A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of hosting a session entitled “How To Make A Stylish Salvage Home” on the Cheshire Showground at the Arthur Swallows Fair. Let me tell you – no mean feat with no projector or electricity in a force 10 gale. All power to Northern grit and a tent full of 30 determined salvage hunters, with only a table full of treasure and some A4 laminated sheets we managed an absolutely buzzing hour.
As I’d prepared my session notes in the previous days, the theme I kept coming back to over and over again was that we should be searching out treasure for our homes, instead of endlessly buying or accepting new tat.
Treasure that makes our hearts sing.
Treasure that we will love forever, instead of for just one trend led season.
Treasure that gives us a thrill when we first find it, and then a thrill every time we look at or touch it.
Treasure that gives us a tingle.
It’s said that we all turn into our mothers, eventually, and mine was an avid antique fair goer, stand holder and bargain hunter. We had little contact through our lives, but as anyone with any sense knows, DNA transcends disputes. I can’t pass a charity shop without nipping in, delight in rummaging through reclamation yards and have found a place for salvaged items in every corner of Moregeous Mansions. From bricks to slates, timber to tiles, fireplaces to lighting, there’s reclaimed and re-purposed treasure at every turn. I talk about it on our renovation workshops and it’s something which has been a driving force on the build here since Day 1.
So…. as well as showing you some of the finished areas of Moregeous HQ in the coming weeks as we start on the home run to finish the kitchen (OMG I KNOW – the actual kitchen!), I’m going to focus on some of the areas where salvaged treasure enhances the interior design. Where items unloved and discarded by others have been worked on and re-invented to create beautiful pieces or integral parts of the house again.
First up? This beauty…
I talked of my mother earlier. She died in early 2017 and we hadn’t spoken for 25yrs. I visited her in hospital in her final weeks and one cold afternoon, not really focused on my driving, I got lost between the hospital and the motorway. I’d never have seen the antiques store had I gone the ‘right’ way. This No 3, leaning up inside an old stone window reveal, was clearly always destined to be mine. My house number, my style, my fated purchase.
It gave me that flutter of excitement you get in your stomach when you spot something wonderful and cannot actually believe that no-one else has snapped it up. The treasure tingle.
I knew just where it’d go too, right here on the expanse of brickwork between the porch and the soon to be lush greenery of the new climbing white hydrangea.
There’s a place in every home for at least one oversized purchase, something which boldly states it’s presence just by sheer size. I rather like things which are too big for their boots, a rug which almost fills a room maybe, or a light fitting larger than it *should* be, or a chair which dwarfs most occupying bottoms. It seemed only right for our big porch to be given a big number, plus I’m getting pretty bored of all No5’s Pretty Little Thing packages. If the postie can’t see this, he needs to get himself to Specsavers.
So, how to hang something like this.
Instead of just drilling holes though the metal for screws to hold it flat to the wall, Mr M whizzed it down to our local metal fabricator and had five metal threads spot-welded onto the rear. We drilled into the brick wall and used two part epoxy fixing to secure the threads into the wall. This is the material which in a previous life I used to buy to hold lateral restraints into joists – pretty strong stuff. I thought about painting over the heat marks on the front but actually quite like them.
The threaded bars also provide a double bonus: the first that no screw heads are visible and the second that the No3 can sit slightly off the wall, allowing for a cool shadow gap behind.
As with all fantastic treasure, our No 3 makes my heart sing each time I look at it. It’s fun and unexpected, and works with the size of the space. But most of all it’s completely unique. This is perhaps what I love most about stumbling across unexpected finds in salvage yards or antique fairs and making them mine, making them Moregeous. The fact that when I re-purpose something beautiful, it’s completely bespoke and no-one else can have it or copy it. And you can do the same, with some leg work, imagination and the confidence to snap up treasure when you see it.
Follow us at Make It Moregeous on Instagram and tag me into the finds which give you a #treasuretingle. Happy hunting x
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