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Peering through history

Posted April 03, 2013 in Community Featured, Johnston
Windows, bed frames and architectural knickknacks are just a few of the items Kay Kunert works with.

Windows, bed frames and architectural knickknacks are just a few of the items Kay Kunert works with.

Some things you just can’t toss out. Maybe it’s your child’s first stuffed animal. A birthday card from your mother, perhaps. A concert T-shirt. Or possibly it’s some old windows and shutters.

For Kay Kunert, it’s definitely the latter of these choices.

“I have these visions,” says Kunert. “I just love architectural details, so when I find these different pieces I can’t help but snatch them up.”

Be it a flea market or an estate sale, Kunert looks near and far for her unique pieces. Some hail from Elkader, others were found in downtown Des Moines. One particular piece that stands out is the window taken from the old Brown Camp Lofts near Principal Park.

“I’m kind of a hoarder, I think,” says Kunert. “I just find these pieces, and I know I can do something with them… make something out of them.”

Along with saving windows, Kunert also has nifty ways of repurposing them. One particular old frame that looks like it saw its best days decades ago, Kunert plans on turning into a picture frame.

“Just put in some new glass and cover the back and you’ve got a pretty interesting frame for a dozen or so pictures,” says Kunert.

When asked if she planned on repainting the frame, her answer was quick and brief: No.

“The chippier the paint the better,” Kunert says.

Along with rescuing window pieces, Kunert also has plans on repurposing an old bed frame. The piece is the foot of a bed, which is a beautiful faded brown with nice detail carved into the front of the wood. After a little retouching with paint, Kunert has a vision of the piece becoming her new fireplace mantel.

At the end of the day, Kunert and her family enjoy the majority of her creations. There is always some new project on the horizon, and with different things being thrown out every day, there is no doubt Kunert will have as much material to work with as she can handle.

Contact Darren at 953-4822 ext. 304 or to recommend someone for an upcoming issue of “What’s In Your Garage?”

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