WORD OF MOUTH: One Man's Trash turned to treasure 

HANDMADE industrial style furniture is one thing - but consider the character, kudos and conversation starters that come from filling a home with salvaged car parts, petrol cans, rusty scrap metal and timber that would have otherwise ended up in landfill.

One Man's Trash is truly unlike any other store-bought treasure.

A sign installer with 20 years experience in the building industry, Lloyd Kellett's pop-up store in The Emporium in Hunter Street Mall has to be seen to be believed, filled with covetable industrial-style furniture, lighting and homewares that he has created by restoring, salvaging and upcycling discarded items.

"This a part-time job and I love doing it, so I don't see it as work," he says.

"I think this is what I'm supposed to be doing - I've finally figured it out."

The reserved Kellett was on annual leave at his Elermore Vale home about a year ago when he decided he needed a desk. He rummaged around in his shed, filled with pieces he had collected from skip bins, junkyards and the side of the road to build steel billycarts, when he decided to use a tired steel frame and timber from a disused table to build his own desk.

Once he started, he couldn't stop.

"I usually have an idea in my head about what I need and how it's going to go," he says.

"But I don't make any big grand plans or drawings, I just make it up as I go along.

"When I start building I don't know what I will need, but everything just falls into place.

"I've never had to scrap a project because it's not working."

Unable to fit all his quirky creations into his home, Kellett started supplying some pieces on commission to a shop in Islington, but has since received help from Renew Newcastle to open his own store.

Illuminated by one-of-a-kind lamps - including his first, a display-only model with a stem that combines a bike wheel rim and parts from cars, aeroplanes, lawnmowers, a whipper snipper and carburettor - it is filled with gems.

Look closely and you might identify pallet racking, metal files, car parts and gearboxes collected from work sites, junkyards and donations.

"All I do is clean them up, do a bit of welding and piece the parts together - the trick is to know when to stop - but I like if they're a bit rusty, the rustier the better," he says.

"The moment people figure out what the pieces are made from - the look on their face is priceless."

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