I'll admit it, when I do watch television I'm kind of an HGTV network junkie. I watch "House Hunters" and "House Hunters International" as well as "Love It or List It" and the occasional "Design Star." I am simply fascinated by what these professional designers can do with even the most minimal budgets. Typically I'm floored by the transformations from before to after.
Despite my interest I'm totally clueless when it comes to furnishing and decorating my own home. In addition I tend to have little or no budget to spend on this endeavor. This fact usually doesn't stop me from checking out the latest decorating books or back issues of magazines from the library like "Country Living" or "Better Homes and Gardens" for some inspiration that never goes anywhere -- until perhaps now. CCPL has recently acquired a decorating guide aimed at the budget minded do-it-yourselfer called "Young House Love: 243 ways to paint, craft, update, & show your home some love" by Sherry and John Petersik. Designed for younger, first-time decorators (a much younger demographic than my own), what I like about this book is that the Petersiks are regular people with a limited budget. We as readers get to tag along with them step-by-step as they transform their own home with affordable, do-able projects. The organization of the book is fresh and fun with clever titles for chapters such as "Chill" for living rooms and "Nosh" for dining rooms. They also use symbols to indicate the relative cost of a project, amount of labor, and a realistic amount of time it will take to complete. I highly recommend this book as a good starting off point or as a way to get some fresh, practical ideas for rejuvenating your home.
Recommended by Cheryl Finnan