Guest Author - Alison Barjaktarovich
I'm a big fan of Better Homes and Gardens magazine, but truth be told, it's not exactly in line with my lifestyle. While I love looking at pictures of the gorgeous houses and elaborate gardens (and I do usually find some useful info in the mag), the homes featured are usually a little fancy for my taste, and I have the blackest thumb ever, so the gardening articles are useless.
However, Do It Yourself – one of BHG’s quarterly Special Interest Publications – is another story entirely! It's filled with the kinds of DIY projects that I really want to (and have the skill to) do, I always find the articles interesting and relevant, and the featured décor is usually in the mismatched flea market style that I love.
Do It Yourself’s Spring 2012 issue recently hit the shelves. Although I’m always actively looking for it around the time I know it’s due, even if I was totally unfamiliar with the publication, the cover alone would certainly entice me to buy it. In addition to a bright yellow background and darling turquoise desk (topped with super-cute accessories,) this edition boasts cover stories including “How to Paint Anything – Fabric, Walls, Furniture, Metal, Glass, Exteriors,” and “Boost Curb Appeal This Weekend – 20 Quick and Easy Art Projects.”
The articles in Do It Yourself are divided into four main sections – “Features,” “Projects,” “People,” and “Products.” The “Features” section encompasses the above-mentioned articles along with several others, on topics such as stenciling, organizing your mudroom, building birdhouses, and cool color combinations. “Projects” includes articles on painting vintage glass, accessorizing with ribbon, and creating outdoor furniture out of salvaged goods. The “People” section contains a Q&A with the couple from the Young House Love blog, and profiles of a Virginia paint shop and an Etsy seller. “Products” has articles on new painting tools, a section on organizing kids’ rooms, and the “stuff we love” section (which contains not only stuff that I love, but that which I can actually afford.)
This entire issue has a bit of a painting theme to it. The centerpiece of the whole issue is the above-mentioned “paint anything” article. It's a super-comprehensive guide – in chart form - to…well, painting anything. For each type of material, it including the supplies needed, preparation, tips, and more (I'll be ripping this one out and keeping it handy!) There's also an interview with five decorating experts regarding their favorite decorating color schemes (“Perfecting a Palette”) and another about using pain to brighten up your workspace (“Quench Your Palette.”) One of my favorite features that appears throughout the magazine is its “the palette” feature, which consists of a sidebar providing the paint colors, names, and brands of the paints used in the accompanying article.
I'm sure that my personal style and interests play a big part in why I love this magazine as much as I do – if your house looks like a Pottery Barn catalog or your home improvement interests center around things like repairing faucets and installing light fixtures, you may not find it quite as wonderful. But if you enjoy bright colors, secondhand shopping, crafts, fixing up furniture, or budget decorating, Do It Yourself is definitely worth checking out. See the website at www.bhg.com.
Note: I bought this issue myself and didn't receive anything from BHG for this review. These are all my own opinions.