Just as no less than the research sages at Harvard’s Joint Center for House Studies predict that spending on home improvement will be on an upward track, the latest tome from money-smart architecture guru Duo Dickinson lands on our desk. Suddenly, those dreams of a new bathroom and renovated kitchen seem within our reach.
Staying Put: Remodel Your House to Get the Home You Want ($24, The Taunton Press, 2011) is an everyman’s guide to innovative, thoughtful renovations that make the most of what you’ve got. Need storage? Dickinson turns to “the beauty of built-ins” in a fine example of how a small space can be transformed into an open oasis, complete with bookcases and a window seat. Not enough counter space in the kitchen? Consider expanding your countertop into the living area by removing a portion of the wall. Want to bring the outside in? How about eliminating the barrier between your porch and home by taking out the wall and allowing abundant sunlight into your kitchen, dining room, or living room.
Dickinson, a residential architect known as an individualist within the profession, has been practicing for more than 30 years and has more than 600 projects across the country to his credit. He is currently Money magazine’s contributing writer for home design, architecture critic for the New Haven Register, and writes about home design for New Haven magazine. Combine his writing chops with his architectural know-how and creativity and you get an easy-to-read book chockfull of good ideas.
Staying Put features more than 60 projects illustrated with some 300 photographs. Whether it’s a growing family that needs more space, or an empty-nest couple looking for a “fresh” start, Dickinson has it covered. His passion for visually appealing home improvement, while staying on a budget, results in basic strategies that will allow you to turn the house you have into the house you love.