Ac­ces­sories that are clever, fun and stylish

Winnipeg Free Press - Section F - - HOMES - CON­NIE OLIVER

I’M very much a home­body, but ev­ery once in a while I force my­self to go out to lo­cal stores and shops to see what’s new in home dé­cor.

While vis­it­ing the Old House Re­vival Com­pany & An­tique Mall on one such ex­cur­sion, I hap­pened upon an in­ter­est­ing new line of dé­cor fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories. The Old House Re­vival Com­pany is brim­ming with fab­u­lous an­tiques and is al­ways a great place to spend time, but what caught my eye was a fab­u­lous line of re­pur­posed vin­tage items. The unique fur­ni­ture and ac­ces­sories, fash­ioned from sal­vaged items, are the in­ge­nious creations of Karen Korchin­ski, who hails from Stonewall.

From dec­o­ra­tive side chairs made from old trunks to foot stools fash­ioned from an­tique metal wash­tubs, th­ese items are clever, fun and stylish. Ac­ces­sories like pic­ture frames fash­ioned from re­claimed barn board add a sense of warmth and his­tory to any home.

I en­vi­sion th­ese pieces in wait­ing rooms of small busi­nesses, like a lug­gage shop for ex­am­ple. What fun! Th­ese items would be amaz­ing at a cot­tage or coun­try home as well. The ac­cent ta­bles, boast­ing re­claimed wooden tops and iron bases sal­vaged from old trea­dle sewing machines, would look won­der­ful in a ur­ban loft home.

“De­sign has al­ways been one of those things that I have en­joyed through­out my life but have never taken on as a pro­fes­sion,” Karen said. “I have dec­o­rated and cre­ated my own home decor for years, such as cur­tains, pil­lows, head­boards, wall art, etc. My hus­band, Brian, and I have ren­o­vated a few houses and worked with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity, so we both know our way around power tools.

“Along with the rest of the world, I watch a lot of re­al­ity tele­vi­sion and one show in par­tic­u­lar really peeked my in­ter­est. The show was called ‘Picker Sis­ters’, where two girls from LA went around the coun­try find­ing unique items to re­pur­pose. I loved that they were able to take ob­jects that were des­tined for the land­fill and cre­ate some­thing new and amaz­ing.

“I really wanted to do some­thing like that here in Man­i­toba, but never really con­sid­ered the idea very se­ri­ously un­til­last spring.”

Af­ter rais­ing their two chil­dren, Karen and Brian are now look­ing to­ward a fu­ture where they can be free to travel to be of ser­vice in the world, such as work on projects with Habi­tat for Hu­man­ity and pos­si­bly teach or work in or­phan­ages in de­vel­op­ing coun­tries.

Re­al­iz­ing that their time to make enough money to ob­tain th­ese goals was really quite short, Karen de­cided to take a bit of money, take a big chance and try start­ing her own de­sign busi­ness. Sal­vaged and Sen­sa­tional was born.

“I spent April, May and June search­ing, pick­ing and scour­ing to ob­tain some pieces to start off with and be­cause I am a teacher I had the sum­mer off,” Karen said. “I turned our garage into a work­shop. I spent the sum­mer months find­ing sup­pli­ers for the things I couldn’t re­pur­pose, such as new foam and fab­rics, and also look­ing for op­por­tu­ni­ties to mar­ket my creations.

“My first pieces went up on the global home­made mar­ket­place web­site “Etsy” at the be­gin­ning of Au­gust, and I set up shop at the Old House Re­vival Com­pany & An­tique Mall this past Oc­to­ber.”

Karen is cur­rently work­ing on a cus­tom piece for a client as a Christ­mas gift ,and has a ta­ble project in the works for an­other client who had some wooden wine-box lids that she’d al­ways wanted to cre­ate some­thing from.

So, if you’ve kept that old trunk (or what-have-you) of granny’s but don’t know what to do with it, per­haps Karen can re­pur­pose it into a use­ful piece for your home.

“I’m def­i­nitely in­ter­ested in do­ing cus­tom work,” Karen said. “My ideas come from a va­ri­ety of places, from TV to the in­ter­net and of­ten times just vi­sions that come to me, so I try to find a way to make them work.

“I really like work­ing with metal and old wood, so I’ve es­tab­lished a re­la­tion­ship with a few welders and an au­to­body painter who have done cus­tom paint­ing for many of my pieces.”

Ku­dos to Karen for fol­low­ing her dream and of­fer­ing con­sumers yet an­other unique dé­cor op­tion. Check out her web­site at www.sal­vagedand­sen­sa­

Happy New Year to you all!

Fur­ni­ture made with a blend of re­claimed ma­te­ri­als, such as the kitchen ta­ble (above), or the an­tique sewing ma­chine (be­low left) crafted into a side ta­ble, or the

shelf (be­low right) made from an old ra­di­a­tor shroud.

A dec­o­ra­tive side chair made from an old suit­case is both stylish and func


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