For me it is all about the thrill of the find. When it comes to decorating, I rarely spend time shopping for home decor. I am always on the lookout for a great giveaway and I am continually scouring the street. I have been doing this as long as I can remember. I take great pride in my home, spend hours looking at home decor magazines and watching home decor shows. I just enjoy “finding” and adapting the perfect piece.
One day waiting for the bus, I looked across the street and saw a table on the street – not just any table but one that I had several pictures of in my vision book. I ran across the street – stood greedily beside the table and quickly called a cab – $10 later, I was the proud owner of my dream table. I found 2 chairs at another bus stop recently. This weekend I am going to paint them “butter cream”. In the photo below – the cabinet (which I had seen and liked at Ikea) was a $50 find on Craigslist. One of the chairs was from my daughter’s garage sale and another, an inheritance from a beloved friend. The vase was found in the magic laundry room. (read on)
I know my habit of scavaging was a source of embarrassment for my daughters. One day I found old railway ties in front of a house put out for garbage pickup. I stopped the car (with my girls in the backseat) and started loading them into my trunk. I had a vision of a pathway in my backyard. Turns out it was the home of one of the friends. I think they were ducked down on the floor of our family vehicle. In the end, I built my little walkway that led to my hand dug pond (filled with a child’s swimming pool someone had tossed out the week before). The found pool didn’t work (kept leaking) and I had to buy a real pond liner after all.
I live in a relatively affluent neighbourhood and I have made some incredible discoveries there. A few years ago I was walking home and found a beautiful cabinet. I couldn’t believe it was a giveaway so I knocked on the door just to confirm. The woman who answered said they had just got a flat screen television, no longer needed the cabinet and her toddlers were continually opening and shutting the doors – she just wanted it gone! I called a friend for help, called a taxi (asking for a van) and between myself, my friend and the driver – we got it to my home less than 500 metres away. I paid the driver $30. I looked online to see if I could find a value for this gorgeous piece and found something very similar retailing for $1500 at Pier One (sale price $800). My daughter now has it in her dining room.
This is just one of my many finds. I bought a white wicker chair for my living space and not long after found a very similar one left in the garbage area of my apartment complex. Can you guess which one was garbage? Probably not.
One Saturday after a leisurely stroll on the boardwalk, I found 2 half moon end tables. They have had many uses since I brought them home. Once I put them together and made a really nice round table. Last summer I found a white Ikea sofa on someone’s lawn with a sign “take me”. I was looking for the cushions to put on a folding single bed frame as my summer bed. I felt a bit guilty leaving the frame behind but I am getting a lot of use from this find. I am waiting impatiently for summer to enjoy it again.
I also have a magic laundry room and I couldn’t possibly remember all the things I have collected from there or all the things that I have left there. I call it magic because usually I find something within days or weeks of imaging it. Last week I left a dozen or more picture frames from my daughter’s recent purge and 2 days later they were all gone. I have found a beautiful onyx chess set that I gave to my son in law. Salad bowls, a gorgeous white platter, a ceramic espresso maker, cds, a radio, books, glass vases, a salad spinner (my most recent find). Honest, I am not a hoarder – usually if something comes in, something else has to go. I just love the thrill of the find…..tell me, don’t you?
One thought on “Is That Garbage?”
Wow, you are so clever, and so lucky! Clever, because you have the imagination to think how these lovely things will go in your house. I think it does depend where you live, it’s amazing what affluent neighbourhoods will throw away. What do they say? One man’s junk is another man’s treasure….