Guest Blogger: The Haystack Needle

Hello, Jen here from the haystack needle! One of the first things I learned about Alek after becoming a Right Bank addict: the girl has a ton of shoes (and they’re super cute!). Intrigued, I had to find out more about how she organizes them all. After a move of my own (much less dramatic — one teeny Brooklyn brownstone apartment to one happier Brooklyn loft), I fell into an entirely new way to organize my own shoes. Here’s how it happened. A couple months ago, I picked up a copy of the book Recycled Home (by Mark and Sally Bailey, photography by Debi Treloar) while I was buying paint at the Green Depot. The book came home with me that day — all the photos speak to my style. I love the mix of well-worn, recycled, vintage pieces in simple, modern environments. I felt so inspired seeing all the industrial storage and pieces from another time, with their own stories, being re-purposed to work so well in a home. This one photo in particular stuck with me.

Picture 238

Behold, an actual shoe trolley from an old shoe factory. How amazing! Practical open shelving and lovely vintage style all-in-one. I tagged this trolley photo, dreamed about it (literally), and a couple weeks later when I headed off to the Brimfield market with a friend — I wished for my very own shoe trolley.

What happened? To build the suspense just a wee bit longer, I wanted to first share some more photos of shoe trolleys from Recycled Home.

Picture 229

Picture 230

You could re-purpose a shoe trolley as a lovely towel rack — makes it so easy for you and guests to grab a fresh towel.

And then, to my excitement, I got my hands on a new book by Mark and Sally Bailey, called Simple Home. It’s simply fantastic — same amazing style of mixing old and new. And there were more trolley photos!!

Picture 231

What a sweet way to show off a collection of cake stands and tea towels.

Picture 232

Your very own kitchen station on wheels.

Picture 233

Hello, home office makeover! I love when office storage doesn’t look like it came straight out of a Container Store catalog.

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Oh my, maybe I should start a shoe trolley fan page on Facebook.

Ok, back to my story. Despite the cardinal rule of flea marketing (when you’re hunting for something specific, you’ll never find it), I actually found my shoe trolley! I’m quite sure that I let out a squeal when I saw the trolley standing in a field, followed by a few minutes of me hopping up and down, and me repeating the phrase “I can’t believe it!” to the very calm vendor woman, who must have wondered why I was acting like I’d won the lottery. Here’s a peek at my jackpot score in use at our new place.

Picture 239

I confess to owning a much smaller shoe collection than our dear Alek, so I can fit my shoes and my husband’s shoes on the trolley. We set up the trolley in our entryway, so we take off our shoes at the door now (less dirt for me to vacuum.) Boots stay in our closet or by the door during rainy weeks. I dumped all my flip-flops in one metal locker basket, and another metal basket is where we stash random stuff like Dan’s softball mitt. I found an old wooden hardware drawer bearing the number of our new building and that wood drawer sits on top of the trolley and acts as our mail drop. So this trolley is getting a ton of use. We love it. I don’t know how many times you can be so lucky as to find what you wish for at a flea market, but here’s hoping it’s not just beginner’s luck.

Good luck with your big move, Alek! I’m sure your fabulous shoes will love walking the streets of Atlanta! I can’t wait to see how you infuse a new home with your wonderfully personal, lived-in style.

(image credits: 1, 2, 3: photography by Debi Treloar for Recycled Home; 4, 5, 6, 7: photography by Debi Treloar for Simple Home; photos courtesy of Ryland & Peters, image 8: Jen for the haystack needle)


  1. Greet says:


    What a fabulous post you did! I so love these trolleys! I have to say that in the past weeks I have discovered the use of trolleys in a few magazines and other blogs! The old trolleys are so beautiful, decorative and comfortable!

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!

    .-= Greet´s last post ..Weekend Announcements =-.

  2. Greet says:


    What a fabulous post you did! I so love these trolleys! I have to say that in the past weeks I have discovered the use of trolleys in a few magazines and other blogs! The old trolleys are so beautiful, decorative and comfortable!

    Thanks for sharing these beautiful pictures!


    .-= Greet´s last post ..Weekend Announcements =-.

  3. nkp says:

    Well what a fortuitous turn of events for you! I love your trolley! Glad that luck was shining down on you that day.

    And now, you know, I will be on the lookout for one of my own. I feel an obsession coming on! ;0). So functional and fabulous at the same time!
    .-= nkp´s last post ..ALLMODERN {giveaway} =-.

  4. desiree says:

    ohhhhhhhhh I am in Luvvvvvv I so …soooooo like these racks! and I am so happy you found one!

    I to love the 'receycled home ; book and will now have a look at the other one you mentioned straight away!

    I have to show you the 'table' rack I used in my new study it comes out of an old post office and I found it in a container and is so cool;) I should make a new post about it.
    .-= desiree´s last post ..What colour for X-mas ? =-.

  5. Thanks, everyone! So fun being a guest here. I haven't spotted any trolleys on eBay (definitely stalked eBay after seeing that photo in Recycled Home), but I think the seller I bought from is a regular at Brimfield. Wishing you all luck with your flea market adventures! Alek, thanks for having me!
    .-= jen jafarzadeh´s last post ..find me here: from the right bank! =-.

  6. ginnybranch stelling says:

    i am on the hunt for an old shoe trolley! my momma found one in georgia, and i balked, saying i didn't have any room for such a large piece of furniture. i am such a dum dum.

    and i am obsessed with the bailey school of design. green never looked so good!

  7. sunny says:

    You had me at “shoe trolley”. I must upgrade my current “all shoes dumped into one big lime green bin” to a shoe trolley system. I love every photo you included in your post!

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