Skip to content

DIY bother?

Have you been caught up in a New-Year’s-resolution whirl of renovations and aspirational lifestyle improvements? Let me fix that for you.

It’s all the rage now to have a home improvement project, be it a tiny house, luxury makeover or sustainable eco-cabin – the peer pressure is on to keep up with the polished concrete Joneses. There’s a tantalising promise that your life will be uplifted if you add a fifth storey, your horizons expanded with a new meditation deck, your spiritual depth increased with that pressure-regulated vertical lap pool.

Whether you’ve considered watching a few YouTube how-tos and going in swinging, or opting for the serious planned-out self-build, or just thought about hiring a bunch of frighteningly competent people and pointing at them, you can put your mind at rest – we have an easier, nay, better, solution to improving your home: BOOKS.


  • Anything that features building cabins is really selling you on how nice it is to be indoors and warm, with perhaps a comforting beverage and a nice book. But take a moment… Are you inside right now? Are you warm? How difficult would it be to make that beverage? See, you are actually already doing the things the cabin-pushers are trying to get you to do. You are LIVING THE CABIN DREAM RIGHT NOW. And you didn’t even have to build a cabin to do it – all you need is the book!
  • Do you really want Kevin McCloud inviting himself around all the time, so you have to clean up the house and look busy and talk about budgets and go over schedules and pretend you haven’t just been hanging out on the couch eating Twisties in your underpants? Do you want to have to deal with his constantly sceptical eyebrows, and his snide insinuations that your new roof should consist of more than a Slip ’n’ Slide stretched over a piece of two-by-four? Of course you don’t. You’re a sensible adult person.
  • If you were actually renovating right now, where would you keep your books in the meantime? If your answer was ‘In a skip’, you are bang on.
  • What is more expensive: buying a beautiful coffee table book on architecture or hiring an architect? You don’t even get to keep the architect.
  • Your children won’t grow up hating you for all the winters and Christmases they spent in a leaky caravan on a building site. For other things, maybe. But not that.
  • Tiny houses are really hot right now. But where do these people in tiny houses stow their books? You’re correct: they don’t have any. They don’t have enough space to keep a change of clothes and a backup roll of toilet paper.
  • An architecture degree takes seven whole years. Seven years. Ugh. I’m lying down just thinking about it. What goes well with lying down? A nice book, that’s what.
  • With a shelf of beautiful design and architecture books, you will feel far more sophisticated than you will with a piece of haphazardly installed toilet plumbing and a pair of carpet kneelers. That look on your friends’ faces will be genuine envy, not chafing discomfort or poorly disguised pity.
  • With the amount of money a renovation costs, you will actually never be able to afford a book again, only smell other people’s shelves longingly, regretting your choices and thinking back to now, today, this very moment, when you had options instead of just a solar-powered inglenook refrigerator.

Hey, speaking of options. We have all the best ones right here in the Gallery Shop.

Make a good lifestyle choice. Buy a book.

Previous post: Judy Cassab remembered

Next post: A studio in Paris

March 07 2016, 10am
by Holly Bennett
Gallery Shop