Belongings That Belonged To Others


When I was chatting on the phone yesterday with Mary (my aunt in New Zealand), she commented on the “re-purposed” bookshelf mentioned in our May 6 post (Kitchen Leftovers).

Mary and her friend Mat were not familiar with the term “re-purposing,” but they definitely get the idea. Apparently Mat always has an eye out for a discarded item that he can put to use.

After the call, I glanced around the room and realized just how many fun and unique things in our house once belonged to others.


The sideboard came with the house. The former owners, Harriet and Ray, kindly asked if we would like to have it.

We purchased the telephone from a vintage store in Pittsburgh. We then had someone repair the ringer and replace the cords. It now works perfectly. I love the sound it makes throughout the house when it rings.


The tray with London landmarks caught our eye at a “Flea-Tique” in Tarentum, Pennsylvania. It reminded me of trays that were around when I was growing up. For $3.00, we couldn’t resist.

I consider it to be a little cheesy, but it has grown on me over the years. I enjoy the stylized illustrations and appreciate that it was “Made in England.”


Dan has been lounging on the same sofa for as long as he can remember. He practically grew up on it. It used to be in his parents house, and sported a green plaid fabric before we had it reupholstered.



The coffee table was made in a hurry one afternoon soon after we moved into our house. We had friends coming over and no table. The top of the table was previously part of a desk that Harriet and Ray left for us. We attached the top to a couple of storage cubes that we already had, and it has been our coffee table ever since. It was meant to be a temporary measure but, again, it grew on us.

We paid $7:00 for the red chair at a church sale in Cambridge, MA. We have since had it reupholstered in a fabric that’s very similar to the original.

We made a 300 mile round trip for the black Barcelona chair. The friends that owned it mentioned to Dan that they had left it with a neighbour to include in a yard sale. We intercepted it and paid the sticker price: $10:00.


Jack was a great find. Dan found him at the Sean Casey Animal Rescue in Brooklyn, NY. He’s priceless.

live. enjoy. repeat.

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