I Did A Really Weird Thing That Made My Bedroom So Much Better

Photo: Courtesy Jenny J. Norris.
I've always been a big proponent of picking things up off the street. Is there anything better than stumbling upon a discarded box of books and magazines, a random chair, or a fully functional chest of drawers? I think not. But, I don't usually collect debris — fallen sticks, stones, roadkill, what-have-you — until recently, when I was walking along the street and passed a really nice branch. Yes, a branch.

It had presumably fallen from a tree in the neighborhood, and I couldn't help but wonder, Should I take it home with me? I went about my business, putting the uniquely shaped stick at the back of my mind, but made a pact with myself: If it was still there when I came back home (as if oversized twigs are a hot commodity?), it was mine.

My branch-grabbing impulse wasn't completely unfounded, though. Designer Jenny J. Norris's portfolio actually showcases a beautifully spartan bedroom where a stick takes pride of place next to a thoroughly modern, hairpin-legged nightstand. "I found this beautiful piece of driftwood while on a weekend escape from the city," she told me via email. "It was perfectly unique — its shape, size and color. It breaks up the clean, mid-century lines in my Brooklyn loft and adds just the right amount of warmth."

All that form and function, and for free? You better believe I picked up that curbside branch, ladies and gentlemen. Its organic shape is the perfect foil to the modern art I keep on top of my dresser, and it perfectly brightens up the corner it now calls home. And if that gets old, I can always turn it into a primitive clothing rack.

Am I alone here? Have you ever felt compelled to bring something a little...odd into your home? Tell us in the comments.

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