Restore. Recycle. Repurpose.

THERE’S A VERY APPEALING SCHOOL OF DECORATING involving flea market finds, old stoves and farmhouse sinks, distressed wood furniture — all things vintage, from lighting to linens to glassware. As practiced by Randy Florke, whose Restore. Recycle. Repurpose. (Create A Beautiful Home) has just been published by Hearst/Country Living, the word “cottage” has nothing to do with it.

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The only place things get a little grandmother-y in Florke’s vision of sustainable, authentic decorating is in the rolled-arm slipcovered sofas that furnish every living room (not that I have a better idea — sofas are tough). Mostly, it’s the cohesive, controlled, confident, tchotchke-free view of a very handy, tasteful man, raised in Iowa, who’s produced numerous photo shoots for Country Living and other magazines.

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It’s not just the furnishings that exemplify the old-fashioned virtues of “simplicity, thrift, and authenticity,” to quote the book’s jacket. Florke is a real estate agent in Sullivan County, New York, specializing in late 19th and early 20th century farmhouses. A veteran of many renos, he’s recycled and re-purposed many stair railings, floor planks, wainscoting, decorative moldings, doorknobs, beams, and ceramic tiles.

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If everyone followed his lead, IKEA would go out of business. There’s no place for anything new, except maybe a mattress (TVs and computers are discreetly tucked away).

The book has lots of tips for going green, many by now recycled themselves. The main one, as Florke puts it: “Refuse to feed the land fill.” He admits the vintage stoves are energy-guzzlers compared to today’s modern ones, but it’s a compromise he’s prepared to make. Anyway, I just can’t help but love a guy whose search for a desk or a dresser always begins with a trip to a thrift shop or the Salvation Army.