Restore. Recycle. Repurpose: Create a Beautiful Home

by Katy on August 14, 2010 · 11 comments

It should come as no surprise to regular Non-Consumer Advocate readers that I’m a big time sucker for home design and decorating. Books, television shows, tours of friends’ homes, I drink it all in. Logically, a woman who calls herself “The Non-Consumer Advocate” should be immune to the draw of beautiful and artfully appointed homes. However, logic is not part of this equation.

I had gone with my father to “The Looking Glass” bookstore a few months back and picked up a copy of Randy Florke’s Restore. Recycle. Repurpose.: Create a Beautiful Home, (Hearst Books, 2010.) and was instantly riveted. My memory may be flawed, but I do recall my father having to physically shake me out of my trance. Kind of.

I rushed home to and put the book on hold at the library, and finally got to pick it up yesterday. (We do have the highest circulation rates in the country.)

And it was just as good as I remembered. Seriously, read this passage on “Buying into Green:”

“Watch nearly any of the decorating or  renovating shows aired these days and you’ll see fine examples of rooms recast into models of respectable sustainability. Recycled glass tile, bamboo floors, organic fabrics, radiant heating systems, salvaged marble countertops, and locally crafted furniture are all very eco-friendly, and no doubt the rooms are gorgeous — but at what price? These designs reflect not only huge expense but a great deal of consumerism. What became of the pre-renovation cabinets, the linoleum flooring, and the ceramic tile? Have they ended up in the local landfill?”

Florke possesses an uncanny knack for pulling rooms together from vintage items without a fuddy-duddy result. His interiors invite the reader to look around their own house and reconsider forgotten items or rearrange what’s already there. There’s next to no “you should buy this” type of advice, which I appreciate. And the results are totally unique and completely appealing.

A modern take on vintage items.

I ♥ this book.

I will hold onto this book for the full three weeks that the Multnomah County Library allows. Then maybe,  just maybe I’ll put it on reserve again. That is . . . if the trance breaks.

Katy Wolk-Stanley

“Use it up, wear it out, make it do or do without”

{ 11 comments… read them below or add one }

Cathy August 14, 2010 at 1:43 pm

My library has a copy of this too! I just ordered it. Thanks for turning me on to it.


Barb @ 1SentenceDiary August 14, 2010 at 5:53 pm

Thanks for the recommendation. Heading to my library’s website right now to put it on hold as well. 🙂


Katy August 14, 2010 at 7:09 pm

I hope you like it!



Barb @ 1SentenceDiary August 25, 2010 at 11:57 am

Just got a notice that it’s available and waiting for me. Yay!


Kayla K August 14, 2010 at 7:44 pm

I have agreed with your previous posts on “greenwashing” and think that home renovations can easily fit in this category. Antiques are the way to go for “green” decorating, in my opinion. They are of better quality and design than modern factory furniture and hold their value.

I am excited to read this book. I really enjoy Country Living publications because they always tend towards antiques and repurposed items.


Elizabeth B August 14, 2010 at 8:37 pm

Thanks for the recommendation, Katy! I’ve put this on hold at my library. Our system’s copies haven’t even arrived yet. 🙂


Kristen@TheFrugalGirl August 15, 2010 at 3:04 am

Just put it on hold at my library too! lol


Jinger August 15, 2010 at 5:00 am

Austin Public Library hold right now for me….aren’t libraries the best places on earth?


Katy August 15, 2010 at 9:16 am

Yes. 😀



Juliette Samuel August 15, 2010 at 11:09 am

I’m always looking for ways to maintain my style while go green in the process. I’m gonna check this book out right away. Thank you Katy. Anymore recommendations like this one?

Juliette Samuel


Lisa Hogan August 16, 2010 at 5:42 am

I am passionate about redesigning yard sale finds and have been decorating my home with them for years! I have a whole collection of decorating books on the subject but not this one. I will have to go get a copy ASAP! Thanks for the info:)


Leave a Comment

Previous post:

Next post: