For some of you, the thought of picking up someone’s used furniture from their trash pile probably makes you cringe. That’s what poor, homeless people do. People with no money and no style and it’s gross and weird and not cool at all.
Personally, I have no such reservations. My parents are very unique people, and we didn’t have a lot of money when I was a child. From a young age, most of our appliances and furnishings came from thrift stores, garage sales, and yes, even the side of the road. You’ve heard the saying “One man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” right? Well, it’s true. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve stopped the car or taken a break from my walk to inspect some poor, sad, discarded item in someone’s trash pile. Sometimes, it stays in the junk pile, but sometimes, I turn it into awesomeness.
My entertainment center was recovered from beside the dumpster at our old apartment building:
This clementine box is the perfect size and shape to sit on the back of the toilet and hold everyday necessities like toothpaste, brushes, combs and cotton swabs:
I retrieved this bookcase from the curb one night. It’s real, solid pine, not fake fiberboard crap. Originally, it was covered in faux woodgrain contact paper, which of course I painstakingly scraped off inch by inch, but it’s the perfect size and shape to hold shoes, scarves, hats and other items in our entryway:
This wooden crate was rescued from the side of the road and turned into a perfectly serviceable side table in my living room:
Upcycling found objects is cheap and green. You are saving items from going into a landfill and making them useful again. I plan eventually to collect bunches of crates and make a sort of stacked shelving/display unit out of them. A friend of a friend has done this in her DC condo, and it looks phenomenal. Something like this:
How beautiful is that? It’s so spontaneous and whimsical and I just love it!
What found object upcycling have you done?