Home Improvements: Recycled, Repurposed and Restored

Rustic TableIn this age of the green movement, a growing number of homeowners are embracing the concepts of recycling, restoring and repurposing. While you may be familiar with the concepts of reusing your plastic grocery bags and recycling aluminum, you can also use these concepts in your home décor. Consider these smart ideas for taking an item that would otherwise rot in a landfill and giving it new life inside your home.

Pallets Come in Handy

Shipping pallets are made of thin, cheap wood. They’re great for firewood kindling, but you aren’t limited to using this material around the campfire. Another great option is to stack pallets together with the open end facing into your basement. Use the openings in the pallets to store your wine collection for a rustic, whimsical and incredibly affordable finish.

Give the pallet a quick sanding and a clear coat of varnish before mounting it on the wall. It makes a fun headboard for a teenager, and the slats can be used for mounting lights, storing scarves or even holding small stuffed animals. It’s also a great headboard if you’re converting a warehouse into living space and want to maintain some of that industrial feel.

Dorm furniture can be costly, and you hate to spend a lot on something that will be destroyed. Stack pallets together and then top them with thick cushions. You’ll have a comfortable couch or love seat that’s perfect for dorms or basements that are just a little damp.

Reclaimed Wood for a Multitude of Uses

Reclaimed wood is salvaged from demolition sites and put to better use. It might have once been the floor in a saloon or the sides of a barn. It could have graced a church or a school. The wood is checked for metal or nails, cleaned up and then sold for new projects. It can be transformed into tables, new hardwood flooring or dining benches.

This green building material is popular among people who love the rich look of wood and like the character of a few nicks and dents. The rustic look is the ideal choice when you’re outfitting a log cabin or want to bring that rough country feeling into your city loft.

Repurposed Items

Other items can easily be repurposed with very little work and effort. Take an old tire and turn it into a raised flowerbed by just filling it with dirt. If you have an ancient wood ladder that can no longer hold weight, lean it against a bathroom wall as a smart towel rack. Do you have an old console television? Strip out the guts, remove the screen and turn it into an awesome pet house for your dog or cat.

Some repurposing involves combining items. Take the top of an old wood cable spool and set it on the base for a foot-operated sewing machine. The cast iron in these old bases can easily support the wood, and the table will be a unique addition to any home. Take a five-panel door and turn it into a bookshelf by cutting out the inset panels and adding shelves. Mount shelves on a headboard for a fun display.

There are countless ways to improve your home décor and add your own personal touch by reusing, repurposing and recycling. There is no limit to the changes you can make, and you’re sure to save money when you make good use of something that’s heading to the landfill. You’ll have one-of-a-kind additions in your home, and you’ll have fun telling friends the story of how you made that headboard or where the smart flower planter came from.

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