Almost Anything Goes

Mike Schwartz’s eclectic collection of found objects comes together in a uniquely fabulous way.

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Like much of the rest of the home, the master bath appears rustic yet refined. The walls are sheathed in rough planks while the counter tops are honed Carrera marble. An antique ladder serves as a towel rack.At Mike Schwartz’s house, diverse architectural elements from many times and places have found a home, a place to live in artistic harmony.

Two huge arched windows with painted white louvers, likely salvaged from a church, are displayed as sculptures in the family room. The heavy teak doors at the top of the stairs were made by hand in India a century ago. Salvaged barn doors open and close on metal tracks, just as they did in their original homes.

“I am more interested in found objects than I am in antiques,” Schwartz says.

By definition, a found object is a utilitarian item that is reinterpreted in an artistic way. Witness the carved wood panel in the dining room, one of 24 tableaus reclaimed from a horse barn on Philadelphia’s Main Line. Salvaged windows usher light into a loft dressing room. A vintage beautician’s chair is a conversation piece in the family room.

Schwartz appreciates the aged patina on a raised-panel shutter, a one-of-a-kind finish created by layers of paint and years of sun, wind and rain. The piece is displayed on a wall in the foyer.

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