Thursday, June 10, 2010

Book review + give-away: Restore. Recycle. Repurpose


This book had me at the title -
This reflects something that has become increasingly important to me on a personal level, but also something I've started to enjoy more and more while decorating our new space. 
Being able to blend antiques or re purposed furniture and accessories, not only adds a richness to your space but is a fantastic way to save a little money - and our planet too.
In this way, I find that giving new life to previously used items is not only respectful of the past - the materials, artistry and craftsmanship that went into making that item, but also of the future - by not creating more waste by discarding things or needlessly creating a heavier demand for brand new items that use up more energy (and often aren't of the same quality as in years past).

The author, Randy Florke was heavily inspired by his grandmother in writing this book. Like so many people who have lived through the Depression Era, she knew how to make the most of what she had and really make things last. I really admire this, as far too often I find in our modern Western culture, everything seems so disposable. Growing up in Africa, I saw first hand how many different 'lives' a simple object could take on. When something was broken, you fixed it. When you could no longer fix it, it could take on a different form - piles of plastic bags bunched up to make a soccer ball, old tyres cut up and fashioned into simple sandals. While these examples may seem a little extreme, I think they illustrate a different mode of thought, and a higher level of respect for 'things'.


At first glance, some may initially be put off by the notion that this book is merely a collection of a tchotchke-filled, grandmother-y spaces, or perhaps even a shabby chic extravaganza, but really it's so much more! While the book does provide lots of  inspiration for decorating with antiques and vintage pieces, even if your tastes run very modern and you'd prefer to purchase all new pieces, Randy provides a fantastic guide to making sure your choices will have the least harmful impact on our environment.


With a mandate of "simplicity, thrift and authenticity", Randy goes through each room of the house, providing tips on everything from flooring and counter tops to paint and light fixtures. You'll find loads of creative ideas along the way with ways to use found objects and vintage pieces, and good/better/best choices for new items.


I have no doubt you'll enjoy this book as much as I did, and inspired to realize that the next fantastic new addition to your space might just be waiting at your local Goodwill, or perhaps just boxed away, waiting to be re-discovered and given a whole new life.




The publishers of Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. have generously offered to give away a copy of the new book to one lucky reader. To enter the give-away, simply leave a comment below and let us know a favourite vintage piece you may have (and if you can, where you found it) or a piece you'd like to re purpose or restore.

The winner will be drawn at random and notified after Tuesday, June 17th. If you don't have a blog, or contact email on your blog, please be sure to include an email address for notification.  For an additional entry, share this give-away on your blog, Facebook or Twitter, then leave an another comment below to let me know you did.  'Like' us at our brand new Facebook page for an additional entry.


{Good luck everyone, and here's to creating a greener, more beautiful home!}

** Update: the winner is Ashley B. - congratulations! Hope this gives you lots of inspiration for your next trip to Deseret Industries. Hope you share some photos of your antique wardrobe once it's finished too!

{All photos from: Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. by Randy Florke with Nancy Becker. Published by Country Living, May 2010}


33 comments:

Kristen said...

This books looks amazing and the pictures you choose are beautiful and inspiring!

whitney reeder said...

our favorite vintage piece we have is a couch we rescued from our old college. it was in the library, and is probably from the sixties. it is the epitome of mid-century! we also love to thrift for books, furniture, fabric and clothes instead of buying them new!

Dancing Branflake said...

What an amazing giveaway! I would absolutely love that book.

Daniella said...

Oh wow, this is a fabulous giveaway! I found old, vintage crates, and a few little antique "Vogue Tabacco" cigarette cans for gardening... it may not be indoor repurposing, but it's definitely outdoor recycling!

Sholeh said...

I received a beautiful old mahogany coffee table as a housewarming gift from my friend's boss. It had been sitting in his basement and he heard I needed one. It has stone pull-out extensions that allow you to put hot food or beverages on it, without getting the actual wood ruined! I love it.

Kristen said...

This is very inspirational. I love the fact that this touches upon saving the earth, a bit of money, and creating a beautiful scene all at the same time.
Thanks for sharing!

Moji Shabi said...

I may not be able to wait until the drawing. I want to buy this book today.

I have a 50s TV cabinet with lovely burl grain doors. I used it for my 19 inch tube television. When that died knew I was time to go flat screen and yet I can not part with the TV cabinet.
I have been trying to think of a creative way to re-purpose it. The most obvious project was to turn it into a dry bar. But the piece's footprint (23w x25d x43h) is too large for my small apartment to be made into something I would only use occasionally. Linen storage was also a possibility but not now tool or craft chest (on wheels) seems to be taking the lead.

I'm Lindsey Lou! said...

I bought a set of 4 old English chairs off ebay for $10 and sanded, primed and painted them a glossy black. I still need to do the cushions though.

The Glam Lamb said...

My favorite thrifted piece probably would be my dining chairs that are bamboo-esque drexel chairs (the ones that look like jonathan adler)... i had them painted black. I got them at a vintage furniture shop in East LA called Hawkins... and then I found the fabric at the Long Beach flea market and looove them! you can see them at this link below http://theglamlamb.blogspot.com/2010/06/another-decision-has-been-made.html

PS - love your blog!

branch manager said...

I love Country Living! I have lots of vintage finds in my home, some favorites being small ash baskets and table linens. I can always find a use for old crocks and china. The list goes on...
Shari

domestikatedlife.com said...

I'd love to read this book! My favorite vintage piece is a rickety old wooden chair with dozens of layers of paint chipping through in different layers -- my boyfriend and friends mock it and refer to it as a "pile of sticks" -- but I love it! It has so much character!

Caroline said...

This book looks amazing... I'd love to win! one of my favorite things to pick up at the flea markets are vintage cameras. I've started a fun little collection! Other things I can't resist picking up are books, and little glass jars and vials for flowers. They are so much more fun then just plain vases!
I really enjoy reading this blog; you are one of my favorites!

Stephy P. said...

People are always trying to find "one of a kind" items at stores where everyone else is shopping...antiques are a perfect way to find something that is unique. I also think there is something to be said for "the hunt". You always value something you had to search for. The idea behind this book makes me think of the Aboriginals' view of nature-particularly wildlife-using every part of an animal out of respect for the life you have taken. I bet it is a fantastic read!

Stephy P. said...

Oh, my favourite "vintage" piece: the rocking chair in my little G's nursery that my husband refinished!

Charlotta Ward said...

What a fab give-away - I am keeping both toes and fingers crossed!

I have lots of favourites in my home and in storage back in Sweden. A fantastic antique writing desk that dates back to 1800s and was part of my grand parents' home, a fantastic mid century chair that I climbed all over as a child, wonderful vintage prints and pictures I have picked up whilst traveling and living all over the world, some stunning table cloths that I have had mended and use avidly at special occasions.. I could go on.

Thank you for this - I am so hoping I will be the lucky winner!

Good luck to everyone!

x Charlotta

tape_queen said...

thank you for doing this giveaway!

I have had my eye on a fabulous soft-mint-green armoire at my local consignment store. It currently still sits in the shop but if I could bring it home, I would touch up the peeling paint a bit but leave a bit of the old faded touch. I would likely also use it as an armoire but it would be so magnificent to house all my vintage clothing inside. :)

Charlotta Ward said...

To increase my chances I have placed the book with reference to this amazing give-away at the top of my blog, on the right hand side.

Hoping this will make all the difference. Yay! :)



x Charlotta

Shelley said...

How exciting! I love this book and have been living it's philosophies for some time. Shelley

Charlie and Tango on a Sunday said...

My favourite vintage piece is a printed mirror that I found at my local Salvo's store. It's just so pretty and feminine I couldn't resist it. You can check it out here http://charlieandtango.blogspot.com/2010/02/pretty-things-make-me-happy.html

Tallulah Staple said...

This book looks awesome!
I love stuff like this and am constantly looking for new inspiration.
As far as something I want to restore goes, I'm currently trying to convince my landlord to sell us a table in our apartment - we're moving in a couple of months and I can't wait to do up our new place! - the table is already pretty special, it's one of those old sewing machine tables, where the sewing machine turns upside down to give you table surface when not sewing, and it's got an amazing cast iron stand in place of legs. I'm wanting to repaint it white, with a dark royal blue on the metal and with blue decorations on the white...
I really hope I can get the sewing machine working too - my Mum's a seamstress and I'd love to be able to put to use some of the tips I've learnt over the years.
Keep your fingers crossed for me convincing my landlord!!!

Tallulah Staple said...

Oh, and my email address is tallulah.staple@googlemail.com and i've done the bits on Facebook!

Luna and Chloe said...

What a great book. Loving all the chandeliers. Hopefully I will be the lucky one :) I had a handful of favorite vintage pieces...but most were stolen...I do however still have a tigers-eye mahogany couch that weighs a ton that is absolutely gorgeous and was a wedding gift from my mom! And I just picked up a free vintage ladder that I plan to use at events...seating card display, etc.
Happy Weekend!

xoxo
kristi

Splendid Willow said...

This book has my name all written on it!

Antiques are green! I am a lucky owner of several nice pieces and they will carefully be handed down to the next generation. And then the next, and the...

Mixing old with new also makes for a very personal and lovely home.

I just gave my my old chest a makeover! Sharelee, it might not be your style - but here it is!

http://splendidwillow.com/archives/7996

I personally love it!

Great giveaway, as always!

Happy weekend to you dear friend.

Mon

Anonymous said...

Just found your blog by accident and automatically subscribed. Would love to see all of this amazing book.

CarolNWong(at)aol(dot)com

Shelley Trbuhovich said...

thanks so much for this opportunity. i have been decorating like this for the past 15 yrs, i have so many favourite pieces! but i found an old medical cabinet from the 1940's that has been the perfect change table for our little boys. i found it near to where i live in melbourne, australia. a little shop called 'mondo trasho'. in petaluma, ca, (i lived in nth cali for 4 yrs and nyc for 3 yrs) i found a stunning old school bench painted red which has been a coffee table, a dining sideboard and now holds my son's books and bits.
you have agreat blog. thanks.

the cinnamon post said...

most of my home has been furnished with re-purposed items...from family or thrift shops. I often go "shopping" in my parents attic! My most recent find was an old book case with a glass door that i am painting and it may just house my china in the dining room...would love to see this new book. Thank you.
~Tara

Becky said...

I have my grandparents wooden ice box, complete with peeling paint. Haven'nt done a thing with it yet.

Sarah Klassen said...

What a lovely book this is... I truly want to practice this as often as possible. Great giveaway!

:)

farmerstrophywife.com said...

This book looks FABULOUS!! I have a stack of old windows to repurpose...so far have made a chalkboard!
http://www.farmerstrophywife.com

emmoser said...

I don't have any favorites yet, but love looking at antique malls and flea markets for design inspiration.

ashleyb. said...

I hope I'm not too late! My husband and I frequent Deseret Industries in Salt Lake, which is a donation store like Salvation Army. We recently purchased an antique wardrobe that we are refinishing.
This is a great giveaway, I'd love to win!

Sasha {Everything Fabulous} said...

What a fabulous book!!! Wauw it would come in so handy with all the flea market damage I have been doing lately!! Hope you have a fabulous weekend!

d. terry said...

This book is definitely added to my must read list especially given my quest for a more purpose driven life...

LinkWithin

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...