Monday, 30 July 2012

Magpie Monday: Pride of Place

As this is my first Magpie Monday I'm sure Liz won't mind if I bend the rules a little bit...

If you visited my house you'd probably think I had limited taste.  Every item of furniture seems out of place.  I've always rented and, for a number of reasons, as I've moved three times in the last four years, all attempts at colour matching, or finishing touches have pretty much gone out of the window - particularly as it looks like I'll be moving again before my little panda's due.

But one thing that I'm really proud of is that, aside from one TV stand, two bookcases and a mattress, every single stick of furniture the Hubby and I own has cost us nothing.  Not a single penny.  Our sofa and armchair for example came from Freecycle, our bedframe came from Hubby's parents, our sofa bed from mine, a bookcase came from a grandparent - I'm sure you get the picture...

But my favourite item, and the subject of my rule-breaking Magpie Monday are my four dining chairs...

Once, many moons ago, I worked as a teaching assistant in a residential centre for children.  Schools would come for activity courses in the week, and individuals would come for weekend "enrichment".  I started work at the centre after spending years doing weekend courses as a child, and for as long as I can remember they had the same furniture.  The same sturdy chairs, the same battered but robust tables.  Until one weekend, I turned up and it was like the entire Ikea product portfolio had descended into the dining hall - and the care-worn items were no where to be seen.

I was all for the furniture being updated - until I heard the fate of the elderly pieces that had been moved on.  I'd imagined they'd been donated to a charity, or re-sold at an event, but no... the chairs and tables that had been clambered on by hundreds of children, been in the centre for at least two decades had been moved outside into the pouring rain, and we're lined up ready for the bonfire.

I was too late to save the tables (they'd already gone up in smoke for a school party) but I somehow managed to salvage four of the chairs from the already rotting pile, and squeeze them into the back of my tiny two-door Citreon AX.  I then spent the summer drying them out.  I sanded, re-stained and varnished the frames, and reupholstered the seats, and re-fixed some of the webbing that had come loose.

That was 6 years ago and those seats are still going strong in the centre of my living room.  And out of all of my furniture it's the one piece that never looks out of place.  It might not be the most modern of pieces of furniture, nor the most sexy - but they've got a real story, and I love them for it.

What do you think?

Me and My Shadow


  1. Wow, you're a sly fox!! Very handy indeed.

    The chairs are gorgeous, why would they just throw them out? That's criminal.

    Glad you rescued some of them.

    Thanks for joining in xx

  2. It just makes me so sad that I couldn't rescue the table (okay, so there is no way they would have ever have fitted in my teeny car but...) they were such good quality tables - really heavy. Poor things.

  3. Fab, What a find! How could anyone bring themselves to burn them, shocking! x

    1. I know! Such a waste! I'm glad that I was able to give some of them a new home.

  4. Lovely chairs! Well done for rescuing them and giving them a new lease of life :)

    1. Thanks. It really would have been a shame to see them all go up in smoke - I just wish I could have squeezed a couple more into my car!