Saturday, April 10, 2010

That's NOT What That Was Made For

I'm a big fan of recycling and repurposing, and I love picking up old things for next to nothing at thrift stores and estate sales. I think having random and sometimes odd things in your collection is what makes a house interesting. Anyone can buy a stainless steel utensil holder at Crate and Barrel or Home Goods, or Bed Bath and Beyond or anywhere for that matter.

But how many people have one of these in their kitchen?

I love the lion heads! It's pewter and I got it at an estate sale.

I put it and the other things on a silver plated tray I also found for a couple dollars at an estate sale. It wasn't in perfect condition, so I don't have to worry about salt ruining it.

Can you tell where this china display cabinet is?....

Yep! That's our powder room, which happens to be directly across from my front door.

I wanted to take the focus away from the toilet and add some storage. This piece works really well. (I'm sure putting a bust in a bathroom is not what the designer intended either, but I think it makes it less pretentious and adds a little humor.) She came from a yard sale and I couldn't afford not to buy her!

A few months ago I got this marble lazy suzanne at a thrift store for $2. I thought it would work well as a revolving tray for my utensils, olive oil and salt and pepper. But as it turned out it was a little wobbly and didn't work in that function.

So I glued it to a candle holder I had but rarely used.

Now I have a cool cake stand.

This slab of marble was once was a table top. It has a beautiful ogee edge.

Now it breaks up the black granite of my island and serves as a tray for vases of flowers or whatever I have as a focal point on my kitchen island that week. For special occasions it's a fantastic cheese tray or antipasto platter.

This crook was left here by our previous owners. I think it's original purpose is to hold plants or maybe even bird feeders. I think it works great as a candelier holder.

The fountain in my pond is a planter. It's sitting on a plastic container that one of my trees came in.

The clasp for this beautiful pearl necklace is a vintage pin. The pin makes it one-of-a-kind!

The artwork for my sunroom gallery wall came from a book I got at Borders on clearance for $8 something. It's great photography!

This is a dresser that now serves as our entertainment center. The drawers are the perfect size to hold the dvd and cable box. And, and provides a little extra storage.

I love the treasure hunt. I love to have interesting and inexpensive things in my house so that nothing is too precious for us to live with. I think there is really only one table that would require the use of a coaster--We are pretty rough and tumble.

Reusing things in a new and interesting way keeps things out of landfills, helps you decorate on a budget and makes your home one-of-a-kind.

So, before you throw it out, think how you might be able to use it in a way other than what it was made for. Or, check out a thrift store or flea market instead of a retail chain when you need something functional for you home. You'll feel more connected to the item but less invested.


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