Friday, January 9, 2009

The Find: Heavy Metal Moments

When my dear friend Deb Kelt left New York for Austin, Texas, a few years ago, I was heartbroken. I understood exactly why she was leaving – to pursue a teaching career she’d always dreamed of and to escape the rat race that just comes with the territory of living in New York City. Oh, we had many memorable moments together re-enacting scenes from Madonna’s film "Truth or Dare" at a wealthy friend’s swimming pool, taunting waiters who served up yummy beef burgers and heading out totally be-wigged for the original Wig Stock in the East Village’s Thompkins Square Park.

On the sad day Deb finally decided to head back to Texas and started packing up her belongings, there were a few items she couldn’t cart off with her, including a fabulous set of wrought iron garden chairs that she bequeathed to me. Deb told be that she found them on the street in Brooklyn and hauled the hulking hunks of metal up the stairs of her walk-up apartment.

I love the romantic curls of the chair’s hefty form and the idea that I am sitting on a piece of garden furniture even when it’s blistery cold outside. Who says you can’t use outdoor furniture inside? A few years ago, my mom re-covered the seats with scraps of green velvet that I had lying around, but other than that they are just the way Deb found them…and left with me.

In May 2009, Clarkson Potter will publish my book, The Find: The Housing Works Book of Decorating with Thrift Shop Treasures, Flea Market Objects, and Vintage Details. Pre-order now on and


Anonymous said...

very nice story and interesting history ... but what's the thing under the chair?

The Elegant Thrifter said...

Dear Anonymous

You are absolutely right. In my haste to take a photograph of one of my prized possessions, another became a distraction. The thing under the chair is a stack of cigarette paper that I recovered in an abandoned paper factory in Rijeka, Croatia. Expect a clarification and updated information.

And thank you for sharing your keen eye!