The two women, known as the “JunkMarket Gals,” manage a website and write about junk collecting for Country Home magazine. They have a book out, Decorating JunkMarket Style (2005), and a second, Junk Beautiful: Room by Room Makeovers with JunkMarket Style, due out March 25.

Whitney is on a mission. Junk, she declares, does not mean clutter. It is not anti-décor. You just have to think about these things creatively, use pieces judiciously and find truly unique items, items that you love, for your raw material. She brims with advice about how to do that.

Among her tips:

  • Shop “down low.” Literally. Look under the tables at flea markets to find the best, most affordable stuff just waiting to be transformed.
  • Negotiate politely. This is part of the flea market scene and few vendors will be surprised if you try to finagle a better price. Don’t expect them to lop off huge percentages. At the same time, let them offer a price that they might “take for it” – so you don’t inadvertently set the bar too high.
  • Don’t get “lost in translation.” You need to be fresh and unburdened when crawling around under those flea market tables. So leave your purchases with vendors until the end of your shopping tour. Then you’ll be an unfettered shopper.