Sunday, 16 January 2011

One Man's Trash...



 ...is my treasure. Here's some recent revamps I've created from other people's "rubbish".



I'm a self-confessed skip diver and if I spot a full skip on the kerb simply cannot resist rummaging through, especially late at night on the way home from the pub. It's amazing what people throw away. In the past we've found everything from original sash window units, antique panelled interior doors, complete with beehive knobs and finger plates, to Victorian skirting boards and cast iron fire surrounds, all of which have saved us a fortune in the epic saga of our home refurbishment.
 Legally you should always ask the owner's permission before you make off with the contents of the skip but if the house is unoccupied wouldn't it be a crime not to liberate it from landfill?


The 1930's dressing table was destined for the tip by the landlord of a house I was renting back in the Eighties and he let me have it for free. It's been festering in a shed for years. I sanded it down and painted it in Crown's Fairy Dust, a peppermint pink eggshell finish paint.

The kidney shaped stool was a fairly recent Saturday night find. It's painted in the same shade and reupholstered with a jumble sale curtain and a salvaged pom-pom trim. The vintage metal bin was one of a pair I bought for 10p from a jumble sale and the goat skin was £2 from a car boot sale.

I've got three of these 1960's Avon bluebird pomanders which I fill with lavender. They were pennies from a church bring and buy.

These little dears were 25p from one of the last of the season's car boot sales. The seller had them since the Sixties.


The vintage musical box was 50p at a car boot sale, it's nowhere near big enough to fit my collection.


 You've seen her before but I never tire of looking at my gorgeous 1950's plaster lamp base.


This dressing table mirror was a skip find ages ago, the glass is rather foxed so I glued on some advertisements cut out from a pile of tatty, mouse-nibbled 1930's magazines a friend found in their attic.


I found this rotary dial phone in a skip, too. It works perfectly although it takes an age to dial for a pizza.


My dad only just had his original 1960's ivory one replaced by BT with a modern push button telephone on Friday. I'll be liberating that next week as knowing my father it will be in the bin before I know it.

62 comments:

  1. Snap. I think I caught the habit off my dad. He rescued a Victorian pharmacy cabinet which now displays our glasses and numerous bottles of booze!

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  2. Hi my dear-you have such an amazing eye for all things vintage, just adore your dressing table and all the pieces you've found to fill it!! Love your red phone, we had the ivory colour version, which is now sadly long gone!! xx

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  3. I've never found anything in a skip (the ones I see are always just full of bricks and rubble!) but I have found some great things at the tip - sturdy baskets, wooden stools, even gardening equipment. Nothing like your wonderful red phone though x

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  4. Haha! Inspirational! I love your DIY's - you have such good ideas. It is amazing what people are prepared to throw away. Friends of ours in Spain have redone an old Spanish house taking it from a ruin to an amazing restoration using mainly skip finds.

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  5. You're a breath of fresh air with today's throwaway, consumerist society. I love your found home, treasure gems!

    xoxox

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  6. Wow i love this post! I've always admired those styles of mirrors, my grandmother has one and I used to love sitting in front of it as a litte girl!

    Domanique x

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  7. That dressing table is beautiful! and I love old phones!

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  8. Wow, I admire your eye for a bargain! My friend Dann and I have been known to dip into people's garbage piles on collection day and found some amazing vintage oval frames with domed glass once upon a time. I adore that dressing table. It looks like it belongs in a film :)

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  9. Great post Vix, I can't help passing a skip without checking its contents either. You can't beat re-vamped furniture and your dressing table and stool look great together xxx

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  10. Wow I just love it all, especially the dressing table with the incredible plaster lady lamp base.

    I also love this: "kidney shaped stool... reupholstered with a jumble sale curtain and a salvaged pom-pom trim" everythng about the project was recycled/reused!

    You are just so awesome Vix - not only do you have some amazing things and easily the most fantastic house I've ever seen, but you've done it all on a mega budget and you've saved all of these treasures from landfill!

    You rock! Sarah xxx

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  11. You have a very especial eye, I never find anything in the skip or anywhere for that matter. I would love to have a good look at every corner and detail of your house.
    Better than a museum of modern art.
    You are beyond FANTASTIC.
    Much, much, much love and many besos.
    XXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

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  12. Such a gorgeous dressing table!And the stool is perfect.
    I expect nothing less though. Kirsty Allsoop eat your heart out!

    xx

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  13. I love skip diving you never know what you are going to find i went out the other day to have an after dark nosey in a nearby skip when I got there the house it was outside had bright security lights so my secret mission was not as secret as i thought it was going to be
    great finds you have made the dressing table look lovely
    xx fee

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  14. Thanks for the comment =) I think you're right, another time and places who knows what will happen. I've been known to find some treasures on the street before but nothing as good as this. The dressing table and chair are adorable and I love the old telephone. We have a 'new' phone shaped as the old ones but yours is the real deal and very cool!!

    Hannah xx

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  15. I love what you have done with the mirror. We have one that is slowly going smoky on us and this could fix the problem. The entire little area turned out great, but I am especially admiring the lamp shade.

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  16. I love your creativity with vintage finds, Vix. And somehow I think the skip owners will prefer you just taking it than waking them up in the middle of the night (after pub closure), just to stay with the legal requirements. xxx

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  17. I'm going to have to redo my home and get your uber thrifty ways - such a delight to see all these treasures xx

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  18. I've got some of those pomanders too. they were my mum's. She was an Avon devotee. Must find them out now you've reminded me. xxxx

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  19. fab picks Vix. I had a similar dressing table that unfortunatley I had no room for and gave to a lifestyle shop near me to dress their new store in exchange for some vouchers. At least it got a good home. I love your plaster lamp base. It's reminded me to get on with 'rejuventaing' one I bought from ebay years ago. It's not as lovely as yours but is a plaster lady and the lampshade is her skirt x

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  20. So many things I love about your stuff! You have a great eye for things as well, I love that you revamped your degrading mirror with those fabulous images, what a great idea!!

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  21. fabulous piccies! Just heart that red phone. What a gorgeous house you have. x

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  22. Vixcita,
    I have never seen skips around here..maybe a few boards made of wood..I love your vanity and that mirror ..you are so talented Mama's.
    that Avon birdy is the cutest and great idea on the lavender..lady lamp is similar to Liz Taylor in Cleopatra..I adore everything amor.

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  23. It's unbelievable what people just throw away! Vix, have you ever heard of Freecycle? It's amazing, it's like ebay, but you get (or give if you want to get rid of something) for free, no strings attached. LIke you dont have to give anything in order to get something else. It works on a local basis , so that there's no shipments but just pick up/drop off. It's amazing, people just put things on it all the time! Today I was brought a full working printer/scanner/copier in right to my door! I know it's sounds like an ad, haa, but I just thought you'd love it, because you have such luck with finding amazing things (though I don't think it's luck :P)

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  24. Hi Vix, I love that vanity! You are great at finding solutions to little problems like the solution you came up with for the mirror. By the way, I used to have the exact same pomander from Avon. I wonder where it is now?

    xo, Bonnie

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  25. Seems that fewer and fewer things get "skipped" around here. Times are tough and trash laws are more strict. But when/if I see something interesting, we back up the car, I get out to inspect, and we still on occasion find something home-worthy :)

    I ♥ your "stuff" - especially the red dial-up, and the vanity bench! ALL of it, really...

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  26. The dressing table and stool are so pretty. If I saw something I liked that someone had put out on the street as rubbish I'd definitely take it too - hate to see waste. xx

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  27. Love your finds Vix, that phone is fantasic we had a brown a and cream one...must go and look in my Mom and Dads attic see if i can find it. Have a great evening xxx

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  28. What fabulous photos Vix, I am so fascinated and truly enchanted by all of these beautiful and wonderful things. The dressing table is stunning, and the stool looks fabulous! You know the feeling that no one else owns a room like this, this is what makes it all the more lovely.
    The details are perfect too, the Avon pomanders are completely after my heart! xxx

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  29. I've always loved the rotary phones, just so pretty! x

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  30. Vix have fantastic DYI abilities. I had not seen a working rotary phone since 1996.

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  31. You should work from an Antique collector or even better open your own shop! You have enviable skills Vix! :0

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  32. I agree with you, it's unbelievable what people throw out. In our town we have one of the those weeks where you put all your unwanted household items on your lawn. Ben and I have found a few things as well. I love what you've done to the dressing table. xxx

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  33. I used to love those little amber glass ornament-y things. So sweet. And Suneeta is kinda crazy.

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  34. the best thing ever found in a skip was a roccoco style chair. I saw it sitting next to the skip on my way to work but I didn't have time to take it back to mine without being late so I was keeping my fingers crossed it was there on my way home, and it was!! Oh joy, I covered it in a furry leopard skirt i had bought from a charity shop years before just for the material and I still have it and love it!
    Recently the only things I have found were 2 baskets in the street as I was on my way to collect a free dvd from Freegle (Freecycle), still they fit into a cabinet I have so have a use.

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  35. haha! reuben & my father in law would love you!
    i've been witness to some skip diving episodes from both of them.
    i say if it's in the skip it's free for the taking ;)
    xx

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  36. The skips round here are only full of building crap! Grrr. Our council runs a free collection service for unwanted furniture and household bits which I think is probably part of the reason why.

    Love that dressing table though. There's just something so pleasing about the shape of 30's furniture.

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  37. Dearest Vix, you've done a beautiful job recycling these pieces. I love Thirties furniture too. My worst nightmare is a flatpack, no character or style. My favourite is the lamp base, stunning! Love C xx

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  38. Dear Vix, you've done a fabulous job recycling these pieces and giving them a new lease of life. I love Thirties furniture too. My worst nightmare would be something flat pack, no character or style.

    I love it all but my favourite piece has to be the lamp base it's stunning! I've never seen anything quite like it. Have a great evening. I've totally overdone it this weekend! Love C xx

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  39. Wow it looks fab, you did a great job of revamping it x

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  40. Inspirational as always, Vix. Loads of skips round our way at the moment but full of rubble and bits of wood - boo hoo!

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  41. I used to have some of those bondage bambis.
    Do you think your lamp is supposed to be Cleopatra as played by Elizabeth Taylor??

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  42. Ooh I love interior posts! You have such a wonderful and special home! I am totally in love with the Avon bluebird pomanders and the dressing table is just delightful.
    xx Comtesse xx

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  43. Wow! My nan used to have some of those sweet glass blown deer on her mantle! My nan used to have so many lovely things but when she passed away we were only allowed to pick one thing to take away from her home as she lived in Wales. I chose a picture I could always remember looking at every time I would go and visit her when I was younger.

    That dressing table looks very art deco, you have done a lovely job at giving it back a new life and the the pictures on the mirror is a fantastic idea! xxx

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  44. i love your creativve interior decorating skills! that purple cape you've got in the previous post is just amazingly beautiful. i want it!!!

    http://pinkchampagnefashion.blogspot.com/

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  45. Good finds! I need to do some 'dumpster diving', as we call it over here! I've got a couple of friends who do it for food behind supermarkets and bakerys...they get some yummy treats!

    We spotted a full length mirror on the side of the road today and performed some questionable driving menouvers to pick it up! A good score, though, I've been looking for one in op-shops!

    Xx Claire

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  46. ohg i love the dressing table! i have a bureau i was given via freecycle and i have great plans for it, but it's sat in the hallway of the flats for more than a year!! must go on the resolutions list!

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  47. Oh, you have made some wonderful finds in skips! I never manage to find good things in skips, generally they are just filler with bricks and dirt and such like! That dressing table is absolutely gorgeous! I am on the look out for one myself (when I have a flat big enough to get one in)! And as for the 1960's Avon bluebird pomanders, I have one of those too! My parents and I found it at a carboot for next to nothing and had to pick it up! xx

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  48. The 1950's lamp is so gorgeous and I love the little deers xx

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  49. What a talent you have Vix, all gorgeous things, I especially love the lamp! x

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  50. I want your phone!! Its gorgeous, i can't believe it was from a skip xx

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  51. oooooh this are the most fabulous things!! I love that little chair!! great post!

    xxxx

    lifeisroyalty.blogspot.com

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  52. Definitely treasures. Amazing what people will just throw away! It all looks fabulous together. The little pomander is so sweet. x

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  53. Wonderful dressing table. Proper drawers with lots of room in them. I remember those Avon pomanders well. I had a blue bird and a purple handbag with the heavily scented wax pellets that used to go inside them. Avon should bring them back, worked a treat!

    Shirl xxx

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  54. I so love mosing around your home ~ pleasure after pleasure! Thanks for sharing x

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  55. Sadly there's little to be found in skips around here. At best you might bag some bricks, at worst a drunk fella. There was an amazing 70s esque sideboard outside a junk shop up the road which I considered making off with (it had a help yourself sign on it) but there just wasn't room in our house for it. However, I have just bagged a fab set of 1960's drawers via Gumtree for a tenner. I'm going to post them up ASAP as they're great!

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  56. It's incredible all the treasures you found ! That make your world unique !
    http://selenite.weebly.com/

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  57. wow, you have really fixed everything up so beautifully. You have a good eye and also the ability to visualize the end result. I would have bought the same things home and they would look like trash:-)

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  58. Your house must be most amazing "museum". That dressing table is so beautiful.

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  59. I am so happy for you, for some reason I have a hard time coming along these types of treasures.

    Maybe one day I can be lucky enough for such a find.

    Bless you!
    Luis
    http://www.vanities123.com/

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  60. I just saw Penny Dreadfuls post about vanities and was inspired to do a post about my own, then I stumbled upon your post so now I know I have to do it!!!

    How exciting that you managed to salvage so much loveliness and give them their beauty back!!

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  61. I miss rotary dial phones! I really do.

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Love from Vix
xxx