Upcycled telephone table

Upcycled telephone tableUpcycled 50s telephone table

My partner and I had a dilemma faced by many inner-city dwellers: nice couches in the sitting room- BUT no nice side tables. Where to put the martini glass? On what to perch the canapé plate? Am I right? – everybody faces this dilemma.

Space is tight. The couches are expensive and there is NO way that guests are encouraged to rest their drink or antipasto plate on the arms. So- what to do?

Enter- the upcycled telephone table. Long in length and thin in width- the perfect dimensions. Having an upper and a lower level [once for the telephone and padded seat, respectively]- and with an added grill for the old telephone books – these tubular metal telephone tables are just the thing.

Trish stripped back the chrome plating, attended to the rust, and repainted in matt black. Recycled timber was sanded, oiled & finished and screwed to the upper and lower sections and voila- the perfect side table was born.

The table ticks all the boxes: upcycling, recycling and retro styling. Totally loving it!

Swanky swigs

Australian swanky swigsSwanky Swigs
made in Australia c.1950s

These glasses are ‘swanky swigs’- and they are collected by my partner. Originally the glasses held Kraft products and had a metal lid: then Kraft hit upon the idea of decorating the glasses in a range of themes- so making the glasses collectible. The term ‘swanky swig’ was coined to denote the [obviously] swanky glass from which one swigged! Each design came in six bright colours to form a set; an early innovative use of repurposing.

These swanky swigs have a distinctive Australian theme: eucalyptus flowers & gumnuts, and waratahs. They are getting harder to find now- I think because the glasses were considered fairly kitschy when first produced and many glasses were not kept. But for nostalgic collectors- nirvana consists in obtaining a complete set of six. If anyone has the dark blue and yellow gumnut glasses- I need to talk to you!

Upcycled telephone table

Upcycled telephone tableUpcycled 50s telephone table

My partner and I had a dilemma faced by many inner-city dwellers: nice couches in the sitting room- BUT no nice side tables. Where to put the martini glass? On what to perch the canapé plate? Am I right? – everybody faces this dilemma.

Space is tight. The couches are expensive and there is NO way that guests are encouraged to rest their drink or antipasto plate on the arms. So- what to do?

Enter- the upcycled telephone table. Long in length and thin in width- the perfect dimensions. Having an upper and a lower level [once for the telephone and padded seat, respectively]- and with an added grill for the old telephone books – these tubular metal telephone tables are just the thing.

Trish stripped back the chrome plating, attended to the rust, and repainted in matt black. Recycled timber was sanded, oiled & finished and screwed to the upper and lower sections and voila- the perfect side table was born.

The table ticks all the boxes: upcycling, recycling and retro styling. Totally loving it!

Bung jars

Bung jarsBung jars
Doulton Lambeth, made in England 1858-1910

This is my partner’s latest collection- bung jars- so called because a cork lid was ‘bunged’ into the top to seal the jar. Doulton Lambeth made domestic salt glazed stoneware and these date from 1858-1910 as indicated by the markers mark incised in the side of the jar.

Also incised is the holding capacity- 3P [pints] – and sometimes the goods stored in the jars. Stoneware is excellent for keeping preserves and has good thermal qualities- so foodstuffs remained stable inside. The jars were never intended to be ornamental, purely functional; you can see the way glaze has been applied- but even so there is a ring of incised decoration to most jars. Most bung jars found nowadays have chips and cracks from their hard life; however we have managed to collected jars without faults.

The jars look fantastic massed together, and make great vases [the big one is an excellent umbrella stand.] And –because of the brown tones- I think the jars look great on timber.

Styling with 60s retro

'Impact' coffee setStyling with retro
‘Impact’ coffee set by British Anchor, Staffordshire England, made 1960-1969
modern reproduction red glass vase and kale

Mixing retro objects with contemporary objects is easy- as long as it is done simply. The red glass vase holds kale, an ornamental cabbage. It’s a strong, architectural flower that compliments the modernist lines of the coffee set. Both the coffee pot and the kale have an elongated, exaggerated verticality. And they are green- the complimentary opposite of red.

I don’t buy reproduction pieces, but this lovely red glass vase was given to me as a gift. I use it a great deal. I love that it is unpretentious, and plays homage to 60s glassware. It’s robust and honest – a simplified version of the real thing. But wow! does it pack a punch with architectural flowers.