From the September, 2009 issue of Country Living: Cover a small table with yardsticks. (Make a template of the table top and lay out the yard sticks--which need to be the same thickness; arrange them and then mark them so you can cut them to fit--being sure to sandpaper the edges; then nail them down and seal them.) It's not pretty, but it's interesting. Do not do this to a good table.
There are some interesting remodeling articles and ideas in this issue also. One home owner surrounded a dining room doorway (sliding doors) with built-in bookcases--including a shelf over the doorway. [Our dining room includes a bookcase, btw, since we had nowhere else to put it. We did incorporate vintage bowls and aluminum trays to make it fit in.]
On home shows, I've seen a lot of people "update" a perfectly good kitchen, but one kitchen in this issue truly did need a makeover, but using old oak planks for shelves instead of cabinets was not an attractive nor practical plan.
Outdoor living ideas from the August/September issue of Ready Made include creating a lawn chair by covering it with AstroTurf and making a fire pit out of an old wheelbarrow.
For house building help, such as--Make changes on paper, not in mid-project! (We did both, btw), see my book, Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook. It's available at Publish America - Publishing Writers' and Authors' Manuscripts and other online vendors.
The new edition with color photos has this ISBN: 978-1-60749-562-8; you can read an excerpt at: Free Book Excerpts : Building a Cool House for Hot Times without Scorching the Pocketbook by Joy Smith