Repurpose, Recycle and Redo in Remodels

We want you to get the most out of your home, which often means repurposing your existing space. Keep reading  to get ideas from Kathy, owner and principal interior designer, on how to repurpose, recycle and redo to refresh your interior design!

Repurpose: it’s the new buzz word! But what does it mean? Webster states “to give a new purpose or use.” Although the word “repurpose” was added to Webster’s dictionary in 1984, people have been “repurposing” since the beginning of time. It’s so fun to find new uses for things that we love or that are great finds. With a little creativity we can make them our own. As the saying goes, “one man’s junk is another man’s treasure”. However, without a critical eye it could still be “junk”. BE CAREFUL! There is a BIG difference between repurposing and HOARDING! Not everything is worth repurposing. Be critical and if it has been sitting there for over a year, TOSS IT, or donate to your local charity. You are not going to get it done. Just let it go!

Recycle: in the age of “green,” we are more aware of what we discard and what we could reuse/repurpose. Our landfills are filling up! What can we do to help? When you are cleaning out and reassessing your items for a new look, some things can be given a totally new look if we are creative and think “outside” the box. THINK BEFORE YOU THROW!!

Redo: moving some items from one area of your home to another can give you a totally new look with no cost involved. Groupings of varying sizes of art on one wall can make the space interesting. In contrast, a lot of small art scattered around does not tend to attract the eye. When moving things around in your home, always try to complete the look of one room, even if that means that some rooms may seem incomplete. At least you have one room that you can feel good about before attacking another.


• When buying unique pieces of furniture, make sure they are used as accent pieces. Too many different styles in your living room, or any other space, especially antique or retro pieces can look like “garage sale” if you are not careful.

• Antique furniture should be in good shape. If not, take the time to fix them. Furniture falling apart definitely looks junky. A quick clean and fixer upper will give you the look you are wanting. If they are wood and the wood is not of great quality, paint is an option. Be careful though, sometimes the “worn look” is great and paint can cheapen the look.

• Old sports equipments (bats, badminton, racquets, croquet sets, wooden snow skis, fishing poles, lures, fishing nets, snow sleds, etc.) are great accessories on the walls and can give a room a fun feel with a lot of personality.

• Use old street signs, building signs, vintage posters, address numbers, old mailboxes, car license plates… it’s limitless! Just make sure they make sense as a group.

• Old burlap sacks, flour sacks, linen sacks are great for upholstery or bedding. Nothing compares to that true worn look.

• Antique candlesticks of various sizes and shapes grouped together for your tablescape or your mantle or bookcase. Just a side note, never put a candlestick where it can’t be used!

• Old doors or window shutters hung on the wall can give the illusion of a window where none exists. Old baking tools (baguette boards, pizza boards) and antique wooden rakes can all give a great architectural feel to a wall. Very eclectic and interesting is the look you are going for. Don’t overdo it. I prefer to work in odd numbers when I group. Asymmetrical is more interesting. Symmetrical will work best when flanking an item.

• Saved wine corks make great backsplashes in wine rooms.

These are just a few ides. Have fun. Be creative, but always be aware that what you do looks unique and makes sense for you. Too many “fabulous” things in one area can become an “overload”!

Related Posts


  1. This is our first time i visit here. I found so many entertaining stuff with your blog, particularly its discussion. From the a great deal of comments on your own posts, I suppose I am not the only person having all the enjoyment here! Keep up the wonderful work.

  2. Leabeth Russell

    Fabulous rug! Like the crisp, bright colors!

Add your comment