Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Upcycling Outdoors

Upcycling Outdoors is a new DIY book from entrepreneur and style guru Max McMurdo and published by Quarto Publishing - Jacqui Small. Available in hardcover, it's very well illustrated with clear photography and step by step construction tutorials.
It's a relatively short book, 144 pages, but manages to pack a lot of content inside. There are 20 complete projects included in 5 categories: planters & containers, structures, eating & entertaining, furniture, and lighting & accessories. The tutorials cover materials, construction techniques and tools.  There's a fair bit of background design info on the projects as well, to allow for flexibility with available materials.

The projects range from the whimsical - (outdoor hanging fairy lights in a birdcage) to the slightly odd(?) - (a bicycle frame mounted portable picnic basket).  Some of them are sublime (hanging planter made from a ruined boat float), they're all very informal.  If your outdoor spaces are strictly formal, there's much whimsy and humor to be found here, but not much formality.

Roughly 30% of the page content is devoted to general techniques, sourcing supplies and finishing techniques.  The finishing supplies and tools are accessible and easily acquired.

I was impressed by the fact that most of the projects look really attractive and not like recycled items that belong in a landfill. There were, of course, some which were over the top for my taste personally (a suitcase with legs converted to a planter for example), but a surprising number are spot on (the firepit and lawn dominoes are really cool).

All in all, a worthwhile philosophy and lovely design sense.

Four stars
Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

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