- COLLEEN LOBO
Reuse • Repurpose • Recycle
Those who know me well, know that I’m not above sifting through my neighbourhood garbage on furniture collection day. That’s right, I’m a Roadside Rescuer! You’ve heard the saying, “One man's junk is another man's treasure”...that could not be more true. There are many terms for people who like to “rescue” discarded items from the trash. Dumpster Diver, Street Scavenger, Rubbish Rescuer, Garbage Gangster and my personal favourite Curb Side Curator just to name a few. If you can overcome your ego and get past the notion that it’s embarrassing to salvage through someone’s discarded items, then you will be pleasantly surprised at the treasures you can find.
Over the years I have scored big time with some great furniture finds. Searching for creative ways to refinish and upcycle these pieces to make them more current and appealing is the fun part. However, not always do these pieces need refinishing. This dining table below I rescued at curb side. In pristine condition I was not quite sure if it was actually meant for the garbage. To be sure, I knocked on the neighbours door to inquire if it was being thrown away. Sure enough it was! The lady even helped me load it into my car! (This makes me think of that funny IKEA commercial…..START THE CAR!!!!) Recently I had the opportunity to use it in staging one of my listings. Paired with these outdoor chairs from Walmart (originally they were $45 I got them on sale for $18 each) they were a good compromise considering there was next to zero $ in the budget for dining chairs. Overall a much better presentation than the original dining set….would you agree?
Another great tip for finding quality furniture pieces is visiting your local Thrift and Consignment stores regularly. Some of my favourite stops include, Value Village, Habitat For Humanity ReStore, Salvation Army, Singing Lady Consignment Store and The Millionaires Daughter to name a few. This gorgeous round pedestal dining table was a steal at just $29.99 from Value Village. I took the palm sander to it and removed all the varnish and wood stain. My original plan was to paint it with cloud white chalk paint but once the stain was removed I loved it in it’s natural state. This table I used recently in a couple of staging projects as seen below.
One of my very first “dumpster diving” excursions rewarded me with this Queen Size Knotty Pine Sleigh Bed. Stripped to the natural wood and painted in Cloud White by Benjamin Moore, it completely transformed this bed and made it fresh and current again.
We live in a time where we are consuming and discarding products at an alarming rate. Constantly wanting new, more trendy and popular items which inevitably end up in our landfill sites as we consume more new trendy items. Next time you see furniture items that have been thrown away as trash, think about whether or not it is something you or someone you know can reuse, repurpose or recycle. Join me in the exclusive club of “Curb Side Curators” and help rescue these fabulous finds from ending up as trash!
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