From the Bookshelf

“Remodelista: A Manual for the Considered Home” by Julie Carlson et al. (Artisan, $37.50)

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There Are Abundant Reasons To Become A Homeowner, but for a certain type of mentality, this might be the most powerful: you can make it look however you want. You can pull everything out and start from scratch, filling it with only the appliances and furnishings and decorative items that really speak to you; you can spend as long as you want getting every aspect of the look just perfect; then you can change some or all of it again if you decide to. Whether or not it’s a lasting condition, the urge to remodel a space can strike at any time, and when it does, you’ll probably be glad for some advice and guidance from a seasoned veteran of the process, someone who makes her living by dispensing expert redesign wisdom, some kind of … remodelista.

Homeowners who take their renovation enthusiasm online may be familiar with the Remodelista blog already – its corps of contributors has amassed a significant following over the years – but even its ardent followers will find plenty of useful information and guidance in this expansive (nearly 400 pages) tome.

The topics narrow in focus over the course of the book: the first section consists of pictorial tours through a dozen houses decorated in different styles, with notes on how and why the owners went about creating their individual looks and even subsections titled “Steal This Look” that detail how to reproduce specific elements. Subsequent chapters focus on different styles of bathrooms and kitchens (two of the more potentially problematic areas of the remodeled home); a string of design ideas for repurposing and building single pieces and adornments; and “The Remodelista 100” – a collection of the authors’ all-time favorite essential everyday objects. This section has no room for generalities; rather than “a good desk lamp,” they recommend the Anglepoise Type75, explain why, provide a picture and tell readers where to find one online.

That willingness to be specific is one of the book’s strengths: in addition to its use for overall inspiration and instruction, it has considerable utility as a compendium of sources. The authors want readers to have good gear and expert guidance, as evidenced by the closing list of over 100 websites (organized by category with brief descriptions) labeled “Resources We Swear By.”

Since you’re reading Design Oklahoma, the urge to remodel may have already struck. Whether you’re looking for more visual inspiration or one specific crowning touch, finding it might be easier with the help of Remodelista.

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