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Eco Chic Home: Rethink, Reuse, and Remake Your Way to Sustainable Style Paperback – May 3, 2010
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The only reason that I gave this book a 4 instead of a 5 is that I could use a little more detail in the step by step project instructions.
This book has a lot of ideas. Many of them are a pass for me. I have no interest in either crafting or displaying those items in my home. A lamp base made out of two painted clay pots, a hanging pocket organizer made out of shirt pockets...not my thing. Some of the suggestions, like using oilcloth or a large fabric remnant to cover a table top are laughable, especially when the latter is tied with two pieces of twine, and sloppily at that. I don't think I'd try this in a home...maybe at a park BBQ on a wood table on a windy day -but not at home!
I DO appreciate the message: Reduce, reuse and buy second-hand. But that's pretty much common sense. Anyone who hasn't thought of that is living in an income bracket that doesn't exactly encourage that kind of thinking. I do understand how wasteful this society is, and the "need" for new things. I myself try to shop used, just because I was brought up that way. I do my research and buy things that will last decades (I also buy Made in America because I want the money to stay here). I'm always looking for ways to reuse or creative ideas for the home. But this book isn't that helpful, IMO. I just don't see anything fresh or exciting here. Really -chalkboard paint? Painted dishes with brush strokes clearly showing looks like a school project that ends up in the thrifts in no time.
Also, the specs are pretty much missing. Some of the projects have no pictures, or there's weird little tidbits strewn here and there that just kind of pop up. One of the projects -a braided rug made out of 20 old t-shirts, requires a good, healthy guess as to what size it will end up as. And the fact that it's a braided rug in the first place...well, need I say more. I like braided rugs, and the "twist" on this one, but it was just odd and really not that out of the box creatively.
There are dessert tiers made of old plates and cups (seen it before) and coasters cut out of wool sweaters. As in, circles cut out of the sweater. A recycled "coil" magazine bowl. A painted grandfather clock outline on the wall and then a real analog wall clock hung on it to simulate a clock (this was one of the more out of the box ideas, but again, I've seen this before).
So, take warning. If you're big on repurposing/recycling/design/decorating, and you read a lot of books and mags on the subject, you're liable to see a lot of "recycled" ideas here.
I especially like the Recycled Magazine Bowl because it looks like something that you would buy at a kitchy/hip store for 30 dollars when in fact it is something made from old, never to be read again magazines! The Clever Clock speaks to me as well because when you're short on funds, and want to give a room a dramatic upgrade, this tip is a great way to make people do a double take.
Is it a clock? Is it a painting?
In this economy, and this climate of GO GREEN, this book is a great resource to help inspire anyone to look at the things lying around their house and find a second home for them.
Of course, doesn't hurt that the book is well made and beautifully shot!
This book also has a smooth layout and design, but I only wish there were more photographs. The ones that are included are great and make me want to make those things! But not every project has a picture to go with it. It would have been nice if there were at least a little photo with each project.
All-in-all this is a fabulous book that everyone should have as a home reference. I for one am excited to make my two favorites: magazine holders from cereal boxes, and a drawer organizer from an old muffin tin!