The ReUse People reduces the solid waste stream and changes the way the built environment is renewed by salvaging building materials and distributing them for reuse.
Bed and Bath Remodel, Alice Abler
Our house has survived several design-challenged owners over the decades, evolving into a sad hodge-podge of replacement doors, windows and fixtures. We’ve been fixing it gradually, using vintage and salvaged materials when possible. Now it was time for a bedroom remodel, adding a bathroom through a new doorway where a window once was.
A major goal of the project was to reuse or donate as many materials as possible, and use as much salvaged material as possible. Mirrors, doors, windows, cabinetry, lighting, fan, toilet, sink, tub, towel racks and more are all reclaimed.
We were delighted to find salvaged oak (that matched the damaged bedroom floor) for repairs. The reclaimed four-panel entry door replaces a hollow-core one, and now that doorway matches those in the rest of the house. Reclaimed clear glass with wood windows and doors were refinished to coordinate with the other windows and doors throughout the home. Similar laminated glass doors add privacy, yet allow light into the bathroom, and a large matching one replaces a tiny mismatched door to the bedroom closet. New slatted shelves, reused hanging rods, an upcycled bookcase and a vintage tie rack (now used as a shelving and a hanger for jewelry) add custom storage to the closet.
An old picture frame surrounds a piece from the discarded window screen, now a home for earrings. A pair of old mirrored closet doors act as a corner screen, hiding an unused door (that needed to stay for code requirements). A reclaimed chandelier, and beautiful salvaged window and door hardware are like jewelry for the bedroom.
The bathroom vanity was once the bottom half of a bookcase, and the top half was repurposed into shelves above the salvaged toilet. The marble vanity top and the faucet were sourced separately, yet the whole looks like it’s been there forever. Marrying fourteen kinds of tile in the bathroom resulted in a unique design that is now part of our favorite bathroom in the house.
An antique leaded glass window in the shower area is protected with tempered glass. The niche below was designed around every usable morsel of some chipped tiles that coordinated with the other patterned tiles in the bathroom.
Completing this project took years—collecting the materials, then planning and executing the design—but it is finally done. New (old!) doors, windows, hardware, fixtures and tiles, salvaged from different sources, saved money on materials yet added so much character to the project that it looks like it’s been part of a well-loved villa for decades! We couldn’t be happier with the result.