Inspo for Your Space: New home and garden books

Get inspired with our new home and garden titles! Our latest books have helpful tips for spaces big and small, with a new book on interior ideas for tiny houses and a guide to container gardening in small spaces, as well as ideas for creating stylish and sustainable interiors. A New Leaf features homes around the world that incorporate beautiful plants in their living spaces, and Gardens for the Soul focuses on sustainable gardening practices that are beautiful and achievable. Get set for serious inspo.

Atlas of interior design / Bradbury, Dominic
“A geographically organized survey of the world’s most desirable and iconic residential interiors from the 1940s to today. ‘The Atlas of Interior Design’ is an unparalleled global tour of more than 400 captivating residential interiors from the past eight decades. From classic to contemporary, minimal to maximal, the homes included illuminate the design tropes unique to their location’s context, while others confound preconceived ideas of vernacular design to spectacular effect. Exceptional photography and a descriptive text accompanying each project enrich this thoroughly researched and comprehensive volume.” (Catalogue)

Modern container gardening : how to create a stylish small-space garden anywhere / Palmer, Isabelle
“Whether you have a roof terrace, a tiny balcony or just a window sill, there’s no excuse not to do some gardening. Isabelle Palmer shows just how easy it is to make the most of every little space. The chapters include the basics, how to make a garden in a day, weekend projects, one-pot wonders, window boxes and finishing touches. With clear step-by-step instructions and advice on which plants suit your space, as well as how to care for them, this is an accessible book for anyone looking to start their own small garden.” (adapted from catalogue)

A blissful nest : designing a stylish and well-loved home / Dempsey, Rebekah
“In Blissful Nest, celebrated interior designer Rebekah Dempsey offers hundreds of fresh and attainable design ideas to show you how to discover your interior style and create a home that best reflects your personality and the way you live”– Provided by publisher.” (Catalogue)

 

The garden book.
“A beautifully illustrated A-to-Z who’s who of the world’s finest garden-makers, planters, horticulturists, and their signature works from throughout history, spanning all styles and continents. From the first religious gardens to Dan Pearson’s heavenly Tokachi garden in Japan today, each entry illustrates a key work by the designer, describes the garden, and evokes the unique spirit and ethos of their work. Images span four millennia, from ancient Persian gardens to the naturalistic designs of today. An exquisite gift and invaluable and authoritative reference for gardeners and garden lovers alike.” (adapted from catalogue)

150 best tiny interior ideas / Zamora Mola, Francesc
“Over the past decade, tiny spaces have grown in popularity thanks to skyrocketing real estate costs, increased awareness of climate change, and a return to urban living. But a smaller living space doesn’t mean sacrificing sophistication or comfort. 150 Best Tiny Interior Ideas showcases the latest ideas of internationally renowned architects and designers who have devised beautiful, practical, and eco-friendly solutions adapted to the specific needs and tastes of their clients. All of the projects featured are under 1,100 square feet and show off the latest innovations in small space design from around the world.” (adapted from catalogue)

Country gardens in Australia
“From fragrant rose-filled beds and wild, forest-like backyards to hardy native-filled gardens and verdant outback oases, Country Style’s first garden book brings together a collection of the most beautiful gardens from around Australia. A labour of love for most, a country garden provides respite and calm from the paddocks beyond and a place for farming families to gather. Filled with Country Style’s trademark photography, this book tells the stories of the people behind the gorgeous gardens and is packed with inspiration for you to start planting”–Publisher’s description.” (Catalogue)

Relaxed living, happy home : a simple guide to creating sustainable and beautiful interiors / Bartlett, Atlanta
“Presents an interior design philosophy that emphasizes quality over quantity and combines practicality with personalization, focusing on such elements as working with existing architecture and selecting colors, fabrics, and accessories.” (Catalogue)

 

A new leaf / McCormac, Pip
“A celebration of the modern and stylish homes that reinvent the humble house plant as a coveted design object. The book spotlights 20 houses around the world, each illustrated with a selection of images of the entire home with particular emphasis on their plantlife. Each section includes an interview with the owners, walking the reader through the plant choices they made and the impact they had on their unique aesthetic. Pip McCormac’s informative text and Jen Haslam’s expert curation make A New Leaf invaluable to interior design lovers and those seeking inspiration on how to incorporate plants in their lives.” (adapted from catalogue)

Gardens for the Soul : Sustainable and Stylish Outdoor Spaces / Bird, Sara/ Duchars, Dan
“Gardens for the Soul shows how a sustainable and eco-friendly ethos can be at the heart of creating a beautiful garden, whatever its location or size. ” (Catalogue)

 

 

Life in a French Country House : Entertaining for All Seasons. / Castellane, Cordelia de
“With individual sections dedicated to seasonal tableware, recipes, interior design, flower arranging, and more, readers will delight in learning how to re-create chic French style for special events and everyday occasions alike. Accompanying personal archival photos, exclusive images of vibrant table settings and decor at Cordelia’s gorgeous private residence in the French countryside brim with effort-less flair. Complete with informative captions and texts, this book is a must-have guide on how to bring French joie de vivre to your home” (adapted from catalogue)

Yates garden guide.
“This new edition of Yates Garden Guide has been fully revised and updated to help today’s gardeners tame big backyards, create stylish retreats, tend productive and decorative plantings, and get the most out of smaller spaces. With chapters on planning gardens, choosing feature plants and growing trees, shrubs, fruit, vegetables, flowers, indoor plants and lawns, the new Yates Garden Guide provides details on more than 1000 exotic and native plants, advice on soils, climate, planting, feeding and maintaining gardens, guides on what to sow and grow throughout the year, and comprehensive problem-solving charts to help you identify and deal with all kinds of pests and diseases”–Publisher information.” (Catalogue)

Home, garden and DIY

The focus is on small things this month! Tiny interiors, Weaving with little hand-made looms and Live small, live modern.

Living with flowers : blooms & bouquets for the home / Blossom, Rowan
“This book will teach you the basics every budding florist should know, before showing how to create more than 25 of Rowan’s favorite floral masterpieces for every occasion, from tokens to the grandest of statements. Learn how to make a floral chandelier or hang a curtain of flowers, fashion a festival crown, or tie a simple bouquet. Rowan’s love of everything bohemian, vintage, and natural, and her no-nonsense approach, makes this the perfect book for first-time flower-arrangers and anyone who wants to bring flowers into their home.” (Catalogue)

Live small, live modern : the best of Beams at home
Live Small/Live Modern curates the most envy-inducing spaces pulled from Beams at Home, the interior and lifestyle series that has sold over 70,000 copies and has gained a cult-like following in Japan. Filled with infinite ideas for how to spruce up your home in hip and clever ways, this is an indispensable guide to the Japanese “art of tidying up” in small spaces. Published here for the first time in English offering readers a fountain of ideas on how to design, organize, and adorn small spaces without sacrificing personality and style.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Mend & patch : a handbook to repairing clothes and textiles / Neumüller, Kerstin
“Learn how to take care of your clothes by mending, patching, and repairing them, so you can extend the life of your most treasured garments. In the farthest corner of her clothes store in Stockholm, Sweden, Kerstin has a mending studio. When it’s quiet in the shop, she sits by her sewing machine and gives a new lease of life to people’s favorite jeans. Whatever the wear and tear, Kerstin arms you with the skills and ideas you need to mend your own clothes and promote sustainable fashion this book is perfect for sewers, crafters, and fashion lovers of all abilities.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Garden wild : meadows, prairie-style plantings, rockeries, ferneries, and other sustainable designs inpsired by nature / Baranowski, André
“The new movement in contemporary gardening is about going back to the wilderness, creatively landscaping with native plants to enrich their environments and seamlessly merge with their natural surroundings. Politely rejecting traditional manicured, hedged and pruned gardening aesthetics to invite an alternative kind of beauty: wildly bursting with indigenous plants, old-growth trees, vibrant patches of wildflowers and perennials, succulents, un-pruned bushes and ornamental grasses. New York City’s Highline is a famous example and this landscaping approach is becoming increasingly popular for private homeowners.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Less stuff : simple zero-waste steps to a joyful and clutter-free life / Miles, Lindsay
“Decluttering is great for our mental wellbeing, and when done right, it can be good for the planet too. When we rehome, repurpose or recycle the things we no longer need, we free up existing resources for others and reclaim our homes with less guilt. Less Stuff is a guide for people who find it difficult to declutter and who don’t want to see things go to waste. Step by step, you’ll explore finding your ‘enough’, learn how to let go of your old possessions without sending them to landfill, and eventually break the cycle of stuff. The end result is a planet with less strain, a home with more peace and a life with more meaning.” (Catalogue)

Perfect pots for small spaces : 20 creative container gardening projects / Carter, George
“Combining inspiration with practicality, Perfect Pots for Small Spaces offers 20 exciting projects, each simple enough to complete in a weekend. Among the imaginative projects are painted pots, a wirework hanging basket, a rustic window box, a trough with trellis screen, a wooden obelisk, and a painted galvanized washtub. The projects are complemented by a plant directory, information on care and maintenance of containers and plants, and an extensive list of resources.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Vern Yip’s vacation at home : design ideas for creating your everyday getaway / Yip, Vern
“The veteran interior designer from Trading Spaces and HGTV–and author of the New York Times bestseller Vern Yip’s Design Wise–is back to reveal the design tricks and practices that will give any home a serene, luxury retreat-like feel.” (Catalogue)

Tiny interiors : compact living spaces / Baker, Lisa
“The desire for as much space as possible on as little room as necessary is neither automatically connected to an alternative lifestyle nor is it a protest against our luxury-oriented society. Sometimes it simply makes life easier, more comfortable, and more economical. This title presents contemporary projects from around the world that take on the simple yet challenging task to develop enthralling room concepts and spatial solutions for the efficient use of the smallest living spaces. The furnishings need to be carefully designed and compact to make the most of the available space. These mini interiors investigate the possibility of providing a better setting for everyday living based on what is necessary, what is desired and what is possible.” (adapted from Catalogue)

Weaving with little handmade looms : make your own mini looms & weave 25 exquisite projects / Kageyama, Harumi
“Learn how to make your own portable weaving loom with everyday materials like cardboard, paper, pins, tacks, wood, and nails. Step-by-step instructions illustrate how to construct four handcrafted loom designs with ordinary tools. Featuring 25 cute projects like bags, jewelry, table-mats, and pouches, all projects are friendly for weaving with both traditional and unconventional fibers. You can try different materials, from classic yarn to more novel materials like ribbon, suede and pipe cleaners -change it up for a whole different look! These do-it-yourself looms are perfect for crafting on the go. They are small enough to take with you as a portable travel craft or outside pastime.” (adapted from Catalogue)

The story of gardening / Hobhouse, Penelope
“From the cooling fountains of the Alhambra to the imposing palace grounds of Chinese emperors and the clean lines of the formal French parterre, this inspiring history charts the fascinating evolution of gardening over thousands of years, bringing to life the world’s most beautiful and magnificent gardens. The Story of Gardening explains the origins of the most influential gardening styles. Acclaimed garden designer and plantswoman Penelope Hobhouse draws on her extensive experience and shows you how an appreciation of style and techniques from all over the world helps us to understand how modern gardens have developed.” (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)

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)

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)

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)

Appreciate perfect imperfection in our latest home, garden and DIY picks

Our first book this time, Wab-sabi welcome is a beautifully illustrated one on the Japanese art of appreciating perfection in imperfect things, and leads on to the Wabi-sabi art of entertaining.

Syndetics book coverWabi-sabi welcome : learning to embrace the imperfect and entertain with thoughtfulness and ease / Julie Pointer Adams.
“Filled with unexpected ideas and recipes, tips for creating an intimate environment, and visits to select homes around the world where the principle of wabi-sabi is woven into daily life.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverGrow fruit & veg in pots / Australian consultant, Jennifer Wilkinson.
Grow Fruit & Veg in Pots introduces readers to the almost endless possibilities of growing homegrown produce in pots, from raising fresh salads in a matter of days and growing your own salsa mix, to cultivating juicy exotic fruits- A Discover what fruit and veg you can grow in containers and how to get the best possible crop A Follow simple growing techniques and expert advice for every crop, and be inspired by design ideas that are a feast for the eyes A Raise salads in a matter of days, grow your own salsa mix, or have a mini orchard.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding small : sustainable designs for tiny houses & backyard buildings / David & Jeanie Stiles ; illustrations by David Stiles.
Building Small is your key to joining the tiny house revolution with designs for homes as well as a range of backyard buildings including workspaces and sheds. There’s tons of practical how-to construction advice including best practices, common pitfalls and tips for the do-it-yourself carpenter. Within these pages you’ll find: Complete plans for seven tiny houses. Strategies for outfitting your tiny house with lighting, water, heating and waste removal. Ideas for floor layout and interior design Success stories and inspirational photos of tiny homes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandwoven home : weaving techniques, tips, and projects for the rigid-heddle loom / Liz Gipson.
“In Handwoven Home, weaving expert Liz Gipson explains the tools and techniques you’ll need to weave personalized home textiles on a rigid-heddle loom–the most popular loom on the market today… Whether you’re making textiles for yourself or as a gift, inside you’ll find everything you need to create a woven personal touch for any room.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverFolk fashion : understanding homemade clothes / Amy Twigger Holroyd.
“A dynamic resurgence in sewing and knitting is under way, with many people enjoying making and mending their own garments at home. However, stories abound of homemade clothes languishing at the back of the wardrobe. Amy Twigger Holroyd draws on ideas of fashion, culture and craft to explore makers’ lived experiences of creating and wearing homemade clothes in a society dominated by shop-bought garments. Using the innovative metaphor of fashion as common land, Folk Fashion investigates the complex relationship between making, well-being and sustainability.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDoormaking : materials, techniques, and projects for building your first door / Strother Purdy.
“Few pieces of furniture, save perhaps chairs, work as hard as doors. Building them to last, especially exterior doors, takes knowledge and experience that don’t come from making other types of furniture, such as tables and bookcases. Doormaking: Materials, Techniques and Projects for Building Your First Door by woodworker Strother Purdy gathers all the information and guidance that both beginning and intermediate woodworkers need to be successful making their first door.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Image from Mightape.co.nzSmall homes, grand living / edited by Robert Klanten and Caroline Kurze.
Small Homes, Grand Living’s assortment of projects and homes pays homage to the iconic innovation within modest living areas and shows the creative usage of space in continually expanding urban areas. As more people across the globe move into cities, living space becomes a precious commodity. Designers, architects, and innovative inhabitants seek new ways of creating a home that is just as comfortable as it is functional and aesthetically pleasing.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy French country home : entertaining through the seasons / Sharon Santoni ; photographs by Franck Schmitt.
“Born from her experience of everyday living in France, Sharon Santoni reveals the gracious, easy French way of entertaining guests at her countryside home, year-round. Personal stories evoke the spirit of the French lifestyle, while gorgeous photos make us feel right at home. Santoni creates lush bouquets from her garden and utilizes resources from surrounding nature to lay gorgeous tables both indoors and outdoors. Venues range from a Sunday morning breakfast on the patio, to a ladies lunch in her lush garden, a formal dinner in her dining room, and a picnic by the river.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLagom : the Swedish secret of living well / by Lola A. Åkerström.
“As the Swedish proverb goes, ‘Lagom är bäst’ (The right amount is best). Lagom sums up the Swedish psyche and is the reason why Sweden is one of the happiest countries in the world with a healthy work-life balance and high standards of living. Lagom is a way of living that promotes harmony. It celebrates fairness, moderation and being satisfied with and taking proper care of what you’ve got, including your well-being, relationships, and possessions. It’s not about having too little or too much but about fully inviting contentment into our lives through making optimal decisions.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPotted : make your own stylish garden containers / Annette Goliti Gutierrez & Mary Gray.
“This lushly designed guide empowers you to create your own show-stopping containers made from everyday materials such as concrete, plastic, metal, terracotta, rope, driftwood, and fabric. The 23 step-by-step projects are affordable, made from accessible materials, and most importantly, gorgeous. They include new spins on old favorites, like the cinderblock garden made popular by design blogs or hanging planters made from enamelware bowls, along with never-before-seen ideas like a chimney flue planter and wall planters made from paint cans.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHandmade home / Mark & Sally Bailey ; photography by Debi Treloar.
“Living with paintings, sculptures, ceramics, and textiles–in fact almost anything crafted by hand –will give your home a distinct personality that is welcome in this age of mass production. Handmade Home shows how living with handcrafted pieces is a joyful experience that awakens the senses and brings simple, tactile pleasure to every day. The book begins by looking at The Elements: Color, Texture, Textiles, Made by Hand, and Collecting. Next, The Homes contains 12 inspirational case studies, offering a glimpse into the private spaces of those who love to create or to live with handmade pieces.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMake yourself at home : design your space to discover your true self / Moorea Seal ; photographs by Marissa Maharaj ; illustrations by Julia Manchik.
“This book is all about beautifying your life inside and out, helping you turn your home into a comfortable space that reflects your best self. 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 comfortable in your space.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThriftstyle : the ultimate bargain shopper’s guide to smart fashion / Allison Engel, Reise Moore and Margaret Engel ; photographs by Roger Snider.
“A must-have guide for bargain-hunting fashionistas looking to make a statement without sabotaging their budgets. In this photo-filled, easy-to-use resource, shoppers will learn to navigate the racks of their local consignment shop, spot name brands like Versace, Dior, and Burberry, select the best quality items, and repair secondhand clothes that need some love.” (Provided by publisher)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part Two

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning. (Part One is here)

Syndetics book cover150 best tiny home ideas / Manel Gutiérrez Couto.
“In recent years, tiny homes have not only become hugely popular because of their creative use of space but also necessary to deal with increasingly crowded living conditions. In this lush volume, you’ll discover the most current and effective trends in tiny home design that work to enhance the comfort and practicality of the home without sacrificing the design. Featuring 150 homes designed by world-renowned architects and designers, 150 Best Tiny Home Ideas is the must-have resource for those interested in the construction and design of small-space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny house designing, building, & living / by Gabriella and Andrew Morrison.
“Do you have what it takes to live tiny? Take the first step to achieving the dream of designing, building, and living in a tiny house (typically between 100-400 square feet). Idiot’s Guides: Tiny House Designing, Building, and Living is the one-stop guide into this innovative concept of minimalist living. Dozens of helpful images and a full-color insert displaying different types of tiny houses help you visualize your dream. The book explores what it mentally takes to become a tiny house dweller and covers the best approach to designing and building a house that ideally fits your needs. The book includes an in-depth discussion on foundation types, financing and insurance, and legal standards, as well as building techniques, must-have utilities, and going off the grid, and home placement. Functional suggestions for décor, storage, and more are also featured. Bonus: three tiny house floor plans to illustrate what these homes entail.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBuilding small : sustainable designs for tiny houses & backyard buildings / David & Jeanie Stiles ; illustrations by David Stiles.
“Building Small is your key to joining the tiny house revolution with designs for homes as well as a range of backyard buildings including workspaces and sheds. There’s tons of practical how-to construction advice including best practices, common pitfalls and tips for the do-it-yourself carpenter. ” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses built with recycled materials : inspiration for constructing tiny homes using salvaged and reclaimed supplies / Ryan Mitchell.
“The tiny house movement is a big trend with a very small footprint. Extremely small house, with less than 1,000 square feet of space, are environmentally friendly, less expensive than typical homes, and often movable. Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is full of ideas for using reclaimed materials and upcycled goods to construct a tiny house that is good for the earth and truly unique. Ryan Mitchell, author of The Tiny Life blog, shows you how to repurpose everyday items to create your new home, including shipping containers, salvaged barn wood, and reclaimed shingles. Featuring profiles on tiny house owners with photographs and floor plans of the homes, ideas on where to find materials, and what to look for and avoid when selecting reclaimed materials, Tiny Houses Built with Recycled Materials is a unique book perfect for your biggest DIY project yet!” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover25 houses under 2500 square feet / edited by James Grayson Trulove.
“25 Houses Under 2,500 Square Feet discusses carefully defined spaces and how space can be used most effectively. The 25 recently-constructed homes featured are 2,500 feet and under with some as small as 640 square feet. An exciting collection — a charming one square foot in size — presents dream houses any person can relate to, as well as innovative and exciting designs sure to inspire and amaze.” (Syndetics summary)

Overdrive cover Tiny House Basics, Joshua Engberg (eBook)#1 Amazon Bestseller! Tiny House Basics ─ The joy of tiny house living Tiny house livfing is sustainable living: Tiny House Basics is an adventure in off grid living! In their debut book, tiny house living experts Shelley and Joshua Engberg show you how you can join the revolution to downsize to small space living without giving up everything you hold dear. This is not about downsizing drastically, or giving up a lot of your necessities. They show you how your life still can be comfortable and entertaining in a tiny house living environment. This is about redefining what a house is and mastering organization, location and happiness. You can still keep your closet full and pantry stocked. Tiny house living tips and tricks: As avid campers and off roaders, Shelley and Joshua present the best tips and tricks to help you enter the world of small space living.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCabin porn / collected by Beaver Brook ; edited by Zach Klein ; feature stories by Steven Leckart ; feature photography by Noah Kalina.
“Rural escapes for those yearning for a simpler existence, by the creators of the wildly popular tumblr Cabin Porn.
Created by a group of friends who preserve 55 acres of hidden forest in Upstate New York-Cabin Porn began as a scrapbook to collect inspiration for their building projects. As the collection grew, the site attracted a following, which is now a huge and obsessive audience. The site features photos of the most remarkable handmade homes in the backcountry of America and all over the world. It has had over 10 million unique visitors, with 350,000 followers on Tumblr. Now Zach Klein, the creator of the site (and a co-founder of Vimeo) goes further into the most alluring images from the site and new getaways, including more interior photography and how-to advice for setting up a quiet place somewhere. With their idyllic settings, unique architecture and cozy interiors, the Cabin Porn photographs, are an invitation to slow down, take a deep breath, and feel the beauty and serenity that nature and simple construction can create.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRock the shack / [edited by Sven Ehmann, Robert Klanten, and Sofia Borges ; text and preface by Sofia Borges].
“From weekend homes to get-away cabins in the mountains, by the sea, or in the woods, this architecture embodies our longing for lounging in nature. For the first time in the history of humankind, more people live in cities than in the country. Yet, at the same time, more and more city dwellers are yearning for rural farms, mountain cabins, or seaside homes. These kinds of refuges offer modern men and women a promise of what urban centers usually cannot provide: quiet, relaxation, being out of reach, getting back to basics, feeling human again. Rock the Shack is a survey of such contemporary refuges from around the world–from basic to luxury. The book features a compelling range of sparingly to intricately furnished cabins, cottages, second homes, tree houses, transformations, shelters, and cocoons. The look of the included structures from the outside is just as important as the view from inside. What these diverse projects have in common is an exceptional spirit that melds the uniqueness of a geographic location with the individual character of the building’s owner and architect.” (Syndetics summary)

Tiny Houses & Small Spaces, Part One

It might be my messy, cluttered home, or it might be living with the paraphernalia and gear a two-year-old requires, but the tiny house movement looms in my imagination, and the imagination of many people. Even if we can’t (or won’t) go there ourselves, sometimes just the idea that these cosy homes exist out in the wild with their spartan owners, is a comfort. So, here are some tiny house and wonderfully organised small space books you can browse if you’re like me, and sometimes get that yearning.

Syndetics book coverTiny house living : ideas for building & living well in less than 400 square feet / Ryan Mitchell.
“Tiny House, Large Lifestyle! Tiny homes are popping up across America, captivating people with their novel approach not only to housing, but to life. Once considered little more than a charming oddity, the tiny house movement continues to gain momentum among those who thirst for a simpler, “greener,” more meaningful life in the face of society’s “more is better” mindset. This book explores the philosophies behind the tiny house lifestyle, helps you determine whether it’s a good fit for you, and guides you through the transition to a smaller space. For inspiration, you’ll meet tiny house pioneers and hear how they built their dwellings (and their lives) in unconventional, creative and purposeful ways. They’ll invite you in, show you around their cozy abodes, and share lessons they learned along the way.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny houses / Mimi Zeiger.
“With “McMansions” increasingly giving way to “tiny” houses, the desire to downsize and be more ecologically and economically prudent is a concept many are beginning to embrace. Focusing on dwelling spaces all under 1,000 square feet, TINY HOUSES (Rizzoli, April 2009) by Mimi Zeiger aims to challenge readers to take a look at their own homes and consider how much space they actively use. Ranging from tree houses to floating houses, TINY HOUSES features an international collection of over thirty modular and prefab homes, each one embodying “microgreen living”, defined as the creation of tiny homes where people challenge themselves to live “greener” lives. By using a thoughtful application of green living principles, renewable resources for construction, and clever ingenuity, these homes exemplify sustainable living at its best.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTurning tiny : the small-living paradigm that’s reshaping the way we think, live and dream / compiled and presented by Darin Zaruba.
“Have you ever wondered what makes the tiny house movement an actual movement? Have you longed to hear the stories behind some of your favorite non-traditional homes? Do you wonder if the movement is more of a shift in thought rather than a blip on the architectural screen? Turning tiny is your direct-access pass into the minds and lives of tiny housers in various arenas including desgin, building, community planning, and the emerging business around it all. It is a collection of what and why 60+ contributing authors have turned tiny and continue to look in that direction.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe life-changing magic of tidying / Marie Kondo, translated from the Japanese by Cathy Hirano.
“Transform your home into a permanently clear and clutter-free space with the incredible KonMari Method. Japan’s expert declutterer and professional cleaner Marie Kondo will help you tidy your rooms once and for all with her inspirational step-by-step method. The key to successful tidying is to tackle your home in the correct order, to keep only the things you really love and to do it all at once – and quickly. After that for the rest of your life you only need to choose what to keep and what to discard.[…] Marie Kondo’s method is based on a ‘once-cleaned, never-messy-again’ approach. If you think that such a thing is impossible then you should definitely read this compelling book.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny homes on the move : wheels and water / Lloyd Kahn.
“Tiny Homes on the Move chronicles 21st-century nomads — people who inhabit homes that are compact and mobile, either on wheels or in the water. In photos and stories, this fascinating book explores modern travelers who live in vans, pickup trucks, buses, trailers, sailboats, and houseboats that combine the comforts of home with the convenience of being able to pick up and go at any time. With over 1,000 color photos accompanying the stories and descriptions of these moveable sanctuaries, this is a valuable and inspirational book for anyone thinking outside the box about shelter.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe big tiny : a built-it-myself memoir / Dee Williams.The Big Tiny: A Built-It-Myself Memoir
“Dee Williams’s life changed in an instant, with a near-death experience in the aisle of her local grocery store. Diagnosed with a heart condition at age forty-one, she was all too suddenly reminded that life is short, time is precious, and she wanted to be spending hers with the people and things she truly loved. That included the beautiful sprawling house in the Pacific Northwest she had painstakingly restored–but, increasingly, it did not include the mortgage payments, constant repairs, and general time-suck of home ownership. A new sense of clarity began to take hold: Just what was all this stuff for? Multiple extra rooms, a kitchen stocked with rarely used appliances, were things that couldn’t compare with the financial freedom and the ultimate luxury– time– that would come with downsizing. Deciding to build an eighty-four-square-foot house–on her own, from the ground up–was just the beginning of building a new life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLittle house on a small planet : simple homes, cozy retreats, and energy efficient possibilities / by Shay Salomon ; photographys by Nigel Valdez ; [foreword by Frances Moore Lappé].
“Living small frees up the mind, the wallet, and the soul. As economic uncertainties loom large, and the evidence mounts that humans are responsible for much of global warming, the “new” trend is beginning to seem old: new subdivisions filled with McMansions, the friend of a friend’s childless brother who just added on a third bedroom. Many of us have suffered the consequences of an inflated mortgage, an unmanageable construction project, or a house simply too large to keep clean. […] Pockets of people all over America are realizing the benefits of scaling down. They are designing a new dream, one that reunites extended families, makes space for friends, and emphasizes home life over home maintenance. Little House on a Small Planetis a guidebook to this movement, and an invitation to join.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPrefabulous small houses / Sheri Koones ; foreword by Robert Redford.Prefabulous Small Houses
“Prefab home construction has come into its own. Prefabricated homes used to be considered inferior to houses built on site, but not anymore. In Prefabulous Small Houses, best-selling author Sheri Koones presents 32 stunning prefabricated homes from around North America. 250 beautiful photographs and floorplans show the amazing breadth of styles available to today’s homeowners. […] All of the houses in Prefabulous Small Houses range from 325 sq. ft. to 2,000 sq. ft. and showcase construction methods perfect for any climate. Building better, building greener. All of the houses featured here are highly energy efficient and are built with sustainability in mind.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBeautifully small : clever ideas for compact spaces / Sara Emslie ; photography by Rachel Whiting.
“In Chapter 1: Inspiration, Sara draws inspiration from truly tiny spaces such as boats and caravans as well as her own home–a diminutive workman’s cottage in a London suburb. In Chapter 2: Elements of Design, she discusses how even the most straightforward planning decisions can be complicated by the constraints of small spaces and suggests clever design solutions. The third chapter, Elements of Style, explores ideas for making compact interiors work through the use of creative styling and decoration. In Chapter 4, a series of case studies takes a closer look at imaginative treatments for pocket-size interiors, showcasing a variety of tiny spaces including a terraced ‘two-up, two-down’ worker’s cottage, a tiny studio apartment with a clever mezzanine that incorporates a bathroom, and a pint-sized coastal hideaway.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall spaces for modern living : making the most of your indoor space.
“An increase in small, urban-style living and the evolution of new storage devices and space saving solutions makes this a valuable guide to creating and maintaining a stylish, contemporary home within a small or compact space. illusion of space. Explore fresh ideas for space saving, from cupboard hideaways and new loft spaces to display storage and clutter management. Whether you have a tiny suburban space, a city studio or a compact house, you should find all the advice and inspiration you need.” (Syndetics summary)

Recent Home, Garden & DIY picks

A beautiful garden doesn’t have to take a lot of space. Get great tips on small scale gardening or event table top gardening. Plus, we have tips on brewing your own beer.

Syndetics book coverThe art of the natural home : a room by room guide / Rebecca Sullivan ; photography by Nassima Rothacker.
“More than ever, we appreciate the importance of health and well-being, and place great emphasis on the word ‘natural’. For many of us, though, this is limited to focussing on what we eat and drink. If we really want to achieve a natural lifestyle and optimum health, we need to take a more holistic approach. And that is what this book is about – natural recipes and products for the entire home, from the kitchen pantry to the cleaning cupboard, from your make-up bag to the medicine cabinet (and, happily, a few treats for the drinks trolley, too).” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverBuild it yourself : weekend projects for the garden / Frank Perrone ; photographs by Nicholas Perrone ; illustrations by Christopher Perrone.
Build It Yourself is a fun, accessible, and portable guide to constructing twelve practical, tasteful projects for your garden and home. Author and master woodworker Frank Perrone instructs with the novice in mind. Each project is designed for simple building, complete with a materials list, a cut sheet that makes getting lumber a snap, dimensional diagrams, illustrated step-by-step instructions with attention to every detail, and “Helpful Hints,” plus space for notes.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverMy tiny flower garden : beautiful blooms in surprisingly small places / Matt Collins ; photography by Roo Lewis.
“With colorful cutting patches, sweet-scented city streets and pickup trucks perfect for pollinators, we’ve unearthed 25 amazing unconventional plots. Meet the couple packing pavements with flowers, the landscape architect who has constructed a meadow in the middle of London, and the Detroit florists who created an awe-inspiring installation in an abandoned building (before deconstructing the site and turning the land into a community flower farm).” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe foodscape revolution : finding a better way to make space for food and beauty in your garden / Brie Arthur.
“Once upon a time, veggie gardens lived in the backyard, isolated from the rest of the landscape. that’s so yesterday! Welcome to a whole new world of food gardening–right up front, sharing space with your ornamental plants for year-round, knockout beauty and function…in a way that even homeowners associations (HOAs) would approve.” (Back cover)

Syndetics book coverSunshine spaces / Beci Orpin.
“In “Sunshine Spaces”, designer Beci Orpin shows us how to make and create a range of fun homewares and other fabulous ideas for your outdoor space, including outdoor entertaining as well as how to bring a little of the outdoors inside your home! Inspired by the color and beauty of nature, projects include planter pots and hanging pots, picnic blanket and outdoor cushions, hammock and swing, sun umbrella and many more. Beci also includes advice on the best indoor plants and their care, some great pots to put them in, flower arranging and natural art installations, as well as a complete guide to plant-based fabric dying.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverTiny tabletop gardens : 35 projects for super-small spaces– outdoors and in / Emma Hardy.
“No matter how small your space you will find these 35 projects simple and achievable. Why not try some indoor projects on rainy days; plant some little ferns under glass domes, make Japanese moss balls for the roots of some colorful orchids, or why not create a unique water garden in glass goblets? Make use of any outdoor space you have with hanging lantern planters, little place name pots for a party, a tower of plants, and a beautiful chandelier with small planted glasses.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverBrew Your Own big book of homebrewing : all-grain and extract brewing, kegging, 50+ craft beer recipes, tips and tricks from the pros / editors of Brew Your Own.
“For more than two decades, America’s homebrewers have turned to Brew Your Own magazine for the best information on making incredible beer at home. From well-tested recipes to expert advice, Brew Your Own sets the standard for quality. Now, for the first time, the magazine’s best homebrew guides, recipes, troubleshooting, and tips are brought together in one book.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe value of weeds / Ann Cliff.
“Weeds are wild plants that have survived in the face of centuries of hostility. Many gardeners who are unfamiliar with the versatility of weeds think of them as a nuisance. They can be good, bad, dangerous, or beautiful. Above all, they are tough. This essential guide explores the virtues of good weeds, including how they can protect soil and add to soil fertility; act as companion plants in gardens; provide food for farm livestock; support wild life; provide herbal remedies for minor ailments; yield vegetable dyes; and finally, give us weed cuisine: nutritious food and drink for free.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverWood floors : hardwood, laminate, bamboo, wood tile, and more.
“While home interior trends change, and some of the flooring options may come and go with them, the popularity of wood flooring does not wane. It’s an enduring material choice that can add value and charm to a home. DIYers with moderate tool skills can tackle a wood-flooring project and enjoy the cost savings that go along with their successful efforts.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe gardening in miniature prop shop : handmade accessories for your tiny living world / Janit Calvo ; with photographs by Kate Baldwin.
The Gardening in Miniature Prop Shop is the next big thing for the crafters and gardeners already captivated by gardening small. Organized by playful themes–including gardens around the world, holidays, and fantasy gardens–it’s a fun-filled guide to creating one-of-a-kind gardens and the accessories that make them shine. Thirty-seven projects are included with fully illustrated, step-by-step instructions.” (adapted from Syndetics summary)

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 Garden Picks

Here are some beautiful, shiny new additions to our gardening section.  There are a couple of standouts for me, notably Garden Rescue and Paradise Lot. I like the first because it is so practical and Paradise Lot because it shows that getting a permaculture setup and running can be quite simple and extremely rewarding – not to mention a positive way for people to feel more connected.

Syndetics book coverCreating your garden farm : how to grow fruit and vegetables and raise chickens and bees / Nicki Trench.
“If you dream of growing, harvesting and eating your own produce, here’s how to begin. Author Nicki Trench, who has created her own garden farm from scratch, shares with you everything there is to know about growing vegetables, fruit and herbs, including making your own compost, growing in raised beds and protecting your crops from pests and disease.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarden plants & flowers in Australia / Ian Spence ; Australian consultants, Jennifer Wilkinson and Kevin Walsh.
“This is a comprehensive guide book and the one book gardeners will need as their easy reference to all of Australia’s garden plants and flowers. In this paperback edition, create a garden that looks wonderful all year round with this photographic guide, packed with all the information you need to help you choose the best plants for every season.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe beautiful edible garden : design a stylish outdoor space using vegetables, fruits, and herbs / Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner ; photography by David Fenton and Jill Rizzo ; floral arrangements by Studio Choo.
“A stylish, beautifully photographed guide to artfully incorporating organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs into an attractive modern garden design. Leslie Bennett and Stefani Bittner are co-founders of Star Apple Edible + Fine Gardening, a San Francisco Bay Area landscape design firm focusing on aesthetic edible gardening. At Star Apple, they bring together ecologically sound landscape design principles and small-scale urban agriculture, working with both ornamental and edible plants to create integrated landscapes. A stylish, beautifully photographed guide to artfully incorporating organic vegetables, fruits, and herbs into an attractive modern garden design.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverSmall garden handbook : making the most of your outdoor space / Andrew Wilson ; special photography, Steven Wooster.
“Expert garden designer Andrew Wilson guides you through the process of planning, planting and maintaining a small garden that will make you happy every time you step outside.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRHS garden projects : loads of fun things to make and do in the garden / [senior editors, Deborah Lock, Penny Smith and Carrie Love ; photographer, Will Heap].
“RHS Garden Projects is full of different projects for children to get excited about. From making their own garden buddy to baking a blueberry cheesecake; from lemonade lollies to Wild-West cacti, RHS Garden Projects is chock full of inspiring ideas.Beautiful photographs inspire children to make their own projects whilst bringing the garden to life – further proof that there’s so much fun to be had in their own back yard.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGarden rescue : first aid for plants and flowers / Jo Whittingham “Rescue remedies for your garden – if you need to know how to prevent everyday troubles from turning into gardening disasters, Garden Rescue will save the day. This “first aid manual” for your garden will help you identify, understand, and tackle a wide range of common problems, from poor fruit harvests and unruly trees and shrubs to preventing pests and diseases.Using anatomy guides, symptom flow charts, and plant clinics, you’ll solve any problem facing your fruit and veg patch or flower garden. You’ll learn what’s normal and what’s not, how to spot early warning signs of distress, and preventative measures to keep your plants healthy.Whether your wisteria is wilting or your fatsia isn’t flowering, Garden Rescue has hundreds of practical solutions so you can be your own garden medic.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe artist, the cook, and the gardener : recipes inspired by painting from the garden / Maryjo Koch ; photographs by Wendy Candelaria ; additional paintings by Jonathan Koch
“Great artists and great cooks have long been inspired by gardens and the many sensory gifts they provide. This connection between art, cooking, and the garden is celebrated in this cookbook by artist Maryjo Koch. The painter provides insight into her inspiration for her paintings of flowers, plants, and nature that comes from her studio garden. Her studio garden also provides the culinary toolbox for the delectable and visually beautiful feasts that she prepares for her family and friends.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book cover10 garden design principles / Susie White.
“A lovely garden can please the eye in the same way as a beautiful painting can, but the advantage of a garden is that it can also involve all the other senses. But what separates out an aesthetically pleasing garden from a simple field of plants and flowers?
In this book, the author sets out the ten principles for designing a garden. Whether you have a tiny plot of land or more than an acre, the areas outlined here give direction and provide inspiration to anyone creating a garden from scratch or redesigning an existing patch. Covering all aspects of garden design from planning its configuration, to the mixtures of heights and colours that will work together, to choosing the types of plants which allow the garden to transcend the seasons, experienced garden designer Susie White guides the way.”
(Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverParadise lot : two plant geeks, one-tenth of an acre and the making of an edible garden oasis in the city / Eric Toensmeier ; with contributions from Jonathan Bates.
“When Eric Toensmeier and Jonathan Bates moved into a duplex in a run-down part of Holyoke, Massachusetts, the tenth-of-an-acre lot was barren ground and bad soil, peppered with broken pieces of concrete, asphalt, and brick. The two friends got to work designing what would become not just another urban farm, but a “permaculture paradise” replete with perennial broccoli, paw paws, bananas, and moringa—all told, more than two hundred low-maintenance edible plants in an innovative food forest on a small city lot. In telling the story ofParadise Lot, Toensmeier explains the principles and practices of permaculture, the choice of exotic and unusual food plants, the techniques of design and cultivation, and, of course, the adventures, mistakes, and do-overs in the process. Packed full of detailed, useful information about designing a highly productive permaculture garden,Paradise Lotis also a funny and charming story of two single guys, both plant nerds, with a wild plan: to realize the garden of their dreams and meet women to share it with. Amazingly, on both counts, they succeed.” (Adapted from Syndetics summary)

Garden for Winter and Plan for Spring

Autumn is well and truly here and we can start thinking about getting the garden ready to withstand those winter woes. We can also prepare for the spring by planning what bulbs to plant in the backyard. Our selection will help you do these two things and more: how to make your garden beautiful for both seasons. We also have books for you to get your home ready for a Mid-Winter Feast with plenty of Kiwi recipes to make the occasion a success. Enjoy!

Syndetics book coverBackyard winter gardening : vegetables fresh and simple, in any climate, without artificial heat or electricity – the way it’s been done for 2,000 years / Caleb Warnock.
“Without fresh, all-natural winter gardening in the seventeenth, eighteenth, and nineteenth centuries people would have starved to death. The good news is that feeding your family fresh food from your own backyard garden all winter long is far easier and less time-consuming than you might imagine. And you won’t find better-tasting food at any price!” (Amazon.com summary)

Syndetics book coverThe winter garden : structure, planting and romance in the garden in winter / Eluned Price, photographs by Clive Nichols.
“After the exuberance of summer, the garden in its winter transformation is every gardener’s greatest challenge. The Winter Garden looks at the ways of creating a garden that is beautiful in adversity, when the weather is cold and inclement. With the loss of the rich colours of autumn, it explores the importance of shape and form, of choosing trees as much for their leafless winter frosts as for their summer foliage and textures. Using beautiful and varied gardens as examples, it looks at ways of shaping the garden with topiary, trellis and tunnels, of providing form with architectural planting, of using statuary, urns and tubs. This beautifully illustrated book explores what it is that makes the winter garden magical, unpacking the aesthetic thrill that goes with the sight of the ghostly white arcs of bramble or the flaming wands of dogwood, the clean frame of yew hedging or the filigree of interlaced leafless branches.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverBest winter plants / Stefan Buczacki ; special photography Andrew Lawson.
“Gardening expert Stefan Buczacki presents advice and information on growing the best winter plants. A reference for both beginning and expert gardeners about all aspects of plant care from propogation and pruning, to problem solving.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverSpring bulbs / Peter McHoy ; photography by Peter Anderson.
“Tolerant and trouble free, spring bulbs can play an essential part in any garden. This guide for growers is full of advice on cultivating bulbs and protecting them from harm done by pests and diseases.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverWinter house / Charlotte Moss ; written with Jennifer Cegielski ; photographs by Jason Dewey.
“One of America’s top interior designers presents a beautifully illustrated guidebook for creating a comfortable, inviting winter home. With 200 color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

The garden in autumn / by Allen Lacy.
“Gardeners who believe that autumn brings merely clean-up tasks and the occasional frowsy chrysanthemum will think differently after reading this book. Lacy ( Farther Afield ), gardening writer for the New York Times , has a vested interest: “to encourage fellow gardeners to pay attention to the neglected but glorious possibilities of the fall garden.” Before reading more than a handful of pages, any floraphile will be feverishly taking notes on new plants and plant combinations to try, and eagerly awaiting the waning of the year. Rather than offer gardening advice for the whole U.S., Lacy sticks to what he knows: the plants that thrive in his region of southern New Jersey. But as he points out, in quoting Spanish philosopher Miguel de Unamuno, “the universal is the particular and the concrete, not the abstract or the general”–plenty of information here pertains to gardens in any climate. Lacy devotes a chapter each to lingering summer perennials, fall-flowering perennials, bulbs, grasses, annuals and woody plants. An epilogue describing blooms in December will have gardeners in higher latitudes sighing enviously. Included are an extensive list of nurseries, a bibliography and an index of plant names and nurseries. Photos not seen by PW. Advertising; author tour; Garden Book Club main selection; first serial to HG; second serial to Horticulture and Organic Gardening. (Oct.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved” (Publisher Weekly)

Taste of New Zealand winter / Robyn Martin.
“A recipe book for the winter months, illustrated with full colour photograph. The chapters range from ‘stock pot saviours’ and ‘fireside meals’ through ‘hot and hearty’ and ‘things to make on rainy days’ to ‘winter puds’. It is a companion book to Taste of New Zealand Summer. The author is food editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.” (Syndetics summary)

What’s Old in the New Year?

It’s all about the New Year in January and it was very tempting to offer you a selection of what’s new on the Home & Garden front in 2013. What about what is not so new and what you can re-use or recycle at home or in the garden? That might be a New Year resolution of yours to do less in the garden and to keep and transform home wares instead of chucking it away and buying new and expensive. And why not! We have a selection of books that might convince you to do just that.

Syndetics book coverTomorrow’s garden : design and inspiration for a new age of sustainable gardening / text and photographs by Stephen Orr.
“Stephen Orr (gardening editorial director Martha Stewart Living magazine) shares his vision of 21st century gardening in over 200 gorgeous photographs he has taken of gardens in 10 US cities. Gardens now (and will in the future), he says, take into account local climates and ecosystems without sacrificing aesthetics. In sections titled “Garden where you live,” “Consider the materials,” and “Edible gardens and community” he indeed has his finger on the pulse of modern gardening’s commitment to sustainability coupled with fabulous design and passion for invoking a commonality of purpose. Street gardens, an urban apiary, gardens of stone and water, a modernist children’s garden, seaside gardens, and a family farm are but a few of the featured spaces, which along with Orr’s engaging narrative and judicious advice, make this a likely favorite among this year’s crop of gardening books. Annotation ©2011 Book News, Inc., Portland, OR (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPerennials for every purpose : choose the plants you need for your conditions, your garden, and your taste / Larry Hodgson.
“Perennials for Every Purpose This is a plant encyclopedia with a purpose! You’ll discover more than 1,000 perennials, organized by special feature (that’s the “purpose!”), such as bloom time or site condition. This makes it simple for you to choose plants according to your needs. You can go directly to the chapters that interest you most, whether they’re perennials that require very little care or ones that thrive in cool-summer climates. Plant lover Larry Hodgson lives in Quebec, where the winters are punishing to perennials. Undaunted, he has ventured where most gardeners wouldn’t dare, attempting to grow perennials that “just aren’t hardy there”– and succeeding! He has nursed usually tender perennials like hakone grass and monkey flowers through tough Quebec winters even though they’re supposedly not hardy north of Pennsylvania. He’s glad to share his tips for success.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCaring for perennials : what to do and when to do it / Janet Macunovich ; photographs by Steven Nikkila.
“With Macunovich’s techniques for prioritizing, planning, and record keeping, you’ll be able to grow a world-class perennial garden in an average of one hour of maintenance per 100 square feet per month.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverRemake it : home : the essential guide to resourceful living with over 500 tricks, tips and inspirational designs / Henrietta Thompson ; illustrations by Neal Whittington.
“This is the indispensible, inspirational and practical guide to being resourceful by design in your home. Save money, save the planet and stay ahead in the style stakes: if theres something going spare, theres a use for it somewhere. With a wealth of tricks and tips, design examples from leading luminaries such as Jasper Morrison and Marcel Waanders, and step-by-step projects you can try around the house, Remake It: Home provides design inspiration and practical know how in equal measure. Smart, savvy, entertaining and fully illustrated throughout, this book will show you how to make the most of the things you already have in style.” (Amazon.co.uk summary)

Syndetics book coverRestore. Recycle. Repurpose. {create a beautiful home} / Randy Florke ; with Nancy J. Becker.
“Florke (Your House, Your Home) explores decorating every room of the home with flea market finds, a trend that’s been popular for years, with an eye toward sustainability. He intersperses his grandmother’s advice on household frugality with trivia about waste in the United States. Recommended where green-living guides are popular. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.(c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.” (Library Journal)

Syndetics book coverSalvage style : 45 home and garden projects using reclaimed architectural details / Joe Rhatigan with Dana Irwin.
“”Create something new with all the elegance of the original.”–“Better Homes & Gardens Decorating” “Recommended.”–“Library Journal” Even as a building gets renovated or demolished, it often yields authentic, irreplaceable, and sometimes historic architectural detailing. Out of the wreckage come one-of-a-kind, ornate weathered doorknobs, flooring, mantels, windows, and doors. Forty-five projects, developed by the finest craftspeople, focus on transforming your finds and giving them a whole new function. You’ll obtain tips on locating and selecting the best of these materials and crafting with wood, metal, glass, and mirrors. Begin your creative handiwork with such intriguing pieces as a Cabinet Door Picture Frame, Iron, and Funky Miscellany.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverLeftover gourmet / Richard Till.
“Create delicious meals with this brilliant guide to making the most of the leftover food in your fridge, freezer or pantry.”(Syndetics summary)

Christmas in your home

Christmas is approaching and we have selected books that we hope will help you to achieve a memorable festive season. Whether your decorating your home, your garden or cooking for your guests, we have everything you need to spend a great Christmas at home.

Syndetics book coverHandmade Christmas : over fifty gorgeous projects to craft your own Christmas.
“Packed with budget-friendly ideas and creative ways to make your Christmas truly special, this collection of delightful projects has everything you’ll need to celebrate Christmas in style. With over 40 projects, Handmade Christmas has plenty for beginners, as well as more elaborate designs for experienced crafters. The book contains stunning photographs, templates and step-by-step instructions for beautiful handmade details, including gorgeous cards, quirky gifts, delicious baked goods and vintage-inspired decorations. All of the projects are easily adapted to suit your own distinctive style to add a personal touch to Christmas”. (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverCandlelit Christmas : decorating with candles for the holiday season / John Terrell Fry ; photographs by Nancy Nolan.
“As Fry proved in his first book, “The Candlelit Home,” there is no more stylish, effective, and inexpensive way to transform a home’s atmosphere than with the judicious use of candles. This book illuminates easy, inexpensive, and dramatic ways to change the mood with candles.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverDecorate for the Christmas season / the editors of House beautiful magazine ; text by Sally Clark.
“Here are all of the magazine’s very best, most creative ideas, all gathered in one elegant, lushly illustrated volume, rich with imaginative plans for decorating during this most festive season. Christmas angels nestle in yards of pleated silk ribbon, and holly and ivy brighten mantels. Dozens of wonderful trees and unique ornaments, as well as beautiful ideas for wrapping gifts, bring the Christmas spirit to life.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverVintage Christmas crafts / Sara Toliver.
“Presented here are four unique ways to go back in time and add charm to the holidays: Victorian Vintage, Shabby Chic, Country Style, and Personal Vintage. For each, you’ll find directions for projects, ideas for decorating, and enticing pictures to inspire and evoke nostalgia. Craft cardboard villages just like Grandma used to. Make new ornaments look antique and aged, as if they were passed down through the generations. From a gathering of lighted tapes glowing on the floor, to red ribbons tied around the banister, to wreaths, Santa Claus figurines, and food heaped everywhere, each design is glorious.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverPlanet Christmas : the world’s most extreme Christmas decorations / Chuck Smith.
“No one can resist smiling at these houses a-dazzle with twinkling lights and decked with flying reindeer, jolly snowmen, inflatable Santas, plastic sleighs–and every other sign that hearts are overflowing with Christmas cheer. It’s become a holiday tradition around the globe to drive through the neighborhood to look at these extravagantly decorated homes. “Planet Christmas” offers a world tour of the best and the brightest, from Auckland, New Zealand, where the Ballentine family pumps clouds of artificial snow off their balcony, to Peters Township, PA, where sightseers view Santa and Mrs. Claus presiding over a Santa’s Workshop 50 yards wide.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverHave yourself a very vintage Christmas : crafts, decorating tips, and recipes, 1920s-1960s / Susan Waggoner ; photographs by Jeff Elkins.
“Susan Waggoner, author of STC’s successful “It’s a Wonderful Christmas”, “Under the Tree”, and “Christmas Memories” is back again with another instalment of nostalgic art and engaging text about the wonders of the Christmas season in years gone by. “Have Yourself a Very Vintage Christmas” is a natural follow-on and will appeal to buyers of the previous books as it is loaded with advice and how to information designed to help readers get the look for every decade from the 1920s through to the 1960s. Waggoner takes this book one step further by combining decorating ideas and inspiration with delightful nostalgia and the crafts projects readers have been craving. The book will include decorating ideas and projects from vintage magazines, crafts projects and step-by-step instructions to re-create some of the most popular items from each decade, recipes for homemade treats like walnut fudge, divinity, and butter mints, and of course the popular first person recollections of the way Christmas really looked from the 20s to the 60s.” (Summary from Amazon.co.uk)

Syndetics book coverGluten-free and vegan holidays : celebrating the year with simple, satisfying recipes and menus / Jennifer Katzinger.
“Entertaining friends and family can be a challenge when youre vegan and gluten-free. It can be even trickier when youre not, but a family member or close friend is. So what do you do when you want to prepare a gluten-free and vegan holiday dinner for eight? Turn to Gluten-Free and Vegan Holidays for help! Jennifer Katzinger, author of the popular Flying Aprons Gluten-Free & Vegan Baking Book makes celebrating the holidays simple and stylish with seventy delicious, satisfying recipes for our most cherished holidays. Here youll find both sweet and savoury gluten-free and vegan menus for Thanksgiving and Christmas feasts, for a romantic Valentines Day dinner for two, for springtime Easter and Passover celebrations and many more. Whether youre gluten-free and vegan or not, youll please the ones you love with these simple yet sophisticated and pleasing menus.” (Summary from Amazon.co.uk)

International Cooking Ebooks

Take your tastebuds on a gastronomic journey with our growing collection of ebooks. Follow the links to use your library card to download these e-books for free.

Syndetics book coverAuthentic recipes from Morocco [Ebook] by Fatema Hal, Jean Hamon, Bruno Barbey.
A heady mix of spices, aromatic tagines and warm, buttery couscous, it’s no wonder Moroccan cuisine has become so popular! Full of favorites like caraway soup, slow-cooked lamb stews, spicy salads, flatbreads, sublime desserts and mint tea, Authentic Recipes from Morocco contains over 50 recipes that reveal the treasures of regional Moroccan cooking.

Syndetics book coverThe 30 minute vegan’s taste of the East [Ebook] : 150 Asian-inspired recipes–from soba noodles to summer rolls, by Mark Reinfeld and Jennifer Murray.
From the authors of The 30-Minute Vegan: delectable and healthy recipes inspired by the cuisines of China, Japan, Korea, India, Thailand, and beyond.

Syndetics book coverEasy Chinese recipes [Ebook] : family favorites from dim sum to kung pao, by Bee Yinn Low ; foreword by Jaden Hair.
“… Low presents a few dozen standard Chinese recipes from both Cantonese and Sichuan traditions. …. She suggests substitutions for authentic but more complicated techniques, such as using frozen puff pastry for barbeque pork triangles, beloved by fans of dim sum. Noodle dishes, now so popular among young people seeking bargain meals, find plenty of variations here to please anyone. Most recipes serve two to four diners, depending on accompaniments….” (Drawn from Booklist, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverAt home with Magnolia [Ebook] : classic American recipes from the owner of Magnolia Bakery, by Allysa Torey ; photography by John Kernick.
“This cheery cookbook celebrates the timeless appeal of homemade chicken and chocolate cake on the kitchen table. …Torey is a believer in fresh, seasonal eating. Her homey, elemental dishes span the seasons, from light summery Eggplant with Red and Yellow Cherry Tomato Sauce to an autumnal Butternut Squash Soup with Apple and Onion. Dinners are divided up into no-fuss “weekday” and more complicated “weekend” categories. She’s also included the formulas for two of her famous cupcakes: Chocolate with Butterscotch Frosting and Orange Vanilla. Torey goes easy on the text, offering minimal instruction, but these are straightforward recipes to follow, and the result is a tasty blend of nostalgia and innovation. ( drawn from Publisher’s Weekly, courtesy of Syndetics)

Syndetics book coverThe best recipes in the world [Ebook] : more than 1,000 international dishes to cook at home, by Mark Bittman.
Mark Bittman traveled the world to find and bring back the best recipes of home cooks from 44 countries. This bountiful collection of new, easy, and ultra-flavorful dishes will add exciting new tastes and cosmopolitan flair to your everyday cooking and entertaining.

Winter warming

With the temperature dropping and the Summer season of home maintenance well and truly over, we bring you winter warming cookbooks and a selection of gardening books to peruse for ideas for your Winter garden!

Syndetics book coverDelia Smith’s winter collection / illustrations by Flo Bailey.
“A collection of recipes for wintertime, featuring ingredients from a progression of winter produce from October to April. Both meat and vegetarian dishes are included, and many of them reflect the influence of French, Italian, Spanish and oriental flavours and ideas.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWinter on the farm / Matthew Evans ; photography by Alan Benson.
“Join chef, food critic and author Matthew Evans as he embraces winter with more than 85 warming recipes – from Winter Potato and Bacon Soup, and Stout, Beef Shin and Mushroom Pie to an exceptionally delicious Kentish Cherry and Elderflower Fruit Pudding. Winter on the Farm is the ultimate guide to cooking nourishing and hearty food, and will inspire you to create these rich, wonderful flavours as soon as you feel a winter chill in the air.” (Library Catalogue)

Syndetics book coverBest winter plants / Stefan Buczacki ; special photography Andrew Lawson.
“Gardening expert Stefan Buczacki presents advice and information on growing the best winter plants. A reference for both beginning and expert gardeners about all aspects of plant care from propogation and pruning, to problem solving.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWinter house / Charlotte Moss ; written with Jennifer Cegielski ; photographs by Jason Dewey.
“One of America’s top interior designers presents a beautifully illustrated guidebook for creating a comfortable, inviting winter home. With 200 color photographs.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGrowing year round : vegetables, fruit, herbs / Dennis Greville.
“Dennis Greville is respected internationally for his plant and garden photography and is New Zealand’s most published gardening author and photographer. Whether you are a beginner or a seasoned gardener, growing year round will encourage and inspire you, with practical advice that will help you achieve optimum results in your garden, whatever its size, climatic conditions and soil type. Dennis provides readily accessible information and tips on how to do things better. These easy to follow ideas will enable you to take charge of your garden and its productivity.” (Fishpond) Includes seasonal recipes.

Syndetics book coverSeasons in my house and garden / written and photographed by Holly Kerr Forsyth.
“In her latest outing, beloved gardening writer Holly Kerr Forsyth takes readers from her garden into the home and kitchen. Season by season, and month by month, Holly shares her gardening secrets and hard-won wisdom from years in the garden. Inside the house, Holly offers ideas on how to transform the produce into beautiful dishes, as well as tips for flower arranging, table setting, and more. Fully illustrated throughout, and with useful identifying pictures for flowers and produce, Seasons in My Garden is the perfect companion for gardeners experienced and novice, homemakers and keen cooks.” (Global Books)

Syndetics book coverWinter in the Alps : food by the fireside / Manuela Darling-Gansser ; photography by Simon Griffiths.
“Take a culinary journey from the peaks of St. Moritz down to the glittering streets of Zurich–home to some of the most delicious food in all of Europe–in this attractive cookbook of Alpine cuisine. Be tempted by Cloud Souffle, Pappardelle with Duck Ragu, melt-in-your-mouth Spatzle, Rosti, and Creamy Zabaione; sip warming Gluhwein and roast chestnuts over the open fire and be transported to the enchanting heart of continental Europe during winter. Showcasing the culture, lifestyle, and food of this remarkably diverse region, this beautifully illustrated book is a stunning depiction of the unique cuisine and breathtaking beauty of the Alps.” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverThe winter garden : structure, planting and romance in the garden in winter / Eluned Price, photographs by Clive Nichols.
“After the exuberance of summer, the garden in its winter transformation is every gardener’s greatest challenge. The Winter Garden looks at the ways of creating a garden that is beautiful in adversity, when the weather is cold and inclement. With the loss of the rich colours of autumn, it explores the importance of shape and form, of choosing trees as much for their leafless winter frosts as for their summer foliage and textures. Using beautiful and varied gardens as examples, it looks at ways of shaping the garden with topiary, trellis and tunnels, of providing form with architectural planting, of using statuary, urns and tubs. This beautifully illustrated book explores what it is that makes the winter garden magical, unpacking the aesthetic thrill that goes with the sight of the ghostly white arcs of bramble or the flaming wands of dogwood, the clean frame of yew hedging or the filigree of interlaced leafless branches.” (Amazon)

Syndetics book coverWhat to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating / Valentine Warner ; photographs by Howard Sooley.
“In ‘What to eat now : the best of autumn and winter eating’ Valentine Warner take us on a mouth-watering journey seeking out the foods and ingredients the colder months have to offer. In this seasonal guide Valentine shows how autumn’s meat, including lamb, pork, duck and partridge, is often roasted, braised or served in stews and pies. Fish is found in batter, soup, on toast and quickly fried. There are rich dairy dishes and an abundance of vegetable dishes using beetroot, cabbage, sweetcorn, pumpkins and so much more. This is a book for the inquisitive eater with the recipes that are both simple and satisfying. Most of all with Valentine’s engaging style, it promises to bring a little pleasure into your kitchen and joy to your table.” (Amazon)

Taste of New Zealand winter / Robyn Martin.
“A recipe book for the winter months, illustrated with full colour photograph. The chapters range from ‘stock pot saviours’ and ‘fireside meals’ through ‘hot and hearty’ and ‘things to make on rainy days’ to ‘winter puds’. It is a companion book to Taste of New Zealand Summer. The author is food editor of the New Zealand Woman’s Weekly.” (Syndetics summary)

The Art of Creative Pruning

Just imagine what some creative pruning or perhaps a green roof could do for your garden….  Or if you would like some up to date tips on vegetable gardening or organic gardening we have some new books that could appeal….

Syndetics book coverThe art of creative pruning : inventive ideas for training and shaping trees and shrubs / Jake Hobson.   “Nothing brings a touch of artistry to the garden like ornamental pruning, and a series of deliberate cuts can create landscapes and evoke faraway places. All that’s needed to recreate the effect in the garden are a sharp pair of pruners, some imagination, and the instruction found in The Art of Creative Pruning.  Picture boxwoods trimmed into whimsical Russian nesting dolls, hedges inscribed with words, and a tree snipped to resemble the toppling tiers of a wedding cake. These are just a few of the unusual ideas featured in the beautifully photographed pages. All the practical considerations are here as well, including pruning to improve a view, remedial pruning to fix problems, and pruning fruit trees to increase yield.” (amazon.com) 

Syndetics book coverSmall green roofs : low-tech options for greener living / Nigel Dunnett … [et al.].
“This colorful guide to building small scale living roofs provides practical instruction for creating ecologically friendly coverings for sheds, garages and accessory buildings with grasses, moss, lichens and other growing plants. Sections cover the structural requirements for building green roofs and retrofitting existing structures, types of plants and planting strategies and encouraging biodiversity. The bulk of the volume showcases finished small scale green roof projects form the UK and the United States in numerous color photographs. (booknews.com)” (Syndetics summary)

Syndetics book coverGreen roofs : a guide to their design and installation / Angela Youngman.   “Environmentally friendly buildings are a must for the future, and among the many new ideas for buildings are green roofs—but what exactly is a green roof, and how do they work? Why are individuals and businesses installing them, and how difficult is it to install and maintain a green roof? This guide introduces the range of green roofs available, from the small garden shed to towering skyscrapers. ” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverThe Timber Press guide to succulent plants of the world : a comprehensive reference to more than 2000 species / Fred Dortort.   “A great companion book for beginners as well as avid collectors of these fabulous plants.”–Nancy Szerlag (Detroit News) (Fishpond)

Syndetics book coverThe New Zealand vegetable book / [written by Glenda Gourley ; gardening tips by Dennis Greville].   “Everything you need to know about the wide variety of vegetables available in New Zealand, including: * What to look for in selecting the best quality vegetables * How to prepare * How to keep * Ways to eat * Tips on growing * Nutritional value * Selection of delicious recipes From Artichokes to Watercress – a huge variety of veges, and even herbs and garnishes are covered.” (fishpond.co.nz)

Syndetics book coverThe complete countryman : a user’s guide to traditional skills and lost crafts / Alan Titchmarsh ; special photography by Jonathan Buckley.  ” In a comprehensive and practical guide to the countryside, passionate and hugely knowledgeable countryman Alan Titchmarsh explores the heritage of rural Britain, its landscapes and wildlife, and its traditions, customs, and crafts.  He identifies the best breeds of cattle for meat and milk, explains how best to look after a pig, and shares the secrets of a successful small holding. From keeping chickens to dressing a stick, from dry-stone walling to creating a wildflower meadow, the essence of country life and the best places to encounter it are identified in this celebration of the British countryside and its delights, skills, and treasures. Lavishly illustrated, beautifully produced, and information-packed, this is an inspirational showcase for all that is best about rural Britain and a primer on how to reconnect with its wonderful wise ways.” (amazon.com)

Syndetics book coverOrganic gardening for dummies / by Ann Whitman and the editors of the National Gardening Association.  “For many gardeners, the term “organic” has become synonymous with “safe, ” which makes sense, since avoiding harmful pesticides and chemical fertilizers is a big part of organic gardening. But going organic also involves selecting the right plants and garden locations. This guide offers: Ways to develop soil naturally, use safe fertilizers, manage pests, and battle plant disease without harmful chemicalsSteps to grow an organic lawn, plus hands-on advice for cultivating vegetables, herbs, fruit and nut trees, and flower gardensResources for organic supplies and information Copyright © Libri GmbH. All rights reserved.” (Syndetics summary) 

Syndetics book coverThe new organic gardener / Tim Marshall.  “Organic gardening is much more than simply throwing a bit of mulch onto your garden beds.. Tim Marshall’s passion and love of gardening is present on every page of this book. He not only guides you through the principles of organic gardening, he explains the reasons behind these principles and why they work. Successful organic gardening, Tim fervently argues, is not just a matter of blindly following a set of rules, it is about experimenting, being creative and making discoveries about how plants best thrive and flourish in your unique garden.The New Organic Gardener shows you how to grow a large range of not just vegetables and herbs but also flowers, trees, including fruit trees, shrubs and even a traditional lawn.” (fishpond.co.nz)