Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Second Hand Lifestyle: A Guest Post

Hi everyone! I'm Laura from Radiator Tunes and, similar to Zoe, I'm passionate about recycling and buying used. When Zoe first asked me to guest post about my favorite upcycled and secondhand possessions, I wasn’t really sure where to start. My husband, Mike, and I live in a little row home just outside of Baltimore City, a house where my mother grew up and where my grandmother lived until she passed away just a few years ago. I love living in a place that is still so full of family memories and that has always truly felt like home. And though Mike and I have redecorated enough to put our own stamp on the place, nearly all of the furniture that inhabits my house are hand-me-downs from my grandmother, generous friends, and family members as well as prize finds from antique stores and Goodwill. There are so few new things in our place that it was a huge task to choose my favorites.

One of the upcycle projects of which I am most proud is this set of chests. Originally belonging to my grandmother, these gems were painted an ugly and flat green with horrendous drawer pulls when my grandmother first gave them to us. We stripped off the green paint, applied a dark stain, and added some sleek steel handles to completely transform these chests into a more modern bedroom set. 

This armchair originally belonged to my mom. It was always my favorite place to read in my family’s home and, when my mom had it reupholstered in this beautiful salmon-colored fabric, I grew to love it even more. She had grown tired of the chair a few years later, so I gladly volunteered to offer it a new home in my house. 

I wish I could remember where it was that I found this adorable bird key holder. Long before moving out of my parents’ house, I had amassed a considerable collection of items with which I hoped to decorate my own place one day. This key holder was one of those items and I thought it both quirky and whimsical. I had little need for a key rack when Mike and I moved into our new place, but my necklaces were in desperate need of some organization, so the key holder was transformed into an adorable way to display some of my jewelry.

I had a great time upcycling these old wine bottles into candle holders. The bottles themselves are quite elegant but the candle wax dripping down the sides and the mixture of colors and labels make these upcycled candleholders a bit more eclectic and fun.

Much as I try to not grow too attach to material items, this ring is one of my very most prized possessions. I bought it super-discounted from an antique dealer who was closing down her store. I’ve worn it nearly every day ever since and I feel completely naked when it’s not on my finger. This is quite easily my very best secondhand find.

Thanks for allowing me to share just a few things over here on Life of a Vegetarian Girl. Hope you found some inspiration to recycle, upcycle, or scour your nearby secondhand store! 


  1. Thanks so much for allowing me to post about some of my favorite secondhand and upcycled things! Love your blog Zoe!