Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Book Smarts - The Find

by Stan Williams

(via amazon.ca)
The Find is dedicated to garage sale, second hand, and thrifted items.  The author, Stan Williams, along with today's most posh designers, outline what to look for, as well as how to look for great thrifted pieces.  Or they try to anyway.  More on that later.  The trick is to see beyond the nicks, wobbles, peeling paint, colours, and see an object's true potential.

There are five sections to the book:
1.  Furniture: Love It or Leave It
2.  Accessories: In the Details
3.  Dining and Entertaining: A Place at the Table
4.  Sensational Small Spaces: Making a Big Statement
5.  Escapes: Decorate a Distinct Getaway

There are tons of photographs, many are from the homes of designers themselves, and show how a thrifted purchase has been incorporated into their space.  There are also occasional side bars about refurbishing and styling vintage finds.
Source for all photos: The Find via Trending on Apartment Therapy

This is the first Book Smarts post that I have done where I didn't really enjoy the book.  Usually, I can find something to take away from each one I read, but with The Find, I found it to be so overly pretentious (which sounds overly pretentious in itself, but it's the best description really).  I had such high hopes for it - I am all about finding thrift store and second hand purchases and refinishing them to fit in with more modern decor.  The majority of my furniture pieces came from Kijiji after all!  But, I found the premise of the book to be misleading.

I expected the book to tell me (or show me) the how-to's of incorporating vintage pieces into my decor while still making it look good (rather than a jumbled yard sale in my living room).  Instead, the book featured rooms that required thousands of dollars.  Their thrift store purchases were WAY more than I would ever spend on furniture, let alone used furniture.  The homes showcased were not "normal, everyday" homes.  They were the who's-who of design and decor on the international scene.  I felt like the whole book was name dropping famous designers that the author knew...a "look at who's home I'm in now!" kind of vibe.  I didn't really take any ideas away from it.  The images and writing style just weren't my taste.

I was especially looking forward to the small space chapter, but it let me down too.  These "small spaces" were not small spaces in the true sense.  Last time I checked, a three bedroom, 2500-square-foot home is not a small space.  And when you decorate it with thrifted designer pieces, it becomes way out of reality for most.

This post feels like such a Debbie Downer, so I'm not saying that you all will dislike it too!  It just wasn't for me.  If you're into the vintage and eclectic look though, check it out!  If nothing else, you may get some inspiration and be able to DIY some of the ideas!

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