I’ve found decor for my home in many different places including dumpsters, barns, sides of roads, and in a variety of the homes we’ve lived in. In my experience, people often leave items they no longer want in a house when they move out.
It’s not like anyone ever calls these junk leavers to come back and get their broken ladder. Or whatever it is they left behind.
No, we just grumble about it and continue moving into our new home.
In my case, I grumble about it. Then I get excited about it when I realize I might be able to do something with that junk.
Then I write a blog post about it because one person’s junk is
fodder for my blog my treasure.
The other day I was trying to remember where I had gotten my set of three ceramic crocks that are now taking up residence on our new back porch shelves.
For the life of me I couldn’t remember.
Then Handy Husband said, “didn’t we find them in one of our houses?”
OH YEAH! We did!
They were left in the basement of a house we bought in Oregon – right next to the KitchenAid mixer that actually worked, but that I never used.
That prompted me to realize I have found decor in so many of the homes we’ve lived in.
Let me show you!
Found Decor #1: Picture Window
This gigantic picture window was found in one of our barns. The window originally came from an old schoolhouse.
A photo of the Columbia River Gorge National Scenic Area that Handy Husband took is blown up and placed behind the window. We keep meaning to update the photo, but we haven’t found or taken one we like better yet.
That window has traveled with us back and forth on a container ship across the Atlantic Ocean and has not broke. Can you believe it?
It may be more surprising that we’ve moved it ourselves in the back of a U-Haul truck without building a crate for it and it also didn’t break.
*Knocks on wood* for the next time.
Found Decor #2: Old Doors
I used an old door that we removed from our basement in Oregon to create Handy Husband’s running medal display.
You can catch a glimpse of it in this photo.
I have two other doors from this same basement that I’ve used in a variety of ways over the years.
Most recently as a jewelry display.
Right now, I’m not using them for anything as the Colonial Farmhouse has an excess of doors.
In my opinion, the reason why these doors have been so versatile for decor purposes is that they had dummy door knobs installed on them. This is a door knob that doesn’t need to turn, so there is no hole cut into the door itself.
Found Decor #3: Ladder
I found half of an old ladder rotting away at a rental we lived in for a while in New Jersey.
Once I cleared the spiders and grime off of it, it made a great quilt holder.
These quilts were all hand-quilted by my relatives, so they have some sentimental value.
I’ve also decorated this ladder for Halloween with paper bats.
As one does.
Found Item #4: Bookrack
This bookrack was shoved under a pile of rolled up carpet in a house we lived in in Georgia.
I could be wrong, but I figured that meant no one wanted it.
The bookrack was originally white, but at some point I gave it a makeover.
I must have been bored.
My son outgrew this bookrack, so it no longer lives with us at the Colonial Farmhouse.
Found Decor #5: Sheet Metal
In one of our houses in Georgia we found two pieces of sheet metal laying out in the woods.
Classy, I know.
I actually think it was the base for someone’s wood pile at some point.
We used one of the sheets to cut out a map of the USA.
Then we put the rest of the sheet metal back in the woods where we found it. How terrible is that? Although, part of me does wish I could see the look on the face of whoever finds this gigantic piece of sheet metal with a hole the shape of the USA on it.
Here’s how the sheet metal map is used now.
We joke with my son not to kick that map with his foot when he’s lying in bed because he doesn’t want to become Flat Stanley. Did your kids read those books?
Flat Stanley became flat by having a bulletin board fall on him, I believe.
Don’t worry! This map is securely affixed to the wall.
Found Decor #6: White Stool
The white stool under the bench in this photo was left in one of our houses in Oregon.
It is rickety, so no one can stand or sit on it, but it has such a lovely patina that I can’t get rid of it.
Found Decor #7: Pitcher and Candlesticks
I don’t have the energy to count the number of things that were left in the Colonial Farmhouse that I’m now using as decor. There’s probably something in almost every room of our house.
In this photo alone I spy a copper pitcher, two wooden candlesticks, a metal candlestick and an amber bottle.
There have been a few times that we’ve moved into a truly vacant home with nothing left behind, but I think that might have only been when we lived in new construction.
I don’t know if this is a normal phenomenon or not.
Maybe I just attract these homes with stuff left behind?
Maybe they can sense that I’m a sucker and won’t try to track them down to come get their rickety, old step stool that I really want to keep anyway?
No matter the reason, I’m having a hard time feeling unhappy about the amount of found decor we’ve discovered in previous homes. It definitely lends itself to that authentic, collected over time look that I love.
P.S. I’ll concede things got a little out of hand when we purchased the Colonial Farmhouse and it was practically furnished. But, on the other hand, I hit the mother lode! Handy Husband says we just found a load of junk, but he loves me so he only grumbles about it on days ending in “y.”
Thanks for being here today! Since I mentioned it a few times, I’ll link up some posts that have the real estate photos from our house in Oregon. This was from a pre-blogging time over 10 years ago. Yikes!
*affiliate links in this blog post*