Debra Prinzing

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Recycled column debuts in LA Times

January 3rd, 2009

You spy a weathered castoff, a tarnished this or a timeworn that. What is the first thing that comes to mind? “Don’t throw that away! I can find a good use for it.”

The designer’s mind will recycle, reinvent or re-imagine the piece of “junk,” giving it a new purpose as an object of style. Read on for the first installment of a new column that features local designers and resources for transforming otherwise unusable objects into home décor.

Today’s HOME section of the Los Angeles Times introduces a new feature about recycling old objects for home and garden decor. It’s the brainchild of editor Craig Nakano and we hope this is just the beginning of the “hunt” for cool ideas that give new life to elderly castoffs.

To get things going, I created the first product – a cocktail tray made from a vintage feature-film canister. I found the 14-inch diameter tins at Pasadena Architectural Salvage, a store filled with carefully salvaged columns, doors, windows, corbels, gates, hardware and more. Most everything there is pricey (we’re not talking junk-shop rates) but worth it if you want to factor in the “value added” of someone else seeking, securing, and transporting rare or hard-to-find objects.

When I visited Pasadena Architectural Salvage, I got lucky. The tins (bottom and lid as a set) were $5 each. I found similar ones for $15 to $25 each on eBay, so I know I got a steal.  My Recycled story, “A second serving,” gives readers the background of these vintage 35 mm film tins and step-by-step instructions for making their own. My finished photo appears above, with two heirloom ridged and gold-rimmed juice glasses that were my grandmother Helen Winslow Ford’s (thanks, mom!).

P.S., I used “a lust for rust” in my lede sentence. Credit must be given here to my friends Beth, Lisa and Amy of the Salvage Studio. It’s one of their favorites and I’m sure they coined the phrase!

4 Responses to “Recycled column debuts in LA Times”

  1. studio sister lisa Says:

    Good Morning, my friend. Love the cocktail tray! What a great column idea…can’t wait to read more. And thanks for the mention!

  2. Lydia Plunk Says:

    Thank you for the suggestion. I’m headed to the salvage yard this week to see what fabulous treasure might have my name on it!

  3. Lorene Says:

    Hey, aren’t some of those Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ leaves!?! Yeah, I made the LA Times…
    oxox L

  4. David Says:

    Debra, this is definitely inspirational and playful, and a really awesome photo.

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