Re­claim Your Room: Kitchen

Timber Home Living - - Contents -

For home own­ers who are sim­ply look­ing to give their ex­ist­ing home an eco-friendly boost, redesign­ing a room with re­claimed ma­te­ri­als is a smart op­tion.

“Our clients come to us be­cause they de­sire some­thing real, some­thing that has mean­ing,” says Zac Guy, founder of Ap­palachian An­tique Hard­woods, a com­pany that sal­vages a wide va­ri­ety of build­ing ma­te­ri­als. “You just can’t get much mean­ing from dry­wall, gran­ite and a piece of car­pet.”

Here, we share how to get a clas­sic kitchen while adding some an­tique charm.


From coun­ter­tops to cab­i­nets to floor­ing, re­claimed wood of­fers a unique patina and char­ac­ter. “Our clients don’t just get a piece of wood, they get a piece of Amer­i­can his­tory,” says Guy. Many sal­vaged wood sup­pli­ers also con­struct cabi­netry and mill wood for floors or coun­ter­tops.


An old-fash­ioned sink will be worth its (con­sid­er­al­ble) weight in bring­ing au­then­tic charm to your kitchen. Old mod­els are aav­i­l­able on­line or in lo­cal sal­vage Most fea­ture a layer of porce­lain over a cast iron base. In­spect an old sink closely be­fore buy­ing, but re­mem­ber that sinks can be re­fin­ished if wear and tear is too heavy. Pay at­ten­tion to the faucet holes, as you’ll need to match your new faucet set to the vin­tage sink’s ex­ist­ing con­fig­u­ra­tion.


Res­cued from old build­ings, an­tique or vin­tage tile pro­vides an ar­ti­sanal touch to a new kitchen. Even a small num­ber of tiles can be used as a cen­ter­piece in a back­splash, sur­rounded by new tiles. You can find an­tique tiles on­line or in lo­cal sal­vage yards. Be sure to ask about the tiles’ ma­te­rial and what steps should be taken to seal them. Some tiles may be too por­ous to stand up to daily kitchen use.


Who says kitchen cab­i­nets have to be match­ing wood boxes? If an eclec­tic kitchen is more your taste, open your eyes to other op­tions. Two chests of draw­ers used back to back and topped with a wood or gran­ite slab could make a unique kitchen is­land with plenty of stor­age. Re­claimed in­dus­trial shelv­ing or sal­vaged school lock­ers could be dis­tinc­tive stor­age units in your nearby mud­room. Use your imag­i­na­tion: Vir­tu­ally any­thing that can ac­com­mo­date draw­ers or shelves goes.


Cre­at­ing a vin­tage look with light­ing is easy: Sal­vage yards and flea mar­kets of­fer pieces that you can re­pur­pose for light­ing — ev­ery­thing from metal drums to vin­tage bot­tles to Ma­son jars. You’ll end up with a whim­si­cal kitchen and the sat­is­fac­tion of sav­ing ob­so­lete items from the land­fill.

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