Saturday, August 28, 2010
Trash Day Treasures
I love walking through my neighborhood on Trash Day. It's astounding what some people will throw out. Have they never heard of taking things to a local charity? or calling the Salvation Army (1-800-SA-TRUCK)? or Goodwill? Or FreeCycle?
Just this past week, somebody put six matching dining-room chairs out on the curb. They were perfectly solid, lovely chairs--just needed a little paint and a fresh covering on the seats. I wish I'd taken a photo, but they looked something like these:
Amazing! Somebody could really have used those chairs, people. Anyhow, walking the dogs yesterday, I came across this sweet little curio shelf in somebody's trash:
It will be perfect in the guest bedroom (which will be renovated someday, when we've recovered from the kitchen re-do).
My painters, deep in the midst of painting all my kitchen cabinets, offered to paint this orphan for me. I'm sure it would look very perky with a fresh coat of white paint on these curves:
But I decided against it. I might to keep the Shabby Chic look. Also on yesterday's walk, I came on this windfall:
Lemons! Big, fresh ones from a neighbor's tree. They were lying in the gutter, so they'll undergo a thorough washing before I juice them.
Yesterday's trash finds got me to thinking about other stuff I've picked up nearby. Around the corner a year or so ago, a neighbor tossed a lot of horrible-smelling carpet to the curbside. Sitting in the mess was a darling garden statue of a little girl and this lovely concrete urn:
I gave the statue to a friend who loves trash-to-treasures as much as I do. Another day, I found this little outdoors cocktail table, missing its glass top:
So for less than $10, I had my local glass cutters fashion a frosted-glass top for it. The frosting brought out a beautiful, sea-glass-blue that I love:
And I love how the metal leaves look ghostly through the glass:
I'm not above peeking into Dumpsters parked in front of a house. Once I found sections of picket fence (which I couldn't use, but boy, were they cute!). The fencing had wooden ball finials attached. I love their weathered look, so I just unscrewed them from the fence sections and said a thank you to the Universe:
Not everything I find on the street is so portable.
One day I was out power-walking and came across the most dilapidated couch, with horrible faux-Chinese Chippendale legs and ornamentation. But it had beautiful lines across the back and arms. And it was well made, with eight-way, hand-tied springs and a hardwood frame.
So I called my upholsterer, who drove out to meet me with his big ol' van, and he took the sofa back to his shop. I changed out the hideous fake Chippendale to classic Queen Anne legs and recovered the couch in a beautiful, deep blue-purple velvet:
Turning trash to treasures, and keeping things out of our landfills, is like taking lemons and making lemon chiffon pie.