Book Report: Junk Beautiful Outdoor Edition by Sue Whitney with Kimberly Melamed (2009)

Book Report: Junk Beautiful Outdoor Edition by Sue Whitney with Kimberly Melamed (2009)

I picked this book up because I thought it was a crafting book designed around using junk for other purposes, kinda like Trash to Treasure or something.

Instead, it’s an interior design book that focuses on building your rooms with pieces of junk that you find in antique stores and rummage sales, sometimes combining (juxtaposing) disparate things for a new function. Like an old skateboard for a paper towel holder. Most of the stuff is not refurbished, refinished, or improved; instead, it’s put to some other use. Well, not all things are left untinkered with, and not all things are junk. One perfect sign that capped the room was a little weathered, wood-routed sign that cost $15 at the antique store. For an accent piece that most will overlook. That’s not junk. Some of the improvements involve glass tabletops special ordered. That’s not inexpensive.

So there’s not any crafty stuff in here, but I did browse for some ideas that probably have been put on simmer for my own use later. I have to say, though, that I did not care for the design herein. I’ve been a bachelor, so I’ve retasked some things, and no readers on this blog but my wife remember the red velvet covered industrial cable spool that served as a table, night stand, or entertainment center between the years 1994 and 2000 in my house. One can accept weathered, rusted, and otherwise ticky tack elements to a room or a whole room (or in this book, outdoor spaces) if one accumulates the pieces over time and doesn’t tend to them because, well, your grandparents or great aunts or whomever is getting older. But to freshly design things with this look is an abomination. In my aesthetic ca 2010. In a couple years, my backyard will no doubt be a combination of newer but used pieces with things I buy at yard sales to fill a niche. But it will be out of cheapness and necessity, not because I designed it to look that way.

Books mentioned in this review: