Vintage Elements To Upcycle Your Renovation

Upcycling is taking an item destined for the trash/recycle bin and turning it into something really wonderful . Repurposing applies to items in a way that it wasn’t originally intended. You can find used items at thrift stores, your own home, garden shed or garage yard sales, curbside, estate sales as well as online at Etsy or eBay. You may have friends or relatives who are decluttering.

Reclaimed wood, for example, is not only an environmentally sound choice but handsome and growing in popularity in home renovation projects. It is often used for countertops, flooring and walls. Think refacing instead of replacing. You can save the time, money and energy that is required to produce similar and newer product.

Before tearing down walls or knocking down entire rooms walk around your home and see what you can salvage and reuse. Consider light fixtures, flooring, tile, bricks, cabinets and molding. Use that dining room chandelier in another room—maybe your kitchen or bathroom. Repurpose an unused dresser or buffet into a bathroom vanity. A vintage china hutch for would make a beautiful storage chest for crafts

Antique shops and consignment stores are great places to visit for doorknobs, light fixtures and mantels. Pre-owned materials can be found at salvage shops that often have high-quality cabinets in terrific condition. New doors or drawers can give seemingly tired cabinets a whole new life. Use paints without volatile organic compounds, and look for those that are earth-friendly and thus better for you and your family. Such paints are virtually odorless, 100% acrylic and splatter-resistant, as well as self-priming. Water-based paint with natural pigments is as close to all-natural paint as you can get and has a smooth finish.

Here are some interesting ideas:

  • A stone backsplash—A panel behind a sink or stove with durable finishes protects the wall from splashes—can be one of the most sustainable elements in your kitchen. When combined with interesting glass in a modern kitchen, stone tiles, slabs or stacked stone stands out. Natural stone has so much variety–granite, slate, travertine, marble, river rock, soapstone, quartzite and limestone–that your kitchen will never look ordinary.
  • Use a shutter from a home center or salvage yard and simple binder clips to keep color swatches and inspiration materials for review. Repurpose the shutters as wall decor, adding texture above a fireplace mantel.
  • Use mason jars for a unique chandelier. With a one-inch-thick wood panel, jute rope, two types of chains and mason jars from a closeout store, you can make a one-of-a-kind chandelier.
  • No need to spend a fortune to bring order to your garden tools—a salvaged wood shipping pallet will work. Sand it, clean it and with bleach and water. Prime and paint it to a high-impact hue and affix it to a wall with a heavy duty French cleat. Use S-hooks to hang tools, gear and even potted plants for easy access and a handsome effect.
  • Apply a Victorian-era cast-iron antique once used to cover a fireplace during the off-season as a fancy focal point. It can turn any room into the heart of your home.
  • A mid-century modern brass bar cart can become an end table. It will keep the area light and open. It is also great place for plants, a lamp and anything else you would like to display.

Rehabbing vintage pieces for a modern life style can significantly reduce waste. One of the easiest ways to update a piece of furniture is to replace the existing hardware. An old dresser painted in a new and vibrant color with updated hardware choices can have the added allure of being sturdier than a newly manufactured dresser. Add sustainability when finding new ways to use items you already have.

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