Written by and photographed by Colleen Coleman of CMC Design Studio LLC
In an era where we tend to throw so much away…always wanting the next best thing that comes along…I have some treasures-from-trash stories to enlighten your thinking! I myself have always loved picking up an old chair or table curbside and turning it into something special. It’s about seeing the “form,” the bones of someone else’s discarded fragments, and imagining the diamond buried deep inside. A challenge of sorts to make something out of nothing!
Take for instance this simple tray table with foldable legs. A $5 find at a thrift shop turned coffee table. With a little elbow grease, a new print centerstage to set the mood (The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano), some brass paint artistically applied and voila! ...An artful centerpiece with a new purpose!
And what about all the porcelain china sets like Lenox, Mikasa & Noritake that we just had to have on our wedding registry…Did you know Lenox was the first company to develop a bridal registry?…and our kids have NO use for them! They are being donated to Habitat Restores and found in garage sales for pennies on the dollar! I don’t know about you, but I love my set…my boys are just going to have to find a spot in their homes to display them when I’m gone! Anyway…here is a fabulous idea from my brother’s wedding...Thank you John and Gina for the pics! Their caterer, Green Zebra Catering LLC, collects all sorts of china patterns and uses them for table settings. A mix-and-match that sets the tone for a formal event yet offering a casual twist by not having the entire place setting from the same collection...Genius!! ...And the head table was a true masterpiece! A vintage drop leaf side table borrowed from a dear friend…You know the saying…Something old, something new! Both were magnificent touches to their outdoor wedding reception under the stars! With all the upcoming fall weddings being simplified and many with smaller, casual receptions…what are you waiting for…get yourself to Habitat Restore and Rebuilding Together…your guests are going to love this! Photo by Katherine Cumming Photography
And when you are renovating your home, be mindful to think about the architectural elements, like windows, doors and moldings, you are removing. Last year I worked with a couple to design their garage addition which included a pool house. The old mudroom was reworked with a staircase to the new garage below eliminating one of the original 1800 French windows. While one panel had to be stored for another day, I designed a custom barn door for their pool house bathroom entry out of the other. My woodshop cleaned up the original hardware and replaced the glass with mirror for privacy. The panel was then set into a handcrafted door, original brass surface bolts and all! Integrating this element from their original home into their new addition brought old and new together. Offering a view into the past while maintaining a modern take on an architectural remnant.
So, the next time you think you’re going to give the garbage man that “whatever,” think twice; call a crafty friend or try imaging it as something else. Just think, you will have created a pearl from sand…A cherished artifact with stories a store-bought piece just can’t tell.
Happy treasure hunting my friends,
Colleen Coleman of CMC Design Studio LLC
AKBD, CAPS & True Color Expert
“Creating Environments for Life” TM
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