Photo Gallery: New Life For Salvaged Finds

We love a good DIY, but it can be a challenge to turn a curbside find or hand-me-down into something with a high design quotient. Our editors took up the cause and mined their own homes for treasures that are full of history, personality and, now, style.

  • Before: Worn Chairs

    Suzanne Dimma's vintage chairs.

    A self-confessed collector of chairs, Suzanne spied this great set of wooden folding chairs years ago at an antiques market north of Toronto. After dutifully serving as seating at the kitchen table in her old house, they began to fall apart and were stored for eight long years. They were recently rediscovered during her basement renovation.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Slipcovered Chairs

    Imperfections are hidden under fabric.

    Used more for display than seating, Suzanne dressed up two salvaged chairs with handmade linen slipcovers that effectively cover up broken parts. They now reside in her front entrance to form an antique-style vignette.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Before: Vintage Doilies

    Sarah Hartill's neglected hand-me down doilies.

    Sarah and her husband inherited thse delicate vintage doilies from his grandmother. She was drawn to their fineness but couldn't see herself using them as traditional tabletop decoration, so Sarah kept the lace stored in her hutch for a couple of years, hoping one day to give the keepsakes pride of place.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Vintage Doilies

    A family heirloom becomes a display piece.

    Framing the doilies like this is a simple, modern way of appreciating their beauty and sentimental value on a daily basis. Mounted on grey linen in white frames, they look stylish hung low on a wall.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Before: Discarded Table

    Stacey Smithers' battered garage find.

    Stacey discovered this old, well-worn drafting table in her garage when she first moved into her house. It was clear from the scuffs and stains that it had been used as a work surface for all manner of home-improvement projects. Its solid construction and rich character made it worth hanging on to, so Stacey kept it in the garage for four years.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Refreshed Drafting Table

    Embracing a piece's history and blemishes.

    A mini makeover — which included repainting the metal legs and simply oiling the wood top, leaving the stains and scratches for interest — transformed the rusty old throwaway into the perfect vintage piece.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Before: Long-Lost Lids

    Meg Crossley's forgotten tureen lid collection.

    Inheriting a tureen-less lid from her grandmother inspired Meg to build a collection of similar one-offs she found at local flea and antique markets (they're readily available and inexpensive at around $3 apiece). Meg stumbled upon the box storing the forgotten lid collection in her basement and decided it was high time to do something with them.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Long-Lost Lids

    Vintage serving dishes become wall decor.

    Mounting the lids on the wall with plate hooks put a creative spin on a classic display method. Tureen tops add greater dimension to a wall than traditional plates and platters — for a fraction of the cost.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Before: Shabby Loveseat

    Kai Ethier tranforms a well-worn family heirloom.

    A decades-old love seat was purchased from The Art Shoppe by Kai's mother-in-law. After a stint as her sister's university-apartment sofa, it was stored by Kai in her basement for years. In spite of its good bones, the love seat's multitude of pen marks and cat scratches made it unsuitable for living room display.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Recovered Loveseat

    A chic ikat pattern gives sofa new life.

    Reupholstered in a fresh and fun blue and white striped ikat-style fabric by Kai Ethier, a classic sofa is elevated to contemporary chic and ready to make its main-floor debut.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • Before: Unique Photo Find

    Joel Bray's antique photograph.

    An old photograph whose likeness had naturally transferred onto its protective tissue layer created a mirror image with a ghostlike quality. In the early days of photography, portraits were sandwiched by cardboard and tissue, and it's rare to find them with remnants of that packaging. Joel discovered this gem in a large box brimming with vintage photographs, the kind often seen at antique markets.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson
  • After: Plexi-Box Framed Photo Find

    Framing transforms a vintage find.

    Framing a haunting photograph in a custom acrylic case showcases its patina and imbues it with a sense of importance, like an artifact in a museum.

    Source: House & Home June 2013 issue
    Photographer: Angus Fergusson