You did what?

My story behind the bicycle wheels featured today on Apartment Therapy.

I often get the raised eyebrow when explaining my decorating ideas.   My sister doesn’t get it,  my Mom has undone her space after I’ve flown back to my side of the country.   People ask for advice, which I think is a sign they like what I’m doing but in the end they don’t usually take it.  

Since moving into this house a few years ago my taste has gone toward mixing old finds with shiny new stuff.  Add trying to make it all work in a cookie cutter suburban home it’s not that easy to visualize when it’s not your taste or anything you’ve seen done before.  Mason Jars as photo frames, chicken coup as a toy bin, etc..

Last week I rescued some bicycle wheels from my neighbor’s trash.  This took me way out of my comfort zone.  I like to pay for my “garbage” at thrift stores.  Taking my neighbors actual garbage made me twitch a little as this is a couple whom we welcome into our home.  Well, until now anyway.  Once inside I wasn’t sure what I would do with them; but they looked cool and taking them was a pretty good idea.  Plus they were free and said neighbor wasn’t home to see me scurry across his driveway.

I wiped them down a bit and because I didn’t have any other idea at the time I propped them up on the bookcase in the den feeling pretty sure they’d get the old veto when Mike got home.  As the day went on I fell in love with how they looked among the traditional style of the bookcase in a room decorated with only awards,diplomas and a plain Ikea desk.  This room needs some work, curtains, a rug, an adult size chair in place of the school chair and I plan on lining the back of the bookcase but I was happy with the display so I posted it on Flickr.

 bike wheels in office



Later that night I got a message from a contributing editor for Apartment Therapy asking if she could feature the photo.  I was shocked, it was garbage, technically stolen garbage.  Also, I was pretty excited that someone else got it. ( Maybe I do know what I’m doing.)  If my Mom knew what Apartment Therapy is she would still think this is insane.  Maybe you do, too.  What do you think, trash or treasure?


6 thoughts on “You did what?

  1. i LOVE it!! very cute. and i’m with you on the mixing-old-with-new idea. it’s just so much more practical to decorate that way, and it allows you to use all kinds of pieces that you really love.

  2. I’m with you on this!!! I don’t like cookie cutter anything. I love “outside the box” ideas, and it’s the way I decorate. I can’t tell you how many times people have asked me if I’m a decorator, or “who decorated my house”! My favorite day of the week is the night before trash day, where I can go on a scavenger hunt in my neighborhood. I say “if you love it, then do it!” Nobody is like you and your home should reflect your style, not some magazines idea of style. Although, I am addicted to decorating magazines, I usually notice composition, and sometimes something in the background will catch my eye. Keep up the great work. Obviously, you’re doing something right, if a magazine wants to feature your “style.”

  3. I love it…

    I actually found this “YELLOW velvet” vintage chair at the flea market this past weekend. I fell in love, Andy, however, would have killed me so I left it behind. I have been dreaming of that chair as ugly as it sounds…it would work perfect in our burgandy bat cave. Nuff said….

  4. Legally speaking, you did not steal anything because items placed in the garbage are considered abandoned. Cops love this rule because they can “dumpster dive” at a suspect’s house without a warrant. Don’t you love knowing that you have something in common with unruely cops! See you soon! Yay!

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