making something out of nothing: the art of the second life

old barn door recycled as bathroom door in guest room.

Repurposing has become more than a hobby with me.  It has become a passion.

We live in a throw away world.  Don't like your chair any more?  Go out and buy new.  That coffee table took a big dent in the last move? Get to IKEA and find a new one.

Or not. It's our choice, isn't it?

Moving to a four hundred year old unrenovated ruin has its disadvantages, believe me.  But it has a few advantages, too.  Like lots of old materials sitting around. Bricks, doors, pieces of wood.  Old window frames without glass.

Not having had a massive budget with which to furnish our B&B also had its disadvantages.

But something occurred to me. Combining the old stuff with the lack of budget led to a new possibility.  Use the old.  Spend the limited budget on paint, sandpaper, wax, oil and really good gloves.  And let the magic happen.

Take, for example, the old pile of hand painted cement floor tiles that we pulled out of the floor of the old farm house seven years ago.

Here they are, repurposed as stair treads in our new guestroom renovation.

Or the just plain ugly brown bedside dressers that we had for too many years...

... reworked with some pigment and varnish.

It's about more than just design. I simply refuse to buy new when old is available to be spit shined into new life. It's become my mantra, and I don't see myself ever going back.

Repurposing and reworking will give you:

A sense of satisfaction that you have created something with your own hands.

The knowledge that you have not dipped into the resources of the planet for your decorative needs.

The security that comes with not having engaged in wasteful spending.

Have I convinced you yet? Tell me about your next repurposing project!