Trash to Treasure: A Found Object House

Trash to Treasure: A Found Object House

It seems fitting that contractor and salvage artist Randy Polumbo would be attracted to spending more of his time in the hand-built homes of Joshua Tree than Manhattan. He says: "I like stuff that has a patina, and that you can drive a hand-truck into... And what could be greener than building out of trash, as they've been doing here since the '70s?" Polumbo has joined groups of artists looking for a creative and off-the-grid lifestyle, and has taken it to a whole new level by renovating his 1930s hand-built cabin with rocks, steel and lots of recycled materials...

Just as many local people have added onto their homes with geodesic domes, huts and even trucks, Polumbo built an 18-foot clerestory addition with only recycled materials.

Steel was used as the primary structure, recycled wood windows were installed, doors were made of mattress springs and scrap metal, walls made of mortar and glass plates and bottles, and ceilings comprised of ammunition cases. All of the furniture was scavenged from eBay, yard sales and trash. Every furnishing is exceptionally creative and good looking – there's even a tree swing made of an old water tank and a chandelier made of flashlights.

Polumbo also built an art installation adjacent to the house made of a 30-foot long military command center filled with certain rubber toy flowers. Next to the command center are enough solar panels to power the house.

Check out the full article and a beautiful audio slideshow from The New York Times: On Location: The Master Builder Cuts Loose.

Also be sure to visit Randy Polumbo's blog for more info on his work.

(Images by Flickr member Lady Bee)

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