Furniture Dump

Is Your Office Contributing to Australia s Landfill Crisis?

Kate Avery's trash-to-treasure addiction began innocently enough. A then newlywed living in Plainville, she was intrigued by the out-of-nowhere piles of used furniture appearing curbside one day.

"I asked a neighbor and she explained it was bulk pickup week, " Avery explains. "I asked if that meant the stuff was free while it was waiting to be trashed, " Avery continues. "I had seen a Chippendale-style highboy in the trash heap so I went back and picked it up."

That chance encounter with a throwaway served as the germ of creativity for the now very successful artist, woodworker, painter and carpenter who owns Heir and Space, her East Hampton home-based furniture restoration business.

"I'll do anything to keep it out of the fire, " she says explaining how she takes discarded, outdated furniture she culls from assorted secondhand shops, flea markets, roadside and more, then transforming them with a combination of elbow grease and design into showroom-worthy pieces.

"I bought new furniture when I was first married and it was falling apart within months, " she said. "The old stuff, it's real and it's well made and it can be brought back, " she said, underscoring her business and personal mantra. "And then you have something that has quality."

Lest you think Avery is some fly-by-night, do-it-your-selfer with a paintbrush, think again.

A former visitor services manager at Hartford's Harriet Beecher Stowe Center, Avery moved on to work for one of the premiere antique dealers in Connecticut, Nathan Liverant and Son LLC. At that Colchester business she fine-tuned her furniture appreciation skills with duties that included merchandising displays, meeting experts, researching and writing lengthy provenance reports on early American antiques.

"I learned almost everything I know about antiques there and much about running a small business from my time with Liverant, " she said. "It was a wonderful experience but I came to the point where I had to choose refinishing or staying with the antique store. I couldn't do both anymore."

Rarely is Avery dealing in rare and valuable antiques when it comes to her business these days, rather focusing on the affordable. Her castoffs arrive looking more like junk than jewels until she works her magic, with most big pieces starting at about $350. While some are restored and then placed on the market via her popular blog ( and social media sites, others are custom pieces that clients have requested after seeing samples of her work.

When scouting for salvageable furniture, Avery explains, "I look for both when I am out. "You never know what you are going to find where.''

On a recent visit to one of her favorite haunts, a beat-up hutch with broken glass and missing drawer hardware catches her eye.

iSaddle iSaddle Self Adhesive Car Tie Mounts Cable Clips Cable Drop Wire Holder (20PCS)
Sports (iSaddle)
  • Quick installation - no screws required
  • Size: 9.4mm*12.4mm(20pcs)
  • Easy to use & keep you organized.
  • Easy to stick to a smooth surface.
SainSmart Jr. RC Cars Transformer Autobots Toy RC Vehicles 2.4 Ghz Robot Car Toy, High Speed Remote Control Car with One-Button Transforming and 360 Speed Drifting (Green)
Toy (SainSmart Jr.)
  • 【One Button Transforming】It transforms automatically from car to robot when you hit the button on the remote control. Transforms back and forth easily and quite...
  • 【High Speed Drifting】It has 4 smooth wheels and could finish 360° turning flexibly in both robot model and car shape.
  • 【Realistic Engine Sound】There are LED headlights and the robot has an exciting sounds when you speed up, play forward, backward, turn left and turn right.
  • 【Strong Remote Contral】 2.4 Ghz Strong Transmitter system and 30-40 meters distance control. Full charge for 1h and it will last up for 20-30mins.
  • 【Worry Free Guarantee】 Every Sainsmart Jr. customer enjoys 45-days money back & 18-months warranty. For any possible defective products, please contact us first...
Fastcap FastCap Triblade Utility Knives
Home Improvement (Fastcap)
  • Comfortable Rubber Grip
  • Convenient blade storage in knife
  • Retractable, auto-locking snap off blade
Fisher Price Fisher-Price Loving Family Dining Room
Toy (Fisher Price)
  • Ideal for play with any Fisher-Price Loving Family dollhouse
  • Furniture includes tables, chairs, and buffet
  • Food and desert trays to top the night off!
  • Provides imaginative family role play with familiar and highly detailed realistic room furnishings
  • Fun for all girls
Atlantic Furniture DROP SHIP Nantucket Bunk Bed with Raised Panel Trundle Bed, Twin Over Twin, White
Furniture (Atlantic Furniture DROP SHIP)
  • Designed for lasting durability using eco-friendly hardwood with protective five step finish
  • Exceeds industry standards for safety, one year manufacturer s warranty
  • Accommodates up to a 9 1/2 inch mattress which is supported by our slat system
  • Converts into separate beds, ladder can be set up at either end
  • Assembly required, mattresses and bedding sold separately

Related posts: