Monday, April 28, 2008

Easy way to go green: Recycle furniture and home decor

Sorry I haven't updated in a while. I've been busy with work and life and have been neglecting my beloved blog, so I'm sorry I haven't posted in a while! I promise I will try to update at least once a week... ok, on with the show...

I hate buying new things..really I do. I would much rather hit up craigslist, thrift stores, antique stores, and the Goodwill for things for my home as opposed to running to Target and buying something that is mass-produced. Why? Because then my house is full of fun little trinkets and treasures that not a lot of people have. When I lived in England and my sister-in-law visited she said, "I have to look around like three or four times because your house is like a museum."

I have VERY eclectic tastes (don't know the word? google it.).. most would say that the things I like are ugly. I can do nothing but agree with them! :) I do love ugly things. Avocado green, 1970s, 1960s, kitsch items really appeal to me; I don't know why.

One easy thing you can do for the environment is buy used goods. Why? Because then you're not supporting the chains of stores that mass-produce items. Your items will have been used and loved and re-homed. This weekend I hit up the thrift stores and craigslist in order to find goods for my home; my roommates are moving out in August so I'm on a quest to find good mid-century furniture for my house!

I stumbled upon an estate sale in a parking lot at a furniture store. I was quite sad digging through the goods because it seemed as though these people didn't have family that cared enough to pick up these items. Countless pictures, slides (one box labeled 'second honeymoon'), and other items you'd expect their family to collect. Anyway, I walked away with a vintage Scrabble game, old metal kitchen timer (that works!), retro (late 50's/early 60's) platter that said "Happy 25th Anniversary Kenneth and Maxine', and a framed certificate presented to Kenneth in 1961 for his contribution to Minneapolis' schools competitive sports program. I'm a nostalgic, what can I say? By the time I was done digging through their stuff, I felt a connection to Kenneth and Maxine and if they're family wasn't going to honor them, I thought I would. In any event, it was $10 well spent on some original finds and I was a happy girl.

I went back today and ended up buying a pair of GORGEOUS (ugly in bf's opinion) mid-century Danish teak chairs with their original upholstery. I was extremely happy to find these chairs in such good shape at the very reasonable price of $320.00. After doing a search on ebay I found a pair of very similar chairs going for over $400 (reserve not yet met) and $100 shipping. For $320 I got two wonderful mid-century chairs that aren't that easy to find, especially in this condition. For $320 you could go to Ikea and buy a pair of chairs, but they wouldn't stand the test of time like these chairs, plus, everyone has them! By buying used, I saved the materials that would have been needed to make two new chairs, hence, helping the environment!

I also was lucky enough to find 2 Herman Miller fiberglass shell chairs on craigslist (in Dallas though, so my parents have them) for my kitchen and yesterday purchased the Herman Miller shell chair that you see in the above picture. :) It's fun have iconic pieces that have a history. It adds charm and character to my it means more to me now because I have been waiting for the right pieces to appear.

Thrift shopping, craigslist, and used furniture is a great way to help the environment even though most of us don't think about it in that sense.

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