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  • Writer's pictureJames Treble

More Than Just Rubbish

If like me, you're a little creative, you'll find it difficult to not hang on to those interesting objects you find on the street or at the garage sale, or take home anything that can be revamped and used again... it's exciting, right? Well, sometimes, I can't find the time to revamp those objects and furniture pieces, or I finally decide that some don't fit in with my styling, or I've simply run out of space... So, what to do with what's unwanted? The lazy option would be to throw them in the bin or place them on the footpath at Council Collection time, but my conscience won't allow me, because I know that somebody out there, as creative as I am, is willing to give these pieces another chance ...

In the last two months I've been going through the many things I tend to gather, like tiles and finishes samples which I've used for my clients, or those pieces of furniture I intended to revamp but never got to, or things I simply like but don't have room for. So, if like me you too are planning to let some things go, I encourage you to find the right destination for those valuable but not necessarily suitable to you items. So, to try and get you all inspired this NATIONAL RECYCLING WEEK, I want to show you what we've done just recently with some of the wonderful things that were cluttering up my studio.

THIS IS GOING NOWHERE - Found on the street, I'm not sure, but I'm guessing it was for a large candle, and it simply gives me pleasure every time I look at it, and it's staying! So my first bit of advice is: select what you want and have room to keep.

THIS WE WANTED TO REVAMP - This cabinet below is a solid and gorgeous piece of furniture with its clean lines and elegant turned feet, and I'm sure you too can surely see its potential. We found it abandoned on the footpath and kept it for a few years now as storage for some of the styling bits and pieces I use in photo shoots, hoping to find the time to repaint it, add new handles and voilà ... But we didn't get to it, so we placed it as FREE at and described its qualities, measurements and potential ... And it went in less than 24 hours. Surprised? Not at all.

THESE WE THOUGHT NOBODY WOULD WANT - Working in Design means I must have true samples to show my clients and builders exactly what my proposed finishes and materials look and feel like... like an art collector, I cherish these beautiful samples and while I love receiving the latest new ranges, I sometimes forget to let the old ones go. As beautiful as they are, I realistically ask 'Who would want these things?' In the past I've delivered them to places like REVERSE GARBAGE, (which can be a dangerous place for me to visit, as I often find there new things to replace what I'm donating!!) but my clever partner suggested placing them online, just to give it a go. After a couple of days, these too found a new home with a student of Interior Design, (how happy was I to see a motivated genuinely excited young 'designer in the making', already getting hands-on with products and creating palettes and schemes) Tiles come in batches, and I used what I needed for presenting my new proposal but these can't be mixed in with newer batches due to difference in shades, and unusable now; yet these small amounts are perfect and very useful for understanding products and materials, to experiment with finishes-matching and practice mood-board making, all great skills for a designer.

THESE WE THOUGHT TOO UGLY OR OLD - Some things become 'outdated' to be given away, such as Electrical Items and Technology where aesthetics can change quickly and once again the temptation for many to chuck things on the footpath at collection-time is strong. But as we knew them to be in perfect working order, We decided to continue the experiment and placed these online too. FREE is a magic word, and very tempting. We described our items honestly, revealing any chips and scratches and only asked for the 'buyers' to lift the goods themselves when collecting. GONE!! (I stress that plugs, cords, switches and wheels on these items were all in perfect working order, undamaged, no