Reclaimed Home was inspired by the rehabilitation of a Victorian house. After restoring the home to its former glory using antique salvaged materials, a business was born. Reclaimed Home takes old, discarded objects and reinvents them. Today they share some of their ideas for reusing and upcycling trash into decorative home treasures.
is a fairly new term for an ancient practice. We’ve all been upcycling for years without even realizing it. Have you ever cut your pants to make a pair of jean shorts? You upcycled. Ever made a frame out of old moulding? Yup, upcycled. Tire swing? You get the picture.
I sort of fell into reclaimed materials when I was restoring my 120 year old brownstone. The home was filled with original details, but it was in bad disrepair. Rather than replacing with new, I hit the salvage yards.
The house is (nearly) finished, but I’m still hooked. I now see life in discarded table legs, old beams and tin ceilings. My projects range from easy (coat of paint) to skilled (shutter cabinets) to bizarre (let’s just say I have a doll fetish).
If one person’s trash is another person’s treasure, where do you find this trash? My favorite resource is Craigslist
curb alert, free and garage sales. Freecycle
is another great site. Habitat’s ReStores
are always useful. After nearly two years in the business, I have my “clean out guy” connections. They call me BEFORE they have their tag sales. I must say, there’s nothing better than getting something for nothing. Dumpster diving and bulk trash day send shivers down my spine.
The thing about upcycling is that anything goes: it doesn’t have to look perfect or even make sense. Whatever it looks like, it’s better than it will look in the landfill.
Below you’ll find some of my favorite “inventions.”
I purchased boxes of sample tiles from a local concrete fabricator. With a gloss sealant and cork backing, these make great coasters. I love the fact that they still have the numbers!
Blue desk frame with upholstery tack picture holders. How can you beat my 1960’s childhood photos, though?
Gold hanging clip made from single vintage parquet floor square. It’s a good idea to add extra support to the back of parquet tiles, as they are held together with mesh.
Coat Hooks From Just About Anything!
A glass doorknob on a piece of old molding. Antique hooks on a plywood board. Coat hooks are just about the easiest thing to make.
I bought a pair of 1950’s water skis at a garage sale for $15 and made coat hooks out of each of them.
This broken chair back was found on the curb.
Other Hooks and Shelves
The towel bar was fabricated out of a Victorian window lintel, used copper pipe and antique glass doorknobs.
This vintage mechanic’s toolbox was found at a garage sale for five bucks. The legs were found in a dumpster. Now it’s a coffee table. If you have some longer legs on hand, tool boxes can also make great desks.
Art Doesn’t Have to Hang on the Wall.
The painting table project requires a bit more skill. It’s easy to back the painting and place it on a base, but the glass top and backing needed moulding around them.
Shutters are one of those things you can always find for free. I have some rather large ones sitting in my basement that came with the house. This radiator cover works perfectly in my living room. Other shutter ideas: litter box cover, partition screen, corner shelving unit, cupboard doors. The list is endless!
Check out ReclaimedHome‘s shop for more of their inventive handiwork. The related items below are all made from upcycled materials!
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