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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Aesthetics of Salvage, 13 Mar. 2013
This review is from: Reclaiming Style - Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home (Hardcover)
This book, "Reclaiming Style" profiles Retrouvius, the witty name of an architectural salvage and innovative design business in north London.
The authors are a husband and wife team, who began their mission when both were architectural students in Glasgow, where they were witness to the desecration and demolition of many fine Victorian buildings.

The book is in two parts. The first part shows the range of salvaged materials in their warehouse, much of which in the past often ended in landfill sites.
The second part highlights some of the recent design projects, and the metamorphosis that happens where salvaged materials are utilised. The stone flooring of Heathrow Terminal 2 has a new lease of life as bathroom walling.
Elsewhere wooden pilasters from a church make streamlined kitchen cabinets and car-factory lighting graces an elegant high ceilinged dining room.

The projects are wide and varied, ranging from a modest garden cabin to a medieval priory, a Georgian farmhouse and a high-rise London flat
amongst others. What is clear is the rapport that has to take place with the client. The many splendid photographs amply do justice to the book, reflecting the dialogue between, client and designer.

Perhaps the publisher's decision to give a sub-title to the book, "Using Salvaged Materials to create an elegant home" was a mistake, suggesting a DIY book. This book belongs more to the realm of 'The World of Interiors'.

If you admire the ethics of recycling ........and possess aesthetic sensibilities, this book is for you.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Cracking, 4 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Reclaiming Style - Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home (Hardcover)
Cracking read, loads of great ideas in there, it doesnt show you how to do things but shows you what you could do.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Spending your money at Retrouvius, 25 Jan. 2013
By 
Peasant (Deepest England) - See all my reviews
(TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: Reclaiming Style - Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home (Hardcover)
To be fair, the cover of this book does say clearly it is by "Adam Hill and Maria Speake of Retrouvius". However, I wasn't expecting it to be quite so shameless. There are repeated eulogies to Maria in the text, who is referred to in the third person as if the book was by someone else. (Amazingly, for an interior designer, she listens to her clients and, if they want blue and red, doesn't force them to have beige and grey because they ought to like it.) This is not what we have bought the book for. A great deal of the text is about Retrouvius, and though it is interesting to read how this pioneer in the world of salvage yards originated, and about some of their more wacky and intriguing bulk purchases - laboratory benches from schools and colleges, cupboards from museums and acres of limestone from airports are among the bulkier additions to stock - the title promises "Reclaiming Style" and I was hoping for something of more general use and interest.

The cover and opening pages show very wacky stuff using old pallet timber; promising. But many of the interiors featured hide their salvage origins and look like any expensive modern room, with the emphasis on the elegance not on the clever use of the reclaimed. Most of us nowadays are not that astonished to be told that rotten floorboards were replaced with old salvaged ones (rather than chipboard?) and where they came from is of only marginal interest. There isn't a lot here to inspire the practical punter with a talent for DIY to reuse materials which would otherwise go to waste, and I suspect much of the most desirable material shown is always going to be an expensive, rather than a budget, option. Yards of old leather from the shelves of the British Museum is the sort of stuff that is only ever going to be available from one of the big players and when it's sold on it is going to be at a considerable premium. The well-heeled final purchaser is going to be able to wow (or bore) the glitterati at their dinner party by giving the ancestry of every piece of timber or stone, and I suppose in a posh enough setting, old concrete slabs which have been sand-blasted to reveal the aggregate are going to look trendy as all heck rather than just cold, noisy and inconveniently rough underfoot. But there isn't enough here to inspire or educate the general reader, and I was glad I had borrowed it rather than lashed out my pocket money.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 19 Oct. 2014
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This review is from: Reclaiming Style - Using salvaged materials to create an elegant home (Hardcover)
very good, nicely illustrated book
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