Redecorating with Recycled Materials

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Ideas for Decorating Your Home with Recycled Materials

Written by Jane Blanchard

There is much to gain from reclaiming materials and reusing them for other purposes. Salvaging old or used materials is often cheaper than new. They introduce a comfortable feeling with unusual characteristics that create interest and warmth in their new-found destinations that just cannot be matched with new or artificially distressed products.

Here are some examples of the natural beauty achieved in decorating the home with reclaimed and recycled materials:

A real barn burner


Via Houzz

One of the most popular sources of reclaimed building materials are barn boards. With careful refurbishing, the wood stock from old barns provide a variety of colors, qualities and characteristics that lend to design features. The rustic quality of these two-toned planks used on this unique fireplace surround are repeated in the ceiling beams. The heavy iron chandelier is a natural addition to this rough-hewn theme. The contrast of the lighter-toned soft sofa and armchair against the rich leather ottoman reveal the flexibility with this décor.

This table top leaves nothing to spare


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When space is not limited, the ingenious recycling of bowling alley lane anchors to produce this spacious 14×20-foot dining table is a stunning work of art. The galvanized steel French bistro chairs add just the right touch. The ceiling stock comes from reclaimed Wisconsin high school bleachers. They give the old expression “under the bleachers” a whole new meaning.

No, we weren’t born in a barn


Via Houzz

Leaving the barn door open in this kitchen treatment using barn boards both inside and out produces a unified appeal. Including the sliding door hardware is a sure way to have more fun with this rustic country theme. Leaving the reclaimed stock unstained adds to the character.

Better to be raised in a barn


Via Houzz

It is easy to see how the use of reclaimed materials make a room warm and comfortable. The complete barn door separating the bedroom and bathroom was treated with a light wire brush to lose the grit and make the surfaces soft to the touch and splinter-free. No staining of materials has been done in these rooms, including the reclaimed antique oak flooring. An application of liming wax has left them warm and lovely. The cabinets in the bathroom are custom-made to tie the whole look together.

Amazing results mixing the old with the new


Via Houzz

This is a kitchen to envy in all respects. Using 100 percent reclaimed fir, the cabinets, flooring, beams and island bring the warmth to a kitchen outfitted with modern stainless steel equipment. A local blacksmith was used to fashion the hood and lighting fixtures. The cabinets have been washed with a Potassium Permanganate and top-coated with a slightly tinted dead-flat polyurethane. The overhead beams were engineered to work with the scale for balance. Dinner at eight so don’t be late!

Looking for more inspiration for your home? Modernize has tons of photos and ideas!


Comments on this post

Honestly, my dream house is both a) a barn-turned-house and b) one of those shipping container/things. I’d probably somehow live in both. I don’t really know how yet, but I want them both. :s

Ya know, it’s funny! I was just talking about how I loved the Boxcar Children books and now as an adult, I want to live in a shipping container. Boxcar adults! LOL