Monday, May 24, 2010

Who's a good boy? You are!

Although my mind and creative spirit are almost all design, all the time, I have to say that my heart belongs to my puppy. Dax, my one-eared dog, is probably the most awesome dog in the world... although I know that any dog owner reading this will probably disagree!

When we think of our homes, it's not just our wallpaper and paint choices or our furniture that makes us smile. It's the thought of our pets running to the door to greet us as we walk in. "Home is where the heart is" might as well be "home is where your dog is."

But just because you've got a furry baby of your own doesn't mean you can't have a stylish pad! (It just means you've got to invest in more lint rollers!) Desire to Inspire has a recurring column on Mondays called "Pets on Furniture" and it's pretty self-explanatory. Readers submit pictures of their widdle bebehs posed on their coolest furniture finds. A puppy in an Eames? A kitten on a Saarinen? Totally adorbs.

They're so godamnned cute you won't even be tempted to yell "Hey! OFF!" Better to let sleeping dogs lie -- especially if they're sleeping on equally handsome pieces.

Via Desire to Inspire.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Shaken n' Stirred Design

I'm a lady who enjoys a cocktail (or two) (or thee) (I don't have I problem, I can stop at any time). Whether I'm hosting a ladies' night at my place, or just unwinding in front of the TiVo, there's nothing like hearing the ice clink against the glass as I sip my mojito.

As you know, just as I appreciate a stiff drink, I appreciate innovative design as well. When designers put a new spin on a houseware staple, the results can be more efficient and, well, cooler.

This ice cube tray, from Joseph Joseph and featured on Dornob, is a perfect example. Instead of twisting and bending the tray like you do with your old-school ones, you pull a lil' lever on the underside and POP! Out comes a perfect cube. No more running hot water over the tray, no more banging it on the side of the sink, no more turning it upside-down just to have them all fall out onto the floor.

You'll save time and aggravation while looking like a brilliant hostess as you mix drinks for your friends. They may even reconsider holding that intervention for you...

Via Dornob.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

They're fake, and they're spectacular

All right, I know the famous line from Seinfeld is, "They're real and they're spectacular," but interior design is a little different than, ahem, surgical enhancements. When it comes to our bodies, keeping it real is the cost-effective alternative. But in design, "real" means "authentic designer pieces." That is to say, "real" = "expensive."

But how can you keep on trend without maxing out your already overused credit cards? After all, that Chippendale chair looks great -- but if you're living in a cardboard box, it's going to spoil the effect.

Copy Cat Chic is an amazing website where Reichel B. picks out high end pieces and finds their cheap-o counterparts. The original piece can either be something trendy, like zig-zag rugs, or iconic, like Eames chairs.

Let's take a look at her latest find:

Williams Sonoma Home's Hampstead Mirror
= $446.25

Ballard Design's Greek Key Mirror
= $269

That's a 40% savings for a piece that practically the same, and unless your friends are label whores, no one's gonna know the difference. And with all that cash left over, you can always send some my way as a thank-you for pointing out this awesome site.

Friday, May 14, 2010

ALTER Alert: Franken-rugs

It's alive! ALIVE! Bwa ha ha ha haaa!

Okay, it's not really alive. It's a rug.

But like Dr. Frankenstein's famous creation, these rugs are sewn-together "mash-ups" that are completely unique. And unlike Frankenstein's monster, you don't need the electricity from a lightning strike to make one.

This easy DIY project helps you create a custom-sized rug whereever you need it. Simply take several smaller rugs (flat-woven rugs work best for this project) and sew them together. You could go for a seamless look, using matching rugs and matching thread, or, like the picture below, matching rugs with contrasting thread that creates s simple geometric pattern.

From Apartment Therapy: Chicago

Or you could go completely mad! Mad, I tell you! Mad! Bwa ha ha ha haaa!

Uh, sorry. I just really like that mad scientist evil laugh.

Anyway, you can also sew together mismatched rugs, bringing in different colors and patterns. Your finished product doesn't even have to be a rectangle, as shown by this rug, which was featured on CasaSugar (go to the link for more pics).

It's the best kind of DIY project: easy, cheap, and allows for infinite kinds of customization. You'll also be in good company. After all, Dr. Frankenstein was kind of the ultimate do-it-yourself-er.

Via CasaSugar and Apartment Therapy: Chicago.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

B&A: Judging panels

Wood paneling gets a pretty bad rap, and deservedly so. It calls to mind tacky family rooms and dens from the 70s and 80s, the kind with shag carpet and an avocado-and-orange color scheme. There's also something kind of creepy and porn-y about it. When I think about a dude who lives in a home with wood paneling, I imagine that he also drives a windowless van with a crappy paint job and tries to pick up high school girls by telling them he's a photographer and would love to shoot them in his "studio." Ick.

But Design*Sponge featured a room makeover by Frugal Farmhouse Design that transformed a dark and out-of-date enclosed porch, complete with wood panelling, into a bright and breezy place to sit and enjoy a cup of coffee.

All it takes is some primer n' white paint, and voila! A room that wouldn't look out of place at Camp Crystal Lake now has a breezy, Hamptons-y vibe. Far from being boring, the monochromatic color scheme is natural and relaxing. The look is especially fitting for a beach house; one thinks of bleached driftwood when looking at the rustic room. Even the vintage-industrial pendant lamp, with its brushed-metal finish, calls to mind a bucket used to make sand castles.

Notice how every surface -- walls, floor, ceiling -- were painted over with a lighter color. Now, even on a foggy morning the sun's light can be reflected throughout the room, making it feel open and spacious.

The room in the "after" pic looks like a place where you'd inhale the smell of the ocean and the fragrance of lavender when you breathed in. The wood-paneled version is a little more Axe body spray and stale beer. I know where I'd like to spend my vacation -- and it ain't in the den of a skeevy, aging hipster.

Via Design*Sponge and Frugal Farmhouse Designs.

Monday, May 10, 2010

Climbing the Walls, Part Deux!

Time to revisit one of my favorite posts: creating your own unique wall decor! We've already covered some ways you can add on-the-cheap, DIY art to your walls, but there's no rest for the weary -- there are new and awesome ideas popping up all the time! The creativity of other designers, bloggers, and even everyday Joe-and-Jane Schmoes never ceases to amaze me. I love the feeling of amazement and "OMG, why didn't I think of that?!?" when I see simple but ingenious projects like these. Coffee filters! Who'da thunk?

Shelterpop's got a great article on "atypical wall art," about taking everyday items and turning it into something chic for your home. From styrofoam food containers to bundt cake pans, these mundane items become works of art through the use of repetition, variation, and arrangement.

And of course, you can do this yourself with just about anything. You just need a few key elements: multiples of the same item that vary slightly from each other, and a pre-planned arrangement in a distinct pattern. Gather up your collection, make a few sketches as to how you want it displayed, and get to work on your wall! In the end, you'll have an installation that's visually arresting, and totally unique to you.

And here's a challenge to you readers out there in blog-land: send in pictures of your own collections! Show off your clever arrangements, or let us help you come up with one! You can become a fan of Alter here on Facebook, and you can send a Tweet my way at @altermyplace!

Via Shelterpop.

Friday, May 7, 2010

ALTER Alert: Design Blahg

Dreamy pictures of perfectly cut and arranged hydrangea in a mason jar... Pixie-like waifs in soft focus walking through a sun-dappled flower garden... Delicious and good-for-you raw food vegan dinners with just-right garnishes... Perfectly manicured toes in the latest adorable peep-toe shoes...

Fuck all that.

You know I'm a design blog addict, but seriously, sometimes this aspirational "I'm living in an Anthropologie catalogue" is just too much! Who lives like that? Not me! Right now my Xbox cords are all over my living room, there are dirty dishes in my sink, and I took a nap with makeup on so I'm pretty sure I have eyeliner over half my face.

For a refreshing spin on the design world, check out Design Blahg. These are chicks after my own heart: potty-mouthed, cynical, and hilarious.

The new kid on the block, Design Blahg is the creation of Erica Reitman, whose previous endeavors have included Dear Famous Asshole and Fucked in Park Slope. (TOLD YOU she's potty-mouthed.) She's like a lot of us: no formal training in interior design, but a great enthusiasm for it. (She claims to own every issue of Domino, ever.)

Other contributors are Anna Goldfarb and Greg Reitman (Erica's husband). You have to check out Anna's recurring "Things In His House That Make Me Sad" articles -- any lady who's gone to a dude's house for the first time and seen his... "unfortunate" design choices will feel me on this.

Other posts include snarky reviews of home good catalogues, rants about Apartment Therapy's Smallest, Coolest contest, and raves over the new Bravo show "9 By Design."

Sure, the other "decornographers" of those glam design blogs can bake a pretty cupcake, but I sure as hell know who I'd rather get a drink with.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

B&A: "Custom"-Made by IKEA

If you've been reading this blog, you know that I'm a fan of IKEA, and especially of hacking IKEA furniture. If you didn't already know that: I'm a fan of IKEA and especially of hacking IKEA furniture. Now you know.

Some IKEA hacks are about functionality and repurposing. Others are about style. And today, do I ever have a stylish makeover for you.

Lindsay from the Aubrey and Lindsay blog (which is a great read overall, BTW), posted her how-to on how to take a dull RAST three-drawer chest and completely change its look.

Here're the raw materials...

And after a lil' elbow grease and brow sweat, here's the "after"...

Modern, clean, classy, and utterly unrecognizable as IKEA. Because no matter how much you love that Swedish furniture giant, it's kind of a bummer to have the same piece as everyone else. With a little paint, new hardware, and imagination, you can take that same mass-produced piece and turn it into something unique to you. You'll also get to have fun watching peoples' jaws drop as they ask you where you got it, and you tell them IKEA...

Via Apartment Therapy and Aubrey and Lindsay.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Q&A: Yep, There's An App For That

Dear Jackie,

I'm one of those gals who would be totally lost without my iPhone. It's in my hand so much it might as well me surgically attached to my palm! I use it for everything, and I'd like to use it for my home renovation projects. Got any tips?

Steve Jobs Fangirl

Dear Fangirl,

Yep, there's an app for that. Actually, there are a LOT of apps for that -- if by "that" you mean design projects! The Apple iPhone App Store is full of thousands of apps for just about everything imaginable, and design is no exception.

My favorites are the color applications by Benjamin Moore, Sherwin Williams, and Pantone. All offer variations of the same thing: select colors within photos you have stored on your phone or that you take with your phone's built-in camera, match the color to a paint offered by the manufacturer, and find coordinating colors with a flick of your finger.

Here's a demonstration of the Benjamin Moore app. It's pretty sweet.

In addition to the color apps, there are apps to help with other aspects of your design projects. iHandyLevel is a level that you could use to hang a picture in a pinch, and the IKAPP from IKEA can help you plan your whole house using the Swedish giant's wares.

All I ask is that you be careful when you're doing an at-home DIY project with your iPhone nearby. If you're not careful, you could accidentally glue your iPhone to your hand for real!

Via Apartment Therapy.

Friday, April 30, 2010

ALTER ALERT: Tiny-Ass Apartment

They say limitation breeds creativity, and that's just as true for interiors as it is with any other medium. And no one knows that better than the folks at our sister site, Tiny-Ass Apartment.

The Tiny-Ass Apartment blog was started when design enthusiast Simone Chavoor got tired of reading blog after magazine article after catalogue and finding only ideas for those with huge houses and tons of disposable income. She had none of these -- just a 300 square foot studio in Hollywood, a microscopic budget, and a strict landlord. Simone began gathering small-space ideas from other sites, as well as offering advice from her own experience.

One of the "Real-Life Tiny-Ass Apartments," featuring the home of a Boston couple (and their puppy!)

Tiny-Ass Apartment (or TAA) also has a regular feature called "Real-Life Tiny-Ass Apartment," which features both her own friends and reader submissions. It's refreshing to see real people's takes on real apartments, instead of homes that have had whole styling teams descend upon them for a photo shoot.

TAA covers everything from storage solutions to ideas for dividing up space to making clever use of often overlooked nooks and crannies. It's perfect for someone about to move into a TAA of their own (one Real-Life Tiny-Ass Apartment entry featured a dorm room, and I know lots of you out there are young, broke, and fabulous yourselves), someone already in one but looking to make their space more efficient and beautiful, or even those who don't live in small apartments, but are still looking for new ideas for their homes.

It's a blog about big-ass style in a tiny-ass apartment -- and that's why we here at ALTER love it.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

B&A: House of Hoarding Horrors

Sometimes you gotta look at before and after pictures not to be inspired by the "after" pictures, but to scare the crap outta yourself with the "befores." After seeing this transformation on Hooked On Houses, I went and cleaned out my hall closet. Guys, don't ever let me live like this. If I start hoarding, just do me a favor and put me out of my misery. Otherwise I might end up trapped and suffocating under a pile of stuff, my corpse rotting away undiscovered for weeks...

Here's the exterior. Looks safe enough.

But inside is another story. Here's the living room...

... the kitchen...

... and who knows what the hell this room was!

Thankfully, this house was bought for a song and flipped. Even though the afters are kinda boring, it's such an incredible difference!

The living room after

The kitchen after

Whew! I feel like I was holding my breath in the "before" pics, and in the "after" pics I could finally breathe!

Maybe in addition to an "inspiration board" we should all have "anti-inspiration boards" -- the things we know we DON'T want our homes to look like! I know this one will be on mine.

Via Hooked On Houses.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Q&A: Rehabbing a Stuff-oholic

Dear Jackie,

My problem is that I'm a stuff-oholic. I have stuff everywhere, on every surface! I'm not exactly a candidate for A&E's "Hoarders" quite yet, but I'm afraid without an intervention I might get there! I see pictures in magazines of people's lovely tablescapes and vignettes -- how can I get my stuff to look more like that?

Clutter Junkie

Dear Clutter Junkie,

The battle against clutter is a neverending one, like the war on terror or my ritual morning battles with my hair. Some people are more successful than others...

Image from Remodelista

Image from Design*Sponge

... And yet, both places look equally stylish! Some looks rely on having a clean and austere room, while others benefit from cool knickknacks at every turn. Still, both of these are at the extreme ends of the spectrum. For you, let's aim for something a little more in the middle.

The first step is to evaluate the objects you have cluttering up your space so that you can determine what to do with them. But it's hard to do it when they're in their usual places. Ever get a stain on the carpet that's been there so long you just stop seeing it? You can stop seeing just about anything, from vases to candles to picture frames. To get a fresh perspective on them, take everything out of the room -- no really. Take everything from every surface and put it somewhere else, like your kitchen counter or your bed. Once your objects are out of context, it's a lot easier to look at them with new eyes.

With those shiny new eyes, figure out what to do with each item. Some items you'll want to keep, some items you'll realize are actually kind of fugly and you don't know why you were hanging onto them in the first place.

Now that you've got your keepers, do another edit. You want to keep only about half of the objects you already have. Don't worry, you're not getting rid of your other things! Those can go into storage so that when you're bored with your room later, you can go "shopping" in your own closet for new stuff!

By now you should have WAY less stuff than when you started. You're on your way to a home where you live, not your clutter! Take the objects that made the cut back into the room, and put them back out on display. Keep your objects in groups of three or five, and try to have varying heights and textures in each group. Your groups should still have something unifying theme, whether it's an artistic motif or color.

Image from CasaSugar

If you're still having trouble arranging your vignettes, go back to those magazine pictures you mentioned and blatantly rip them off. No one will know, and your place will look fabulous! Another place for item-arranging inspiration are home stores in your local mall. Those folks at Anthropologie and Pottery Barn sure know how to put out an attractive display, so the next time you're shopping make a mental note of how they do it.

Images from CasaSugar

Clutter will inevitably start to creep back into your life, but just repeat this process every season or so, and you'll have that ish under control. Clutter may win a few battles, but you'll definitely win the war!

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

B&A: An Armoire in Three Drafts

Well, boys and girls, I thought that this Wednesday I'd give you a little break from my house's "before and durings" to take a peek at what everyone else has been working on in blog-land! My place is still rollin' along, thankyouverymuch, and I can't wait to finally have some "afters" for you instead of all those "durings!" But we all need a break from time to time -- even when you're working on a project, it helps to take a breather, take a walk, and return to your work with a refreshed outlook.

The armoire before

Rebekah from Artsy Craftsy Babe was featured in Design*Sponge's own Before & After series. She took a plain, kinda country-crafts looking cedar armoire form the 1950s and gave it a glam makeover.

During its whitewash phase

Rebekah grew tired of the wood finish, and gave it a whitewash to try something new. She didn't love it, but it was still an upgrade from its previous incarnation.

The final version

Still, this second look was more "shabby" and less "chic." Rebekah hit it up with some gray paint and some white detailing, and ta da! This armoire just went from country to shabby to polished n' glam.

It's truly amazing what a few coats of paint can do, and even more amazing what you can do with a little detail work. The white lines on the armoire are so simple, but make a world of difference.

Do you have a makeover you'd like to share with us here at ALTER? Send 'em in! You can also always become a fan of Alter here on Facebook, and you can send a Tweet my way at @altermyplace!

Via Design*Sponge and Artsy Craftsy Babe.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Q&A: Lost in the Decor Jungle

Dear Jackie,

When I try to go out shopping for my home, I always end up feeling overwhelmed and lost. Not even the good "Lost," with Jack and Sawyer! The bad kind of lost, where I'm trapped in a jungle of furniture and home decor with no way back out! Help!

About To Be Eaten By A Polar Bear


There are lots of ways we get ourselves prepared for emergencies big and small: there's a first-aid kit, our tool kit, and those of us in California also have our earthquake kits. But there's one more kit you should have if you're in the middle of altering your home: your home shopping kit!

Some people are lucky and know exactly what they want for their homes. These people know that they need exactly one linen runner and a Jonathan Adler pitcher and blown glass bowl to complete their kitchen tablescape. Others don't have a specific picture in mind, but know what they like when they see it in front of them. ATBEBAPB, it seems that you're one of these people. And there's absolutely nothing wrong with that! It just means you've got a little preparing to do.

I highly recommend putting together a little home planning kit for your purse. Nothing fancy, just something with all the info you need in order to make the right decisions when you're out at antique store, mall, or flea market. It should be small enough that it lives in your purse, so you're never without it. Consider it your cell phone's buddy: they go everywhere together.

The kit contains a few small pieces of paper: a floorplan of your home (or the room you're working on), a photo of the way it is now or of your inspiration, a color palette, and if your photo doesn't suffice, a few fabric samples of the textiles you're already working with.

Once again, this isn't something big or fancy! You're not carrying around a big book or blueprints! Make a hand-drawn floorplan with basic measurements of your space; how else are you going to know for sure that that faboo couch is going to fit in front of your picture window? And those of you who are more computer-inclined can use a program like Sketch-Up to put together a lil' floorplan. Your photo could be a print-out from your own digital camera, or a tearsheet from a magazine. Your color palette could be constructed with paint chips, a scrap of paper with some colored pencil scribbles, or a block of color rectangles pieced together in Photoshop.

These items will contain the information you need to judge whether or not you should bring something new into your home. And if you're still not sure, this is the perfect way to show a salesperson exactly what you're working with.

Friday, April 9, 2010

ALTER Alert: St. Vincent de Paul's Thrift Store

You know how I feel about flea markets: LOVE! That feeling applies to thrift stores too, 'cause what's a thrift store other than a permanent flea market with a roof?

One of the best thrift shops in Los Angeles is hands-down St. Vincent de Paul's. It's purported to be the biggest in the city, and I can tell ya when I'm in there, it certainly feels like it!

St. Vincent's not your average thrift store. It's a damn WAREHOUSE, stuffed to the gills with... well... everything! You name it, they got it. Actually, you name it, they got ten of it. Furniture from chairs to tables to beds to dressers to sofas, office furniture, dish and glassware, small electronics and appliances, books, art... You could absolutely get lost in there. I recommend bringing a flare gun so the rescue teams can find you when you do.

Image from Apartment Therapy

Now, some of their stuff can be in pretty rough shape. It's good to go in with a critical eye, and think about if and how you can restore a St. Vincent's find to its former glory.

And of course, if you're on the flip side of things, St. Vincent's can help, too. Donations are always welcome! Not only does St. Vincent de Paul sell its wares to benefit the less fortunate, but some donations go directly to them.

Okay, that's enough from me. You find the best stuff if you get there early, so get to gettin'!

St. Vincent de Paul

210 North Avenue 21

Los Angeles, CA 90031

(323) 224-6214

Monday-Saturday 9:30AM-5:45PM

Sunday 9AM-4:45PM

(Including most holidays)

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

B&D: Livin' La Vida Azul

"Living room" is such a literal term, dontcha think? It's a room where you do your living: entertaining, dining, watching TV, reading, just about anything that isn't sleeping or using the bathroom. (Unless you're really, really tired or had a few too many cocktails -- but let's not get into that.)

When I moved into my new place, the living room was dull and dreary -- and you know that that's NOT how I live my life!


I wanted to brighten up the room and liven things up with some COLOR! The beautiful built-ins needed a bit of refreshing, so we cleaned them up. But the biggest change was the wall color. It was out with that depressing "greige" color, and in wish some cool blue!


You'll notice that I'm working two tones of blue that compliment each other while still keeping things visually interesting. I also kept an eye on the details, and painted the interiors of the built-ins to that the bright color really permeated the space.

As with the rest of my home, I've still got a ways to go. Window treatments, lighting fixtures... They'll come in time. But you can already see more of ME peeking through in this room. I mean, do I look like a greige person to you?

Still "during," but a bit later!

Don't forget, I always love to hear your opinions! Let me know what you think in the comments below, or let me know on Facebook or Twitter! You can become a fan of Alter here on Facebook, and you can send a Tweet my way at @altermyplace!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Q&A: Gamblin' at the Flea Market

Dear Jackie,

ok, i really hope ur there b/c i am standing at a flea market RIGHT NOW and i need ur opinion. there's this awesome sofa here that i want to get... but it needs a LOT of wrk. how do i kno when 2 walk away?


Sent from my iPhone

Dear iPhone,

When it comes to shopping at flea markets, you've gotta make like The Gambler: you gotta know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to RUN!

Yes, this chair has potential, but a few questions first...

First and foremost, you have to establish if this is a WANT or a NEED. Now, there's nothing wrong with something being a want instead of a need, but you just need to recognize which one it is. Did you need it before you even got to the flea market that morning? That's a point in the "buy it!" column.

You also have to consider if it's going to work in your home, literally and aesthetically. If you're like me, you've got every measurement in your home memorized. The window in my kitchen is 28 inches wide, which leaves 6 inches of wallspace on one side and 24 inches on the other... Even if you don't have every millimeter in your head, you should still have a general idea of how big your space is, which will help you determine if the piece will even fit in your room. Some goes for color and style: if you know that your living room is mid-century modern in bright citrus-y colors, maybe that soft pink tufted velvet Victorian-era loveseat isn't going to work. I know, I know, it's so cool looking and you love it, but... You gotta know when to walk away. (Here's a tip: create a tiny color palette of each room in your house, and keep it in your purse for when you're shopping!)

Finally, the biggest problem in determining if that flea market find should go home with you is how much work needs to be done to it. If it's ready to go as is, great! Unless you're a die-hard "alterer" like myself, the less you have to do to it, the better. Many, many people take home a piece that needs a coat of paint or some reupholstering, and once it gets there it just sits... and sits... and sits... Be HONEST with yourself: are you really going to make the necessary changes? Really? Really? When are you going to do them? Do you know how to do them, or will you be learning as you go? How long will it take you? How much money do you have to put into it? If you're buying an antique table that needs refinishing for $50, you're buying it for $50 and several hours of your time. If you're buying a sofa for $75 and having it professionally reupholstered for $150, you're spending $225.

Is breathing paint fumes for a weekend worth it?

If you can't make up your mind, you can always ask the seller for their contact information. Many regular flea market sellers even have websites these days, so if you walk away for now, you can always check in with them later to see if that piece is still available.

So iPhone, I hope that I've given you some criteria to use when you're looking at that flea market sofa. Maybe one day there'll "be an app for that," but until then you've always got me!

Friday, April 2, 2010

ALTER Alert: ReadyMade Magazine

The idea of a book club is so appealing: you find new books to read, you find new friends, and you get to sit around discussing it like the smarty-pants you know you are.

Unfortunately, so many of us are so busy that we don't have time to finish reading a Tweet, let alone a whole book! That's why I'm makin' like Oprah and starting my own book magazine club!

If you're into DIY (both the actual projects and the culture surrounding the DIY movement), you've got to be reading ReadyMade Magazine.

ReadyMade was founded in 2001 by chief editor Shoshana Berger and publisher Grace Hawthorne in Berkeley, California. It's a bi-monthly magazine that features projects in interior design and home improvement, furniture making, crafts and sewing, even metal- and wood-working.

Wine crate kitchen cabinets featured on their "Build It" section

ReadyMade also focuses on sustainability in both your projects and lifestyle. It goes hand-in-hand with their DIY message -- after all, if you're making your own things, you don't have to buy them, do you? They also have music and food features; their current issue (Issue #46) just so happens to be their food issue. Oh man, does that ginger ricotta tart with rhubarb and strawberry jam look good...

They also have blogs if you just can't wait for the next issue! Check out "Inside, Out" for their home and garden posts.

Even though a magazine is a quicker read (and it's got lots of pretty pictures), the ideas you'll get from it will keep you busy for a long time. So it's okay -- I'll forgive you if you can't come to my next magazine club meeting.

With additional information from Wikipedia and Charles & Hudson.