Lara Knight – 5 February, 2020
Solid timber furniture is back in fashion. Which is great if you own a big house and stay in one place. If you’re renting, or apartment living, timber designs need a little more thought.
Is it heavy to move? Can it fit in a lift or stairwell? Can it work in different living spaces?
Big-box portable furniture has become a favourite but generates an enormous amount of waste. Look at hard rubbish collections to see how well ‘cheap and cheerful’ lasts.
Salvaged by Stix has been working on a combo of recycled timber and versatility. Lightweight, sturdy, portable pieces that fit wherever you need them.
I started SbS from a garage in Elwood. We needed a table for home and my wife, Tamara, liked the look of some really badly made trestle tables for about $500. I went and had a look and thought there’s no way I’m buying that. So I used that money to buy some gorgeous recycled timber from Whelan/Delta recycling, actually found through The Junk Map. Then a friend saw it and asked if I could make her a desk. I used pine bed slats for the horses I found in hard rubbish.
From there I implemented the gal pipe range and BOOM, Salvaged was born. I was a chef and my health didn’t allow me to be a reliable employee any more. But before the hospitality life I was a roustabout in various trades through my teens and very early 20’s. I did want to be a carpenter and joiner but it was tough in the early 90’s looking for apprenticeships.
A customer approached me with a design she saw in an American magazine and asked if I could attempt to make it. So with my ‘can do, never say no’ attitude I said yes. I have a great metal guy and we came up with a design.
I love the idea of a multifunctional piece of furniture that can be used for several purposes. Like the fold down that can be used as a bed head, desk, dining table, sideboard etc… Well made, recycled timber, powder coated to whatever colour, the only limits are the imagination.
When designing a piece I really need to see the space or get some photos from the client. I ask a lot of questions and ask specifically what they don’t want. Especially if it’s multi-use. The gal pipe range can be used as a dining table, outdoor table, kitchen bench or desk. When on castors it’s an amazing piece of furniture to have around.
The three big tables out at Bundoora Homestead are a great example of multi-use. During the late spring-autumn months they’re used as outside dining tables. The other months they’re used as work tables for art classes.
Our first table went from being absolutely used to death to a larger dining table. It grew as we did. Our dining room is bigger so I got to give it a big refurbishment. Slightly wider, full overhaul underneath and a complete sand back. It’s a centrepiece. The outdoor table is pretty close to the same size so we can seat 16 people at one table.
We have moved in but there’s a bit to do still. Like the family room shelves, robes and various pieces of furniture. They’ll come to life to fit the space.