Saturday, June 20, 2009

Junk Style

I was initially drawn to Junk Style by the enviable name of the author, Melanie Molesworth (which evokes memories of Nigel Molesworth, hero of my youth). First published in 1998, it has been reissued and is particularly relevant now when conspicuously recessionary consumerism is in vogue.

The focus is on genuine 'shabby chic' - inexpensive French-style interior décor using old furniture and accessories and found objects. Good ideas include an old wooden gate as a strong bedhead, flour sacks as rustic cushion covers for a painted bench, and an armchair reupholstered using a faded blanket.

The book's photography is fresh and graceful, but something makes me think that this look could easily be taken too far in a non-photoshoot setting in my home, where two energetic children create their own junk look in no time. And the chapters on collectibles and found objects are not for me either, as such things as driftwood,  flat-irons and religious icons would only annoy Beatrice, my imaginary assistant, as she goes about her diligent dusting.

But the effect of the book was to make me want to return to my student days and take this imaginative  approach to rented apartment décor rather than tolerate their dark leather sofas, wonky tables and Argos wardrobes.  Landlords please note: why not let out bare, freshly painted student apartments with a functional kitchen and a copy of this book to promote design, initiative and frugal comfort?


  1. I think the the bare student apartments is an absolutely excellent idea... for non-student apartments too!

    We searched long and hard for our unfurnished rented flat, so we could build a real home in it (albeit for next to nothing).

    Why don't more landlords offer a blank canvas? It might be more popular than they think...

  2. I can never get enough of interior inspiration books and I'm all about upcycling at the moment so I've just ordered a copy! Thanks Mise for introducing me to this book and to The Book Depository - no more paying ridiculous postage costs with Amazon for me!

  3. My pleasure entirely, Paula! - I love the Book Depository because I can just order one thing at a time - when I used Amazon I used to look for what else I could buy to get value for money for delivery and often got discouraged and abandoned the whle thing.

    That's so true, Serena - when we first moved to Galway, looking for somewhere to buy, we were depressed by viewing many seaside apartments to rent with blue sofas and handles falling off the cupboards before we finally found an empty house to rent.


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