Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your Kitchen
We’ve found ideas for adding salvaged building materials that save money and make your kitchen as cool as you are.
This remodeled Seattle kitchen features countertops that are chalkboards salvaged from an old elementary school. The remodeling team found the materials at RE Store, a local non-profit salvage outlet, and had them cut to fit. The blackboard’s smooth, honed surface is ideal for a countertop, but slate must be sealed periodically to prevent staining. Yes, you can still write on them with chalk!
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenCool Hardware, Pull-ease!
Those of you with a literary bent might notice these are no ordinary kitchen door and drawer pulls — they’re from library card catalogues. The designer found them on eBay for $9 each. Bonus: There were enough to do the whole kitchen. Even if you’re not remodeling your kitchen, adding new hardware is a simple, cost-effective way to spruce up cabinets.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenAll in the Family
When these home owners heard that their niece was about to redo her kitchen, they hatched a plan for using her old upper cabinets as storage under an existing breakfast bar. Because uppers are only 12 inches deep, they fit neatly under the overhang of the bar. Three custom-built cubbies made up for the difference in height, and new paint and a bit of trim finished it all off.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenTake it to the Banquette
Built-in banquette seating has been around for centuries, and trend-hunters say it’s making a big comeback in today’s kitchens. This banquette was built with reclaimed wood to satisfy the home owner’s preference for using reclaimed materials. Handsome old wooden airplane propellers range from $200 to $8,000.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenBowling Alley Countertops
Give your kitchen a playful spin with hard maple countertops made from reconditioned bowling alleys. They’re made with edge-laminated boards so they’re especially tough; you can find them at reclaimed lumber specialists. A section 42 inches wide, 60 inches long, and 2.5 inches thick is about $250 (be sure to ask for sections with arrows and other bowling marks). Measure counter height carefully to account for the thickness.
Image: Simply Sofie
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenReclaimed Wood
Touches of distressed barn wood add cottage cool to this otherwise all-white kitchen. The range hood was made from old fence pickets — it covers an undermount venting system (because the cooktop is induction, there’s no fire hazard). Old boards are inexpensive and easy to come by, but before using old painted wood, have the paint tested for lead.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenCleaning Machine
A double-bowl, industrial-sized, stainless steel sink is a hard-working addition to this light and airy kitchen. The home owner bought it on eBay for $150. An item this big will dominate your kitchen (it’s 4 feet long) so make sure it’ll fit your kitchen design before you buy. Heads up: Take careful measurements to ensure any built-in backsplash fits beneath your window sills.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenCan-Do Lighting
Lightweight, heat-proof, and featuring mini works of art (just ask the Mad Men), upcycled food cans make unique hanging light fixtures. These clever can lights ($90) feature heavy-duty light sockets and cords. Other styles include recycled cans for soup and cooking oil.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenNo Boring Doors
If you’re a fan of old stuff but can’t find what you want, a reproduction can make a worthy substitute. This Victorian lookalike repro screen door cost $100 at a home improvement center. Painted blue and backed with fabric, it now leads to a kitchen pantry. Older doors may need to be trimmed to fit door openings; always measure carefully before shopping for salvaged building materials.
Ideas and Tips for Using Reclaimed Items in Your KitchenStill Cookin’
For lovers of retro, it’s hard to beat a restored gas stove from the 1940s and ‘50s. A quality restoration company will strip an old stove down to its frame, clean and repair the body, add new insulation, then rebuild or replace all mechanical, safety, and electrical systems. This four-burner O’Keefe & Merritt beauty is only 21 inches wide — perfect for a small kitchen. Cost: $2,000-$3,000.
Need more small space ideas for your kitchen? Check out our slideshow of small appliances.