Local 2017 Reuse Contest Results

Every year ReHouse partners with The Reuse People to bring you The National Reuse Contest.  There are 2 categories, Furniture/Art and Remodeling/Construction, and the goal of each project should be to showcase reused materials.  ReHouse staff has voted and we are awarding 1st and 2nd place in the Furniture/Art category and 1st place in the Remodeling/Construction category (we did not receive enough entries to vote for 2nd). The 2017 local portion of the contest has concluded, and we are delighted to share with you our 3 winners who live in 3 different states!

Furniture/Art

First Place

The Rattlesnake Zephyr by Jonathan Postal, Memphis, Tennessee

art Jonathan Postal

This is a Postal Delta Zephyr, a handmade guitar that began its life as a Maple board in Tennessee.  Jonathan incorporated reused materials throughout.  The control plate is made from a brass vintage Skyscraper door plate (from ReHouse).  The Jack Input is fabricated from the back plate of a drawer pull as is the Truss Rod Cover, which has been covered in Rattlesnake skin.  The Switch Plate is a vintage US coin reproduction.  The Pick Guard and Neck Plate are hand made from brass door kick plates that were salvaged from the old Memphis Central Train Station.  The sides of the instrument are covered in the skin of a Western Diamondback Rattlesnake.

Second Place

A Dining Table with Family Ties by Sarah Shank, Washington, DC

furniture Sarah Shank1

Sarah Shank is one of many ReHouse customers who have given new life to bowling alley reclaimed from The Polish Heritage Society in Rochester, NY.  She said, “When I saw this bowling alley from the Polish American Club available, I couldn’t resist. As a child, my grandma was an active member of the PAC and we spent many nights there at spaghetti dinners. My grandparents were both bowlers and so it’s been a huge part of my family.

“We bought an 8 ft piece of lane, hauled it back to DC (where I now live) and began deciding how to turn it into my dining room table. The piece was so heavy that we had to have folks help us lift it into the house.  We worked with a friend who does some metal work to help with the welding. I found the legs at a yard sale – we believe they are from a machine shop in WV.”

 

Remodeling/Construction

First Place

Kitchen and Bath Remodel by the Zuech Family, Rochester, New York

The Zuech household in Franklinville, NY underwent a kitchen and bath remodel this year.  Repurposed materials for the project included an antique dresser, a section vintage bowling alley, a 1952 Chambers stove, light fixtures from an old car garage, an antique claw foot tub, and dozens of vintage hankies.

 

A huge thank you and congratulations go out to all entrants and winners.  We are immensely impressed with all the customer projects we receive.  Get ready to send in your 2018 entries starting in just a few months.

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Best of Bowling Alley Salvage

“Do you bowl?”

Shortly after moving into my new home the lady across the street, who was then 84, walked over to welcome us.  After “hello,” the very next thing out of her mouth was, “do you bowl? We need another woman in our league.” I think my jaw hit the floor.  The truth is…I CAN bowl, but I don’t make a habit of it.  What I would like to do is build something out of reclaimed bowling alley wood.  I didn’t tell her that though.

I have put together a compilation of the Best Bowling Alley Re-Builds by customers here at ReHouse.  We don’t want to brag, but they are also some of the best anywhere.  In my search for primo projects on Pinterest I discovered that most reclaimed bowling alleys become one type of finished product: the top of something.  They become the tops for desks, coffee tables, dining tables, counters, bars, and islands.  Here are some amazing creations by our very own customers (in no particular order).

Extended Kitchen Island

The Johnson-Kercsmar family chose an 8 foot section of bowling alley with inlaid arrows.  They refinished the wood with a warm stain, painted a reclaimed kitchen cabinet, and added some wood legs and framing.  Those industrial stools appear to be made to match!  And how amazing does it look with that stone fireplace and those vintage style lights (which are also available at ReHouse)?  Can I come over?rehouse

Custom Kitchen Island

Here is another kitchen island.  The Zuech family also chose a piece with inlaid arrows to add some direction to their cooking.  They refinished the top but kept the light finish, trimed the edge with metal, and went with a white base to compliment their amazing Chambers stove (ReHouse has one of those right now too).  I’d love to poke around the rest of the house!bowling alley_Zuech_2017

Dining Table for…a crowd?

This dining table is the longest project I am featuring today.   Our customer, who resides in a loft apartment in Rochester, apparently enjoys hosting large dinner parties because he has this table set for 18 guests!  He chose a 12 foot section (the longest we have).  On the near end you can see the lane’s original pin decking and a few bowling pins for some interest.  I don’t know what the base is for this table, but I can assure you it must be heavy duty to hold up this grand table.  (Sadly, I am not certain which customer created this beauty.  If it is you, please let me know so that I can give proper credit.)  How do I secure an invite to the next party?bowling-alley-table-2bowling-alley-table

Bathroom Vanity

The Church family used 2 lengths of the approach for their double-decker bathroom vanity.  The approach is the section of lane before the point where you release the ball.  This material is thinner because it does not usually need to withstand the abuse of heavy bowling balls.  The approach was also salvaged in narrower pieces, so there was no need to cut down the width of these pieces before installation.  Both levels are edged in strips of beautiful matching wood trim.  Some steel pipes for supports gives this a sophisticated industrial feel.  Do you mind if I use the facilities?bowling alley vanity

Kitchen Table & Benches

The Femecs, a local husband and wife team, designed and constructed a built-in breakfast nook including a table and benches on 2 sides.  The alley section they used for the bench seat features small circle markings on the far right.  The metal table base was custom made by Rochester company General Welding and Fabricating.  All other work on this inviting corner of the kitchen was done by the couple.  The edge of the table was left without trim to show off the many narrow strips of wood that make up the alley.  I like my eggs over hard please.BowlingLaneTableAndBenches

Have you purchased bowling alley from Rehouse?  Have you done anything with it yet? We want to see it!  Email your project pics to rehouseinfo@rehouse.com.  We LOVE to see what our customers are doing.  Don’t you have a project to start?

Photos have been provided by the customers and have been used with their permission.

Top 10 Architectural Salvage Items to Repurpose for Your Home

It’s a hot word in today’s online world of DIY blogging and made over décor: Repurpose.  But what does it really mean to “repurpose” something? Google has informed me that to repurpose means to “adapt for use in a different purpose.”  This is one of my favorite words, and working at ReHouse I have daily inspiration.  It got me to wondering, what are the most popular architectural salvage items to repurpose?  I’ve done my fair share of upcycling, as it is also called, but I turned to the DIY pros via Pinterest for some guidance on the topic.

I conducted a search on Pinterest for “repurpose architectural salvage” and gathered my data on the frequency with which each item or category appeared in the results.  I then compared those results with our own POS database and the quantity of each item or category we sold in 2016 and 2017 so far (these numbers will be listed in parenthesis for each category or subcategory).  I have concluded that the top 10 architectural salvage items to repurpose (in no particular order) must be

Doors (1081)

Interior (709), exterior(209), paneled wood, metal, wood with leaded glass, rustic/barn (53), sliding, folding, painted or natural, hundreds of DIYers are adapting doors to fit their décor needs and styles.  These photos all come from ReHouse customers who have reinstalled or repurposed the doors they purchased here.

Top left: Tim repurposed a pair of oversized doors from a garage or barn into outdoor privacy walls on his deck. Top right: Exterior door with side lites and arched transom from Victorian home in Hornell, NY reinstalled at MCM Natural Stone in Rochester, NY. Center right: wood interior door with beautiful grain turned on its side is now a customer’s headboard. Bottom right: an assortment of paneled interior wood doors pieced together to make the sales counter at Grossman’s Nursery also in Rochester, NY.  Bottom left: side folding wood and glass garage doors became a space divider in a clothing store in NYC.

Windows (955)

Technically these are window sashes or one part of the whole window unit.  Most DIYers using windows seem to choose older wood framed sashes with divided lites (256), leaded glass (100) or the occasional stained glass (31).  Pinterest has window project round ups that include “25+ DIY Repurposed Window Ideas” and “40 Simple Yet Sensational Repurposing Projects for Old Windows.”  Wall decor seems to be a very popular result, and here are a few I would be happy to hang in my home.

Left to right.  1. Frame a fun favorite poster within the divided lites and add a whimsical accent to the front like Cassie from Little Red Window.  2. Feature a collection of small stained glass windows on an empty wall like this arrangement from Pinterest said to be in the home of John McGivern.  3. At Right Up My Alley Design on Etsy I found inspiration for painting on glass just as I would on a canvas.  4. I could not find any one to which I can attribute this creative enclosed frame except that it is obviously from the family of Sgt. Gregory W Ball.  Cases and cabinets seem to be a natural progression in window repurposing.

Left: By Your Hands featured this cabinet with windows as doors but did not know where it originally came from.  You could use a pre-built cabinet or build one to suit a found window.  Similar to one at my house, this cold frame from Grow Garden Tomatoes will protect your sprouting plants in the cool spring.

Metal Accents

Metalwork that was a part of something else in a former life often peeks through or sometimes even dominates architectural vignettes.  In ReHouse these items fit into all categories.  Among the top choices for salvaged metalwork are fence sections or pieces (73), gates with some sort of latch (7), heating grates (180), tin ceiling (361), lamp/lighting parts (320), and other metal do-dads, tools, and thingies from who knows what (I don’t have a number for that).

Top row, left to right: Narrow console table using reclaimed wood and wrought iron fence pieces, this post led me back to Cass at Remodelaholic. An aged run-of-the-mill chain link fence gate becomes a decorating focal point when hung above the fireplace and adorned with a natural arrangement at Back Porch Musings.  Those little dod-dads come in handy when making unique wind chimes as Rebecca discovered from life. by hand.  Tear that ugly fabric off an old lamp shade, invert, and let it hold up your tulips (no attribution).  Bottom row, left to right: Antique heating grates set into the ground and filled with colored stones become and enchanted walking path aparently from Hometalk. Make your own toilet paper holder out of pipe pieces or purchase at Reclaimed Art.  This lovely bouquet accent lamp is made of lamp parts with a touch of hardware for the blossoms by Jack at Jack Riley Lighting.

Hardware (9725)

That leads us into another broad category that spans all types of door knobs (816), door plates (688), drawer pulls and knobs (2451), latches (205), hinges (1348), hooks (217), escutcheons (162), and brackets (64).  I was surprised to discover that many hardware repurposing projects are resulting in beautiful and unique jewelry.  There are also many customers at ReHouse who want to give their kitchen or furniture a makeover with new knobs or pulls.

Top row, right to left: ReHouse customer, Alissa Laine, restored this beautiful dresser by replacing the knobs with original glass.  1/2 of a hinge + 2 typewriter keys = a classy hook for necklaces made by Paul at Etsy shop StrangeTanks.  An antique eschutcheon (that key hole thing) and a few beads create a simple and elegant statement from a web page that is no longer active.  Some shabby chic door knobs are retrofitted for candles and rented out as wedding decor at Something Borrowed.  Bottom left:  One of my favorite uses for antique hardware has to be the addition of a door plate from ReHouse to a real and functioning guitar by Jonathan at Postal Commerce.  A statement piece worthy of a red carpet event this necklace features an antique drawer pull and (I think) precious stones made at Retreaux Girl.  Another ReHouse customer (whose name has been sadly misplaced) used 12 point glass door knobs and a wood door header to create an elegantly rustic coat rack.

Wood Trim and Accents

This is admittedly a large and varied category.  People are using corbels (76), plinth blocks (76), door headers (over 150 linear feet), column capitals, and pieces of wood appliqué.  It also includes all types of turned wood findings such as balusters (149), newel posts (8), columns (57), and furniture parts like chair spindles (145 chairs) and table legs.

Top left: An antique extra large corbel mounted on the wall becomes a plant stand at the Bachman’s Spring 2011 Ideas House and captured by Itsy Bits and Pieces.  Top center: Using some salvaged wood trim our customer Ms. Farnung created a lovely space to display her jewelry.  Top right: Decorative plinth blocks used to adorn the bottom corners of doorways where 2 types of trim meet.  Add a hook of your choosing and mount them to hang hats, necklaces, or dish towels like My Desert Cottage.  Bottom row: Matching corbels are used to support a shelf in the dining room at the Red Chandelier.   An unidentified but beautiful piece of salvaged wood repurposed as a table lamp by Meyer Interiors.

Mantels (33)

Pinterest viewers are not inundated with mantels as they may be doors or windows, but the end results are so beautiful and inspiring I feel they have earned a spot in the top ten.  These mantels are might be striped, sanded, painted, and/or stained.  Many live their new lives simply as restored mantels for real or imagined fireplaces, but often they are transformed into headboards, book shelves, or even a mirror frame.

Top left: upholstered mantel headboard by Rhonda at My Blue Creek Home.  Top right: shabby chic arched mantel headboard from a compilation at Country Design Home.  Middle right: mantel turned bookshelf found on Pinterest from an old Ebay link.  Bottom right: small mantel repurposed as a bathroom mirror frame at Neighbor’s Hill Bakery and Cafe in Arkansas (photo by Aunt Ruthie at Sugar Pie Farmhouse).  Bottom left: imagined fireplace vignette at Chateau Chic.

Shutters (224)

Both interior and exterior, shutters are used in a variety of household vignettes and projects.  Interior shutters are usually shorter and narrower.  These were more for privacy that for protection as large outdoor shutters were.  In case you’re interested, the most popular exterior shutter color is green if our inventory is any indication

Top row, left to right:  Gail Wilson at My Repurposed Life made this handy magazine rack with one wide interior shutter.  A tool caddy using 2 small interior shutters made by customer Gail Miller at a ReHouse workshop last year.  Four small interior shutters painted white and attached to form a box hangs from a chain and lights up the space (unknown source).  Bottom left: A lovely autumn vignette featuring a pair of shutters in another customer’s home.   Bottom right: I’ve seen many display shelves made with a shutter as the back but this one includes a light at the top and doubles as a hall tree with coat hooks (unknown source).

Furniture (1633)

At ReHouse our furniture sales are topped by cabinets of all types (1027).  Far below that come chairs (145) and tables (131) and then just drawers all by themselves.  Many DIYers are following the painted furniture trend which is sometimes covered by the repurposed umbrella.  Here I would like to show some amazing examples of furniture repurposed as some totally unexpected things.

Top right:  wooden head and foot boards become a sunny bench for one customer.  Center left:  a refrigerator on its back and covered in barn wood will now hold all the cold drinks for the party at another customer’s house.  Top right: dresser – drawers + wallpaper = dollhouse (unknown source).  Bottom left: another foot board with some shabby chic paint and a dozen small hooks can hold all your tea cups and saucers on the wall (link went to Hometalk). Bottom right: From Gypsy Barn this upright piano has been gutted and fitted with shelves and a drawer to be used as a dining room feature.

Lighting Globes & Shades (528)

Although we do sell the occasional fabric shade for lamps or sconces (24), most of the Globes & Shades (427) category consists of antique or vintage glass ones.  These come in every shape and size and fit all different lamps ceiling mount, chandeliers, pendants, table, wall, even under the cupboard and over the vanity.  They are available for indoors or outdoors, attic, basement, or garage.  I never knew there were so many! On top of that, individual chandelier crystals (101) make up a significant portion of all lighting related glass sales.

Top left: Use round glass globes as a mold for these trendy concrete spheres by following the tutorial by Steve & Kathy at The Garden Glove.  Top right: Search out ridged white globes, add a “stem” and create an autumn display that won’t rot before Halloween, Homeward Found Decor.  Bottom left:  Another great tutorial, this one from Addicted 2 Decorating, shows how to turn the classic school house globes into a succulent centerpiece.  Bottom center:  Two very different glass shades come together with some glass glue to become your new favorite cake plate worthy of the finest celebrations like these from DIY Homer.  Bottom right: Solar lights with a twist, this DIY project uses normal outdoor solar lights and glass shades from a common ceiling fan to light up Gail’s porch at My Repurposed Life.

Commercial

Ok, I hear you…”what kind of category is commercial?”  This may not be on the top ten for Pinterest posts.  It may not even be defined as architectural salvage at all, but this year ReHouse has sold over 700 square feet of bowling alley.  That’s right, bowling alley.  I’m taking a guess that the customers who purchased these 700 square feet are not installing a home bowling alley.  The other option?  They must be repurposing it.

Now 700 square feet is very heavy.  It requires commitment to salvage, commitment to purchase, and commitment to repurpose.  With all that commitment I shall add my own.  I commit to giving Bowling Alley its very own post within the next few weeks featuring only projects completed by ReHouse Customers.  If you haven’t sent photos of your bowling alley project yet, now would be a good time.

Until then, what will you repurpose today?

 

Cast Iron Radiator Restoration

One category of salvaged items that weighs us down with questions are cast iron radiators.  Yes, we do carry them. No, we do not restore them.  Some, we are able to test and others we are not.  That being said, we salvage and re-house hundreds.  People who use them say the heat they generate is significantly better than newer methods.

 

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Our customer, Michelle, shared these photos with us of her adventures in radiator restoration.  Michelle is not a professional but a DIYer with energy and imagination and a well-stocked Project Pantry.  Her radiators were purchased at ReHouse recently, and as you can see they were partially painted in the past.  These 2 were marked down because they were non-working having been tested by a customer.  Michelle and her family took on the challenge, and here is the process through her photos.

Before: Paint and Rust

Ammonia Bath, Pressure Wash, Wire Brush

Post-Cleaning

Prime and Paint

Installed

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If you are interested in taking on a similar job, please do thorough research before starting.  Speak with someone who has working knowledge of the process, and remember that this restoration is not a one day project.  Here is a sample budget for this type of project.

Michelle’s Radiator Restoration Budget

2 non-working radiators at ReHouse, $30

replacement bushings and fittings at Debbie Supply, $50

2 cans spray paint, $16

Gallon of ammonia, $3

Castalloy and flux  to fix leaks, $80

Total  Cost:    $180

Heat in the living room: priceless!

 

Thanks Michelle.  Great job!