Hello! I'm Suzannah, a serious DIYer and mom of two little ones. Follow along with my DIY fixer upper house renovations, sewing and crafty projects, real food recipes, and de-stressing goals.
I believe you can love your home just the way it is, AND have the power to design and make big changes to make it better.
I'm also the author of DIY Wardrobe Makeovers!

Pretty home books, and 5 tips for small space gardening

I love getting inspired for making my home comfortable and beautiful. The inside and outside of my home.

So I got a chance to review Kelly Edwards's new book, The Design Cookbook: Recipes for a Stylish Home. Kelly is great with decor tips for small spaces and budget-friendly decorating. She wanted to offer up summer decorating DIYs, budget tips, indoor/outdoor space ideas, and easy gardening suggestions. I thought, yes, I could seriously use some easy gardening ideas!

This is our "garden" this year. It's gotten a little out of hand, as you can see by the climbing cucumber on the patio chair.

We're growing a few more plants than last year, and some new ones (we got starters from a coworker's garden), and they're definitely bigger than the few tomatoes and lettuces we had last year.

Gardening is not my strong suit. So I thought some of Kelly's tips on summer gardening for small spaces would be great for me and any readers with porch gardens!

Here are my five questions for Kelly, plus some of my fave plant-related images from her new book!

1) Favorite projects for beginning gardeners? 
a. If you’ve never gardened before start small with herbs in terra cotta flowerpots. They are so easy to grow. Just add water and follow the directions on the sun exposure. Or...if you’re lucky and have a friend with a green thumb have him/her help you out and plant a few things. We had our gardener start tomato plants in our backyard. A few months later we had enough for the neighborhood! Also, when starting out plant things that are easy to grow. Think salad...lettuce, tomatoes, spring onions, cucumbers, and bell peppers. You can’t go wrong there. 

2) What tips do you have for small space gardens or porch gardens? 
a. If you live in a small space and your only outdoor area is a porch or balcony, a garden can still be possible. The only difference is that you need to think mobile or vertical. Planting a mobile garden keeps your garden close and accessible. My favorite is the Food Map Container. Made with food grade plastic, it’s a perfect vessel on wheels to have on a porch or balcony that makes it so easy to grow in small spaces. Another option is going vertical with your garden. If you have a blank wall on a patio or deck it can provide for a great place to plant the vegetables or plants of the season. You can purchase pockets that hang, trays that mimic the look like a garden wall, or planting towers online. 

3) What outdoor projects do you find have the biggest impact without blowing your budget? 
a. If you have a deck re-staining it should be a definite summer project. Completed in a weekend or two it can do wonders for your back yard! With so many colors to choose from, it can turn a dull, cracked, worn out deck into a gorgeous entertaining space. However, if your budget is smaller add patio and backyard lighting. I always preach that lighting can make or break a design indoors. The same goes for the outdoors. Hang sting lights, install garden lighting or invest in lanterns for extra illumination. At night your place will glow. It’s my number one suggestion when entertaining. Make the lighting right! Lastly, planting new flowers and plants. A small bit of landscaping can go a long way. 

4) What are your favorite resources for DIY supplies for outdoor projects? 
a. While I’m a sucker for all home improvement stores I’ve found that Home Depot is great for tools, lumber and general construction supplies. Lowes is great for lighting, plants and decorative materials. A mix of the two always works for me. 

5) Any suggestions for keeping the outdoor space looking attractive even after summer plants have come and gone? 
a. I love planting herbs: thyme, mint, rosemary, and basil. These are all good choices that constantly give you plenty of love. I especially like that when the spring and summer months are over, I can bring them in and they are the gifts that keep on giving. We cook with them every night. Also, change out the décor with the season. Adding some blankets to each of the chairs outdoors or a great fire pit in the fall will keep your space looking like it well designed even when you get into the colder months.

She makes it sound easy.

The Design Cookbook has 335 pages and more than 1,000 contributors. I recognized several of my favorite home tours and projects from around the blog world.

I also love that one of the first pages proudly displays this great William Morris quote: "Have nothing in your homes that you do not know to be useful, or believe to be beautiful."

Great message for happy home decor, and goes well with all the inspiring images!

Thanks for the garden tips, Kelly!

Check out The Design Cookbook for lots more home dec ideas and projects!

Waterpik partnered with Kelly Edwards to share her tips and book with bloggers like me. Thanks to them!


  1. I go to fantasy land when looking at photos of beautiful homes. We live in an apartment now but a girl can dream of DIY and home improvement!

  2. Oh my gosh! I love those pots that go on the railings. That is such a cute and smart idea!

  3. Great tips-- and your patio looks fabulous! We are working on repainting our patio and putting up lighting. So much to do and summer is quickly flying away!

  4. I am an abysmal gardener. My kids grandma can make Popsicle stick grow, but plants in my care know that they are pretty much on their own.

  5. I have that book and love it. Got it for Christmas last year!!! :)

  6. The post is great! I love all of these wonderful ideas! I feel inspired!

    Natalie B.



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