Garbage on the side of the road makes my heart flutter, especially large bulky garbage. Let me explain my adoration for lovely litter. I was lucky enough to experience the “˜sidewalk exchange’ culture of Honolulu for five years. There is an unspoken and widespread commodity swap that is constantly taking place within the tangle of residential sidewalks. The rules are flexible and the standards are low. If you find yourself owning anything you no longer wish to own, gracefully set it along the side of the road. Your neighbors will do the same.
At any one time, a gathering of furniture and household appliances is lounging along sidewalks. Couches, dressers, lamps, fans, microwaves, mattresses, tables, and chairs in all stages of pristine condition and complete disrepair are waiting to be adopted. Someone who thrives on possessions with “˜history’ and loves nothing more than a bargain, like me, is in ecstasy. My husband used to avoid certain roads (well known for sidewalk “˜embellishment’) for fear that I would drag him around picking up “˜items with potential’.
Though I no longer have the proximity to scour sidewalks, my fervor for reclaiming and refinishing has not faded. I get my fix in antique stores, thrift stores, and bound hardback muses. The Recycled Home by Mark & Sally Bailey is one hundred and sixty pages of ways to incorporate recycled and salvaged furniture and accessories into your home. The gorgeous photography of Debi Treloar depicts interiors and vignettes with antique rust and masculine charm. The text offers insight to both design elements and specific spaces.
The notion of recycling makes the resulting space intimate and personal. There is something innately satisfying about finding and creating something unique. After you take a look through this book, you will yearn to find some sidewalk refuse yourself. If you appreciate the concept of reclaimed decor, but desire a little more urban edge in your home, check out this interior by Jimmie Karlsson.
(All photography by Debi Treloar, as seen in The Recycled Home).