Thrifting, Upcycling, Trash Picking

Trash Picking: Mid-Century Modern Style

Question: What’s more fun than finding a great [but cheap] piece of furniture at the thrift store and giving it some TLC?

Answer: Finding one for free when you “shop the curb” on large trash pickup weekends in your neighborhood!

Speaking of trash picking, Ryan scored some mad points when he spotted this solid wood mid-century modern record player/credenza on the curb of our old Alexandria neighborhood last Friday night.  We were in the area for some good Mexican food and sorbet, and as luck would have it, it was the large-trash pickup weekend.

As soon as Ryan pointed it out to me, I flew out of that car lightning fast.   I’m not even sure the car had come to a complete stop before my feet hit the pavement.   The streets were full of people strolling around, looking for treasures in their neighbors’ trash piles.   Time was of the essence.

Miraculously, it fit in the back of Ryan’s tiny car, and fortunately we had some bungee cords to tie the trunk door down. I sat on the floor holding onto it, hoping we didn’t get pulled over and ticketed for my lack of seat belt.

The next day we inspected it.  The record player sits down in the middle of the credenza, and the top flips up  to reveal it.  We’re not sure if the record player is in working condition, but one thing’s for sure:  there’s plenty of potential here.  The clean lines and the solid wood construction mean it can be refinished beautifully.

It would be fun to cut the back out behind the speaker screen, remove the speaker, and then put the game consoles and DVD player behind it.  If the remote controls work through the speaker screen, that is.

Another idea is to remove it and install shelves, of course.  And maybe paint it a bright, fun color?

The only problem is that we don’t really have a need for it in our home. But since I’m dying to refinish it, we’re going to offer it to our friends as a wedding gift.  They like the console and need a good TV stand in their new apartment.  That way we could have the fun of revamping the piece, along with the joy of giving a great gift that we’ll get to see in use over the years.

This is our first mid-century modern curbside find, and it’s so exciting.  Have you had any good trash picking lately?

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17 Comments

  • Reply Kelly at 4:17 pm

    Giving this as a gift is such a lovely idea – I agree, it looks like it has a ton of potential! We are totally landlocked furniture-wise, so I try to close my eyes when we are passing by the discards. I’m scared to find something I really want.

  • Reply LifeinRehab at 4:19 pm

    That is one seriously sweet piece, and how cool is it that you’ll have a substantial gift for the wedding for practically nothing?

    I trash picked Wednesday night…as I rounded the curb, there was a huge solid wood French door on the neighbor’s heap, just sitting there. I ran in the house and yelled, “Kids, I need help dragging a door home!” Savannah looked at the boys and said, “I told you we just should have gone ahead and brought it home.”

    Even my impulses are predictable.

  • Reply Liz at 4:28 pm

    Ah-mazing. You’d never find something like that on the curb in the Bay Area! I’m a tad jealous….

  • Reply Fauxshionable at 4:44 pm

    You and your mid-century finds are turning me into a green-eyed jealous monster! Technically my eyes are already green but still! Can you come to Chicago and help me find more, please? 🙂

  • Reply Kate at 5:21 pm

    What a find! So jealous!

  • Reply Katie @ Epistle at 5:21 pm

    I love it! And the thought of giving it as a gift is a lovely idea. I avoid looking at thrift furniture cause we are land-locked when it comes to furniture, but hopefully that will change in the future.

  • Reply Abby @ a delightful design at 8:52 pm

    Great find! Wow! I love that you’re going to give it as a gift. Perfect!

  • Reply Nina Nevermind at 2:29 am

    Awesome! Our trash weekends don’t start for another month. I can’t wait!

  • Reply Tracie at 10:01 am

    oh very cool find!

  • Reply Melissa at 2:35 pm

    Not lately but my mom in law is awesome at picking up great finds on the side of the street and she brought me this dresser that I will redo

  • Reply Jennifer Laughlin at 3:47 am

    what a great find! =)

  • Reply nikki/clickclackgorilla at 1:52 pm

    Oh you know I have! Anyone who wants to brag about their trash finds, by the way, is welcome to send pictures to nicolettekyle AT yahoo DOT com, as I do a weekly segment of trash finds on my blog… 🙂

    • Reply Jane @ The Borrowed Abode at 11:00 pm

      Ooh, that’s a good point! When I get some more interesting photos of its’
      inner workings, I’ll be sure to share 🙂

  • Reply Megan at 7:19 pm

    Love this! My husband found nearly the exact sample piece at the reuse center for $5, so not quite as cheap as yours, but close 🙂

  • Reply Ashley @ DesignBuildLove.co at 9:15 pm

    What a GREAT find and what a NICE gift for your friends! So awesome!

  • Reply 2011 Redneck Yard of the Year Contest | The Borrowed Abode at 11:53 am

    […] just piled up back there.  There’s truly no excuse for this sort of mess.  Of course, the vintage stereo cabinet that we trash-picked needs to come inside, but not before we totally fumigate it.  I don’t […]

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