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.
How did Salvaged by Stix get started?
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.
What’s the story behind the above table/bench configuration?
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.
You’re passionate about multipurpose furniture for urban spaces. How do you create versatility?
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.
You’re finishing your own home renovation on the Mornington Peninsula. Did you build pieces that can change as your family grows?
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.