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Junk Chic Paperback – 3 Apr 2003

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Product details

  • Paperback: 160 pages
  • Publisher: Sterling; New edition edition (3 April 2003)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0806976799
  • ISBN-13: 978-0806976792
  • Product Dimensions: 24.6 x 26.1 x 1.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,910,846 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"...Elliott uses her own home as an example of what can be done with cheap finds, and the transformation is quite remarkable and innovative....well-written directions...Recommended for public libraries..."--Library Journal; "Elliott uses her Oregonian home as a showcase of basic principles of making something from nothing--or at least from something ordinarily thought unsalvageable...save-the-stuff stories abound, and instructions are easy...to follow...Her creations are wondrously whimsical and imaginative."-- Booklist.

About the Author

Kathryn Elliott has worked as a design consultant for over 15 years. She is an accomplished artist and has sold her works successfully through galleries in Palm Springs and Malibu, California. She works as a freelance decorative paint artist and muralist, as well as an instructor on faux and decorative paint techniques.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Mariann Fox on 27 Mar 2006
Format: Hardcover
Thanks to Kathryn Elliot, I am able to decorate my home on a shoestring budget! The thrift stores are full of wonderful objects that with a little imagination, can be turned into a beautiful setting. Just look for your favorite color scheme and style, stick to that and you will be suprised at what you will find and with the savings. I liked Katheryn's step by step process of preparing and painting objects to your liking. I never dreamed I could do it,
but now I am inspired!
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By Wendi on 25 May 2014
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
A little too basic and really seems to have been published for the photos of her makeovers. Virtually no how-to instructions although, al so basic they don't really need them!
Just glad I bought it second-hand and not full price or I'd be decidedly pissed!
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 18 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Easy how to and fun all in one book! 4 May 2001
By Chelsea - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book JUNK CHIC is a great way to make your storage junk into a work of classic art! In easy how-to steps i was able to make a kitchen pot rack out of an old coffee table. and i enjoy every minute looking at my recycled work of art. If you don't already have old furniture or old nick-nacks of your own, this book gives helpful tips on stores where you can get for instance, a 10 dollar sofa! This is a great opportunity to get rid of that old Junk, and turn it into something chic!
7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
Cheap, yet Chic...very cool! 4 April 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book brought new meaning to the words, "One man's junk is another man's treasure"! I thought the ideas in this book were one of a kind. How many times do you have an old piece of junk just sitting in the garage that someday you'll end up throwing away? If you're interested in making your home your "heaven on earth", this book is a must!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
A springboard for your imagination 22 Oct 2013
By Elizabeth J. Brown - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I realize that reviews for Ms. Elliott's book fall into two categories: one that labels it "junk," the other, "chic." I fall into the latter category. Years ago I was given a copy of this book for Christmas. I refinished a blah coffee table using one of Ms. Elliott's weathering techniques. It was easy, dirt cheap, and drew raves--not because it was loud and showy--but because the weathering was so realistic it made a characterless piece of furniture a focal point of the room it was in; something chic made out of junk. And it cost almost nothing. I achieved the look with sandpaper, a handful of colors of acrylic craft paint, some foam brushes and acrylic sealer. Somewhere along the way I lost that book, but I needed it because we are redoing our house on a budget that allows for little more than secondhand and scavenged pieces. I was happy to find it on Amazon, although it is out of print, and even happier to get it and another of Ms. Elliott's books at Prime-eligible, used book prices.

Maybe you have to share Ms. Elliott's aesthetic to get excited about her book. Her own house is the backdrop for every technique and design project in the book. Overall she goes for a European farm or country house look and feel, and while some of the rooms are overwhelmed by lots of attention-grabbers in a small space, the average person who isn't an interior designer probably doesn't want to live this way anyway, and can pick and choose from among the several dozen ideas offered. The author thoroughly enjoys repurposing--for example her lamp base finials--and while some of these projects are purely decorative they are clever, the "flower bed" most especially.

So, to what worked for me, and what I'm ready to try for the first time. All the finishing techniques: weathered, distressed, plaster and vinegar distressed (or pickled) work. They just do, and you don't have to be an artist to get these results. You can apply these finishes to almost any surface with no special equipment or expensive supplies required. These techniques are so forgiving it's almost impossible to make a "mistake."

There is a complete decorative overhaul of a fireplace, from the mantle to the bricks to the finials. For whatever reason, our fireplace is on a diagonal not six feet inside our front door, and right now it's just "there." With Ms. Elliott's instructions, I'm certain a makeover can be achieved for very little money and in not very much time. I am more hesitant about trying her glue gun upholstery technique, but I have two side chairs I found beside a dumpster which are structurally sound but in need of a facelift, so I believe I will try this. The fresco calligraphy isn't something I could pull off, although someone else might do it very well. And while I do like the look of the coffee table pot rack for the kitchen, I would worry too much about it falling to ever try it myself.

No one decorating book will appeal to everyone, and many such books do start to look dated very quickly. I liked "Junk Chic" well enough to hunt down a new copy after several years. I remembered enough of the ideas to know they would help me pull together a new, blended household full of mismatched pieces with a minimal outlay of money, time and stress. Leafing through the book again, I believe I was right.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Something from Nothing 13 April 2001
By David S Richardosn - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Step by step Junk Chic shows you how to apply a faux finish to practically anything. Learn how to create something from nothing for minimal cost and effort. Chic for Cheap! From stair rails to flower beds, this book is a treasure chest of ideas.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
Cute, but disappointing 4 Dec 2003
By "jscardone02" - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback
There were some great ideas, and I do appreciate the tools listings, but overall I was a little disappointed. It just didn't seem to be as in-depth as I had hoped. I hope that she expands on her texts in the future.
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