Thursday, March 13, 2008

Junk Beautiful: Room By Room Makeovers with Junkmarket Style

NYC’s preeminent flea haven, Hell’s Kitchen Flea Market, welcomes Sue Whitney, co-founder of the popular web site and co-author with Ki Nassauer of new book Junk Beautiful: Room By Room Makeovers with Junkmarket Style (The Taunton Press; March 25, 2008; $21.95), to its colorful sidewalks Saturday March 29, 2008, from 11AM-3PM. Whitney will join the market’s delightful patchwork of eclectic vendors lining the entire block at 39th Street between Ninth & Tenth Avenues, a rich pavilion of objets trouvés, to sign copies of her book and share with market-goers tips and joys of “junking”, treasure hunting and repurposing to decorate your space. Sue and Ki will also on be on the Today Show (NBC) on Thursday, March 27 to discuss the book.

When Sue Whitney and Ki Nassauer met while watching their sons play hockey, they discovered they shared another passion: junk. While others scoured flea markets for pretty and practical items, they were the ones seeking out “the junk” no one else wanted so they could recycle it to create bespoke furnishings and accessories. Soon, these Minnesota-based hockey moms founded JUNKMARKET, a successful retail business and workshop for repurposing items and where they introduced an inviting and environmentally responsible design philosophy that blends practicality with pleasing aesthetics. The joys of junking spread like wildfire: today, their mailing list is 30,000 strong and fans flock to their annual Junk Bonanza flea market from across the country.

Now in their new book, Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers with Junkmarket Style, Whitney and Nassauer, who have made numerous appearances on media outlets to share invaluable tips on treasure hunting and repurposing, and illustrate how to transform living spaces from ho-hum to junk beautiful. By following their mantra of “simple yet stunning,” anyone can turn flea market finds, tag sale goodies, and dumpster discoveries into a distinctive look that is inexpensive yet firmly rooted in good design.

Chock-full of beautiful photographs and sketches, Junk Beautiful shows how to create a home that is unique and livable in which fine antiques and family heirlooms blend effortlessly with curbside cast-offs. Nine rooms presenting decorating and storage challenges are featured in Junk Beautiful and Whitney and Nassauer tackle the problems with inventive and quirky aplomb.

Started in 1976 as a “penny-jar” investment on an empty lot on an estranged corner in Chelsea, entrepreneur Alan Boss marshaled 11 vendors to single-handedly shape the outdoor mecca that has become known by treasure hunters worldwide as The Annex Antiques Fair & Flea Market. Summer 2005, after almost 30 years of outdoor commerce-delight and top-notch haggling, Mr. Boss and his world-famous flea traveled the distance to harken the spirit of Hell’s Kitchen’s legendary Paddy’s Market, a massive outdoor pushcart mart that thrived through the 1930’s at the same location. Embarking on the adventure from Chelsea, all voyageurs, from vendors to day-trippers, found welcome mats running the entire block of 39th Street between 9th & 10th Avenues, Saturday’s & Sunday’s, from 10AM-6PM. For more information visit

The Garage is the answer to inclement weather otherwise dampening the shopping experience at the outdoor market. Still bustling with vendors as the fashion éclat to top-notch hagglers delight at fine old things, memorabilia, original art & antiques located in a New York City parking structure day-trippers marvel over an array of paintings, 19th-century jewelry, handbags, furniture, fabrics and rugs. Rummaging starts as early as 6am every Saturday morning and lasts throughout the weekend, 25th Street between Sixth & Seventh Avenue.

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