Look What the Dumpster Angels Have Delivered

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You know how you always read on decorating blogs how people have refurbished great pieces of furniture that they found sitting by a dumpster, in an alley or on the curb for trash pickup? I always thought those people were pretty lucky, since none of my neighbors ever seemed to throw away any furniture, let alone anything worth taking.

Until last weekend.

My husband and I were driving in to our apartment complex when we spied this chair and another piece sitting next to the community dumpster. He had barely stopped the car before I jumped out to take a closer look. There was a TV table in sad condition that we couldn’t save, but the chair? It wasn’t exactly pretty, and it was a little wobbly, but it was otherwise in great shape.


I started to ask why the heck someone would throw away a perfectly usable chair when my husband reminded me that their loss is our gain. I’m still sad that the TV table will be taking up space in the local landfill for all eternity, but that’s why it’s really important to purchase furniture that will last as opposed to cheap pieces “for right now” that will eventually fall apart.

Anyway, the chair happens to be a twin-sized futon, so I figure it will come in really handy when my stepsons come for a visit. It shouldn’t be too hard to create seat and back cushions for it, and some sanding and a spiffy new paint job will turn it from a color that I hate into something I could learn to love.

If I can’t find place for it in our home when I’m done, I can always sell it on Craigslist 🙂

Have you ever brought home items that were once headed for the landfill? Share what it was and what you did with it in the comments below!

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8 comments… add one
  • Kristina Brooke February 11, 2010, 12:23 pm

    That is a beautiful chair. I hate when people get rid of stuff that is so easily fixable.

    • jennae February 11, 2010, 1:12 pm

      I know, right? I couldn’t believe they would just throw it away. They COULD have donated the furniture to Goodwill, or even called Habitat for Humanity which will actually come to your home and pick up any furniture, so you don’t even have to figure out how to get it to them.

      Anyway, I need to start driving around the more exclusive neighborhoods in my town on trash day to see what the rich folks throw away! lol

  • Amy February 11, 2010, 2:19 pm

    Great find! Don’t you feel like you won the lottery when you find treasures on the curb? I once found a lovely vintage sewing storage table in my mother’s friend’s garage. It was in a pile of junk waiting to head to the curb. They were more than happy that I wanted to take it. I haven’t done a thing to it and have been using it as a bed side table for years.

    • jennae February 11, 2010, 4:08 pm

      Amy, I’m just hoping I hit this particular lottery more often! We need a bed frame and a side chair for the living room 🙂 I’m a big fan of anything vintage, and I love ogling over at sites like Design Sponge in the Before & After category to see what people have done with their furniture finds: http://tinyurl.com/4zo9wa

  • Reeva February 11, 2010, 7:38 pm

    Seriously, with spring around the corner..*not that you’d believe it with these wicked snow storms* … you could use this on the deck to totally veg out and take naps on. Of course you’d have to find some really thick weather resistant fabric and make a cushion for it. I think it would be really nice as an “outdoor bed” when you want to relax during warm summer nights. I wouldn’t recommend keeping it outside for long periods though.

    • jennae February 11, 2010, 10:46 pm

      Reeva, that was actually my first thought. There’s just one tiny problem — literally. It’s hard to tell in the photo, but the chair is actually taking up pretty much ALL the space on our current, itty-bitty patio. However, we are getting ready to move soon, so hopefully we’ll have a larger private outdoor space where we can use it. If not, like I said, it’ll be a great sleeper for one of my stepsons 🙂

  • Christopher February 13, 2010, 5:22 pm

    There is also a National Furniture Bank that gladly accepts and repurposes old furniture, specifically for those in need. From their site:
    The mission of the National Furniture Bank Association is to assure that no child in America has to sleep on the floor. Each night in America, hundreds of thousands of people sleep in places not meant for human habitation, or in homes without the basic essential furnishings needed to turn an empty house into a home. 40% of that population is children. Members of the National Furniture Bank Association around the country provide beds, tables, chairs and other crucial home furnishings to over 100,000 people each year. The NFBA exists to assist those furniture banks in their mission to serve those in need.

    Check it out at : http://www.nationalfurniturebank.org/index.html

  • Megan MacDonald February 15, 2010, 11:33 am

    Awesome! I moved into a new apartment a number of years ago and a couple who had clearly just gotten married threw away a ton of BRAND NEW WEDDING GIFTS. I’m talking picture albums, board games, kitchen utensils – SO MUCH STUFF. We went through it, took what we wanted and took the rest to goodwill. I HOPE that they figured someone would do that, rather than just letting brand new things that weren’t their taste go to the landfill!

    I love that the chair is a futon two – double score!

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