Wednesday, October 15, 2008
by Bethanne Patrick -- Publishers Weekly, 10/13/2008
The Clean Team
The dirty secret behind home remodeling and decorating? Cleaning and organizing still need to be done. Fortunately, there are new books to help with those endless tasks.
First, the clutter. Everything has to go somewhere before you can actually clean, so take a look at The Clutter Clinic: Organize Your Home in Seven Days by Romaine Lowery, from Weidenfeld & Nicolson (Sept.). Touted as a “complete clinic,” this book provides practical and colorfully illustrated guides to restoring order in each room of the house, with a helpful guide to retailers who can help.
Second, the dirt. Who better to help you deal with it than Thelma Meyer, a woman who raised nine children in Iowa—and always kept her house clean? Her daughter Monica took inspiration from her mother when she created the “Mrs. Meyer's Clean Day” household products. Now, mother and daughter have teamed up to publish Mrs. Meyer's Clean Home: No-Nonsense Advice That Will Inspire You to Clean Like the Dickens (Mar. 2009) from Wellness Central.
Senior editor Natalie Kaire says, “Millions love the Meyer's products, which dominate the environment-friendly cleaning market. There is an uptick in environmentally focused publishing, and titles that focus on cleaning tend to do well.”
Green Is the Word
“One word: green,” says Taunton's Chapman. “If in previous years the home improvement/home decorating list has been dominated by books on organizing and storage,” he says, “this year we are seeing green coming into its own—with books on everything from solar power and green building to green cleaning and living an earth-friendly life.” Chapman also believes that while some DIY projects, like large-scale kitchen and bath makeovers, have been sidelined by the economy, “Homeowners are looking to replace windows, insulate and weatherize, which ties in to the green surge. The biggest trend in this segment is projects that save money and add value to the home.”
Taunton's big title this season in this category is a perennial bestseller: The Not So Big House: A Blueprint for the Way We Really Live 10th Anniversary Edition by Sarah Susanka with Kira Obolensky (Sept.). Susanka's manifesto of scaled-down home architecture and design has a new cover, new introduction and a new chapter that highlights three new “Not So Big” houses in Minnesota, North Carolina and Washington State.
When it comes to things green, Quadrille Publishing offers Urban Eco Chic (Sept.) by noted eco-designer Oliver Heath, who wants to “create energy-efficient homes that are beautifully designed” and combine elements of “vintage, nature and technology.” In keeping with that goal, the book is printed with vegetable-based inks on FSC-certified paper and recyclable laminate. Creative Homeowner has Natural Style: Decorating with an Earth-Friendly Point of View by Janet Sobesky (Oct.), in its Green House line.
Another design friendly “green” title is Clarkson Potter's Dreaming Green: Eco-Fabulous Homes Designed to Inspire by Lisa Sharkey and Paul Gleicher (Nov.). According to editorial director Doris Cooper, it's “the very first, high-end book that shows extraordinary homes that marry elegance and environmentalism.”
Easier Being Green
Amacom puts the emphasis squarely on the homeowner in its November release Your Eco-Friendly Home: Buying, Building, or Remodeling Green by real-estate expert Sid Davis. This book addresses practical considerations of how to find and finance eco-friendly real estate as well as use environmentally sound materials and techniques to make homes more efficient—even how to take advantage of tax credits available to those who “build green.”
Meanwhile, The Carbon-Free Home: 36 Remodeling Projects to Help Kick the Fossil-Fuel Habit by Stephen and Rebekah Hren from Chelsea Green (July) brings a tighter focus and a more hands-on approach to green real estate. Their ideas range from simple (growing potatoes in a barrel) to labor-intensive (installing a green roof), and they give detailed, clear instructions for each project, along with a chapter on their philosophy of home energy use that explains how each of these remodeling projects contributes to a greener, healthier home.
Creative Homeowner also offers The Little Green Book: 365 Ways to Love the Planet by Joseph Provey (Sept.), filled with nontechnical, easy ways to be greener at home, at work and at play. Similarly, National Geographic's True Green Kids: 100 Things You Can Do to Save the Planet by Kim McKay and Jenny Bonnin (Sept.), the third in a popular series (True Green Home and True Green @ Work were the first two titles). So many of the suggestions in the book, from reducing shower times to four minutes per family member to using all-natural cleaning products, will help younger home residents understand the importance of green living.
Two Big Hitters
Two of this season's biggest home/décor books may hit home runs because of magazine branding. House Beautiful: The Home Book is a November titles from Hearst/Sterling, and Hearst Books v-p and publisher Jacqueline Deval notes, “We've found great success over the past few years with our House Beautiful titles, despite the softer marketplace, largely because of our variety of formats, affordable price points and the strength of this particular magazine brand, which has been doing exceptionally well at the newsstand—that success naturally has a halo effect over our book business.”
The book is meant to become the home owner's bible on interior design, and the book's editor, Marisa Bulzone, says, “The practical advice extends so far as to how to choose a good umbrella stand.”
Home as sanctuary is, of course, behind Extreme Makeover: Home Edition on ABC, starring Ty Pennington. Pennington's new book is Good Design Can Change Your Life: Beautiful Rooms, Inspiring Stories. (The initial print run of 50,000 was bumped up to 150,000 in anticipation of a September appearance by Ty on Oprah.) Pennington thinks that no matter what the market is like, “What people need to initiate change is inspiration.”
Quadrille Publishing's Courtney McLaughlin agrees with both Chapman and Singletary. “Our response is books that suggest numerous ways to save money while improving the home. After all, we are spending more time in our homes now that the prices of fueling up and eating out have skyrocketed, and people still want to make their homes more comfortable and pleasant.” Since not every green consumer is ready for a renovation or even new furniture, Quadrille's The Little Book of Thrifty Fixes for the Home by Bridget Bodoano (Aug.) is meant to offer ideas for “turning the home into a sanctuary of sustainable style” through reclamation, reassessment and recycling (for example, instead of painting or wallpapering a room, hang maps).
A blunter approach is taken in Mariposa Publishing's Screw It! I'll Be My Own Contractor by William A. Trimble (Sept.). Trimble, an award-winning builder/contractor, recommends spending money on the things that can be seen, since things like kitchen and bath remodels may be expensive, but can result in an over 100% return on investment.
Still, some experts believe that there needn't be a sacrifice of beauty for budget. Design expert Barbara Flanagan's new book Flanagan's Smart Home: 98 Essentials for Starting Out, Starting Over, Scaling Back (Nov.) is Workman's lead fall contribution to the home pack. Flanagan selects only the right stuff for every household function from sleeping to cooking to cleaning. Her fiercely edited list includes not just the items themselves but information about which types are best: for example, she recommends using a French press as a coffeemaker since it not only brews excellent coffee but can be stored out of sight when not in use.
Says Workman editor-in-chief Susie Bolotin: “We all know that we have to stop throwing so many things away.... At the same time, we want our homes to be as stylish as our clothes. So how do we tackle that disjunction between style, which implies trend and change and disposability, and function and permanence? Flanagan's Smart Home...is a book based on the notion that if we shop wisely, we can make choices we won't regret... choices we can live with for decades.... I love the idea that we can lead totally comfortable lives—no deprivation needed—with only 98 things in our homes.”
The Design's the Thing
Any apartment dweller knows that even if every item you own is exquisite, your space can still look dull or cramped if it's not well thought out. Chronicle comes to the rescue with Apartment Therapy Presents: Real Homes Real People, Hundreds of Real Design Solutions by Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan with Jill Slater and Janel Laban (June). “We've found that more and more people are looking to decorate on the cheap,” says Christina Loff, lifestyle publicist, “which is why we decided to bring out this title. It offers alternative ways to work with the space and budget constraints.”
Even those with larger budgets may have space constraints, especially when it comes to rooms with a purpose. Says Cooper at Clarkson Potter, “A strong trend is in books that focus on helping people create the perfect room for their passions.” To that end, CP is offering The Luxury Bathroom: Extraordinary Spaces from the Simple to the Extravagant by Samantha Nestor (Aug.), perhaps the ultimate guide to the ultimate room with a purpose.
“Books for a targeted and high-end audience continue to have great front list and backlist lives,” Cooper adds, mentioning Equestrian Style: Home Design, Couture, and Collections from the Eclectic to the Elegant by Vicky Moon (Sept.) and The Divine Home: Living with Spiritual Objects by Peter Vitale (Oct.) as two higher-priced entries that are expected to do well.
An October title from the Taunton Press will be of interest to anyone attempting to make sense of classic rooms. Roots of Home: Our Journey to a New Old House by Russell Versaci (Oct.) traces the development of today's traditional homes to their earliest predecessors, whether New England colonials or French Creole cottages. Versaci has been designing new houses that look like old houses for more than 30 years, and his explanations of what works from each of the 13 classic house forms he discusses will help homeowners understand what appeals to them and why.
The Designer's the Thing
Of course, in the decorating category, books with personalities behind them also do well. Clarkson Potter released Darryl Carter's The New Traditional: Reinvent-Balance-Define Your Home in August, a must-have for fans of the designer whose line for Thomasville has brought him wide attention.
Another “it” designer with a book from Clarkson Potter is Celerie Kemble. Her To Your Taste: Creating Modern Rooms with a Traditional Twist (Nov.) shows readers what's beautiful about the traditional, but also help them to feel comfortable breaking the rules in order to create spaces that are both original and livable.
In October, Broadway Books is releasing A Passion for Blue and White by tastemaker and decorator Carolyne Roehm, which showcases Roehm's take on two “seemingly everyday colors.” From French blue to navy and from stark white to cream, the pairing is shown in living rooms, bathrooms, tabletops and even gardens.
Norton Books for Architects and Designers' Michael Taylor: Interior Design by Stephen M. Salny (Jan.) is a tribute to the famed designer, called “the James Dean of interior design” by Diana Vreeland. Taylor's casual/formal, antique/rustic “California Look” aesthetic can be seen in places ranging from his own Sea Cliff home and office to a villa for a Saudi Arabian sheikh and the resort Auberge du Soleil in Napa Valley
Women in Charge
Despite ideas and inspiration from books, the remodeling market remains slow, continuing its gradual decline since 2005. David Seiders, chief economist for the National Association of Home Builders, sees a light at the end of the tunnel: “We expect remodeling to remain generally flat in 2009 followed by strong growth due to home maintenance needs.”
However, the NAHB also knows that market demographics have shifted: according to a recent Harvard University study, women control 91% of home buying and remodeling decisions. That's why the NAHB's BuilderBooks imprint recently released Trillion Dollar Women: Use Your Power to Make Buying and Remodeling Decisions by Tara-Nicholle Nelson. Says Sandy Dunn, first vice president of NAHB and a builder from Point Pleasant, W.Va., “Builders recognize that women have more buying power than ever.... This new book provides building professionals with unmatched insight into this important segment of the buying population.”
Considering that all of the current trends, from green living and great design to frugal DIY, are what modern women attend to, perhaps this NAHB angle is a way out of the home/décor publishing market slump: appeal to the female demographic.
Monday, October 13, 2008
The 2nd Annual Fall Jersey Shore Home Show features the finest home related exhibitors from throughout Monmouth & Ocean Counties who'll help you create the home you have always wanted. This Fall show allows time for you to begin planning that special home project and possibly have it completed by the holidays.
Build It Better
Whether you're in need of completing some nagging home maintenance, embarking on a remodeling project or planning on building the custom home you've always dreamed of. You'll find it here at the Jersey Shore Fall Home Show. Meet the pros, get new ideas, learn about the hot new products and services all in one place while having fun and saving time.
Visit the Home Maintenance Club display to enter for a one year FREE membership then stop at the Mark of Excellence Remodeling booth to receive your FREE Path to Excellence consumer guide.
See You At The Show!
Conveniently located in Monmouth County
The Jersey Shore Home Show is located at Brookdale Community College 765 Newman Springs Road, Lincroft, NJ 07738
Hours and Admission
Friday: 4 pm - 9 pm
Saturday: 11 am - 9 pm
Sunday: 11 am - 5 pm
Kids (12-17): $4.00
Children (11 and under): FREE
Check your newspaper for any additional discounts and promotions
Special appearance: Dr. Lori's - Hate Art & Antiques Comedy Tour
Sunday, October 19th at Fall Jersey Shore Home Show from 11:30 to 4:00 on Sunday.
Hate art and antiques? Tired of all those silly stories you see on TV antique shows about pieces of junk? Don’t believe news reports about million dollar prices for items found behind a picture frame? Know a family member who buys antiques that they like and you think their stuff is just plain ugly?
Attend Dr. Lori’s “Hate Art & Antiques?” comedy tour for one day only on Sunday October 19th and laugh with your friend or spouse about their “collection of clutter”.
As seen on Comedy Central’s “The Daily Show with Jon Stewart”, nationally known and funny art and antiques appraiser, syndicated columnist and award winning TV personality Dr. Lori will hold no punches as she reveals lies and myths about art and antiques. She will also discuss your friend or spouse’s flea market addictions as she makes you laugh about your junk.
Dr. Lori says, “You’ll laugh out loud while learning about antiques, your friends and even your spouse at my event! I’m not an antique dealer, reseller, or affiliated with any auction house and my evaluations of antiques are straightforward and honest. I will not hesitate to tell your friend or spouse that their compulsion for buying and saving items is a sickness, just adding to the clutter.”
Wednesday, October 1, 2008
Homeowners opt for more affordable updates
By Christa Buchanan C & G Staff Writer
With the state of the current economy, home repairs and maintenance are one-upping most larger remodeling projects.
“Most people are just trying to keep their home in its current condition, so it’s mostly just upgrades. Literally, this summer has been the biggest hodgepodge of jobs,” said Blake Wasilkowski, owner of a construction company.
Basically, Wasilkowski said, preserving both the home and its value is the current trend among homeowners.
“Right now, people are worried about their home’s value, and they’re doing more basic home maintenance projects — repair work such as new concrete steps, replacing porches and drives, installing more energy-efficient windows, new siding … new roofs are big,” said remodeler, Mat Vivona Jr.
Wasilkowski agrees that roofs are a biggie.
“I’m seeing more roofs than anything, because people realize that if it leaks it will ruin the house,” said Wasilkowski, citing water damage to ceilings and drywall, and possible mold issues as costly consequences to a leaky roof.
To help maintain their home’s value, said Paul Schiller, a home improvement sales representative, a lot of homeowners are improving their home’s outdoor aesthetics.
“Right now a lot of people are having new siding, roofs and windows installed. They’re changing the façade, the color, modernizing windows … making sure the roof is good for winter,” said Schiller, adding that putting in insulation with a higher R-value — the measure of the insulation’s efficiency — is an added benefit of installing new siding, as it can help save money in energy costs.
“If you want to save on energy, put in new insulation … (and) replacement windows,” said Vivona, adding that there’s a new energy-efficient replacement window out that is “virtually maintenance-free. It’s vinyl on the outside and has a gorgeous oak interior — it’s just beautiful.”
That’s not to say people aren’t aesthetically improving their home’s interior — they are, just differently than in the past.
“In this economy, things like room additions are a necessity — a son or daughter moves back or parents move in — so we’re seeing a lot of in-law suites. … Basements are a rarity right now — because it’s not considered living space, it’s not the best return for the money,” said Vivona. “We’re still seeing some second-story additions, just not as much as we used to.”
For those planning on staying in their homes, said Vivona, kitchen and bath renovations still top the list of updates, especially before the holidays.
“In the fall, the rush is on for kitchen and bath renovations. People usually want to do the kitchen before the holidays,” said Schiller.
New cabinets and solid surface countertops — especially the more affordable and durable acrylic countertops — are the most common kitchen updates, said Vivona, who noted that it’s actually more affordable to install new cabinets rather than refinish old ones.
As for bathroom renovations, Schiller said many homeowners are opting to enlarge their current space.
“The average bathroom is small, only about 5 by 8. Often, there’s a closet behind the bath and we can make the tub area bigger, so the bath is more spacious,” said Schiller, adding that people seem to be gravitating toward “larger tiles and more of a white look.”
Another trend that has resulted from the down economy is that more people are attempting to do various projects themselves, which isn’t necessarily a good thing, said Wasilkowski.
“A lot of homeowners are painting and doing the demo work. I’ve ran into problems where people think they can do the whole job, and then someone realizes, usually the wife, it’s beyond their grasp — sometimes they do more harm than good,” said Wasilkowski, who recommends homeowners call a pro, and check their references, before they do anything.