Over the Christmas season while spending time with our loved ones; friends and family something was made abundantly apparent again and again.
It was obvious when I was sitting in my parents living room. I caught myself pondering and imagining the past lives and journeys of all of their family furniture and potential the items could have in a different setting.
This got me thinking about an old story I once knew that is more relevant now than ever:
The Yellow Rolls Royce film premiered in 1951. Its colourful hero/heroine – the car – was central to three totally different stories and owned by three very different owners.
It was bought new initially by an English aristocrat, as a 10th wedding anniversary present for his French wife whom he adored. The feeling was clearly not mutual as he discovered when her affair was uncovered and he found her in her lovers arms on the back seat of the Yellow Rolls Royce. They continue their marriage in true stiff upper lip fashion, but the car and all that it represented was sold on.
Touring Italy to visit family, an American gangster and his girlfriend have bought the car as their transport. He is called back unexpectedly to the US for “business” and she is left to flirt with the photographer who hitched a ride. They fall in love but she decides to stay with her man fearing the consequences should she not, and the car is abandoned.
A rich American widow touring Europe at the beginning of the war, buys the car, now in dilapidated condition. It is commandeered by an active anti-fascist whom she then smuggles over the border into Yugoslavia and onto a partisan camp in the mountains, during which time they fall in love. He orders her to return to America for her safety and the Yellow Rolls Royce goes too.
Despite the romance, in our evermore disposable culture and our resources evermore challenged, doesn’t it make sense to refit items to suit a new role?
My father was evacuated during the war to Northumbria, and the big old Victorian pine kitchen table was central to all discussion; news; activity – everything. It was already there when they arrived, already engraved with history, but his parents took it with them when they returned home, and then he took it with him when they downsized. It was his kitchen table for a time but once children came and needed a table to sit and play at, he sawed the legs down and painted the whole thing. It then came with me – the legs sawed a bit further and all the paint removed – to become a coffee table.
It is so important to recognise the potential of unwanted items that may deserve another shot at life.
Here at Blue Door, we will, wherever possible, give our knowledge and expertise on an items repurposing potential, because we know it’s so much more satisfying to keep a family piece in its home, rather than chucking it out and heading off to IKEA.
If you don’t feel confident enough to do it, we’ll show you how. Never was the phrase “waste not, want not” as relevant as it is now – repurpose, repurpose, repurpose – our new mantra!