Monday, July 20, 2015

Making Do

Hollyhock Cottage - a house of finds.
My grandmother lived through the depression. My father had to declare bankruptcy when his chicken farm went under for the third time. I grew up learning how to live frugally. It does not seem remarkable to me that I've furnished my little cottage with other's castaways but when, at the insistence of a friend, I took stock of all I now own that came from Transfer Station discards and free items from end-of-day tag sales, even I was surprised.

The cabinet on the left was found by the side of the road.
Large things like metal kitchen cabinets, an apartment sized washing machine, a glider chair, a leather office chair, a rolling filing cabinet and two bookcases rub elbows (it is a small cottage) with innumerable baskets, a Cuisinart, a blender, a French coffee press, a Williams Sonoma popover pan, countless picture frames, a floor lamp, decorative pillows, a couple of framed cork bulletin boards, and toys for the grandchildren. 

Discarded picture frames and found bookshelves.

A repurposed towel rack serves as an over-the-stove pan holder, an old steamer trunk at the foot of the bed holds off season blankets, a table my father made 60 years ago as a kitchen counter extension for my mother now holds my TV, DVD player and VCR. A small wrought iron kitchen rack holds movies and CDs. Even my kitchen counter tops are made of leftovers from a remodeling job. The decorative wreath at my front door? Yup, the Transfer Station.

Bookcases, glider chair, floor lamp - tossed treasures.
The repurposing extends out of doors where sections of an old, discarded, but still serviceable fence frame my patio garden. A second-hand table and umbrella give me a comfortable place for alfresco dining. The platform under my screened gazebo is made of wood salvaged from an old shed. My garden boxes are made of planks left from a torn-down building. Even the slate for my patio and the path to my door are give-aways.

Fence, table, umbrella, chairs, even the purple moon decoration - all finds.
In a world where trash seems to be taking over, it's fun to find treasures that, though not new, are new to me.

The platform and trellis, cement steps, swing, chairs and tables, cushions, even the chandelier  - all free.


Out on the prairie said...

I see things on the curb and always look it over. Laughed that people don't have the water bed frames anymore, made a lot of shelves from them.

Stella Jones said...

Well I think your cottage is beautiful Pauline. I love all your innovative ideas and the ambience is spot on!

Barb said...

You and my D-i-L are kindred spirits. She calls it "shabby chic" and her home is always cozy and comfortable. My own home is filled with gifts given by family and friends - I feel surrounded by love. Your Header is pretty!

X said...

It is cool to repurpose things. There are quite a few things in my house as well, that came from somewhere or someone else and became something to us. Nice bookshelves too.

The Furry Gnome said...

I'm impressed!

Gary said...

This is impressive! The world would be a better place if more of us could make use of things that seem outdated or no longer useful as originally planned. Your home looks charming and has left me wanting to dine alfresco of an evening.

Pauline said...

OOTP - there are treasures to be found at the side of the road...

Thank you Stella, both for stopping by to read and leaving such a kind comment :)

Thanks, Barb - the header is a photo of my front yard.

X - thanks for stopping by to read and comment. repurposing is fun, yes? The bookshelves are a necessity - I own over 1200 books!

Furry Gnome - thanks :)

Gary - come dine!

Wisewebwoman said...

I absolutely love your house and surroundings, it's a amazing what we find isn't it. I would be so at home in your place!

I've just donated over 1000 books to the newly formed community library, it felt good. I just kept my reference and beloveds, got rid of (used) bookshelves too. I'm not quite zen yet but getting there :)

Pauline said...

Thanks, WWW - I've donated books, too, to make room for all those frame. Now I have a plethora of pictures and need to weed through them. Wish you could drop in for a cuppa and a chat!

Kerry said...

Not sure what the Transfer Station is-a second hand place I guess-but I can tell you I love these places. I also really like craigslist. SO much tempting stuff that others have tossed. Now that I know you have a popover pan I need to up my game...why have I not heard of popover pans and why don't I have one?

Pauline said...

Kerry, in our town, Transfer Station is the socially correct name for town dump. Sounds more upscale, don't-cha-know. There are shelves where the enterprising staff place still serviceable items that someone no longer has a need for and someone else needs or wants desperately. Williams Sonoma sells popover pans for around $20. The deep cups make perfect popovers every time :)

Pranavam Ravikumar a.k.a. Kochuravi said...

Lovely post.. Great to see your book collection Pauline. a beautiful surrounding too!

Anonymous said...

My house is furnished from Craig's List, garage sales, and hand-me-downs from friends. Anything we buy new lasts for decades. I still don't get people who have to have new things every other year!

Anonymous said...

If something in my house didn't come from Goodwill, a garage sale, or free from a friend, I bought it years ago and will keep it until it falls apart. "Repurposing" is one of my favorite words! I love your little cottage!