Home decorating is the ultimate hobby of consumerism. How much of this stuff do we really need? But as humans, we’re always wanting, always reaching for what’s new. It keeps us moving forward, doesn’t it?
To meet our wants in a way that’s friendlier to the planet, our options for repurposing and reusing are growing. In honor of Earth Day 2012, here are unique and classy ways to rethink how we’re using things, from my Pinterest board, Repurpose Reuse Recycle Reclaim RETHINK …
A table reborn as a kitchen island, from BHG.com:
A headboard re-used as a garden gate from All Things Lovely:
From Country Living, old bowls become pendant shades (you could do this with garden pots too which usually already have a hole in the middle, very convenient!):
From Julie Landreth Design & Photography, architectural elements refashioned into a console table:
Sometimes we might dress like our homes. After all, if we like the style and colors of our home, why not wear similar clothes? And sometimes your clothes can become your home! See this before/after DIY sweater pillow tutorial at Brassy Apple:
You can set your refashioned sweaters-as-pillows on a recycled Army tent canvas re-used as upholstery, such as this sectional from Environment Furniture:
This could be in your living room in a home made of shipping containers:
How about modern furniture crafted of wood from the lanes of old bowling alleys? Such as this table from Stranger Furniture, shown at Inhabitat:
Oh, there are so many more ideas where these came from at the Repurpose Reuse Recycle Reclaim RETHINK Pinterest Board – more than 260 ideas! Next time you need furniture or a home accessory, take another look at things. How could they find a renewed life?
And, coming tomorrow another post in honor of Earth Day, but with something far more colorful and India-inspired …
That’s not a typo – I truly have gone barn crazy, not darn crazy. There’s this old gray weathered barn I’ve been passing on the way home lately. It’s on someone’s property that is about to be taken over by development and is clearly no longer being used. It’s half fallen apart. So this idea popped into my brain and into my Twitter:
See, at our Chicago home, I’ve carved out a big area wrapping around our sunroom for a patio. It’s bordered by gardens, so it’s like an enclosed room. But there’s only one problem — there’s no patio there! My ambitions for the space were bigger than the pocketbook for the bluestone I wanted to wrap around the whole entire space. And oh yeah, there also need to be pergolas for shade.
After years of home improvements, I’ve tired of paying retail or even retail on sale. I admire people who are doing amazing top-notch projects and stretching resources unbelievably far in creative ways. Blogs are full of these amazing stories of style at a huge savings. It’s time to start thinking like that. Why not mix stone patio and wood deck, and find ways to acquire both as recycled materials?
You really can buy an old barn for its wood – for furniture, flooring, whatever your imagination creates. I like the gray colors for a deck, like this from Old Barn Wood Company:
Examples of old barn wood and high style, from Elmwood Reclaimed Timber:
I am thinking about this same approach more and more for our Chennai, India apartment — re-using vintage and antique furniture, wood and other materials that already exist rather than manufacturing new.
The rough walls post reminded me of abandoned, decaying places. Below is a mix of photos via Detroit Disassembled, an abandoned castle in Spain, and an abandoned Belgian church. Can you tell which image is from where?
Why would I admire rough decayed walls enough to want that in a home to live in? Cannot explain it, but I do. There is some beauty in decay.
On the other hand, it’s painful to see once majestic and proud places fall on their knees and dissolve into memories of a past time, as captured by this Detroit Disassembled image:
How could this not remind of Salvador Dali:
The whole situation of losing a great city to dust n’ crumble and dead dreams brings another famous artwork to mind:
This visual rambling doesn’t have much to do with India, I know. But I’ve been thinking lately that rather than building new pieces or buying new (like the built-in wardrobes), instead buying older existing pieces as much as possible so things with history are preserved instead of falling apart.