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Posted by on Aug 2, 2011 | 5 comments

My Dumpster Dive Delight

My Dumpster Dive Delight

I got the email from Leslie at 2 p.m. Subject: Curb Alert! Inside, camera phone pictures of chairs someone had disgarded in the alley a couple blocks from my home. Leslie said they looked like they were good condition.

chairs found in garbage

For the next three and a half hours, I anxiously sat at my desk waiting for the work day to end so I could head home and check out the treasure.

I emailed my husband letting him know I would be a few minutes late getting home and warned him about the chairs. He doesn’t like surprises that come from the trash.

My work day ended, I took the metro to Braddock Rd. and quickly walked to the alley off Bellefonte. There they were: three fabulous dining chairs patiently awaiting my arrival. They were beautiful mahogany in near pristine condition, only in need of new seat cushions. Who would throw these out?

There were three chairs, but I knew I couldn’t carry them all. The heat was unbearable and I had three blocks to go. So I took two. They were gorgeous and sturdy, and in exceptional condition. If I had waited any longer to pick them up, surely they would have been gone.

chairs before

Next up: recovering. The fabric on the seats was rather plain and in need of a cleaning. I looked through my stash of fabric and found a bright and cheerful print. Perfect. I unscrewed the seat, cut a piece of fabric a few inches longer than the seat, attached to the seat with a staple gun, then screwed the seat back on to the chair. And here it is in my living room.

chair after

Ah, what luck. I didn’t need any more furniture in my home, but who could say no to free chairs. And a special thank you to Leslie for finding such a wonderful treat in the trash and for knowing what joy it would bring me.

Posted by Katie


  1. Wow, what a great find! I like the fabric you used to recover them.

  2. The laguna blue looks smashing against the new chairs and covers. Impressive to do this all in the same day you found the chairs!

  3. Thanks! I love the detail on the back of your chairs and the curvy legs — looks like fusilli pasta!

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