Re­cy­cling aware­ness brings well-worn decor

Winnipeg Free Press - Section G - - HOMES - DEB­BIE TRAVIS

WHILE madly search­ing for the bet­ter bread­box, some­times it winds up that what we have, or had, will do just fine.

This is a point I of­ten re­dis­cover when I sort through my own col­lec­tion of fur­ni­ture, rugs, lamps and other house­hold trap­pings on a mis­sion to de­clut­ter and re­fresh my home.

Re­cy­cling and re­pur­pos­ing is so much a part of the main­stream now we have be­gun again to cher­ish worn pati­nas, slightly bat­tered wood and good-qual­ity fabrics that may be a lit­tle thread­bare in spots. Our par­ents and grand­par­ents were far more likely to value the art of col­lect­ing and keep­ing good-qual­ity fur­nish­ings. Then there came an era of over-con­sumerism when buy it, use it and toss it be­came the norm.

Pre­serv­ing what we have that is good, that is strong and well-made is quite com­fort­ing. More and more com­pa­nies are adopt­ing the prin­ci­ple that pro­tect­ing the en­vi­ron­ment is key to a healthy, sus­tain­able life­style, and this will make good busi­ness sense in the long run. It takes imag­i­na­tion and re­search to work within these pa­ram­e­ters, but our fu­ture de­pends on it.

I came across en­vi­ron­ment­fur­ni­ture. com and was ini­tially en­thused by their mod­ern de­sign sense. Benches, ta­bles, chairs and dressers all had a unique and ap­peal­ing style and I felt my­self re­lax just look­ing at the comfy so­fas.

True to its name, the pieces are all made with re­cy­cled, re­claimed or re­pur­posed wood and can­vas. Can­vas? Yes, the sofa and chair up­hol­stery is re­cy­cled army tent fab­ric; ag­ing, wear, patches and other im­per­fec­tions are in­her­ent to the char­ac­ter of the can­vas and this well-worn patina will con­tinue to de­velop over time.

In­no­va­tive prod­ucts are of­ten quite ex­pen­sive, but if it’s too much for your bud­get, then take away the ideas and make them yours. I’m check­ing out the kids’ old camp tent, and that well-worn rug that’s rolled up in the at­tic would look fine on the porch. Dear Deb­bie — I love my big back-split house built in 1979. There are pop­corn ceil­ings in all of the four bed­rooms, din­ing room, liv­ing room and den. I know these are an eye­sore, but what can we do with­out spend­ing a for­tune? — Sheila

Dear Sheila —I re­ceive a lot of emails ask­ing how to deal with this prob­lem and there is no quick so­lu­tion. They are dif­fi­cult to clean and the pointy edges seem to be a mag­net for spi­der­webs and dirt. Refin­ish­ing all the ceil­ings in your home would be a costly en­deav­our. I sug­gest you freshen them up with a coat of white paint. If you haven’t painted them be­fore, be­gin with a gen­tle vac­uum clean­ing to cap­ture any loose dirt. Then ap­ply an oil-based primer or paint with a roller. Wa­ter-based paint will be ab­sorbed by the pop­corn sur­face and it will pull off the tex­ture. Al­ways wear gog­gles when work­ing on a ceil­ing to pro­tect your eyes from spat­ters and bits of plas­ter.

You can add colour or mould­ing de­tails to one or two rooms if you’d like some vari­a­tion. Why not build a lit­tle char­ac­ter into the din­ing room or den with ceil­ing beams? This is a tra­di­tional look that will en­hance the com­fort­able, wel­com­ing at­mos­phere in these spa­ces. Stuc­coed and beamed ceil­ings are preva­lent in older homes — the tex­tured sur­face cov­ers up cracks and im­per­fec­tions that in­evitably ap­pear on ceil­ings.

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