Book Review & Giveaway: Salvage Secrets You’ll Want to Tell Everyone About

Repurpose / Refurbish

Caked on dirt, cob webbed covered, rusted, scratched, dusty…and fabulous! That’s what veteran and designer Joanne Palmisano shows us in her new book, Salvage Secrets:Transforming Reclaimed Materials Into Design Concepts. When I first received a copy of this book in the mail and cracked it open, my focus went directly to the “eye candy”: a plethora of beautiful photos by Susan Teare, illustrating salvage ideas I had never dreamed possible…until now. My head was spinning with thoughts of “Wow! I really think I could do that!” and “I always wanted to use single-paned windows, but didn’t know I could create something that beautiful and functional!”

A masterpiece master bath with mirrors I will soon be installing in mine.

Needless to say, I was hooked immediately, flipping pages so fast my hair was blowing about like a rock star. But then, the responsible blogger took over and I started back at the beginning. Typically, I peruse the introduction to get the general gist, then I skim and stop at the pages and pictures that really interest me.  Not this book. Salvage Secrets kept me glued to every page. It read like a novel and I found myself on an amazing journey. It’s as if Joanne takes us with her on numerous archeological digs for salvaged materials, items we discover with her that we can use in our homes. She reveals practical concepts, structural and functional considerations, and fantastically creative ideas that she hopes will inspire us as we venture into this exciting and unexpected world of design.

Lockers once for school, are now for ski (and so much great storage)!

One of many amazing salvage ideas from the book.

A few things you can expect to find in this book include:

  • Useful, functional, and real design applications for salvaged, reused, and reclaimed materials
  • Structural and functional considerations like planning ahead with contractors and builders before installations
  • Answers to questions like “If old windows aren’t energy efficient, should they still be reused?” and “Is it more economical to use recycled materials?”
  • Chapters that are organized by materials-wood, glass, metal, stone, lighting, etc. which are applied to different spaces in your home-kitchens, bathrooms, bedrooms, entryways, etc.
  • A fantastic resource section that will assist you in researching and finding salvaged and antique items near you

Plain plywood upcycles into a fabulous feature.

Finally, Salvage Secrets underscores another positive to this fantastic trend, one which I personally hope becomes a long-term practice and integrated design style: its environmental impact. As stated on page 13, “A study conducted by the National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) estimates that 8,000 pounds of waste is created from the construction of a 2,000-square-foot home. Much of that waste, a large majority of which is wood, can be salvaged or recycled.” I do believe the secret is out: salvage is spectacular, in so many ways…and so is Salvage Secrets.

Can you identify all the salvaged items in this photo?

To purchase your own copy of this book visit: salvagesecretsblog.com. All photos: Susan Teare, Salvage Secrets

For a chance to win a signed copy of Salvage Secrets, visit our DiggersList Facebook page and answer this question today, Tuesday, December 13th, 2011 by 12-midnight PST:

What have you reused, recycled or repurposed in your home?

The winner will be announced Wednesday, December 14th, 2011.

Contest is now closed. Congratulations Mary Swanson!


Photography by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly

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Written By Skaie Knox

Skaie Knox is a storyteller on a quest to provide sparkling content through copywriting, songwriting and video production. She is founder of HomeJelly, Ruggable.com's key copywriter, a published singer/songwriter (Fervor Records/ASCAP) and kid's book author (Big Bug Lunch!). For doable DIY video tutorials, subscribe to her HomeJelly YouTube channel (for link, click on my nose!).