In recent weeks and months, I have felt like a small animal foraging in the world, collecting items tossed aside by others, to put in my own nest. My daughter calls us, “roadside bandits”, but since these items are set out for pick-up by anyone, we are hardly bandits in the true sense of the word.
Some of these items are small, some are large, but all are useful and fun additions. The smallest of these items was actually salvaged from our own stuff: a small shelf that was originally in the Hoosier Cabinet’s lower inside door. I removed it years ago in order to make better use of the cavity under the pull-out counter. I store all sorts of stuff under there, and the shelf was more in the way, so it has just been on a shelf in the garage for years and years. The addition of the farm table allowed for much needed counter space and overflow eating space when needed, but using it as a landing spot for my husbands keys, sunglasses and change was not a good solution.
I found the shelf and put it under the table top on the apron and discovered the space was exactly the right size to hold the shelf. It just needed a backing, since it did not have the back of the cabinet door as a stop. I knew we had some of the decorative metal screening we used to make the backyard lanterns for my daughter several years ago, and the screening turned out to be the perfect solution to keep all the loose change and keys from falling off the shelf. The shelf is convenient and out of the way, not really even seen.
While in Phoenix several months ago, my friend spotted some very cute shutters with the quarter moon cut out, and I had just the place for them! Initially I thought I would put them on either side of the door inside the garage’s three piece bathroom, but there was not enough space. However, flanking the bathroom window on the outside was more appropriate, and helped identify where a bathroom was located for a quick stop without having to go inside the house.
I put another salvage find under the bathroom window. Along with the farm table, I had purchased a baby bathtub, and will be an ideal spot for washing my paint brushes outside, once the plumbing is extended through the exterior wall from the bathroom, in what had been a guest house addition next to the garage. I will be able to attach a small hose to the drain spout and allow the tub to drain into an existing drain in the patio only a few feet away. The tub is a great container for ice and cold drinks, when we have backyard parties. The farm table journey was a positive one for sure. I was able to pick up an old wash basin stand and enamel basin to use as a succulent garden and add a spot of color to a dull entry.
A number of friends now keep an eye out for me in my pursuit of doors for my fence idea. A friend of my daughter’s spotted some french doors on the side of the road, and notified her. My daughter picked up her Dad’s SUV and headed out to locate and load the doors; the bonus was an antique chair and some windows.
I am currently using a couple of our old reclaimed doors as a backdrop for some climbing vines by attaching small nails to the door frame, allowing the vines to climb up the door and add interest to the plain garage wall.
All in all, these salvaged items have proved to be useful, sometimes simply as decorations, but at other times, providing a very useful function for my family.
Try to look at the ordinary with an open and creative mind; a simple box can be so much more than just a box. Oh the possibilities!