Reclaim Your Room: Kitchen
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.