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This Old House Easy Upgrades: Kitchens: Smart Design, Trusted Advice Paperback – September 13, 2011

3.9 out of 5 stars 27 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

This Old House is a magazine for homeowners in search of practical, affordable, and inspirational ideas for enhancing and maintaining their homes. What they find is a balance of step-by-step instruction for DIY interior and landscape projects; lively how-to's about keeping contractors on the level and saving money on remodels; expert tool and product reviews; and handsome feature stories showcasing fine craftsmanship and elegant architectural design.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: Oxmoor House (September 13, 2011)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0848734726
  • ISBN-13: 978-0848734725
  • Product Dimensions: 9.2 x 0.8 x 11 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,415 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is not a how-to. And if you don't want a vintage kitchen complete with schoolhouse lights, subway tile, and a farm sink, don't buy it. But I have put sticky notes on page after page of photos in advance of a major kitchen remodel in our 1926 house. The ideas represented in the photos give me plenty to work with.

My two complaints are that almost every kitchen has a vintage stove, something that is rare indeed, not realistic for the typical homeowner, and that the sinks are almost all apron/farm sinks. A little too much of the same thing throughout.
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The design ideas are wonderful, it's just frustrating to me that every time TOH does work on a galley kitchen it entails ripping down walls and building extensions, rather than utilizing the space around the multiple entrances in the original galley footprint. Some of us just don't have the property space to do a major makeover that includes an island and many of us would like to preserve the period integrity of the space. It will be very gratifying once TOH shows a willingness and expertise to do so.
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Format: Paperback
The book has thirty seven before and after remodeled kitchens that clearly illustrate real-life possibilities. There are many specific ideas to apply to any kitchen project even if a major remodel is not undertaken -- small changes that can make a difference in both utility and appearance.

Almost every conceivable style of decor is covered, along with whether the existing kitchen lay-out is to remain the same or a major change to the floorplan is desired. This is a good no-nonsense reference book to start the wheels turning before beginning a kitchen update.
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I love This Old House, but this book was a miss for me. Almost all of the renovations covered here involve tearing down walls or building additions - very few of the kitchens remained within their original footprints. Also, there is only one tiny "before" picture at the head of each story - it is not easy to see how the kitchen was transformed. You do get blueprints of the before and after layouts, but no installation or design tips that the TV show is great for.

There also wasn't a lot of information about budgets and all of the renovations seem pretty expensive. This is not a book for people just trying to give their kitchens a refresh or a face lift. Also, while it happens to be my taste, almost all of the kitchens had apron front sinks and old-timey ovens. There's not a big range of styles represented here.
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Format: Paperback
My husband and I have been trying to figure out what to do with our outdated kitchen for years, and I've been so frustrated with the other how-to books out there. They're either too fancy--so we can't afford to recreate those looks--or they're just way too confusing to follow.

Leave it to the editors of This Old House to make exactly what we were looking for. It starts with the basics: picking a layout and then goes into beautiful, inspiring photos with accompanying floor plans. I'm such a sucker for before and after photos, and it's amazing the transformations some of these spaces made.

The best part, though, is the chapter on "the budget kitchen." It's nice to see that you can still create a beautiful space without going bankrupt.

We got some real, solid ideas from this book. My husband has dog-eared so many of the pages! I think we're finally ready to bust out the sledgehammer and get going.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Common sense for the common householder whose dwelling isn't a McMansion! Led me to use their website, another good resource. I like the photos, the detailed explanations, the modest investments. Recommend to anyone remodeling a kitchen, as I am.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book contains lots of ideas for redesigning kitchens. The focus is on expanding into new space or better utilizing existing space. Since the book contains TOH projects, most of the kitchens are big, beautiful, and spared-no-expense, as opposed to the modest kitchen that I have.

I was very surprised to discover that this book contains NO "how-to" instructions for the do-it-yourselfers in the world. For that, you need to get the excellent Black and Decker "Complete Guide to Kitchens."
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
The "upgrades" presented in this book are outrageously expensive or unable to be easily completed by a novice diy'er. I looked at all the pretty pictures and filed it away on a shelf. I think they left the EASY projects out of this printing.
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