Time to Freshen Up

live happy coverI have a confession to make, when the mood to have a lazy evening or Sunday afternoon strikes, invariably the television will end up on one of the home improvement channels.  Whether it is building a new deck, renovating a heritage property, updating a beachfront cottage or transforming a fixer upper into a chic modern manor, these programs have my rapt attention.  The fascination with home renovation has made celebrities out of their home renovator or house flipper hosts, many creating business empires out of their reno skills .

Shelter is a basic of survival but the urge to express yourself or your culture through your dwelling is universal and diverse, so it doesn’t matter if your home is a yurt, a junk, a cave or a castle, fixing it up and making it your own satisfies the urge to nest. The shelves are full of materials to help you do almost anything, from building your own home or re-creating the one you already have. There are books on practical subjects, like adding a bathroom, updating a basement or adding storage, but my favourite are the dream books where you can flip through the pages imagining what it would be like to live in those inspired creations. I grabbed some of the newest books off the shelves that are a great blend of ideas and practical tips.

one-day room makeovers coverCanadian/American house flipping couple Dave and Kortney Wilson have released a new book called Live Happy: The Best Ways to make your House a Home. The volume is full of inexpensive reno and re-decorating projects that will make any home more inviting and more functional. The Wilson’s philosophy is that a home should be a refuge and needs to work for your family, pets and occasional guest so there are a multitude of great suggestions to deal with any decorating dilemma.

For someone who is attracted to a minimalism but doesn’t want to sacrifice substance for style, designer Natalie Walton’s This is Home: the art of simple living acts a great starter. The book is full of gorgeous photographs that illustrate Walton’s premise and showcase the interiors of fifteen homes throughout the world who have discovered the joy of living with less.

If you are feeling practical and are ready to make a change then One-Day Room Makeovers: how to get the designer look for less with three easy steps by Martin Amado might be your go-to guide. Design expert Amado helps you take a fresh look at the things you already own and how to use them in refreshing your home. Explaining how to work with colour, style in layers and pick the right accessories for your new look, Amado demystifies the rules behind good design and book is full of great illustrations to keep you inspired.

homebody coverWhitney Leigh Morris of the Tiny Canal Cottage has written a book that shows you don’t need a lot or room or a lot of money to have a beautiful home. Her Small Space Style: because you don’t need to live large to live beautifully turns tiny spaces into little masterpieces. Using each inch to its maximum and frequently making items multi purpose, Leigh Morris understands the appeal of light and airy spaces, mixed with cozy accessories that give a personal charm to any room.

If you don’t know where to start or don’t think you have a style then Donna Garlough’s Your Home, your style: how to find your look & create rooms you love is a good place to start. Bored of off-white walls? Try Hello Color: 25 bright ideas for DIY décor by Rachel Mae Smith . Finally, there is Joanna Gaines’ Homebody: a guide to creating spaces you never want to leave. Gaines and her husband Chip are the gurus of the reno movement and her relaxed style, lovely photographs and warm personality shine throughout  in this book.

Lori Kauzlarick- www.tbpl.ca. If you have a comment about today’s column, we would love to hear from you. Please comment below!

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