Sal­vage, re­vive and re­use com­mon house­hold items

The com­plete guide to de­sign­ing a new space us­ing qual­ity an­tiques and sal­vage finds.

Cottages & Bungalows - - Contents - BY HAN­NAH AL­STON I PHO­TOG­RA­PHY BY SU­SAN TEARE

Of­ten the hard­est part about de­sign­ing is the find­ing. Scout­ing out the per­fect piece of wood for your kitchen ta­ble or art for your wall may seem nearly im­pos­si­ble. In Styling with Sal­vage: De­sign­ing and Dec­o­rat­ing with Re­claimed Ma­te­ri­als, Joanne Palmisano pro­vides tips to make the scout­ing process quick and en­joy­able. Find­ing the items you need to bring your home to­gether has never been eas­ier. “To change the look of your own spa­ces, the first step is to see what you have that you can style dif­fer­ently,” writes Palmisano.


One of the best ways to try sal­vaging for the first time is to use what you al­ready have. Take vin­tage cloth­ing from your closet or trin­kets from your dusty base­ment and in­cor­po­rate them into your home. Palmisano says, “Lace can be trans­formed into shower cur­tains, sweaters can be turned into pil­lows, old wood pan­el­ing can be­come a vin­tage-in­spired sign, or an old desk can evolve into a bath­room van­ity.” If you’re look­ing for ma­te­ri­als out­side your own home, check out lo­cal rum­mage sales, metal scrap­yards and even on­line. Palmisano writes, “When hunt­ing for pieces and ma­te­ri­als, the most ob­vi­ous stops are an­tique shops, sal­vage yards, re­build cen­ters, re­cy­cle cen­ters, non­profit sec­ond­hand shops, garage sales, and an­tique and vin­tage fairs.” Go on a week­end ad­ven­ture and visit a va­ri­ety of places, be­cause you never know where you might find a hid­den gem.


When it comes time to head out on your sal­vage search, make sure to keep an open mind. “Check out items that you don’t have a spe­cific pur­pose for, and then ask your­self a sim­ple ques­tion: ‘What are three things I could do with that?’” Palmisano writes. Defin­ing mul­ti­ple uses for an item al­lows you to cre­ate clear visions for your space. An­other great tip for stay­ing on track while shop­ping is to make a list. “Hav­ing a list helps, es­pe­cially with the mea­sure­ments,” Palmisano writes. “What do you want in your liv­ing room, bath­room or bed­room?” While a list and vi­sion help the process move quickly, be pre­pared to adapt along the way. “De­sign­ing is a fluid process, es­pe­cially when it comes to us­ing re­claimed pieces,” Palmisano says. Noth­ing will ever be per­fect, so try to ap­proach this process with arms wide open.

With these tips and tricks on hand, you’ll feel like a pro on your next sal­vage hunt.


Giv­ing your space a makeover doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily mean a com­plete ren­o­va­tion. Just keep things sim­ple, and work with your space in­stead of against it. “Some­times you just want to change things up, but you don’t want to make the changes per­ma­nent or spend a for­tune,” Palmisano says. You can de­sign a new space with­out com­pletely gut­ting a room.

An­other way to go about chang­ing a space is to add one large state­ment piece or mul­ti­ple small pieces. Whether it’s big or small, an an­tique or re­fur­bished el­e­ment el­e­vates an area into the unique

space you were look­ing for. “When de­sign­ing and dec­o­rat­ing a room, I make sure I know in ad­vance if I want to cre­ate a space around a large fo­cal point piece,” Palmisano writes. While you typ­i­cally work around big pieces, small pieces bring the room to­gether to cre­ate a mean­ing­ful im­pres­sion. “When you’re look­ing around and you see a bunch of small stuff, think about what big im­pact they might make if you put them all to­gether,” Palmisano says. Whether your space needs a show-stop­ping cen­ter­piece or some­thing more sub­tle, there’s al­ways a way to make a sal­vaged piece shine.

Fine Ar­chi­tec­ture.[OP­PO­SITE] A Mid­cen­tury Mod­ern home with a clean-cut kitchen shows off an an­tique see-through cor­ner cab­i­net. This kitchen kept its ar­chi­tec­tural struc­ture and de­sign by dis­play­ing a clas­sic black-and-white color scheme. The white sub­way tiles and re­pur­posed work­shop ta­ble pro­vide a dis­tinctcon­trast in the kitchen.Novel Nook.[RIGHT]Vin­tage col­lectibles com­plete this an­tiques-filled kitchen. An old store sign and porch brack­ets of­fer rus­tic bowl­ing pins thespot­light. These an­tiques, how­ever, do not take away from the sim­plic­ity and bright­nessof this kitchen nook.

Styling with Sal­vage: De­sign­ing and Dec­o­rat­ing with Re­claimed Ma­te­ri­als byJoanne Palmisano, pho­tog­ra­phy by Su­san Teare, pub­lished by The Coun­try­man Press, © 2018; coun­try­man­

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