Thursday, May 5, 2011

    Book review: Money-wise Makeovers by Jean Nayer

    I believe that living in a home that is very functional for your lifestyle and where you are surrounded by the things you love really is one of the best gifts you can give to yourself. While it may be tempting to want to move into a ready-made and finished home, I often feel that being creative and making (small) changes to your current space often makes it more personal and suited to your own individual needs. In her new book takes you step by step through several ideas and small improvements to transform each room in your home. From smaller furniture and painting projects to minor renovations that will have a big impact on the space, each with time-lines, cost saving and technical tips along the way.

    Far too often in our instant gratification obsessed society, we are so quick to quickly discard something and move onto the next thing at the first hint of wearing down or the arrival of something new and exciting. It can sometimes seem that long gone are the days of working with what you have, repairing or maintaining our possessions and retro-fitting or reinventing an item to make it into something new. If our current economic situation has taught us anything, it is that these notions are not sustainable or realistic. When it comes to housing, more often than not, a few small tweaks or simple renovations can have a dramatic effect on how you live in a space.

    As a current renter, I was initially not sure whether this book would really have any relevant projects for my situation, however, I was impressed and inspired by all the very achievable projects and small changes that would definitely improve the space without ever reaching for a sledge hammer.

    Jean's thoughtful guide takes you step by step through several case studies, showing Before and After projects and breaking it down by cost, time and the reasons behind all their decisions. I loved this honest, open doors approach and all the source guides that were provided. It was like going behind the scenes of your favourite TV makeover show.

    Whether you've just moved into a new space that you need to personalize, have outgrown your current situation or are planning to move and need to stage your space for selling, this is a fantastic guide on how get the biggest bang for your buck. I definitely would recommend this to anyone with a new space, or looking for inspiration for a summer project.

    * Jean also has another title, soon to be released which I'm really looking forward to - . Based on the notion of creating an atmosphere of comfort and harmony with nature by applying ancient Eastern wisdom to modern decor to create a home that not only looks good but makes you feel happy. I'm quite intrigued...

    {All photos from }



    Thank you for this! You are my eyes and ears for the interior design world. Definitely need this because Mr. Branflake has huge dreams about our next place and I cannot even begin to fathom how we would begin.


    Oh my goodness —that kitchen! Great spaces...

    Hope you are having a lovely day so far, xo


    DB - well have to say, this book has some really good, practical ideas, so it may be a good one to start with!

    SK - isn't it lovely - I am convinced my cooking would taste far more delicious in this kitchen ;)

    design elements said...

    the book has really good ideas. it reminds me a little of Jeffrey Bilhuber Design Basics - a good book to start with...Happy Weekend!