Definition of Found Object on Dictionary.com :
A natural object or an artifact not originally intended as art, found and considered to have aesthetic value. Also called objet trouvé.
I am a sucker for any fragment that has the time-worn patina of age. Looking at an object, you wonder about it’s former life and the stories that it could tell. Architectural fragments- Corbels, Iron Window Grills, Newell Post fragments, etc. all lend a feeling of history and charm. They can grace a tabletop, bookcase, or mantel. For me, rust, peeling or alligatoring paint finishes, are a testament to the age and a desired state the speaks to me. Granted, you don’t want to have to update your tetanus shot or have lead paint particles floating about in your home, but that aside, after some light cleaning to leave the finish intact, (and testing for lead paint) there is a certain beauty in an age worn surface.
To quote Nate Berkus in an article in the Seattle Times:
Integrate pieces with patina and age. “That’s a mistake that a lot of people make — they go buy all new furniture and pots and pans, and don’t understand why the place doesn’t feel homey and comfortable,” Nate said. “Even in a building with glass windows to the floor and modern architecture, it’s important to have vintage things that have an inherent character to them, when you’re working in a space that’s very stark. I scoured antiques malls, looking for old books and objects,” including a men’s singles tennis trophy that now houses kitchen utensils.
I whole heartedly agree! Here are some of my “Found Objects”:
A garden accent I hung on the wall as art
An old Corbel flanks some books on a chest
This is an old green window grate I propped up in the back
of my fireplace and placed some urns from Home Goods
in front of to fill in the space. It wasn’t a fireplace we were going
to use, so after cleaning it and removing the
tired circa 1980 brass screen that enclosed it,
I decided I could decorate the alcove instead.
Always on the look out for another area to accessorize. =)
Here’s a better view…
A Ceiling Tin Fragment used in lieu a headboard
A Chimney Pot I had in the garden for a time, but decided
to hose off and use as an indoor accent
to fill in a corner…
Here is a book I just added to my “library”:
As well as Nate’s Book, Home Rules
This book has been a favorite of mine with lots are architectural salvage ideas that my sister-in-law gave me:
If you’re not lucky enough to be close to a flea market like we are in Charlotte, or in Atlanta to poke around for that special artifact, here is a fun site to search.