooms, home offices, and outdoor spaces.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEntertaining in the country : love where you eat : festive table settings, favorite recipes, and design inspiration / Joan Osofsky & Abby Adams ; principal photography by John Gruen.
“Carefully selected for their flair when it comes to entertaining, the hosts welcome the reader into their homes in New York’s bucolic Hudson Valley and New England. Featured are food star Julia Turshen and Grace Bonney of Design*Sponge; Dana Cowin of Food & Wine fame; and Erin French, the James Beard–nominated chef/owner of The Lost Kitchen in Freedom, Maine. Throughout are ideas for setting festive tables, floral choices, and decorative touches, as well as how to create a functional kitchen and well-stocked pantry. A list of sources of regional markets carrying local products rounds out this go-to entertaining guide.” (Provided by publisher)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

Whether you’ve decided to roll up your sleeves or put up your feet, you’ll be interested in this month’s home, garden & DIY blog. Tips include bathroom upgrade, tasteful home and garden, and even creative DIY with industrial pipes.

Syndetics book coverDIY industrial pipe furniture & decor : creative projects for every room of your home / James Angus.
“Packed with easy-to-follow tutorials and 400 step-by-step color photos, this helpful DIY guide teaches you how to transform plumbing fixtures into all types of cool household furnishings… Author James Angus explains everything you need to know, from choosing the fittings and using the right tools to mastering the art of assembly and adding designer touches for a finished look.” (Page 4 of cover)

Syndetics book coverA touch of farmhouse charm : easy DIY projects to add a warm and rustic feel to any room / Liz Fourez, creator of Love Grows Wild.
“Opening A Touch of Farmhouse Charm is like taking a breath of fresh, clean country air. With the turn of each page, Liz Fourez leads you on a tour through her family’s house, restored to its 1940s rustic farm style, and teaches you how to make each handmade decoration yourself. …Farmhouse style is about cultivating a connection among family, home and nature; A Touch of Farmhouse Charm helps you bring the warmth and beauty of simpler times to your modern life naturally.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBathroom upgrades / editors of Fine Homebuilding.
Bathroom upgrades, from the editors of Fine Homebuilding, provides all the advice you need to remodel a bathroom of any size or shape, on any budget. Our pros take you through every step of the process with the site-tested tips and techniques that Fine Homebuilding is known for to help you create the bathroom you’ve always dreamed of.”–Back cover.

Syndetics book coverThe hinterland : cabins, love shacks and other hide-outs / [edited by Sven Ehmann and Robert Klanten].
“The cabin has become our third place, our hideaway where we can recharge our spirits and reconnect with ourselves, away from the restraints of society and the stress of the everyday. This book presents the best new cabin architecture and design. We all need to be somewhere else, just for a little while. The cabin is that somewhere else. They allow us to get into a different state of mind, one where we can just have a good time. Four walls and a roof and a weekend–these getaways free us from the distracting and unessential, and put us back in touch with nature and our own inner peace. In cabins, we can savor solitude or share experiences with friends among mountains, rivers, woods, and wildlife…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover101 organic gardening hacks : eco-friendly solutions to improve any garden / Shawna Coronado.
“The word “hack” has a multitude of meanings these days, but if you ask garden author Shawna Coronado what a hack is, she might just wave her hand toward her own back yard. She could be pointing at the garden bench she created from leftover wood posts and a few cinder blocks, or the rows of wine bottles buried soldier-style along a winding pathway, or even the garden soil itself, which is blended by hand from an organic soil recipe she devised. A hack is really just a great idea that’s come to life… Divided into a dozen different categories for easy reference, each hack is accompanied by a clear photo that shows you exactly how to complete it.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRhapsody in green : a novelist, an obsession, a laughably small excuse for a vegetable garden / Charlotte Mendelson ; illustrations by Aitch.
“Her garden may look like a drunk old man’s mini allotment, chaotic, flowerless, with weird recycling and nowhere to sit. However, it is actually a tiny jungle… where she grows a taste of perhaps a hundred kinds of delicious fruits and peculiar vegetables…” (Book jacket)

Syndetics book coverL’art de la simplicite = how to live more with less / Dominique Loreau.
“Dominque Loreau is the master in the art of de-cluttering and simplifying. Now her groundbreaking L’art de la Simplicite, a huge bestseller in her native France, is translated into English for the first time. Loreau’s principle of “less is more” is set to change your life forever. Living in Japan and inspired by Asian philosophy, Loreau takes you on a step-by-step journey to a clutter-free home, a calm mind and an energized body. Free yourself of possessions you don’t want or need; have more money to spend on life’s little luxuries; eat better and lose weight; and say goodbye to anxiety and negative relationships.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe art of hygge : how to bring Danish cosiness into your life / Jonny Jackson & Elias Larsen.
“Hygge (pronounced ‘hue-ga’) is a Danish word that describes the feeling of being cosy, comfortable and at peace with the world. It’s almost impossible to translate into English, but this concept might explain why Denmark is one of the happiest countries in the world. The Art of Hygge is packed with delicious recipes to share with friends, craft ideas for decorating your home, and inspirational suggestions for enjoying the magic of everyday pleasures.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuild a better vegetable garden : 30 DIY projects to improve your harvest / Joyce Russell ; photography by Ben Russell.
“Following on from the hugely successful Polytunnel Book, Joyce and Ben Russell have devised 30 kitchen garden projects that anyone can make and enjoy. Not only do the projects add decorative detail to the garden, each project is devised to either extend the season, protect crops from pests or improve yields. Apart from the obvious cost-savings benefits from growing or making your own, the desire to work with craft fulfils the need to keep improving your patch of land.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverShe sheds : a room of your own / Erika Kotite.
“Create your very own hideaway right at home with She Sheds. They’ve got their man caves, and it’s time for you to have a space of your own. She Sheds shows you how to create cozy getaways with inspiration from across the country. Start by defining the goal and purpose of your space. Will you use it for entertaining, crafting, or alone time? Then, use the gallery of over 100 photos as inspiration for your decor, paint colors, and landscaping. You’ll even find fun upcycling ideas to personalize your space…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

This month’s picks feature ideas of big or small projects for home, garden, and even music instruments. Ideal for summer!

Syndetics book coverGood clean fun : misadventures in sawdust at Offerman Woodshop / Nick Offerman.
“Nestled among the glitz and glitter of Tinseltown is a testament to American elbow grease and an honest-to-god hard day’s work: Offerman Woodshop. Captained by hirsute woodworker, actor, comedian, and writer Nick Offerman, the shop produces not only fine handcrafted furniture, but also fun stuff–kazoos, baseball bats, ukuleles, mustache combs, even cedar-strip canoes. Now Nick and his ragtag crew of champions want to share their experience of working at the Woodshop, tell you all about their passion for the discipline of woodworking, and teach you how to make a handful of their most popular projects along the way.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGardenista : the definitive guide to stylish outdoor spaces / Michelle Slatalla.
“Our homes’ outdoor spaces can–and should–be as welcoming and carefully considered as our living rooms; when treated as extensions of our homes, these spaces enrich our lives immeasurably… The book contains lushly photographed tours of 12 enviable gardens; planting guides for a variety of climates and color palettes; in-depth case studies on more than a dozen outdoor structures (from yoga studios to chicken coops); do-it-yourself projects; easy-to-implement design ideas; “The Gardenista 100,” a guide to timeless everyday objects for the outdoors; plus advice from landscape professionals.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe creative home : inspiring ideas for beautiful living / Geraldine James.
The Creative Home brings together the best of Geraldine James’s Creative series of books and shows how to apply these ideas in your own home. There are four chapters on different areas of the house–Cook and Eat features kitchens and dining areas, Relax and Socialize covers living rooms, Work and Create includes home offices and studios, and Sleep and Bathe, of course, shows bedrooms and bathrooms. A final chapter, Store and Display, shows how your home can be used to show off your treasures and store your collections.” (adapted frpm Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving with pattern : color, texture, and print at home / Rebecca Atwood ; photographs by Emily Johnston.
“Pattern is the strongest element in any room. In Living with Pattern, Rebecca Atwood demystifies how to use that element, a design concept that often confounds and confuses, demonstrating how to seamlessly mix and layer prints throughout a house. She covers pattern usage you probably already have, such as on your duvet cover or in the living room rug, and she also reveals the unexpected places you might not have thought to add it: bathroom tiles, an arrangement of book spines in a reading nook, or windowpane gridding in your entryway…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverEat, drink, nap : bringing the house home.
“The quintessential cooking, style, and decoration book from Soho House, the world’s leadingnbsp;private club–with U.S. locations in Miami, New York, Hollywood, and Chicago. In the 17 years since the first Soho House opened its doors, they’ve perfected the art of entertaining:nbsp; how to make people feel at home, how to cook food they love, how to make a room stylish but welcoming, how to throw a party, get the lighting right, mix a cocktail, design a bedroom, build an art collection.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big book of makerspace projects : inspiring makers to experiment, create, and learn / Colleen Graves, Aaron Graves.
The Big Book of Makerspace Projects: Inspiring Makers to Experiment, Create, and Learn offers practical tips for beginners and open-ended challenges for advanced makers. Each project features non-technical, step-by-step instructions with photos and illustrations to ensure success and expand your imagination. You will learn recyclables hacks, smartphone tweaks, paper circuits, e-textiles, musical instruments, coding and programming, 3-D printing, and much, much more!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Monocle guide to drinking & dining.
“In this vibrant large-format manual, discover and explore good food and its power to shape both people and places… This world of slowish food and pleasures informs the forthcoming guide to food and drink. As with much of Monocle’s work, it inspires those who would like to rescue a forlorn vineyard or corner store while revealing the best market in Helsinki or café in Auckland. It speaks to a global generation who may hold an MBA but feel that a decent burger chain is the way ahead. From famed faces sharing tales over supper to anecdotes from raconteurs and a sprinkling of recipes, our editors have prepared a truly nourishing experience. Hungry for more?” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLiving design / Jamie Durie & Nadine Bush.
“”International award-winning designer and TV host Jamie Durie has long been passionate about creating outdoor rooms – luxurious living spaces where we can cook, eat, bathe and sleep outdoors – but he is equally driven to create interiors that bring the outdoors inside. At the heart of his design philosophy is his belief that the closer we live to nature, the happier we feel. Learn how to create a home that is a living sanctuary and make the natural world part of your everyday life.”” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe little book of hygge : the Danish way to live well / Meik Wiking.
“Denmark is often said to be the happiest country in the world. That’s down to one thing: hygge. ‘Hygge has been translated as everything from the art of creating intimacy to cosiness of the soul to taking pleasure from the presence of soothing things. My personal favourite is cocoa by candlelight…’ You know hygge when you feel it. It is when you are cuddled up on a sofa with a loved one, or sharing comfort food with your closest friends. It is those crisp blue mornings when the light through your window is just right. Who better than Meik Wiking to be your guide to all things hygge?” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

Enjoy the latest selections of Home Garden and DIY books! Spice up your home with unique furniture and woven pieces, and bring style to your garden with wildflowers and potted plants.

Syndetics book coverFurniture makes the room : create special pieces to style a home you love / Barb Blair, founder of Knack Studios ; photographs by Paige French.
“Knack Studio founder Barb Blair is famous for her “knack” with furniture: spotting classic pieces and transforming them into modern showstoppers. In this inspiring book, Blair goes beyond the nuts and bolts of furniture refinishing to show how to style rooms with each customized piece. With instructions for 15 before-and-after furniture projects–dressers, tables, beds, armoire, and more–in Blair’s signature bold style, a “toolbox” section detailing her favorite techniques and materials, and photos of dozens of inspiring interiors…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew wild garden : natural-style planting and practicalities / Ian Hodgson ; photography, Neil Hepworth.
New Wild Garden combines new approaches to a more naturalistic design with the practical side of growing wildflowers and shows how to incorporate wildflowers, real meadows and a looser meadow-style planting into gardens and wild spaces. With serious concern into the decline of pollinators and habitats, meadows are currently the focus of enormous creativity. Gardeners, wildlife lovers, professional designers and seed manufacturers are all pushing the envelope of what can be grown, the pictorial effects that can be achieved, and the benefits that this provides for gardeners and wildlife.” (adapted from Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverKathryn at home : a guide to simple entertaining / Kathryn M. Ireland with Ithaka Roddam.
“Beyond pulling a room together with great fabrics and furniture pieces, Kathryn M. Ireland has an extraordinary talent for pulling together stunning tabletops and delicious meals. Here she celebrates good friends and great food in the French countryside and in southern California. In an elegant scrapbook style, she shares her notes and advice on entertaining, particularly outdoors…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRooms : create the home you want for your life / Declan O’Donnell.
“We all love our homes. But sometimes they can drive us crazy. From underused rooms, to dated bathrooms, to impractical kitchen and eating areas, to bland bedrooms and lack of storage … the list of things we’d like to fix can be endless. In his new book, award-winning architect Declan O’Donnell shows us how we can unlock the dormant designer lying within all of us to design a home that works for the way we live.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDIY woven art : inspiration and instruction for handmade wall hangings, rugs, pillows and more! / Rachel Denbow.
“An alt twist on traditional wall hangings! Get crafty with DIY Woven Art! These 14 fabulous fiber art projects–from colorful pillows and rugs to dramatic wall hangings–will add a pop to any room in your house. No loom? No worries. Rachel Denbow shows you how to fabricate 3 simple, portable looms. …also includes tips on customizing your designs and choosing the right fibers and embellishments for each project–basically, everything you need to know to create these gorgeous projects from start to finish. Happy weaving!” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall space, big harvest / Australian consultant, Jennifer Wilkinson.
Small Space Big Harvest is an innovative Australian guide to maximising even the smallest spaces for a bountiful harvest. Full colour photographs and easy-to-read diagrams and charts showcase a multitude of inspirational ideas, from growing your own strawberries in a colander hanging-basket, to creating a climbing cucumber trellis using old bicycle wheels. Raise your own crops in limited space using the Nine-pot Plan, or triple your growing area by making the most of vertical space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHome sewn : projects and inspiration for every room / Cassandra Ellis ; photography by Catherine Gratwicke.
“Transform your home with fabric as your foundation. This beautiful craft book features distinctive sewing projects dedicated to living, resting, eating, and sharing. Use quality materials–from rustic linen to leather–to create simple ottomans, pendant light shades, a voile bed skirt, and more. With dreamy lifestyle photography and ideas for every room, Home Sewn is a keepsake for the modern maker.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrew : the foolproof guide to making world-class beer at home / James Morton ; photography by Andy Sewell.
“Making good beer at home is easy, and oh so cheap. Brew takes the novice beer-enthusiast by the hand and talks you through every last step of the process. The craft beer revolution is upon us. All over the world we’re enjoying bottles of American craft, old Belgian, real British ale and exquisite German lager, and you can make it all for yourself. You don’t need to go out and buy loads of kit. With a plastic bucket or two, you can make beer as good as any beer in the entire world and customise it to your own tastes…” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe luxe life / Fleur De Force.
Luxe living is all about becoming your best self – the one you’ve always wanted to be – and making it look effortless. It’s about making every day feel special and knowing that a little bit of extra effort in any aspect of your life goes a long way. Packed with: Inspiring fashion and beauty advice: Budget-friendly hosting hacks: Lifestyle tips to make your home a sanctuary: Creative and thoughtful DIY gift ideas: Over 30 must-have recipes to take you from brunch to dinner party.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks for August

Get some inspiration on the garden that you can draw energy from, and tips on bee-keeping and positively aging.

Syndetics book coverThe simple home : a month-by-month guide to self-reliance, productivity and contentment / Rhonda Hetzel ; photography by Julie Renouf.
“Award-winning blogger Rhonda Hetzel shares the day-to-day practicalities of a simple life and shows you how to rediscover the heart of your home. With a year of monthly projects that make household management easier, Rhonda encourages you to set up good systems, make what you need and appreciate what you have. Learn how to stretch money further, safely clean your home and cook from scratch with 40 favourite recipes, including step-by-step guides to baking bread and making cheese. Whether you’re part of a family, living alone or thinking about retirement, this is an inspiring, indispensable guide to slowing down, taking stock of your life and finding pleasure and satisfaction at home” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHealing garden / David Kamp
“The idea of a ‘healing garden’ is well established in many developed countries as a specific form of landscape design method; it meets the physical, psychological, social and spiritual needs of the people using the garden, as well as their caregivers, family members and friends. Shown through detailed theory and illustrations, the first part of this book focuses on the concept, types, and design considerations. The second part of the book provides insightful design descriptions, detailed plan drawings and photos showing the final, built projects on a wide range of types of healing gardens.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden wanderer / Julie Kinney ; photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr & Chris Gurney.
“Take an armchair ride around a small corner of Australia’s south-west and discover some hidden treasures in gardens of the region. Julie Kinney has lived in the area for twenty years and has an intimate knowledge of its gardens, from grand visions to pristine bush properties. Visit with her and share her enthusiasm through a selection of stunning photographs by Freedom Garvey-Warr and Chris Gurney.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVictory gardens for bees : a DIY guide to saving the bees / Lori Weidenhammer.
“Who knew modern civilization may be brought down, not by plagues or war, but by bees? Or, more correctly, by no bees? This book investigates the growing problem of bee mortality and offers practical measures we can all take to help. Now that bees are facing unprecedented levels of die-off caused by a toxic mixture of environmental stresses, a community-based effort is needed to make gardens, fields and landscapes healthy sanctuaries for bees. Planning a bee-friendly space can provide a beautiful and bountiful selection of edible crops, native plants and fragrant ornamentals, as well as herbs that have medicinal properties for both pollinators and people…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNo patterns needed : DIY couture from simple shapes / Rosie Martin.
“If you want to sew your own clothes but are put off by the idea of cutting out pattern pieces covered with dotted lines and symbols, this is the book for you. Using Rosie Martin’s innovative method, you begin with nothing but a rectangle, circle, or triangle of fabric and some basic body measurements. Next, follow the detailed step-by-step photographs and diagrams to complete your garment. You’ll need a sewing machine, but no special equipment or expensive fabrics. With plenty of variations suggested for each garment, there’s lots of room for your own creative touches, too.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFix your garden : how to make small spaces into green oases / Jane Moseley & Jackie Strachan ; illustrations by Clare Rollet.
“Don’t know what to do with a messy garden or bleak-looking balcony? Want to stake your claim on a little corner of a shared garden? No gardening experience whatsoever? This book is the perfect solution. Packed with tips and tricks to get your green fingers going, this beautifully illustrated little book will help you make the most of your outdoor space, even if you’ve only got a tiny windowbox. …With tips on garden design and how to conquer common pests and diseases, this is a crash course in getting your outdoor space sorted, and also contains information on houseplants so you can bring a little bit of the outdoors in.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverKathryn at home : a guide to simple entertaining / Kathryn M. Ireland with Ithaka Roddam.
“Beyond pulling a room together with great fabrics and furniture pieces, Kathryn M. Ireland has an extraordinary talent for pulling together stunning tabletops and delicious meals. Here she celebrates good friends and great food in the French countryside and in southern California. In an elegant scrapbook style, she shares her notes and advice on entertaining, particularly outdoors. Join Kathryn and her talented friend Ithaka for a breakfast, lunchtime picnics, a candlelight dinner, afternoon tea, a barbecue, and a wedding–all interlaced with signature Kathryn M. Ireland fabrics.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverNew small garden : contemporary principles, planting and practice / Noel Kingsbury ; photographs by Maayke de Ridder.
“Small gardens are a challenge to design and to keep looking good. This title aims to inspire and inform gardeners to make the most of their small spaces by looking at more than 50 contemporary and inspirational gardens, at how their designers have created them and how their owners use and develop them. In this serious review of the perennial subject, Noel explains the theory and practice of planting a small garden, he advocates on the use of containers, revitalises growing your own, and explains design tricks, storage solutions and vertical planting to help small garden owners maximise their small spaces…” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverInterior inspiration : Scandinavia / Sonia Lucano ; [translated by David Wilson].
“Natural materials; neutral colours; clean, elegant lines: the Scandinavian look is one of the most popular in contemporary interior design. This book is the perfect introduction to its history and major practitioners, covering such great designers as Arne Jacobsen and Stig Lindberg, and such key furniture and textiles designers as Litala and Marimekko. It will also teach readers how to recreate Scandinavian style with 30 step-by-step DIY projects that show them how to customize furniture and common household objects.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHappy retirement : the psychology of reinvention / Kenneth S. Shultz, PhD, with Megan Kaye and Mike Annesley.
“A practical, fully illustrated guide to planning and enjoying retirement, grounded in psychological research. Retirement can bring immense fulfillment but also can be a source of stress, especially today. Retirement: The Psychology of Reinvention uses psychological research and a unique visual style of infographics and illustrations to provide readers with a retirement roadmap just right for them.” (adapted from –Amazon.com.)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks for Christmas

Get some inspiration for home decoration and DIYs for this Christmas. And Reindeer’s Christmas Surprise is a perfect book for  children for our summer Christmas!

Syndetics book coverThe Christmas table / editorial & food director, Pamela Clark.
“Planning the Christmas Day feast is an enjoyable thing to do each year for either a small or a large gathering of friends and family. This book showcases ways of organising the perfect menu, with many fabulous recipes to choose from. Also, there are beautiful but simple suggestions for decorating the Christmas table with bothmodern and traditional themes.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas stockings / Rachael Rowe.
“Talented designer and expert sewer, Rachael Rowe has created twenty Christmas stockings for you to make, in a wide variety of styles: shabby chic, country style, modern and sophisticated, traditional and more. The techniques required are all shown with step by step photographs at the beginning, then each project has full step by step instructions and selected step photographs, with beautiful styled photographs of the finished stockings. All the templates needed are provided.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverChristmas joys : decorating, crafts & recipes.
Make this Christmas the best and brightest yet, with hundreds of gorgeous decorating ideas and delicious recipes. Very merry decorating, Holiday house tours; Deck your halls: trees, garlands, wreaths & mantels — Wonderful gifts to make. Handmade gifts from the heart; Hommaded gifts from the kitchen; Wrap it up! Good things come in pretty packages — Recipes for celebrations. Holiday cheer: four festive party ideas; Starters, entrees, and sides: best-ever holiday dineer recipes; Sweet! Cakes, pies, cookies, and more (Library Catalogue).

Syndetics book coverReindeer’s Christmas Surprise [hardback]
“This distinctly Australian Christmas story about the joy of giving and the importance of family was created by the highly acclaimed picture book team of Ursula Dubosarsky and Sue deGennaro.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover‘Tis the season to be felt-y / Kathy Sheldon with Amanda Carestio.
“Fa la la la . . . MORE! Crafters couldn’t get enough of the adorable projects in Fa la la la Felt , so here are over 40 new whimsical felt crafts to celebrate Christmas with handmade style. Many of the same awesomely talented designers (and several new ones!) have returned to create pretty ornaments like Beaded Star Baubles, Sparkly Icicles, a Shining Star Tree Topper (and a partridge in a pear tree) to a pink poinsettia wreath, Yule log, snow bunny tree skirt, and lots of stockings to hang by the chimney with care; these holiday items will make your season merry and bright.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade Christmas : over 35 step-by-step projects and inspirational ideas for the festive season.
“Make the festive season really special by making your own cards, gifts and decorations: from papercutting and collage to embroidery and sugar crafting–with projects which take inspiration from different cultures and festive traditions.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks for October

Spring is slowly on its way. This month’s gardening books highlight inspirational ideas across the world and DIY projects that are fun and practical.

Image from FishpondDIY garden projects : step-by-step activities for edible gardening and backyard fun / Mat Pember and Dillon Seitchik-Reardon.
“Practical projects for small-space edible gardening and backyard fun from the much-loved Little Veggie Patch co. The book has 6 chapters – Kids, Recycled/Upcyled, X-Factor, Vertical Gardening, Gardening basics and Kitchen. There are 38 projects, and each chapter includes a break-out patch favourite feature project.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe crafted garden : stylish projects inspired by nature / Louise Curley ; photography by Jason Ingram.
The Crafted Garden is the second book by exceptional new talent, Louise Curley, who shares her passion for natural garden craft with a wider audience. These fifty novel and attractive projects and techniques will give everyone a chance to feel clever about their creativity, as they transform twigs, sprigs, berries and stems into baubles, bunches, decorations and works of art. These are projects for indoors and out, arranged by the season, with galleries of projects to inspire, step by steps projects to copy and technique masterclasses to help readers develop their own skills.” (Amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverGardens in France / edited by Angelika Taschen.
“From stylized Zen gardens in Provence to cactus displays on the Cote d’Azur, from classical palace gardens to quaint domestic beds, travel round the most beautiful gardens in France, home to some of the most elegant, charming, and inspiring horticulture in the world. The typical plants of each climatic region are represented–delphiniums, roses and irises in the North, and Californian poppies, santolinas, and lavender in the Midi. With pictures through every season, celebrate the particular beauty of spring, summer, fall, and winter, and discover plenty of inspiring ideas for your own garden.” (Library catalogue)

Syndetics book coverKyoto gardens : masterworks of the Japanese gardener’s art / text by Judith Clancy ; photography by Ben Simmons.
Kyoto Gardens is a labor of love from master photographer Ben Simmons and Kyoto-based writer Judith Clancy. Simmons’ photographs present a fresh and contemporary look at Kyoto’s most important gardens. Their beauty is enhanced and humanized by gardeners tending the grounds using the tools of their art. Clancy’s graceful text provides historic, aesthetic and cultural context to the gardens. Combining wonder and rigor, she describes how Kyoto’s most beloved gardens remain faithful to their founders’ creative spirit and conception.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe Private Gardens of England [hardback]
The Private Gardens of England is a glorious celebration of the art of gardening through some of the country’s hidden horticultural jewels. Thirty-five English private gardens, thoughtfully selected by the writer and designer Tania Compton, are vividly described in the words of their owners, who bring an astonishing sense of intimacy to their own creations as well as their collaborations with some of the leading garden designers of today. From the Bannermans’ romantic Cornish castle to the windswept shores of Howick in Northumberland via Jasper Conran in Somerset and Tom Stuart-Smith in Hertfordshire, an eclectic range of gardens is revealed. From the private walled garden at Petworth to the wildflower-strewn meadows of Spye Park, each garden is a testament to the thriving art of English gardening.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverOutstanding American Gardens : A Celebration: 25 Years of the Garden Conservancy
“The Garden Conservancy is celebrating its 25th anniversary with this beautifully illustrated book that documents a selection of the outstanding public and private gardens it has worked with since its founding in 1989. The book showcases eight gardens the conservancy has helped preserve and 43 of the more than 3,000 private gardens across the country that have been opened to the public through its Open Days Program. The private gardens cover a wide variety of regions, habitats, designs, and plants, from early spring through autumn.” (Syndetics summary)

Sowing seeds for Christmas

Spring is at the door and it’s perfect timing to sow some seeds and grow plants indoors. You can grow herbs, beetroot, broad beans, cabbage, rocket, onion and tomatoes now and harvest for Christmas.

Syndetics book coverYear-round indoor salad gardening : how to grow nutrient-dense, soil-sprouted greens in less than 10 days / Peter Burke.
“You can grow all the fresh salad greens you need for the winter months (or throughout the entire year) with no lights, no pumps, and no greenhouse. The result: healthy, homegrown salad greens at a fraction of the cost of buying them at the market. The secret: start them in the dark. Growing “Soil Sprouts”– a method that encourages a long stem without expansive roots, and provides delicious salad greens in just seven to ten days, way earlier than any other method, with much less work. All you need is a windowsill or two. (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHomegrown herb garden : a guide to growing and culinary uses / Lisa Baker Morgan and Ann McCormick.
“Take your home cooking to the next level by incorporating fresh homegrown herbs! You don’t need lots of space for a huge herb garden, and you don’t need to spend a lot of money on fresh herbs at the grocery store or farmers’ market. With Homegrown Herb Garden , you can choose the herb or herbs you will use the most and build your herb garden around them. Start with an overview of how to grow, harvest, and store herbs. Then, learn how to handle each herb and what flavors they work well with. The culinary section includes how to prepare and use your herbs, plus savory and sweet recipes to feature them in. Choose your favorite herbs, learn to grow them successfully, and never be at a loss for what to do with them!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlantiful : start small, grow big with 150 plants that spread, self-sow, and overwinter / Kristin Green.
” Plantiful shows you how to have an easy, gorgeous garden packed with plants by simply making the right choices. Kristen Green highlights plants that help a garden quickly grow by self-sowing and spreading and teaches you how to expand the garden and extend the life of a plant by overwintering. The book features plant profiles for 50 self-sowers (including columbine, milkweed, and foxglove), 50 spreaders (such as clematis, snow poppy, and spearmint), and 50 plants that overwinter (including lemon verbena, begonia, and Chinese hibiscus). Additional gardening tips, design ideas, and inspirational photos will motivate and inspire gardeners of all levels.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe new kitchen garden : how to grow some of what you eat no matter where you live / Mark Diacono.
“Mark captures the spirit of adventure and imagination of those growing food in the twenty-first century. He takes ideas from gardens around the world, including that of his own home, Otter Farm in Devon, with its unique blend of orchards, vineyards, forest gardens, edible hedges, perennial garden and veg patch. Mark shows you the full exciting breadth of what a kitchen garden can be. Everything is here – the tools, the techniques, the ideas and the knowledge – to enable you to realise that vision of your own kitchen garden.Whether you have a few pots of chillies or a community farm, whether you wish to plant in ordered rows or create an edible jungle, The New Kitchen Garden is for you.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourtyard kitchen : recipes and growing tips for herbs and potted fruits / Natalie Boog.
“80+ recipes using herbs and potted fruits – for urban foodies who crave a taste of the country in their home-cooking” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrowing beautiful food : a gardener’s guide to cultivating extraordinary vegetables and fruit / written and photographed by Matthew Benson.
“Author Matthew Benson restored a time-worn gentleman’s farm and operates a CSA on one small acre of the land, offering vegetables, orchard fruit, cut flowers, herbs, eggs, and honey from the property. His garden-to-table operation offers an edible feast of textures, colors, and aromas and has grown into a way to feed others. Growing Beautiful Food is both inspiration and instruction, with detailed growing advice for 50 remarkable crops, a memorable narrative, and evocative imagery. It’s a photographic journey through four seasons in the garden, fueling the dream that you can connect to the land by growing your own food. Whether gardeners, families, farmers, or chefs, readers will cometo the table motivated by the flavor of homegrown, the message of self sufficiency, and the beautiful food that’s as local as their backyards.” (Abridged from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe garden forager / Adele Nozedar ; illustrated by Lizzie Harper.
“In high-end restaurants and in the home, more and more cooks have discovered the joy of using natural, foraged ingredients. But, what few realise is that you don’t necessarily have to go rootling in hedgerows or woodlands to find them.  Most gardeners are completely unaware that what they have actually planted is a rather exotic kitchen garden. The Garden Forager explores over 40 of the most popular garden plants that have edible, medicinal or even cosmetic potential, accompanied by recipes, remedies, and interesting facts, and illustrated throughout in exquisite watercolours by Lizzie Harper. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCourtyard kitchen : recipes and growing tips for herbs and potted fruits / Natalie Boog.
“80+ recipes using herbs and potted fruits – for urban foodies who crave a taste of the country in their home-cooking” (Syndetics summary)