been pulling out summer clothes, and now winter and summer are mixed
in a huge mess the size of a small mountain, and I feel like squirting
it with lighter fluid and setting the whole mess alight just to be
rid of it. I was sitting staring at in a funk, when I said in my best
Bette Davis voice (even though I sound like Lauren Bacall), "What
a dump!" (Beyond the Forest, 1949. Elizabeth Taylor also used
it in Who's Afraid of Virginia Woolfe. Could I possibly be ANY gayer??!!!)
Anyway, then I realized it was actually true because most of our furniture
is either from junk shops, antique shops or from the garbage!
I came here in the late eighties, just at the end of the bubble, it
was amazing what you could find out on the curb! People threw away
EVERYTHING and ANYTHING even if it was still practically brand new.
Those days are over, but for the happy garbage picker, treasures are
still to be found for the taking!
in the morning room, and am surrounded by goodies salvaged from the
garbage. There are two large upholstered armchairs, an upholstered
stool from a pub that went belly up, an antique piano stool, an antique
wooden hibachi, two mirrors, an Arts and Crafts stool, a ceramic urn,
a wooden barstool that I lacquered red and recovered the seat in leather,
a counter stool from a sushi shop covered with a sample of my embroidery,
and a carved and lacquered panel from a Chinese restaurant. (This
latter piece might actually NOT have been garbage, but it was sitting
there, so... ) The stereo speaker stands are made from the frames
of large light shades used by professional photographers.
kitchen are various serving platters, dishes, cups, and traditional
bowls and such as used in sushi shops. A lot of people will put a
box of stuff outside their house with a sign saying, "Help yourself!"
in the bedroom, even though it looks (and smells) like a rubbish tip!
living room is a high backed chair and stool which I covered in a
totally grannyish chintz, another large mirror, a beautiful glass
and iron-work bowl, a wicker plant stand, another sushi- counter stool
covered in my handiwork, and a coffee table which I decoupaged with
colour copies of some of my favourite Ukiyoe prints. (Yoshitoshi's
wood block prints from his moon series) When I was finished with the
table ( I put on about 30 coats of lacquer!!!), I said to Shun, "Look!
It's art!!!" He said, "No, it's busy." Cave person!
entry landing is a very large urn that used to hold Chinese pickles,
and there are two more chairs that I don't have space for inside.
We also have HEAPS of picture frames in all shapes and sizes.
we have all the purchases from antique shops and junk shops.
I'm a firm believer in mixing and matching things, just as long as
you're happy with them and they make your home a haven. We have two
VERY expensive rugs alongside two rugs I found in the trash.
Pictures, art and objets, are an eclectic mix of stuff from my travels,
a favourite being a large tea urn I bought in a junk shop in Istanbul.
I absolutely LOATHE it when you go to someone's house and it looks
like they purchased the entire contents from a furniture showroom.
Tacky... Leaving dozens of pet toys everywhere also helps add to the
image of a warm and happy household...
loads of fun going to used furniture stores and flea markets. I love
poking around in dark corners because you never know what you'll come
up with. Why buy new when old is so much more interesting?! You can
even try doing a furniture swap with your friends! VOILA!
Click on the collage for full size image
1=sushi stool 2 & 3=collage
table 4=Even furniture should have a sense of humor!
5=old chair The original fabric was a mess, so I
threw a rug from Peru over it and sewed it to the back so it wouldn't
keep sliding off. I did the cushion. 6=CHINTZ! If
you look carefully in the mirror (early Meiji period) on the floor,
you can see little old me!