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I Brake for Yard Sales: High Style - Low Budget

3.44  ·  Rating Details ·  452 Ratings  ·  73 Reviews

Good Morning America correspondent Lara Spencer is a self-confessed frugalista with a passion for shopping at yard sales, thrift shops, and estate sales, and for decorating her home and friends’ homes with her fabulous finds. In I Brake for Yard Sales, Lara shares her secrets for bargain hunting and tells you where to shop, what to look for, how to pay for it, how to resto

Paperback, 176 pages
Published April 1st 2012 by Abrams, Harry N., Inc.
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Apr 07, 2013 Jackie rated it it was ok
Shelves: 2013-read
I’m a fan of Lara Spencer, so when I saw this at the library I quickly snatched it up. TV Lara, the one that appears on Good Morning America and Flea Market Flip, is a down to earth funny girl, but in this book she comes off as a little pretentious. Pretentious is not a term you would think of when a person is shopping at flea markets, auctions, garage sales, etc. However, Lara uses the term “blue-blood” ad nauseum, admits to having electricians, painters and upholstery people and shows pictures ...more
Jul 01, 2016 Tatiana rated it it was ok
Like Lara Spencer, co-anchor for Good Morning America and closeted antique dealer-slash-interior designer, I too brake for yard sales. There is a thrill that comes with the unknown that garage sales, flea markets, and thrift shops present: you never know, on any given day, what might be waiting there for you to claim as your own. One gal’s trash is another’s treasure and all that jazz.

But that’s where the resemblance ends. Unlike real people who bargain shop because they cannot afford retail, Sp
May 16, 2012 Bunny rated it it was ok
Shelves: read-in-12
The problem with books like this is the title is misleading. Yes, there are many amazing finds in this book that you wouldn't believe she upcycled from yard sale finds. However, there's also the uber expensive items she purchases from estate sales, etc, that people who do not have a Good Morning America funded budget could not possibly afford to buy.

I mean, a $50 lamp shaped like a crab? That's great for someone with a fat paycheck to waste space and money on. But how about the people who actua
Apr 19, 2012 Phyllis rated it it was ok
Shelves: junk
This is your standard flea market interior decorating/re-purposing vintage furniture with fresh paint/new upholstery type book, only Lara Spencer writes in this totally breathless, heavily caffeinated fashion editor style that makes the whole thing really hysteric and more than a little exhausting. She uses the term "blue bloods" about 5,000 times, too, because a big part of her aesthetic is making cheap things look expensive. I like seeing how people utilize their flea market finds, so I enjoye ...more
Feb 27, 2013 Michael rated it did not like it
Not exactly what Macklemore is rapping about. The topic interested me, but this book is a little misleading. Finding a treasure at a yard sale or thrift shop is great; more should start hunting. Lara Spencer's more into (and can afford) full scale refurbishing. Many of her finds have been totally recreated, at great expense. She has a keen eye for trends and design but I found it to be overly pretentious. The book is a how to for well-off design aficionados who want to find things with good bone ...more
Kate Woods Walker
Apr 28, 2012 Kate Woods Walker rated it it was ok
Colorful, retro-trendy furniture is featured, multiple times, in different settings. Photos of the author's home, plus those of two of her friends, are shown. You can see the author posing at a flea market, and at home. Read tips for better bargain hunting. Learn a few decorating terms.

But if you don't like the decorating style (and, sadly, I didn't) it's just a colorful vanity project. Nothing particularly objectionable about this quick-and-easy just wasn't my cup of varnish.
May 19, 2012 Jackie rated it it was amazing
I really liked this book. I now have a burning desire to run out and hit up all my local yard sales, flea markets and thrift shops. Lara Spencer has some serious talent and incredible eye for potential treasures. I have even photocopied some of the pages to bring around with me. I especially appreciated her list of furniture makers to look for. It is helpful to have those names handy. My only suggestion would have been more "how to" segments for those people who would rather reupholster their ow ...more
sara frances
more like 2.5, but i'm feeling generous! just not really my style or my level of effort. i am much too lazy to do a lot of what she recommends.
While this book is more a coffee table style book with pictorial ideas to inspire, it is definitely a quick read and does have some good tips for shopping flea markets, yard sales, and online auctions. I enjoyed the different styles and while this author's style ideas would realistically be out of my price range a lot of the time (spending $100 to have something professionally painted?)I did like looking at high end items mixed with low end. She obviously has a great eye for style and what makes ...more
Aug 14, 2013 Tori rated it it was amazing
Shelves: 2013
I picked this up thinking it might be something interesting to page through while on the can.
I l.o.v.e.d this book and I am not sure why as I have no design bone in my body. But I am a frugal garage sale junkie. I'm now convinced that my next house can be decorated via yard sales and the antique mall up the street with all the stuff in it from dead people. But I'm going to totally dig driving my husband nuts with this for the time being.

Some ideas I like...
- framed wallpaper. Never thought off
Jun 02, 2015 Laura rated it it was ok
This is a fun book, and I did get some good ideas from it. If you've watched her shows, there's not much new information in here. Also, I found the 'blue blood' theme running though the book to be annoying after a while. And while the book is only about three year's old, some of the website information is a little out of date.

This is a good book to pick up if you need a little design inspiration.
Jennifer Gelert
Aug 18, 2013 Jennifer Gelert rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! I love to decorate but try to live on a budget. It was great to see how you can decorate a great room and save lots of money. I shop thrift stores, yard sales and have been know to use spray paint and a sheet to re-do a chair or piece of furniture. This book gave me ideas to look for. Shared what is considered a good piece and worthwhile to buy and what is not. How to share different periods in your rooms for a put together and interesting look. How one or two high end pieces ...more
Pam Ogrady
I usually love this kind of book. I enjoy flea markets and love to use items for other than intended purposes. This book was almost strange in that she's going to flea markets, seems like she enjoys them but still manages an almost condescending tone.
I'm really sad that after reading it, I don't think I can view her show the same again.
May 11, 2016 Dawn rated it liked it
Interesting stories of treasures discovered and tips shared; anyone with the bargain hunter fever can relate! Great pictures of rescued and re-purposed gems in their new, celebrity habitat. Some useful tips for the beginner, as well.
Dec 31, 2015 Gabrielle rated it it was amazing
Okay, my rating may be a little biased because I love garage sales! And I love seeing the possibilities in a piece and adding it to my home. Lara does just that, and makes garage sales and flea markets chic!
Sep 26, 2014 Kristina rated it it was ok
Not what I was expecting. I don't care about labels. It's great she found same big designer items at a steal but then she pays big bucks for a painter, electrician or carpenter. There are no DIY explanations either.
May 16, 2013 Jerry rated it it was ok
Recommends it for: Those who like home decorating
A Quickie Review

Based on the title, you might think that this book is right up my alley. However, Ms. Spencer really talks about finding home decor and furniture at yard sales and such, whereas I usually buy entertainment. Some of her tips ring true no matter what you shop for, and the photography is well-done...but it isn't quite what I was expecting.

Content Concerns: Some profanity/euphemisms (a d-word, "freaking") as well as a few crude expressions ("put on your big girl panties," etc.) The a
Jul 10, 2014 Laura rated it did not like it
Fun to flip through like a magazine but not really helpful. It turns out she has a different idea than I do on what qualifies as a bargain. :)
Sep 23, 2014 Judy rated it it was amazing
Loved this book with excellent online references to study & check out. Can't wait to go shopping!
Mar 13, 2015 Lisa rated it really liked it
Fun book that I can totally relate to. Pretty pictures and love the before and after shots.
Nov 18, 2014 Kristin rated it did not like it
I was hoping that this would be a fun book about a kindred spirit...another lover of yard sales, estate sales, repurposing, and restyling diamonds in the rough. I was hoping for a spark of inspiration and instead I was just annoyed and irritated.

The book just didn't do it for me and that really surprised me since you would think that I would be all over this book and it's subject matter. It was unrealistic...too pretentious...and I hate to say it but condescending. I was irritated with the autho
Oct 05, 2012 Laura rated it it was ok
As another review said, she does overuse the term "blue-blood" and I find it obnoxious. There is some okay advice in here but nothing too eye opening. She has some amazing finds but it really isn't too down to earth for the average person to expect. Also her savings is unrealistic. I looked into reupholstering a family chair with "good bones" that I loved once and it was way too pricey - you could easily just buy a new chair for the cost of re-doing one. Not worth it in my opinion unless it is s ...more
Jul 05, 2012 Amy rated it liked it
Shelves: for-me
I could have lost all respect for author Lara Spencer in choosing Kathy Griffin as her intro author. Leave it to Kathy to take something as innocent as going to a yard sale and make it dirty. While this book was very fun to look at, it is another "difficult to implement" decorating book. Cute graphics on pages make it easy to read her helpful hints regarding the art of yard sale-ing. But I long for a decorating book that I can actually transfer easily into my own home.
Oct 11, 2012 Gjscollins rated it it was ok
I was disappointed in this book. I should have trusted the reviews on Goodreads and Amazon. It was horribly written. She couldn't seem to find another synonym for "blue bloods" as she used it so many times it was nauseating. The one thing I did like about the book was the recommendation about visiting yard sales in older neighborhoods to find the good stuff. I tend to go to the newer suburbs and am disappointed. I did love her show on HGTV though.
Jun 07, 2013 Jackie rated it really liked it
An inspiring and helpful book for those interested in repurposing, upcycling and interior design. Lara Spencer knows her way around a flea market and isn't afraid to brag about her secondhand finds. It's not so much a how-to book as it a visual stimulus for creative ideas. Still, I'd say that for any secondhand treasure hunter looking to turn their humble abode into a fashionable and functioning place to live...this book has a lot to offer.
Stephanie A.
Aug 26, 2012 Stephanie A. rated it liked it
Shelves: nonfiction
Full of glossy pretty photos and short spurts of blurb/caption-style text that made it fun to flip through like a magazine, but I didn't realize it was all about interior design finds, 90% of which are furniture. (so not my thing) Plus it took me half the book to stop laughing at the prices she bragged about, many of which were what I would pay for a brand new piece - one I didn't have to then spend extra money and time "fixing."
Emily Spall
Feb 19, 2015 Emily Spall rated it liked it
Good pictures. Good ideas.
Jul 16, 2012 Cara rated it it was amazing
Unlike many books of this kind, I was pleased with the way this one handled the subject. I often feel that an author is just showing off all their wonderful finds, which you, of course, will never be able to re-create or even imitate. While she certainly shares some success stories, Lara also gives some quite useful tips and manages to communicate a little of the fun of the hunt.
Jan 08, 2014 Heather rated it it was amazing
Shelves: non-fiction
Love, love, love. Some great ideas for putting a room together, and proof that with a little TLC, many throw aways can be reworked, reused, repurposed to look beautiful.
Ashley Beltz
Jan 11, 2015 Ashley Beltz rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Helpful Guide

This book was a great mix of visual inspiration and practical information. Lara's passion for "saleing" is apparent in her writing and makes me want to run to the nearest flea market to start hunting. My only complaint is the format of the book on my kindle made the visuals hard to see and sometimes seemed as though a page was missing.
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