By Ana White
Potter Craft, $22.99, 192 pages
“Today is your day to say, ‘I can build that.'”
Despite closing her eyes in fear the first time she used a nail gun, Ana White taught herself how to build furniture. Her home is now filled with custom-made pieces, and in her book, The Handbuilt Home, she shows readers how to achieve similar success. The book includes 34 projects that are divided by room, so readers can outfit their entire homes by hand, from kitchen to bathroom to patio. Each project is labeled by price range, level of difficulty and necessary length of time. A plan of the finished product plus a beautiful, colorful photo of the piece in a bona fide room graces the first page of each new project, along with a shopping list, a tools list and a cutting list. Following are neat yet detailed step-by-step instructions and diagrams on how to build the piece. White does not expect readers to be handy, and devotes two chapters to delineating needed tools and basic techniques. Her story is a powerful motivator to get to DIYing and the book comes across as empowering, unintimidating and forgiving for all DIY hopefuls, women especially. Break out that chainsaw!
Reviewed by Andrea Klein