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VINE VOICEon April 29, 2010
I loved this book for it's styling, creativity, repurposing, recycling, and resource details. I am so sorry for the lengthy video review but this book deserved every second I could give it!

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This is a timely design book which is the one of the first of its kind to feature and unite three major trends impacting interior design today. These trends are: 1) intelligent use of financial resources in decorating-- maximizing your design dollars 2) using green design principles and products in your decor plan and 3) cherishing past styles and design elements and reusing them in authentic, personal and eclectic interiors.

The author is passionate and knowledgeable about these and shows you how to restore, recycle and reuse items to create attractive rooms from living rooms and kitchens to bedrooms, baths and the outdoors. It's full of how-to tips--including his grandmother's tips--on how to accomplish this. And you get to see how these look in charming rooms that you'd like to live in. The rooms featured tend to be cottage and country (the author is a contributing editor to Country Living magazine), but the same tips and items could work in modern and retro interiors or an eclectic combination of these. If you like books on vintage decorating, flea market decor, eclectic interiors, apartment therapy interiors, DIY design, makeover rooms, decorating for less, you should enjoy this book.

It should spark your own ideas on how to incorporate something you love innovatively into a room. If you want a home you love, you need to have what you love in the home and this book shows you how to do it originally, economically and with healthy materials and green principles. It's perfect for the first-time decorator, someone moving into a new home or apartment, or if you're wanting to update, renovate and accessorize your home distinctively and like looking for unique and original pieces and combining them in fresh ways. For so long if something was old in a home, we threw it out and started over. Now we're seeing the value of cherishing the past and incorporating it in fresh ways in our contemporary interiors. I think this book is going to be a best-seller as it teaches about the design trends which are becoming increasingly important today which will only accelerate in value to us as designers and curators of our own homes in the future.
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on June 22, 2010
Very rarely am I disappointed by a "Country Living" book - and this was no exception! Randy Florke has a great eye for "recycled treasure," he can put it together in a clean, unfussy yet beautiful arrangement! The pictures in this book are exquisite and thought provoking at the same time. Who would have thought a kitchen with a pink stove and double oven arrangement could look so yummy and functional at the same time. It's not dated yet not timeless either, provoking nostalgia for a simpler time, (pg 51). Thanks for such a fantastic book - Randy proves that country doesn't have to look old or cluttered - what a bit of fun!!!
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on August 2, 2010
I was really impressed with the book and the references to buying items from locations closer to home to eliminate transportation waste and then I saw on the brown strip around the book that it was printed in CHINA. Shame on the author and publisher for allowing this to happen. Kind of voids all the phrases in the book that say " locally and avoid things being shipped in from China or Mexico." There have got to be lots of printers in the USA who would have loved your business and done an excellent job.
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on March 4, 2011
I absolutely love this book. I was not sure how to name or describe the style of home decor that I love and want to create in my house, and then I found this book and ah ha! This is it. The perfect guide. The rooms are so much more interesting since things are a mix of "vintage" finds--none of that match-y mathch-y look that looks so boring and cookie cutter. The look is down to earth yet tasteful and impressive. I just love looking at all the pictures and he gives plenty of advice for shopping. Full of great ideas, even for little details. (I am using an antique iron as a doorstop but I see he has one propped up for a book end--hmm).
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on January 9, 2012
This book has some pretty pictures and great ideas, but there are a few missteps. He shows a steel door on page 37 and calls it a "classic wooden door". This would have been an opportunity to explain that if one buys a new steel door and keeps it sealed, it can last indefinitely and save energy over a leaky wooden door. Next to a photo of a house without gutters he suggests collecting rainwater. He mentions that some old appliances are energy guzzlers but he loves their looks, but doesn't present ways to make them more energy efficient (e.g., add a fan to cool the refrigerator condenser; place the fridge against an insulated wall with weatherstripping around the edges of the back to insulate it better; look into getting insulation upgraded and burners re-tuned on old stoves).

He rejects granite countertops, but locally-quarried stone may be an environmentally friendly, longer-lasting option than some of the other products he prefers--and he fails to mention the maintenance required for many of these materials. If you want no-maintenance counters, "quartz" tops (Cambria, Silestone, etc.) are manufactured using crushed stone, so there's little or no waste compared to cut slabs.

All that being said, there are still some wonderful ideas in this book, and if you don't know much about building or recycling you can learn a lot. I guess I just wanted more than I could get in a few issues of a magazine.
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on November 30, 2012
Good book as a portfolio of (shabby chic) beautiful rooms but more for someone already diverse in the repurposing craft and is in need of thoughts as to where to put all the finished pieces; which is great for someone looking for just that.

I find "Salvage-style Project" by This old House a better "how-to" book. I find the "Before and After" pictures and some pictures taken as the project goes along very helpful and "Restore, Recycle, Repurpose" does not offer many. I find this book is full of suggestions instead of actual projects using things commonly found in flea markets, junk yards and yard sales.

It's a nicely put together book and the photography is great but I wasn't looking for a coffee-table book.
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on September 17, 2010
What a wonderful book this is! The concept of preserving our environment and decorating with what is already around makes a beautiful home. I love the thoughts Randy shares about his grandmother. His philosophy is so needed in our world today. Highly recommended.
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on March 9, 2015
Really like all the lovely pictures and suggestions; however, didn't care so much for the "green" preaching! Also, as a recycler and a person who appreciates antiques and retro items, I know a good number of the items pictured here were expensive to obtain! It looks so simple: pick it up at a garage sale or an estate sale and repurpose. Maybe this works well in the Northeast or on the California coast, but not always so easy to find these items locally unless you pay a pretty penny for them.
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on January 6, 2011
This was not quite what I expected, but it has some good information about going "green." The pictures are really nice, and the book is laid out pretty well.
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