I truly live by this mantra. There are so many areas around our home that I used repurposed or upcycled materials. I don’t only do it for the awesome monetary benefits but also because when your done, it can look rad and your saving a little space in the landfill. Here are a few things I’ve upcycled:
1. When remodeling our home years back I put an addition on the original 2 bedroom house. This created a 3rd bedroom and new bathroom upstairs and a new kitchen and half-bath downstairs. At the time of the remodel I was single and on a major budget because I was paying for this house, an apartment and renovation costs at the same time. Ouch. Anyway, the “new” kitchen I installed was actually one that a friend removed from his house. Maple cabinets in good condition all for $250 and I didn’t even use them all. Include the counter top and kitchen sink and I had a kitchen for under $1k. Unheard of. Oh, one other thing, the wall paint is Benjamin Moore and was free. How do you ask? Well, I went to the paint store and asked if they had any mis-mixed paints and sure enough they did and still do. Your saving them disposal fees by taking them off their hands so lots of times they are happy to give it to you.
2. The interior of the house was covered in paneling, over paneling, over plaster. Sheesh. I did my best to remove as many layers as possible but when it came to the stairway I was just sick and tired of plaster dust. This area was left go for some time but finally I came upon some materials that would work great and offer some visual appeal to the house. Cedar clapboard siding is what I landed on for the walls, which is intended to be use on the exterior. Why not use it inside? Anyway, I paid nothing for the siding. The only cost I had in finishing the stairway was fasteners for the installation and paint.
3. When it came time for my oldest son to move into a “big boy” bedroom and out of the nursery we needed to spice things up a bit. Of course, we wanted to do this on little or no money and we achieved our goal. What you see in the picture is an activity area in Porter’s bedroom. A place for him to stand and color, play with toys or climb up on (which seems to be the most fun). The countertop is made from a salvaged piece of Georgie Pacific Rim Joist which is used in the construction of a sub-floor in new home construction. It was sanded and stained using some stain found in my Dad’s woodshop. The magnet boards on the wall are made from 3 – 100 amp electrical panels that were found in a warehouse and repainted with a can of spray paint which was given to me. Another pocket pleasing $0 total for this project.
Are you upcycling? Are you repurposing materials around your house? You should be. If you think you can’t do it, try this, stop looking at things only for what they were intended or made for. Start looking at materials and objects as universal problem solvers and you too will begin to find new uses for everyday objects and materials.