Smart ideas for styling a rental and an ode to the good­ness of wood-grain

NZ House & Garden - - NOTED -


By Joanna Thorn­hill, Cico Books, dis­trib­u­tor Bookreps NZ, $24.99, 192 pages, hard­back Aimed at renters and those do­ing up first homes on a shoe­string, this well priced book is crammed with stylish ideas. What to pair with vin­tage pieces so your place looks chic, not nana-ish. How to add dec­o­ra­tive splashes that are cheap and re­mov­able – hang­ing a drop of wall­pa­per from a coathanger, for ex­am­ple. Easy DIY projects (smarten­ing up drawer fronts with wall­pa­per, cre­at­ing a dis­play unit from old gift boxes) in­clude cor­ner­cut­ting tips for novices. There are ideas for kitchens and bath­rooms, the trick­i­est spa­ces for renters to im­prove – an old metal shelv­ing unit given a vivid paint job draws the eye away from a bath­room’s grungier bits. Rosemary Barraclough is NZ House & Gar­den’s as­so­ciate ed­i­tor


By Mark and Sally Bai­ley, Ry­land Peters & Small, dis­trib­u­tor Bookreps NZ, $49.99, 160 pages, hard­back

Wood is es­sen­tial for cre­at­ing a home that feels har­mo­nious, say the au­thors, who ex­plore ways of adding wood to your decor, then pro­file 12 tim­ber-rich homes from an­cient UK farm­houses to new Scan­di­na­vian builds. My favourites: a Dan­ish ar­chi­tect’s week­ender that’s curved like the prow of a Vik­ing ship and an Ice­landic home that beau­ti­fully blends wood-grain with murky blues and greens. Most in­cred­i­ble item: a Ro­ma­nian bath crafted from a gnarly old wooden dough trough. If an all-wood home is not for you, the au­thors ad­vo­cate at least choos­ing wood over plas­tic for ev­ery­day items – a wooden scrub­bing brush is much nicer to hold, they say. Rosemary Barraclough

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