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?