a few short months ago I moved into a new apartment. new neighbourhood, new roommate, new beginnings, etc. and in the spirit of all things new, i brought nothing from my previous existence and thus, didn’t have anything to furnish the place with. Literally nothing.
this new, materially barren existence was the enabler to what would be a life changing discovery of the treasures that line our streets one magical night a week, and the myriad of design opportunities that they hold.
as I lay on my air mattress, alongside the impossibly small suitcase that contained all of my worldly possessions (green snakeskin, a steal from the Lachute flea market - merci bien) night after night I imagined what furnishings would inevitably fill this new space and in turn transform my barren abode into my home.
after the predictable, fruitless trips to IKEA, EQ3, west elm, etc. two things became abundantly clear.
these trips were unnecessary as i discovered that i already had an IKEA catalogue at my disposal in my head.
and upon discussion with friends, i discovered that we, nay, everyone in the western world has an IKEA catalogue occupying some otherwise valuable space in their brain.
which can come in handy. like when you know that you need fish shaped ice cubes, or when playing pictionary and your partner starts drawing that familiar and simple easy chair (POANG obviously).
but outside of setting up your dorm or first apartment, when ease of construction and value are the purchase drivers, do you really want people to come into your home and be able to not only identify your furniture by name but also point out that your kitchen trolley was only $59? What a steal.
most of the furniture in these stores (rant now includes the aforementioned) would fulfill my immediate furnishing needs but would make this new space my own. A reflection of me and my taste.
the furnishings all looked the same. Seemingly mocking the sterile and bland nature of the space I currently occupied - replicated in furniture form. Function but not my fashion.
although the design savy swedes clearly know what they are doing (proven by the ability to fit a complete kitchen into a few boxes and then turn any incapable partner into an accomplished carpenter in a short afternoon)i beg us all to consider the piles and piles of BILLY bookcases in landfills somewhere, before making the simple and mindless decision to fulfill your immediate needs with these mass produced, dime a dozen, templated pieces...
And instead consider keeping a closer eye on your neighbours on GBE (garbage day eve).
it was a fateful night on Palmerston Avenue when i put my two conclusions together. and the decision to create a sustainable furniture filled apartment was reached.
a huge old front door just laying there on the lawn.
my soon to be dining table begun busily constructing itself in my head. easy. saddle horse legs and this old front door providing the surface upon which friends and family could gather to break bread.
only problem, and something think about when contemplating the sidewalk shop, transport.
a PROUD zip car card holder, i rarely activate this luxury outside of desperation and instead rely on my treads for transit whenever possible.
but this was a particular conundrum. the large door was too awkward to fit in most cars, but solid wood and too heavy for any woman who doesn't professionally weightlift to carry. coincidentally, it was upon realization of my predicament, that my best guy friend's phone starting ringing...
it seems once this door was opened, the ideas flooded in. i started thinking of ways to use objects that i hadn't found and then going out looking for them.
today my walls are adorned with framed photos once left for dead on a curb found, collages of hotel coasters, and my newest addition, old REDHOT jars stuffed with branches. all thanks to a watchful eye on my neighbours.
now almost complete, this once echoing chamber has become my home. a place where my character is reflected in every room and where comrades and loved ones can come and relax and comment on the interesting furniture.