The Elegant Upcycle

TEXT by Celine MacKay | PHOTOGRAPHS by A home in Maine is decorated using entirely upcycled, handmade and found treasures.


Well, I'm officially declaring the posting drought on the PGM Blog over! Inspiration is abounding these days - not in the least with regards to the development of Issue 7 and our launch in print. Many exciting things happening on that front and I literally cannot sleep at night because of it. While we keep working away on that matter we'll keep you inspired right here!

I came across this home while browsing the weekend paper and was immediately impressed and inspired. This coastal home in Maine is a testament to what can be achieved with some creativity, patience and know-how (of course I think some good design sense is needed too as this project is absolutely stunning considering it's humble roots). Owned by a former schoolteacher, Jennifer Wurst and her partner, artist and creator Michael Fleming, the pair have managed to completely renovate and furnish their home for an incredible $4000 dollars!! According to the couple (and the article, which orginally appeared in the New York Times and was reprinted in The Globe and Mail) the living room was the priciest endeavour coming in at $828, largely due to Jennifer's "splurge" on a antique sofa from Brimfield Market for $150, which has now been slipcovered in an antique linen sheet. The cohesiveness and polish in this home is astounding, considering Jennifer's primary source of treasures is the dump!! From the article: “Some days it’s pure excitement, running back to the car to unload armfuls of stuff, only to go back for more!” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’s amazing what people throw out. I have found completely new (still in packaging) items such as my Bodum tea press/pot and even down throw pillows (still in packaging) and a fabulous ’50s-style wall-mounted can opener.” I have always said there is nothing more humbling than a trip to the dump - a grim reminder of our terrible habits of overconsumption - but I seriously commend Jennifer's ability to scavenge such wonderful items from the heaps of trash! If their home is an example of what can be achieved then I'd say it's worth the challenge.






Among the home's upcycled decor examples can be seen of Michael's work - he collects sea bleached pieces of driftwood, from twigs to stumps and creates everything from scultural peices (as in the large-scale piece seen here behind the dining table) and this original and imaginative driftwood pendant lamp (seen above). View more on Michael's site Designs Adrift.














Original Article: New York Times

Photos by Trent Bell