Best Books 2011: Do It Yourself

ljx111201webBBdiy3 Best Books 2011: Do It Yourself

Selected by Karen Ellis, Taylor P.L., TX

Backyard Cottages & Gazebos: Fresh Ideas for Outdoor Living. Oxmoor House, dist. by Hachette. (Sunset Outdoor Design Guide). ISBN 9780376013866. pap. $19.95.
Covering a wide range of outdoor structures, this lovely book illustrates a variety of possibilities. Each section focuses on a general type, from guest houses to simple tool sheds. The emphasis is on inspiration, but there are key design, material, and construction considerations throughout.

The Complete Photo Guide to Window Treatments. 2d ed. Creative Pub: Quayside. ISBN 9781589236073. pap. $24.99.
Every library needs a good book on curtains, drapes, and window treatments. For a comprehensive guide to styles and construction, look no further. Each window treatment here features fabric recommendations and in-depth step-by-step instructions. (LJ 7/11)

Cory, Steve. Ultimate Guide: Porches. Creative Homeowner. ISBN 9781580114912. pap. $16.95.
This manual emphasizes construction techniques with a generous number of illustrations to show detail. Cory brings his considerable experience to bear. While some projects may be repeats from earlier publications, the instructions are solid. (LJ 8/11)

Do It Yourself Kitchens: Stunning Spaces on a Shoestring Budget. Wiley. ISBN 9781118031629. pap. $19.99.
While this is not an in-depth how-to for kitchens, many kitchen renovations are presented here in glamorous detail. Organized by cost of the work, the text brims with creativity and innovation, and it outlines selected smaller projects. (LJ 11/1/11)

Family Handyman Eds. Refresh Your Home: 500 Simple Projects and Tips To Save Money, Update, and Renovate. Reader’s Digest, dist. by Penguin. ISBN 9781606522011. pap. $16.95.
With gadgets, tips, and projects, this book contains a wealth of home fixes delightfully seasoned with humor. From appliance purchase to tool use, this is a friendly collection of household how-tos and how-not-tos. Refreshing and useful. (LJ 5/1/11)

Gleason, Chris. Art of the Chicken Coop: A Fun and Essential Guide to Housing Your Peeps. Fox Chapel. ISBN 9781565235427. pap. $19.95.
Got an urban flock? Craft some stylish housing for your backyard chickens with this specialized construction guide. Included are seven coop designs, with great instructions and clear illustrations for each step. (LJ 9/15/11)

Hughes, Amy R. This Old House Salvage-Style Projects: 22 Ideas for Turning Old House Parts into New Treasures for Your Home. Oxmoor House, dist. by Hachette. ISBN 9780848735401. pap. $16.95.
What is an antiquer to do with those old bits and architectural salvage? This concise, charming little book showcases 22 easy projects well within most skill levels. From storage to garden features, each project is classified by cost, materials needed, and ease of construction.

Santos, Brian. Painting and Wallpapering Secrets from Brian Santos, the Wall Wizard. Wiley. ISBN 9780470593608. pap. $21.99.
This is one of the most useful books on wall treatments of the year, combining nitty-gritty advice with realistic tool and technique suggestions. The insider tricks and tips are invaluable and go a long way toward helping readers achieve the finished look they want. (LJ 6/15/11)

This Old House Easy Upgrades: Kitchens. Oxmoor House, dist. by Hachette. ISBN 9780848734725. pap. $22.95.
This excellent renovation book shares layouts, design considerations, and project tips. While more inspiration than construction guide, it showcases actual kitchen renovations that minimize the intimidation factor of overhauls. Every chapter is full of details, advice, and gorgeous photos.

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