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Trash treasure

Apparently I get a thrill out of sifting through others’ weird old rubbish, because my house sure has a lot of it. We’ve bought a handful of brand-new furnishings for our house, like our dining table and design-victim shell chairs, but I like thrifting for interesting secondhand pieces where possible. Which is great and all, but now I’ve got the opposite problem: those pieces are sitting around our home, waiting for me. Here’s some of my fun trashy finds that need fixing, cleaning or just put into place.

Giant painting ($22)

I was pretty excited when I saw this big ol’ painting. It’s a metre across and it’s going to look REAL GOOD on my wall, whenever I get around to hanging it up. This painting is painted over an existing print on masonite and I have no idea who made it, but I love the colours and forms. The frame is even painted a punchy yellow on the inside edge. So great.

Mid-century hairpin plant stand ($10 for stand + pot)

Another one of these things? Yeah. I don’t even know where this will go; my deck is already crowded with small planters, and just about every spot in the house that has enough light for houseplants is taken. (Skylights are on the Someday List.) The brass stand needs scaling back, the pot may be too beat-up to actually use, and like I said I’m not sure where it’ll end up… but I reckon I can find a place for it. It can keep my sansevieria ashtray planter company. WHEN THERE’S A WILL THERE’S A WAY.

Vintage pictorials (less than $10 altogether)

I like collecting these books with vintage colour photographs; I tell myself they’re for a future art project, or something. The bird-spotting manual has a plural title, but I like the accidentally-cropped result of ‘Some Australian Bird’ better. I also got this little brass bowl, which is going onto my desk.

Questionable fibre art ($5.50)

This small tapestry wasn’t actually made in the ‘70s. It’s cheap yarn, it would look a lot worse if it were four decades old. But it’s got the right spirit. Depending on which corner of the internet you’re looking at, woven hangings are painfully trendy right now, but I do love their tactile, organic quality. (I think the giant chunky tapestries look amazing, but then I did write a post all about actual hanging planters from the ‘70s, so yeah.)

This mini hanging was a gamble; it was wrapped in sticky tape and impossible to peek at before buying it, but I ended up loving it, mustard and purple and everything. I gotta make a new dowel for it–this one is half-broken and flimsy–and then it’s going in the study, so I can glance at it throughout the day and wonder if that pattern is meant to be an eye or not.

Fireside chairs ($75, negotiated from $90)

My latest, greatest thrifting score: armchairs! They’re recliners, too, which was a pleasant surprise. (They’ve also already passed Cat Inspection. It’s important.) It took me a while to find a matching set of retro armchairs; these two have different coloured stains and cushions, but the frames match. I’m going to strip and re-varnish the frames, and I’d like to get new cushions and upholstery as well since I don’t love the mottled vinyl. (Although the lime green with blue plaid looks cool as hell.) I can’t wait to make a Sunday project out of these chairs.

Thank you, op-shop volunteers and tip shop crews! You’re doing the lord’s work, salvaging this stuff.

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