This “shoe” dominates my kitchen. It once lived served its purpose as a display rack at a department store. However, I found it languishing at the bottom of a pile in a junk store and recycled it as a spice rack. It’s only one of the weird pieces of decoration at my house that people envy. I kid you not, when folks see it, they are drawn across the room to it like flies to horse manure honey.
All of the furniture that I have is “old.” I have been single-handedly saving the landfills for more than thirty years! That’s not to say that my house is a “dump!” However, you can walk through every room in my house and see that nine out of every ten pieces of furniture is “recycled.” I like to call it “vintage furnishings,” because that sounds a heck of a lot better than “used junk.” I don’t think we have bought any furniture or decor that was new in more than six years.
You’ll have to believe me when I tell you that folks enjoy the look I have created in my home. Our friends say that our house is “amazingly eclectic,” and I hope by now you would expect that of me. Those folks aren’t just trying to find ways to be polite…they are jealous!
Some of them have offered to buy furniture we have — and when I refused they started looking for pieces like mine on Craigslist.org. They will have to look long and hard to find furnishings similar to mine. And, if they are all going to copy me, I guess I’m going to have to stop letting them in my house!
Although my living room will never look like a magazine spread, it is comfortable, it reflects our personalities, and I have the satisfaction of knowing that I recycled without realizing I was even doing it.
Some of my favorite finds have been in the trash! I won’t dive into a dumpster (usually), but I am not above raiding trash that is at curbside. In fact, I once “rassled ” a little old lady for this chair. It was in pieces on the curb. I had the main part of the chair, she found an arm of it — but I was bigger, and she was afraid of my red hair, so I got to bring it home.
I’ve found a fountain for my garden, wooden apple boxes with the logos intact (they are perfect to hold a stack of books), and much more that I gleaned from the curbside. Our own neighbor decided to re-do her dining room and hauled a set of six Queen Anne dining chairs to the curb. The seats needed to be re-covered, there were some nicks in the wood on the legs (which gave them character), but they were in darned good condition. Did we haul them off to our own garage before the trash truck came? You betcha.
I also scour garage sales, flea markets, thrift shops, and antique stores. They often contain wonderful discoveries. In fact, you can get nearly anything you need “used,” if you have the patience to look for it.
Why am I bragging about all of this? Because every piece of used furniture that we bring home to “adopt” is one less item in a landfill. I get the thrill of buying something that doesn’t cost much — and then giving it a good home. Then, I just sit back and watch my friends go green with envy.
- Strap It On
- You’ve Got Mail. Junk Mail, of Course
- Re-thinking Recyling
- My Heavy Foot Leaves A Big Carbon Footprint
- Creative Recycling? Or, Has Their Taste Gone Down The Drain?