Makeovers: Room-by-Room Solutions, by Better Homes & Gardens (2013)

Makeovers: Room-by-room SolutionsDo-it-yourself designers will find plenty of inspiration and motivation in this well-organized guide from the team at Better Homes and Gardens. Right off the bat, the editors begin with 50 Ideas to Try Today. These ideas range from intriguing (put a little lamp in your kitchen to instantly create mood, or sort your flatware into mugs for grab and go) to just plain silly (create a pot rack by hanging a branch from your kitchen ceiling), but they serve to whet readers’ creativity before diving into the riches that fill the rest of the book. It’s nicely organized into three sections: Room by Room, House Tours, and Make It Yours. Fully half the book is devoted to the first section, where you’ll find ideas for Living Rooms, Dining Rooms, Entries, Kitchens, Bedrooms, Bathrooms, Work Spaces, and Outdoor Spaces. Each entry begins with suggestions on how to refresh the space in an hour, an afternoon, or a weekend. Before and after pictures offer a chance to see what is possible, and help you see your own space with a new eye. Lots of attention is given to repurposing what you have, from moving a sofa to putting a new shade on a tired lamp. Budget-conscious suggestions abound, and I love the way the editors point out the hidden gems in the photos with Ideas to Steal. It’s like have an interior designer on your shoulder. House Tours takes you through a makeover of an entire home from start to finish, following the same before-and-after photo and commentary as Room by Room. Typical of BHG, the designs are largely cottage and informal in style but there are some ideas for those seeking urban contemporary and modern looks. Make It Yours gives you step-by-step instructions, including photos, on how to complete a transformation, focusing on small projects such as turning a bland bed into a stylish statement of both inviting comfort and personality, or how to “artfully” arrange books and figurines on a cocktail table. Fun!
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