The Secret Life of Abandoned Furniture

February 06, 2017  •  1 Comment

The Secret Life of Abandoned Furniture

Retiree Ken gives football stadium tours to pass the time, but prefers to watch the big game from a sofa. Even a floral sofa on Pioneer Avenue.

My father once owned a furniture shop. When I was young, I’d play among the tables and sofas, watching customers agonising over which bedroom suites or kitchen chairs to buy. These seemed like big, life changing decisions — adding new family members to be cherished, polished and reupholstered for generations to come.

On Charteris Road, Mrs. Frost dreams of a bigger kitchen. Little Tate dreams of fish fingers.


Today, the rise of self-assembly flat packs and cheap appliances has stripped furniture of its status.  All too easily people fall out of love and cast it away to fend for itself on the mean streets.  


Homework's finished. Now father and daughter can finally enjoy the sandbags on Hartland Road.


Seeing an abandoned couch or armchair sagging by the side of the road always fills me with sadness. I'm reminded of the days when these everyday items were part of my playground. It makes me want to find them a new home, a new family.

Ian and Jo have nothing more to say. That's OK, the brown sofa in Hazelmere Road is comfortable with the silence.

That's the inspiration behind these photos. I'm trying to create a second life for these forsaken objects, give them a new purpose. I’m trying to make a new home for them on the streets onto which they've been cast. 

Just before Fashion Week, Barry worries about his new spring-summer wardrobe on Aldershot Road


It is, of course, a whimsical notion, which recalls my own childhood when wardrobes and unslept-on beds were my playground. 



At the end of Buckley Road, does the chair on the left suspect Helen and Dave are whispering about it?

But I also want to convey a sense of optimism. More often than not, there is a second life for these household objects. In a tough city like London, furniture doesn't stay abandoned for long before it's spirited away by scrap dealers or folks in need. 


The first abandoned chair was too big. The next abandoned chair was too small. But this abandoned chair on Streatley Gardens is just the right size.

Even a battered old sofa can become a velour-covered symbol of hope. 

Going to take more than rain to unseat Alvan from this plush velvet beauty on Kingsley Road.




Karen Rice(non-registered)
What an uplifting, inspirational idea. Lovely photos!
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