Indoor plants have gotten a bad rap and are often associated with dusty and dowdy African violets, languishing philodendrons, and bloom-free orchids. No longer! It’s time for plant lovers to dust off their houseplants, update their image, and discover just how exciting, trendy, and crucial plants can be in the home.
The Unexpected Houseplant, by renowned plant authority Tovah Martin, isn’t your typical houseplant book. Martin’s approach is revolutionary – picture brilliant spring bulbs by the bed, lush perennials brought in from the garden, quirky succulents in the kitchen, even flowering vines and small trees growing beside an easy chair. Along with loads of visual inspiration, readers will learn how to make unusual selections, where to best position plants in the home, and valuable tips on watering, feeding, grooming, pruning, and troubleshooting, season by season.
Martin also brings an evangelist’s zeal to the task of convincing homeowners that indoor plants aren’t just a luxury – they’re a necessity. In addition to the design flair they add to a home, houseplants clean indoor air, which can be up to ten times more polluted than outdoor air. Comprehensive, up-to-the-minute, and illustrated with gorgeous photography by Kindra Clineff , The Unexpected Houseplant is for beginners, green thumbs, decorators, and anyone who wants to infuse a bit of surprising green into their décor.
Making a home is a lifelong pursuit and it starts with your very first place. Good Bones, Great Pieces shows you how to make the best choices for a comfortable and welcoming home.
Suzanne and Lauren McGrath, a mother-daughter design team, operate the popular blog Good Bones, Great Pieces. At the core of their philosophy is the belief that every home should have seven essential pieces that can live in almost any room and will always be stylish. The authors explain how to place iconic items of furniture like the love seat and the dresser and rotate them throughout the home as the style or need changes.
Illustrated with photographs of homes and apartments that the McGraths have designed as well as apartments by famous designers, this book is a wonderful resource, whether you are starting out with your first apartment or rethinking the design of your home. (description from publisher)
In celebration of Earth Day this month, below are a sampling of books that focus on different ways that you can contribute to a green planet right in your own home! These books, along with countless others in the library, can help you make your home and your life more environmentally friendly.
The simple “green manual,” Easy Green Living is based on the author’s TV series dealing with green home and garden care issues. The author provides basic tips to make healthy living affordable and not time consuming. By not overwhelming the reader with too many suggestions, Loux breaks down and gives examples of small daily differences that you can make to be more environmentally friendly and peppers each chapter with a “5 Step List” of products that can be easily found in your home.
Super Natural Home by Beth Greer is a fantastic resource for the environmentally conscious family with its easy to use format with helpful quizzes that identify a home’s “toxic hot zones.” Chapters include tips on healthy tap water, indoor air quality and safer alternatives to household cleaners.
Green Goes with Everything Transform your home into a “safe sanctuary” free of harsh chemicals with this book by author Sloan Barnett. The author advises on the best ways to make healthy and safe choices for your family. Topics featured in the book include healthy food preparation, cleaning solutions and safe water tips.
Green Housekeeping is an extensive resource by Ellen Sandbeck and includes chapters such as: clearing clutter and organizing your belongings in an environmentally sound way and learning to live without some toxins that could be found in homes, as a few examples. Green Housekeeping contains numerous ancedotes that are authoritative and useful to help families save money and time – something we all can use!
This is the subtitle of Competability by Amy Shojai. She notes that there has always been much less research about cats and even less about the relationships of cats and dogs living in the same household.
She traces the integration of dogs (first) then cats into human families and how far domestication has gone in each species. Their senses affect their behavior; a fascinating chapter details how the dog’s extreme sense of smell and a cat’s powerful hearing affect how they relate to each other.
She also explains how an action such as rolling over is interpreted completely different by a cat and a dog. (Cats roll over to fight and dogs roll over in submission). Or tail wagging: “The dog approaching with a friendly wag is interpreted by the cat to be ready to attack; and the dog seeing the waving feline tail thinks it’s an invitation to approach and can’t understand why Kitty breaks the rules and slaps his nose.”
This book helps to bridge the communication gap – the largest being between humans and the canine/feline world…
Ahhh, Spring! It’s a fresh start for everything — including your home! April just happens to be National Decorating Month, so if you’re looking for some ideas to update your lovely abode, stop by the library and check out what we have to offer. These books have beautiful photographs and offer simple (and inexpensive) solutions to your decorating dilemnas. You know, all you need is a new coat of paint or a change of pillows on your couch! Well, maybe a little bit more.
For more detailed ideas, here are some great resources for some creative new home decorating ideas:
HGTV Before & After Decorating
Better Homes and Gardens Beautiful Baths
Style by Nature: Beautify Your Home with Pattern, Color and Texture by Rebecca Jerdee
Can’t Fail Room Makeovers by Lucianna Samu
The Nest Home Design Handbook by Carley Roney