I stumbled across Heidi’s Christmas present by accident last year. I was returning to one of my favourite places to waste a Sunday afternoon… The Mill Markets with the intention of buying an old wooden Pinocchio I had spied on my last visit (It was to become another addition to Heidi’s nursery wall). I didn’t buy it the first time because I wasn’t completely certain I liked it. So there I was staring at the Pinocchio, again… still not sure.
I am usually a very quick decision maker, and seldom regret decisions I have made. So, whenever I’m not sure about something I should know by now to walk away. I did end up walking away, and thank goodness for that, or I wouldn’t have stumbled across this gorgeous old rocking horse, at a bargain price of $30!
It’s official, salvaging furniture from the side of the road and restoring or transforming it is a hereditary trait.
Many months ago I mentioned to Mum that I wanted to replace the bench seats along the side of our dining table with six chairs.
I wanted the change-over to coincide with our move into our new house, but hadn’t seen anything I would be happy to spend money on. Being the thinker that she is, mum suggested that I re-use the chairs she was storing in the garage (my sister was holding on to them for a future use – yet to be determined!). So off we went to the garage to inspect them… they were perfect.
I stumbled across this rattan screen about 4 years ago. It was 7.30am, I was driving to work… my attention was drawn to a skip sitting outside a house in our street. Sticking out the top of the skip was a small portion of this rattan screen/room divider – It looked promising! So much so, if stopping to check it out meant I was late to work, it was a risk I was willing to take.
With years of experience under my belt, I would call myself a seasoned collector of junk from the footpath or skips. Even with that label clearly tattooed to my forehead it doesn’t make me feel any more comfortable about fossicking through other people’s junk. This morning was particularly awkward with a spectator sitting on the front porch of the house next door… monitoring my swift stop, reverse, park, inspect, grab and squeeze!
I don’t know about you, but it is really hard to find a good lampshade these days. It was time I took things into my own hands and created what I was looking for.
I had received a hand-me-down lampshade from my grandmother (via mum). It had a rather grand marble base that could also second as a lethal weapon, which had a chip out of the bottom corner (which begs the question… once upon a time, ‘did Gran test this out as a weapon’). I could handle the chip in the base (whilst intrigued as to how it got there!)… I simply turned the base so the chip faces the back wall – problem solved. What I particularly liked about it was the oval shaped lampshade. What I didn’t like about it was the cream lampshade looked washed-out with the white marble base.
Not only do I have a reputation as a hoarder, but after my chair transformation post many now picture me on weekends scouring the streets for furniture people have discarded.
And you are forgiven for harbouring those thoughts as I introduce yet another item I found on the footpath about a month ago…. a gorgeous wooden desk.
This item actually found me. Our neighbours (across the road neighbours, not next door) had placed it on the footpath for anyone who was game – did they know Bernice lived across the road from them? I awkwardly to its new home on my own, down the hall to the back garden. As you can see in the before photo (above) the previous owners had made an attempt at stripping one drawer, and sanding back some of the paint, but must have proved too labour intensive. So it was left on the footpath for another over-enthusiastic restorer to take on.
My husband and I were driving home after a lazy Sunday breakfast when he was hit with ‘Stop, reverse the car’.
I had spotted 2 potential outdoor chairs (which we needed to complete our new deck). These chairs were sitting on the footpath (hard rubbish for anyone who is game), about 30m down a side street we were driving past at 60km an hour…. I have a finely tuned sense of judgement when it comes to assessing junk placed on the footpath. I can usually determined at any speed if it is worth stopping and going back… and these were worth going back for!
They were not in very good condition, weather damaged, stain/varnish wearing off, screws falling out – but the potential was there, I could see it (lucky for me, so could my husband… because I was about to ask him to open the boot of his car so we could squeeze them in the back to take home).