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Lighting the way with found furniture

If you walk into Erin Green’s apartment, you just might find something of your own.

Resident: Erin Green, 27, PhD Student
Space: Two-bedroom apartment in three-floor walkup
Location: International Market, Eglinton Ave. and Allen Rd.
Price: $1,075/month (plus utilities)

If you walk into Erin Green’s apartment, you just might find something of your own.

“Almost everything you see in this room I got at a Salvation Army, by the side of the road or it was given to me,” said Green, 27. She tries to complete one project each day and estimates 90 per cent of the items in her space are found objects, re-imagined and restored, with a collective price tag less than $500.

“I just love garbage,” she said, beaming. “It’s so fun because when you’re done with it, you can just put it by the side of the road again.”

One roadside attraction for Green was the dark blue upholstered armchair in her living room. “I saw it on the side of the road when I was walking home with my dad and just kind of saw the halo of light around it, like ‘Ahh, the Mecca of garbage finding!’” she said.

Green’s father is also her roommate and she said her motivation to recreate largely stems from being raised by humble parents who would frequent day-long auction sales. “Garbage is the family hobby. It’s totally in our blood,” she said. “Junk is in the veins.”

And from her family comes the inspiration behind the cobbler’s bench that acts as a coffee table in Green’s main room. “This is probably the most sentimental piece in the apartment,” she said.

Green recalls having the same style of bench, made by her late grandfather, in her Bathurst, N.B., childhood home.

After she commented on a similar piece in a former professor’s office, she was taken aback when he e-mailed her six years later, offering her the item. “I almost had a heart attack because, for me, this is just so nostalgic.”

In Green’s kitchen, a vast antique column acts as nostalgia of the 1920s. Taken from the porch of an old craftsman’s house, she found it at a swank architectural salvage store where purchases are usually in the thousands. “It was beat up, nasty and a little rotten and it said $10. I’m like, ‘Perfect!’ It’s the only thing in the store I could afford, and I love it.”

Think your home has character?

Think your place is chalk full of character? Email douglas.dunlop@metronews.ca why and you could be featured on Metro’s Your Space feature. Not all submissions will be considered.

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