In the mid 80's, I had a large, wooden-spool as a patio table at my apartment. The ground-level patio had a semi-privacy fence, overlapped gaps. The world couldn't look in, but you could walk by and look in without having to gawk.
Maintenance man and I became friends. He said the fences were made that way, so people couldn't use the patios for storage, as stated in the lease. That way, management could verify compliance, and no violation of tenant privacy laws, good people and very respectful of those kind of things.
I went to work one morning, and I saw the spool ditched on the lawn, just across from my patio and parking area. My corner was a secluded area, commonplace for contractors to dump construction waste in the dumpster. I saw a patio table, not junk, so I snatched it when I got home from work, got it into my patio area, and placed my lawn chairs around it.
Early evening the next day, a knock on the door, the maintenance man. He said, “I was going to haul that spool to the dump this morning. It was gone, so I looked around and saw it. Damn! That's a perfect patio table! I never thought of that! I saw it yesterday on my daily property walk. I was pissed because I would have had to roll that heavy-ass thing up into the truck—by myself—haul it to the dump, and they charge a dump fee for something like that.”
We went out on the patio, so he could look at my 'new patio' furniture. As we were having a “smoke,” I said I had to get some paint because it looked like hell. It was nasty looking but he, too, could see the light once he saw the light.
He said follow me. So I followed him to the storage building. We went in. He grabbed two one-gallon cans of paint, a gallon of yellowish-beige, the property's building color, a gallon of chocolate, the trim color, and some brushes. As we lugged the paint back to my apartment, he said no rush. When I finished, leave the paint and brushes in front of the storage building's door.
We tossed around color contrast and both agreed alternating colors on each board. The spool's face ended up with two adjacent boards the same color. Rather than try to figure a configuration, stash that side in the corner, problem solved!
If it had any other back-set, nothing special, more likely, tacky. Color-matched with the property, it was drop-dead gorgeous! Loud, ultra-hard, in-your-face pop, while conservatively melting into the property. Maintenance man said they needed one on each patio. He was right. He dragged the property manager over to look at it through the slats. He told her about it being ditched on the property, looking ugly as sin, and giving me the paint.
Knock on the door. The property manager asked if she could have permission to go onto my patio, and look at the table. As she inspected it, she had that look in her eyes, you know: a woman looking at a pair of shoes she wants, but she knows that she cannot have them. She said, in all fairness, that was her paint on the spool, the spool was ditched on her property, and asked if would consider leaving it with the apartment when I left, which I agreed. As for moving it, I really didn't fell like dragging it around. Also, with the paint contrast, it was “at home” on the property.
When I left: As we started the walk-through, she stepped in, looked out at the patio, and saw the table. Then she said the apartment was due for a total remake before I moved in, so she gave me 100% of the security deposit, and thanked me for leaving the table.
I moved across town, so I kept in touch with a guy from the complex. A week or so after I moved, he said that I needed to drive by the swimming pool. I asked why? She had the table in the pool area, and property management was using it as their outside lunch table.
I drove by after office hours, or I would have stopped in. Yep! She had plans for the table! It was near the office door, an umbrella in the spool's hole, and she bought about a half-dozen new outdoor chairs to put around it, very nice, a perfect fit in the common-area property.
Garbage-turned-decor can transform into extremely well-done accessories, sometimes nicer than anything you can buy. The office/pool area was the show-piece of the property. My garbage-art became the apartment complex's community property, and the center-piece of the show-piece.
ALL LIVES MATTER!