Category Archives: Reuse Design

Woodworker gives new life to reclaimed materials |

“Occasionally, my inspiration is so strong, I wake up at 2:30 in the morning to go to the workshop to continue working on a project just to see the end result,” said the 40-year-old owner of Rustique, a custom woodworking workshop located at the North Dam Mill in Biddeford.


For information on Bob McGrath’s work, visit

via Woodworker gives new life to reclaimed materials |

Creative types will consider new ways to use castoffs at Urbanminers in Hamden – The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut


Urbanminers is one of the best playgrounds around, and if you haven’t been yet, you might just want to take a trip there. Run by Joseph DeRisi since 2007, it’s a salvage, deconstruction and used goods showplace, and it’s filled with an assortment of wood, pipes, metal, old windows, doors, floors, cabinetry — you name it.

via Creative types will consider new ways to use castoffs at Urbanminers in Hamden (video)- The New Haven Register – Serving New Haven, Connecticut.

The Mars Bar Lives Again: Wood From Razed Landmark Saved for Art Exhibit –

Mars Bar


That is why the bar, shuttered last summer, was included on a list of 12 razed “historical sites” where salvaged lumber will be used for a furniture-design exhibition.

The event, called 12 x 12, will pair a dozen contemporary furniture designers with lumber reclaimed from a dozen demolished New York City structures, including many with deep links to the city’s cultural, architectural and economic history.


via The Mars Bar Lives Again: Wood From Razed Landmark Saved for Art Exhibit –

12×12 Design Competition Calls for Entrants to Upcycle Historic NYC Buildings Into Contemporary Furniture | Inhabitat New York City

green design, eco design, sustainable design, 3rd Ward, Build it Green NYC, Sawkill Lumber Company, 12 x 12 contest, reclaimed materials, historic New York, furniture contest, 2012 Design Week

Calling all New York furniture designers! Third Ward, Build it Green NYC and Sawkill Lumber Company have launched the 12 x 12 design contest, a unique opportunity to repurpose a piece of New York’s past. Twelve lucky designers will be chosen to recycle materials from twelve historic sites in New York City into innovative furniture pieces, which will then be exhibited at Spring 2012 Design Week!

via 12×12 Design Competition Calls for Entrants to Upcycle Historic NYC Buildings Into Contemporary Furniture | Inhabitat New York City.

2Modern Blog | Modern Furniture and Design Blog

Rewashlamp Project

“My name is Tó Martins, I’m a Portuguese designer and it’s with great passion for my work that I’m letting you know the REWASHLAMP project. The project uncovers a new lighting concept, which advocates the reuse of materials coupled with small scale production, 100% manual, allowing myself to run all processes, from creation to — Continue reading

via 2Modern Blog | Modern Furniture and Design Blog.

Office to rise from the rubble |

Tim Bishop, left, of SHAC, and Clayton Prest, of Gapfiller, select a door from Pumphouse Demolition for an office made from recycled materials.

Tim Bishop, left, of SHAC, and Clayton Prest, of Gapfiller, select a door from Pumphouse Demolition for an office made from recycled materials.

One person’s rubble might be potential material for Gap Filler’s new office.

Sustainable Habitat Challenge (SHAC) and ReGeneration Trust New Zealand are collaborating to build an office for Gap Filler in Colombo St, Sydenham, with the help of volunteers and as many recycled or sustainable materials as possible.

Gap Filler project co-ordinator Coralie Winn said she was humbled by the plan.

“It’s a very generous gesture that they are doing this for us and also teaching young people building and design skills,” she said.

via Office to rise from the rubble |

Vanillawood Hearts Reclaimed Wood


The Vanillawood design team source a lot of their treasures through Viridian Wood Products — see our prior coverage here and here — whose ever-changing inventory fuels their creativity.  Kricken loves to find surprising ways to incorporate the wood beyond flooring in her interiors, wrapping it around columns and creating cozy niches with wood-paneled walls. “It’s all about layering textures, colors and materials — and using those materials in unexpected ways!

To learn more about Vanillawood’s design projects and store, please visit their website.

via Vanillawood Hearts Reclaimed Wood.

Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures |

Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures

Preston Browning’s been immersed in collectibles and architectural salvage most of his life.

Back in his Virginia days, he apprenticed for five years under a conservator who worked in conjunction with the Smithsonian on furnishings ranging from 17th-century Jacobean pieces to the works of Dutch Masters.

“Between him and my mom, who was really a junker, I got schooled,” Browning says, walking through the small retail storefront of his business, Salvage Works.

The family affair began after Preston Browning followed his sister’s lead, leaving Virginia in 1993 and settling in Portland. He worked as a cabinetmaker, junking and Dumpster diving for salvage to make his things for himself.

“Part of it was budgetary; I didn’t have any money,” he says.


via Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures |

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet

tiny pixel hotels tel aviv, Israel

Lifeguard shack on drummer’s beach in Israel is soon to be upcycled into a unique new boutique “pixel” hotel.

We’ve heard of pixelated screens and buildings, but pixel hotels are a new phenomenon that started as an art project in Linz, Austria. Now these tiny hotels established in unusual, typically abandoned urban settings – whether in a garage or an art gallery – are coming to Israel.

green design, sustainable design, upcycled, bograshov beach, tel aviv, boutique hotels, tourism

The Atlas hotel chain and Tel Aviv municipality recently unveiled plans to upcycle spacious lifeguard shacks on Bograshov Beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea into unique boutique hotels that thrust visitors directly into the city action, rather than sheltering them in a large chain hotel setting.Local designers Lilach Chitayat, Anat Safran, and Alan Chitayat have purchased the rights to initiate the Pixel Hotel project in Israel. In addition to the lifeguard shacks, this creative team hopes to establish similar projects in Jaffa Port, Neve Tzedek, and at water towers throughout the country. Tel Aviv already boasts a hot design scene, but this latest project is one of the revolutionary we’ve seen in a while.

via Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet.

Tiny houses making big impact – San Antonio Express-News

Justin Robinson stands in a small cottage he bought that is made of recycled materials. Photo:, BILLY CALZADA /

Justin Robinson stands in a small cottage he bought that is made of recycled materials. Photo:, BILLY CALZADA /

LULING – Although Brad Kittel runs a construction company, he’s really in the deconstruction business.

As owner of Tiny Texas Houses, located on hilltop that overlooks Interstate 10, he builds homes that are a fraction of the size of the modern McMansion. His basic sales pitch: sometimes a little is more than enough.

The Tiny Texas cottage at Homestead Cottages in Canyon Lake is made of recycled materials. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA /  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA /

Imagine the efficiency apartment re-conceptualized as the Little House on the Prairie. Tables fold out and double as storage. Couches become beds. Dead air near the high ceilings is filled with loft bedrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens are within arm’s reach. Ladders replace stairs.

But everything is hand-made and usually unexpected. Doors and windows are typically antiques, as are fixtures. Prices range from $38,000-$100,000, depending on size and amenities. The smaller houses are 10 x 10; the bigger ones can be 12 x 31.

Kittel designs homes to be oriented correctly to an individual site to take advantage of wind, sun and shade. The only nod to high tech is foam insulation that makes each home energy efficient.

But there’s more at stake, Kittel says, than just tiny houses. It’s about re-shaping the economy, culture and the environment.

The view through the 19th-century stained glass in a cottage built from recycled materials at Homestead Cottages Resort. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA /  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA /

“This is about keeping it simple and building a new global consciousness,” says Kittel, a former land developer in Austin. “It’s no longer cool to have ostentatious houses. It’s no longer cool to have the biggest house on the block.”

The numbers agree with him.

The U.S. Census Bureau says the average size of new single-family homes dropped from 2,438 square feet to 2,377 last year. Surveys of builders indicate new homes will shrink 10 percent by 2015.

That trend, says blogger Kent Griswold, is being accelerated by the weakened economy.

Justin Robinson of Lake Homestead Cottages stands by his Tiny Texas cottage, which is made of recycled materials. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA /  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA /

“For years, it was a dream for a lot of people who wanted to cut back as they got older,” says Griswold, who writes “But in the last year or two, people have been forced to look at their money differently. They want to simplify and they don’t want to be saddled with a huge mortgage.”

Kittel isn’t the only small home builder in the country, but he’s one of the few in Texas. And has a reputation for his different building techniques.

Kittel’s crews use salvaged wood, windows and hardware, gently removed from houses slated for demolition, whenever possible. He prefers century-old, longleaf pine because it’s strong, it’s attractive, and it doesn’t contain the chemicals used in factory-produced timber.

“Everything in my houses is organic,” he says. “We use 99 percent salvaged building material. And since we do that, we actually have a sub-zero carbon footprint.”

Homeowners come to Kittel with a basic idea of what they want. He takes it from there, based on what they want, what he can brainstorm, and what materials he can find.

That explains the pressed tin — removed from the ceiling of a much older home – that ended up as a shower wall in the Kittel-built guesthouse on Edith and Joe Hill’s Wimberley-area ranch.

“It’s a piece of art,” Edith Hill said. “That was so amazing about it. They put together something that is completely unique.”

The home is unique, functional, efficient and comfortable, she says.

Justin Robinson, owner of Homestead Cottages, a Canyon Lake-area inn, agrees. He bought a Kittel house and rents it to guests.

“I was in awe of the craftsmanship and what you can do with the salvaged materials,” he said. “It’s built of material that has history and character that you can’t see in new houses today.”

Kittel hopes to move from building small houses to teaching others to do it themselves. That way, he can spread his gospel of change.

He sees a future with neighborhoods of tiny houses, built with salvaged material and employing thousands in the process. Each cluster of homes would share common areas — large kitchens, dining areas and recreational spaces. The net gain is a cleaner environment, a stronger U.S. economy, less imported building materials and cheaper living.

That’s big talk coming from a tiny house.

via Tiny houses making big impact – San Antonio Express-News.

Transforming Old to New by Michael on December 18, 2011 in Building Material ReUse, Building Parts, Green Building, Materials for Sale, Rusted Grain, WoodshopReUse Action

We made these new doors from old materials. The pine tongue and groove was harvested from a barn in Lockport, New York this Fall, milled and reconstructed at the Rusted Grain woodshop into this pair of doors we just installed on a garage on Trinity Place in Buffalo.

Costs vary depending on size and style, interior or exterior applications, and level of finish.


Doors Installeed

Here are the doors, installed.

via Building Parts — ReUse Action.

Book teaches how to reuse salvaged materials – Breckenridge – Ohio


Peterson, an expert in home design, repair and renovation, has written Building With Secondhand Stuff. It’s a practical guide to choosing, salvaging, refreshing and reusing materials such as wood, metal, stone and glass.

Building With Secondhand Stuff is published by Creative Publishing International and is priced at $19.99 in softcover.

via Book teaches how to reuse salvaged materials – Breckenridge – Ohio.

Flow design philosophy for architectural salvage architecture –

Stainless steel salvaged kitchen sink architecture [photo 2012 Architecten


For 2012Architecten working with waste or the reuse of materials is an integral design strategy. It finds that the history, which is inherent in the used material and which is absent in unused materials, can be of added value when used in new products and arrangements. Exploring the qualities of the used materials can lead to innovative applications and unexpected design.

via Flow design philosophy for architectural salvage architecture –

Abandoned Buildings Turned Into Incredible Art Installations by Marjan Teeuwen | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Marjan Teeuwen transforms the walls of abandoned buildings into incredible artworks by meticulously layering fragments of debris in derelict rooms. In the series ‘Destroyed Houses’ the Dutch artist masterfully manipulates space and materials to create stunningly beautiful sculptures from scenes of destruction and neglect.


via Abandoned Buildings Turned Into Incredible Art Installations by Marjan Teeuwen | Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog


These Pulp Lamps are so rockstar awesome. So earthy, natural and modern. “PulpLamp is a lamp collection made using only materials like paper paste from recycled newspapers, this way giving them a second life. They aren’t standard models, each new creation will have a new shape, color and texture. All the shapes are made with inflatable molds, what gives the possibility of deforming them for creating a unique piece.”

via We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog.

Brad Guy’s academic take on U.S. architectural salvage –


“If you’re designing commercial buildings and shopping centres for a living, that’s all great, but it didn’t seem to be making the world a better place, so I went to the University of Florida to study green building. This was in the early 1980s and there were no established programmes at that time, so I spent a lot of time in the library and learned that green building was much more than passive solar design. I met a guy whose goal was to open a reuse store. His name was Kevin Ratkus and we worked to put together the first deconstruction research projects at the university taking apart several homes, and then tracking and analyzing the results.”

via Brad Guy’s academic take on U.S. architectural salvage –

INTERVIEW: Architect and Author Alejandro Bahamon on ‘REMATERIAL From Waste to Architecture’ via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Architect Alejandro Bahamón and artist Maria Camila Sanjinés were fascinated by the use of waste in architecture and decided to document 33 projects from around the world that extensively utilize a wasted material in their new book, REMATERIAL From Waste to Architecture.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Salvaging Pieces of the Past | How to Use Salvaged Building Materials in New Construction | Photos | Salvage | This Old House

Salvage wood materials

“I’m Yankee and I’m cheap,” jokes Tom. “If used parts are in good shape, I’d rather recycle them than buy new.” So, after knocking out walls and tearing up floors, the TOH team was left with centuries-old wood and brick that might have been destined for the Dumpster at many job sites. Instead, they’ve been picking through the pile, spotting pieces with potential, then transforming these and other old house parts into finishes, details, and furnishings. These salvage projects will make even brand-new areas look perfectly at home next to existing rooms, and will also keep intact the house’s historic character—the very thing the Titlows fell in love with. Read on to see what’s in the works.

via Salvaging Pieces of the Past | How to Use Salvaged Building Materials in New Construction | Photos | Salvage | This Old House.

Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials – Gozo News.Com

Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials

By filling a contact form, everyone can upload on reclaimed materials on offer or materials requests oriented to design, architecture and construction industry. The reuse map will accept any items which exchange is not harmful or prohibited in any way and that can be reused for any design purpose. Definition of “design purposes” include works of art, restoration, ordinary maintenance of buildings, architectural design at the concept stage. Offers and requests, if acceptable according to the website policy, will be uploaded on the map with their exact location, showing item and quantity.

via Y4TE supports the reuse map project for dismissed materials – Gozo News.Com.

Unconsumption – Creative Reuse Transforms Asheville Community

Residents of Asheville, North Carolina’s Burton Street Community — a neighborhood which fell into decline during the past four decades — have been working with the non-profit Asheville Design Center ”to transform discarded objects into art, neglected properties into community spaces, and at-risk youth into creative catalysts for change.”

A major component of their improvement efforts is an interactive learning and teaching space, designed and built by area university students and community members, in the Burton Street Peace Garden.

Materials used include discarded signs (a large Texaco sign, pictured above, serves as a sliding door), old windows, and door and window screens, among other items.

via Unconsumption – Page 2.

10/21/2011 – Free Building And Design Workshop Is Oct. 29 – Real Estate –


Ask the Experts is part of a series of free design workshops offered as service to the community by the ReStore.

Future sessions include: Home Weatherization, 1 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 12, and “Mr. Fixit” – Basic Home Repair, 1 p.m., Dec. 16.

For more information about these workshops or the ReStore, call 634-1004 or visit

via 10/21/2011 – Free Building And Design Workshop Is Oct. 29 – Real Estate –

Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch


CET has transformed a 100-year-old brick mill building into a modern green building with the help of funding from Columbia Gas. The building will house the EcoBuilding Bargains store, a non-profit recycled construction materials retail establishment.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency similar commercial buildings and manufacturing plants account for nearly half of all U.S. energy consumption or $2 billion a year.

This EcoBuilding Bargains store is a green standard-bearer, using only about 1/2 of the energy than a normal building of its size, according to John Majercak, CET’s Executive Director.

The $3.3 million energy-efficient makeover of the historic structure is a forerunner in sustainable practices and is just one of the many “Deep Energy Retrofits” (or superbly-insulated, highly-airtight buildings that dramatically reduce heat loss) supported by Columbia Gas around the Commonwealth.



via Deep Energy Retrofit Demonstrates Significant Energy Savings With Help of Columbia Gas of Massachusetts – MarketWatch.

Redesigners part of national project-Calaveras Enterprise

Interior Redesign Industry Specialists has announced ReDesign with ReStore, a nationwide philanthropic relationship with Habitat for Humanity. The initiative connects IRIS redesigners with the 700-plus Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets throughout North America, including San Andreas.

Through ReDesign with ReStore, IRIS redesigners from coast to coast will show the public how to reuse and repurpose furniture and building supplies found in area ReStores.

“IRIS is delighted to be teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and ReStore,” said Anna Jacoby, executive director of IRIS.

Drew Meyer, senior director, ReStore and gift-in-kind support at Habitat for Humanity International, echoed Jacoby’s thought: “We are very excited about our new relationship with IRIS and its members.”

ReStore outlets sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices to aid Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families.

IRIS members are certified interior redesigners and home-staging professionals who specialize in repurposing and reusing existing home furnishings when decorating rooms.

Meyer added, “The commitment and creativity the IRIS members bring to our relationship will make a real positive impact on the work Habitat for Humanity does to build homes and communities.”

“Our talented members are experts at thinking creatively and giving old things new life,” Jacoby said. “With the IRIS philosophy of ‘use what you have first,’ this collaboration is right up our alley.”

“Repurposing existing items in new and creative ways makes great sense economically and ecologically. This is what IRIS has always been about and we look forward to this terrific new partnership,” Jacoby concluded.

For more information about ReDesign with ReStore, contact Linda Lawrence at 728-2732 or

The Calaveras Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 172 California St., San Andreas. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information call 754-3234 or visit

via Calaveras Enterprise

Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine


Why recycle when you can upcycle?

According to the newest eco store in town, Reworks Upcycle Shop, upcycling is the “process of converting waste materials or useless products into new material or products of better quality of a higher environmental value.”

In short, it’s making new products out of old ones, without using the massive amounts of energy that is often required to proccess products for recycling.

Reworks Upcycle Shop’s owner, Solita Work, has tracked down upcycled furniture, lighting systems, jewelery and accessories from top notch artisans and small-scale manufacturers to provide Calgarians with products that are friendly to the environment and totally unique.

Quantities of all products are limited, so there are new things all the time, but here are a few upcycled products that Reworks has at their store right now:

These transit chairs by well-known American artist Boris Ballytransform recycled street signs into one-of-a-kind, handmade seating. The stainless steel hardware is rust proof, and recycled champagne corks are inserted on the bottom of the legs to protect floors.

Shovel chair by artist Nathan Smith (Nelson, B.C.)

via Reworks Upcycle Shop | Avenue Magazine.

6 Tips For Green Renovation –



For architects, builders and suppliers, Greenbuild is like Thanksgiving, Earth Day and a little bit of New Years all wrapped up into one. It’s a time to exchange ideas about sustainable construction, which for me is an opportunity to talk about how to plan for the resulting waste streams that every project generates.

You know, people are usually surprised to learn this, but managing waste is ranked by green building experts as the second most important element of environmental performance (just behind energy efficiency). To get you started on a path to success, here are a few things to keep in mind.

1. Make a plan

Before you tear down that kitchen wall or pull up an old carpet, make sure you have a plan to dispose of that waste. First, identify where you are going to send your materials to be recycled. Whether you have copper piping, lumber or linoleum, Earth911’s search database can be helpful in finding recycling facilities.

Next, establish a process for separating and collecting each type of waste for recycling. It’s more efficient and safer to collect materials from the start of a project, rather than sifting through a full mixed pile at the very end. With proper planning and careful sorting, almost all construction debris can be recycled. On some of the projects Waste Management has worked on, we were able to recycle more than 80 percent of total waste.

You can’t manage what you don’t measure, so if during a build, you are looking to earn LEED certification, keep in mind that some large construction teams use tracking systems, like WM’s Diversion and Recycling Tracking Tool, to collect data on their waste diversion rates. This information makes its easier to monitor (day or night) your recycling performance when applying for LEED certification. Home renovators may not need such a technical tracking system, but keeping tabs on your overall performance is important, too. Even if it’s just to share with your friends on Facebook.

2. Build with recycled materials

Save money and our environment’s resources by using recycled materials rather than new in your next construction project. There are many places to get “used” building materials, including Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations throughout the country or websites like and Here’s one example of building with recycled materials in WM’s Recycling Education Center in Houston.

3. Recycle wall materials

Cardboard, paper, plastics and metals can all be converted into new goods through traditional recycling methods, but the walls in your house can also be carefully recycled. First, remove all nails and screws from your clean wood and drywall scraps. Next, you can send larger, useable pieces to charities like Habitat for Humanity and the smaller scraps to specialized facilities to be processed.

Wood scraps can be recycled into mulch or biomass fuel. Biomass fuel – or tiny bits of wood and other organic material – is burned or gasified to produce renewable energy. Like wood recycling, drywall can be recycled in specialized facilities to be chopped up and made into new drywall.

4. Recycle roof materials

Thanks to new recycling technology, we can now recycle more than just bottles and cans. Check with waste collection facilities in your area to see if your roofing shingles can be recycled near you. Certain types of roofing shingles are made from asphalt, and can be recycled back into asphalt to pave roads in some areas.

5. Recycle floor materials

It’s important to recognize that from ceilings, to walls, to flooring, many construction materials are recyclable. Conduct some research to see what recycling facilities are available near you. Send your carpets to be broken down and reused to make everything from composite lumber to carpet cushion to automotive parts. Tile and crushed concrete can live a second life as gravel or dry aggregate for new concrete. Dirt, rock and sand can be used in landfills for Alternative Daily Cover (ADC), which when layered over incoming waste helps to keep those items contained.

6. Remember that it’s a cycle

Environmental performance doesn’t stop when you drive in the last nail. It’s important to remember that sustainability must continue during occupancy. So, build with recycling in mind. Design a space for a recycling container; since there’s very often little space for even an everyday waste receptacle (a lot of people squeeze a small container under the sink). Be vigilant when it comes to maintenance and keep tabs on different innovations that come out to make your home or office better for the environment.

According to Waste Business Journal, only 25 percent of construction and demolition waste is currently put to reuse. Recycling opportunities vary depending on your location, but when available it can really send this percentage much higher. Consider these tips next time you dust off your sledge hammer and saw. Even small residential projects can help drive us towards a zero waste future.

via 6 Tips For Green Renovation –

From Scrap To Stylish Stump: Recycled Timber Furniture By Ubico Studio – TreeHugger


We admit it: we can’t get enough of stump-themed furniture. And now, from Tel Aviv-based Ubico Studio comes this tongue-in-cheek creation, made from salvaged wood scraps, glued together and skillfully shaped to give the appearance of wholesome stumpiness.


Inspired by the Christian wake ceremony and recently seen over at Designboom, this seating collection is simply titled “Wake.” The eco-minded Ubico Studio, which centers around “urban gathering and reclaiming,” salvages its raw materials from dumpsters, renovation sites and the streets, and gives some details about how these stump-mimicking works were made:

The furniture [is] made of relatively small pieces of scrap timber cut to extremely accurate sizes and then glued together in a matrix to a block. The blocks are then carved into tree stump-like shapes.



Granted, these adorable pieces are more like postmodernist versions of real tree stumps. But they’ve got the right idea about recycling wood scraps that would otherwise be discarded, and transforming them into down-to-earth yet sleek furniture that could grace any tastefully decorated living space.

Like this? Follow Kimberley on Twitter or subscribe via RSS

More on Recycled Wood Furniture
Salvaged Tree Stump Furniture By Denis Milovanov
Making Sidetables from Stumps
Tree Stump Coffee Table: Because We Can

before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge

You know my love of “frankenfurniture” (a neologism I’m desperately trying to spread around), and it should come as no surprise that I adore this sofa that D*S reader John Doucet made from old doors. Now the key to successful frankenfurniture is not just a novel idea of how to combine or turn one furniture object into another, it’s also the execution. A sofa made from old doors could be a big old mess if designed poorly, which is why I admire John’s piece all the more. I love the look of the subtle tilt, the decision to leave the old metal details and the hours of work John put into stripping the doors down to their beautiful raw state. This is a truly gorgeous piece, and for $55 (!), you could not score something of this quality in a million years. Can you tell I want one of my own? 🙂 Wonderful job, John! — Kate

via before & after: sofa made from old doors | Design*Sponge.

Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

When Kansas City photographer Elaine Jones undertook remodeling her home in Matfield Green, she didn’t make a trip to the local hardware store for materials like most people. Instead, she made a trip to the junk yard.

In a “period of transition,” Jones moved to Matfield Green from Kansas City because she wanted to help with the restoration and research the Land Institute was in Matfield Green to do.

The Salina based-organization founded by Wes Jackson spent several years in Matfield Green researching ways small agrarian communities can survive in modern society while maintaining the prairie land. Jones was already involved in the Flint Hills area, having worked with the Tallgrass Prairie Preserve and as a tour guide for several writers including “PrairyErth” author William Least Heat-Moon.

“I was sold on the idea of the Flint Hills to begin with,” said Jones. “I really couldn’t just go anyplace, because what would I do? I didn’t know what to do,” she said. “The obvious place was where the Land Institute was already developing a presence there.”

Jones said when she told Land Institutes founder Wes Jackson she was moving to Matfield Green, he didn’t like the idea.

“He said, ‘Over my dead body,’” said Jones. “I don’t want some Johnson County housewife coming out here and bringing a lot of people here. We aren’t doing that sort of thing.’ It was kind of a joke between us. He says he never said that.” Continue reading Matfield green home rebuilt with recycled materials |

Carved Floral Tires- via GreenMuze

We like to share inspiring posts here at The Reclamation Administration (waste can get depressing). These carved tires are a perfect example of artistic reuse. The website GreenMuze is has a nice variety of Cool Environmental News too – check them out!

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Belgian artist Wim Delvoye has turned the problem of what to do with the millions, perhaps even billions of used tires generated each year around the globe – turn them into gorgeous works of art.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

In his creative art tire series, dubbed Pneu (French for tire), the artist handcarves these incredibly detailed floral patterns into the black rubber. Delvoye transforms an ugly object into a unique work of art that also operates to upcycle a poor recyclable product that is clogging landfills around the globe.

Pneu Recycled Tire Series by Wim Delvoye.

Carved Floral Tires via GreenMuze

NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

The economy has forced the world to find new means of creating green houses. The world has gone to the garbage dumps to build green houses. These materials that are being used to build these green houses would of ended up in the landfills, but instead are being put to good use and being recycled into a useful building for many homes and business’ across the nation.

From floors, counters, and even roofs, we are seeing scraps not big enough for normal use being recycled into the green houses. The scraps of wood are used to make a mosaic floor or counter tops, and roofs are being made out of license plates.

Can you imagine what a green house would look like made up entirely of materials that were headed to the landfills?

Continue reading NewsMaker – Building Green Houses from Garbage

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News

Dundee residents are being encouraged to produce art that is rubbish.

The city council’s environment department is running a competition designed to inspire residents to think about what they throw away by turning their trash into artworks.

The Reuse Solutions 2011 promotion asks participants to make art from reused everyday materials, or to compose creative writing with a recycling theme.

Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish

There are six categories including nursery, primary and secondary schools, community groups and businesses.

Cash prizes are on offer of £250 for category winners with the closing date for entries being November 4.

City council depute environment convener Councillor Alan Ross launched the competition by inspecting artworks that have been created at Camperdown Wildlife Centre using recycled material.

He said: “Dundee currently has the best recycling rate of any city in Scotland which is great news and we want to make sure we keep hold of this position.

“We all know how important it is to recycle our waste but we should also try to reuse it when possible.”

via Dundee residents encouraged to produce art from rubbish | Dundee and Tayside | STV News. Check it out for a great video too!

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy

2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered!

Posted by Leslie Newell Peacock on Wed, Sep 28, 2011 at 5:23 PM

Toy box, before

Toy box, before

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Toy Box, after, by Lori Weeks

Habitat for Humanity’s annual fund-raiser auction of artist-restored furniture is tomorrow night, Sept. 29, from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Lafayette Square building at Louisiana and Sixth streets (523 Louisiana) and if you want to bid on some beautiful things for a beautiful purpose, clear off your calendar now and plan to go.

“Get Hammered!” is the theme of the 2nd annual Restore and After event, where Hammer-tini cocktails, beer, wine and heavy hors d’oeuvres will be served for a mere $25 ticket price. The Rodney Block Band will entertain.

Among the items to be auctioned are no fewer than four doghouses, all decorated by realtors with the Little Rock Realtor’s Association, toy chests, chairs, hutches and more.

Dog house

Here’s how it worked: 14 artists purchased items from H for H’s ReStore outlet in North Little Rock and turned them into works of art for auction. Last year’s event raised $7,000, enough to build a room in a Habitat house. Go here to purchase tickets or call 379-1583.

via 2nd annual ReStore and After says: Get Hammered! | Eye Candy.

Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories

Raw Edge Messenger

A new local company, Divina Denuevo, is selling a collection of leather bags and accessories that use antique and vintage hardware and adornments: anything from old skeleton keys, cabinet door handles, keyplates and door knockers.

The duo behind the Divina Denuevo line (Divina Denuevo means “divine again” in Spanish) are Victoria Ronco and Dave Kelly.

“We search high and low for antique and vintage hardware, keys and adornments, in an effort to up cycle something old that was otherwise destined for the landfill, and make it new again.” says Ronco in a prepared release.

via Vintage hardware finds new home on leather handbags and accessories.

Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

By KELLY NELSON ReFest is an extravaganza of reducing, reusing and re-homing, hosted by WellFED, Emergent Structures, Wooden Sheep and Southern Pine in part to benefit the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. The event features the Design & Build Competition: Dog Houses and Cat Structures built from reclaimed, sustainable materials. I’ve seen the structures and I’m here to tell you that they are amazing!One of the Cat Structures, designed and built by The Inclusion Counsel at CSX the railroad has multiple levels and is fashioned after a train’s caboose! It features scratching posts, hiding places, and lots of space for multiple cats.Butterhead Greens Cafe has created a “Green House” Dog House. You can actually use the roof as a greenhouse! And there are about a dozen more wonderfully thought out and creative structures to impress you.The event held at Southern Pine ties together two seemingly unrelated topics; RePurposing building materials in order to decrease the waste that bloats our landfills and ReHoming unwanted companion animals in an effort to decrease pet overpopulation and homelessness.Starting at 2 p.m., you can bid on the Dog Houses and Cat Structures through a silent auction. There will also be a live auction of winning structures around 6 p.m. All proceeds from the auctions go directly to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.In addition, HSGS will be on site ReHoming pets from our shelter! ReFest is an awesome opportunity for you to bring your family, visit or even adopt our shelter pets, check out and bid on some great and eco friendly Dog Houses and Cat Structures and, as the night goes on, enjoy great music, great food, great drinks with great people!

via Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Difficult and expensive do not mean better, as this eccentric do-it-yourself shelves can attest, requiring a random mix of recycled vintage table parts, some paint, screws, a saw and a plan.

Isabel Quiroga collected an eclectic set of desks, side tables and cabinet drawers, old and new, measured her target space and started sawing accordingly.

After painting the pieces purple – to give their mixed appearance a sense of uniformity beyond style – she piled and attached them to create an unusual site-specific solution to shelving with definite decorative flair.

via Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Often when we hear “prefab houses,” we conjure up thoughts of structures pieced together on a site like a puzzle made from mass produced parts that were shipped as separate pieces. While these homes are often more sustainable, they can leave much to be desired in regards to character, aesthetic, and durability. But Reclaimed Space, founded by Tracen Gardner in Austin, Texas, is changing the way we think about prefabricated buildings. Instead of using anonymous materials from mega-factories, Gardner and his team salvage beautiful woods and metals from old homes, barns, and buildings across Texas and use these unique materials to build one of a kind, handmade spaces. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Gardner and learn how Reclaimed Space is carving an artisan niche in the prefab world and why Gardner believes that all designers have a responsibility to be sustainable.

Read the Interview Here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur


The TrashDesignManufaktur-Vienna – short TDM – is a division ofDismantling and Recycling Centre (DRZ) , a socio-economic operation of Viennese Adult Education Centres Ltd. The focus of the work is the reintegration, qualification and Vermitttlung of long-term unemployed and people with disabilities..

In TDM unique design is created from the remnants of our society. Thanks to new ideas, the company drives people out of work were long, with a high success rate into the labor market and the back of them created and manufactured products in Europe in the temple of art. We produce elegant and high quality jewelry, furniture and accessories. Our products consist mainly of recycled parts from used electrical and electronic equipment.Each piece is handmade and therefore unique. The project is funded by funds from the AMS Vienna  and the European Social Fund (ESF) . With the purchase of a TDM product you purchase not only a designer piece, but you also support the idea of social economy.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur.

Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |


Scott Bosgraaf stands in front of Baker Lofts in 2007. He redeveloped the former Baker furniture factory into commercial and residential lofts. The project incorporated recycled building materials from the old plant, including railings made from the old factory fire sprinkler system pipe.

HOLLAND — For years, Scott Bosgraaf’s specialty was turning brown buildings green.

Bosgraaf — whose family name is synonymous with quality development along the Lakeshore — has been known for transforming vacant factories or other eyesores into trendy, yet historic residential and commercial spaces.

He had a formula for keeping prices affordable: recycling elements of a building into stylish features, and tapping into local and state incentives to help cover the costs, including Brownfield, tax-increment financing and small business credits.

His projects included Baker Lofts and Scrap Yard Lofts in Holland, Kirsch Lofts in Sturgis, Central Lofts in South Haven and Woodard Station in Owosso.

In short, Bosgraaf was the kind of developer that state and local officials liked to see.

But now court documents show his real estate entities and other businesses owe millions to Huntington Bank. To recover more than $6 million in unpaid real estate loans, the bank foreclosed on Baker Lofts and Woodard Station and has filed a lawsuit for loan default for Central Lofts.

The court paper trail shows the resolutions in some of the properties remain fluid. The bank’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are being dropped this week, both sides confirmed.

Two Bosgraaf companies file bankrputcy

And the lawsuits have a broader reach than Bosgraaf’s bricks-and-mortar businesses. Two of his companies, Faargsob LLC and Auto Sports Unlimited Inc, which were used as collateral on some developments, have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets.

Both Bosgraaf, 47, of Holland, and attorney Robb Wardrop, who represents Auto Sports Unlimited in its bankruptcy, declined comment, citing ongoing legal issues.

Bosgraaf’s story isn’t uncommon.

Many developers in recent years have felt the double whammy of the real estate market crash and banks calling in loans after reassessing falling property values.

What was different about Bosgraaf was that he was launching projects through 2009, when many other developments were going under. Through press conferences and statements by state officials, he was held up as a poster boy for how to do redevelopment projects right.

His relationship with his major lender, Huntington, started to sour in 2010, as the financial crisis and federal regulatory changes put pressure on the banking industry to reduce real estate loans.

Huntingon gave notice of a foreclosure in a legal notice in the June 9 edition of the Zeeland Record, claiming that Baker Lofts LLC defaulted on a $5.3 million loan. The property was bought July 14 for just over $1.8 million by an entity of the bank.


Scott Bosgraaf projects

Baker Lofts, a $17 million, 100,000-square-foot mixed use development in Holland. Bosgraaf has until Jan. 16, 2012 to pay Huntington Bank just over $1.8 million, plus interest, to redeem 25 units out of the 101 units in foreclosure.

Woodard Station, a $20 million, mixed-use 220,000-square-foot development in Owosso in Shiawassee County. A portion of the property — 22 of 132 units — is slated to go on the auction block Wednesday (9/21) to recoup more than $1.1 million Huntington says it is owed. Bosgraaf has filed a countersuit.

Scrap Yard Lofts, a mixed-used development in Holland. The $5 million renovation of two former Holland Furnace Co. buildings isn’t vulnerable to foreclosure because the project was completely financed by property owner Padnos Iron & Metal Co.

Kirsch Lofts, a nearly $20 million, mixed-use development of a nearly 1 million- square-foot former curtain rod factory in Sturgis in St. Joseph County acquired in 2009. The project, which isn’t completed yet, wasn’t financed by Huntington, but did receive $2 million in Brownfield Redevelopment incentives.

Central Lofts, a $15 million, multi-phase redevelopment of 110,000 square feet of a former school in South Haven, purchased in 2007. Huntington filed a suit on Feb. 2 after the developer defaulted on $3.7 million in loans. Huntington’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are expected to be dismissed this week.

Bosgraaf has until Jan. 14, 2012 to pay the bank the purchase price, plus interest, or Huntington will take over ownership of about 25 of the 101 condo units in the development at 533 Columbia Ave.

via Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |

Present Tents –

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Australia

So long, tepee. The next level of “glamping” is the architent — high-spec, high-style canvas accommodations.


The main lodge and cabins at this resort make use of recycled building materials from a dismantled lodge in Queensland. All 15 safari tents are internally clad in polished blackbutt (a dark eucalyptus) and simply furnished, offering airy lodging for nature lovers who want to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.; from about $235.

via Present Tents –

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Well, Im officially declaring the posting drought on the PGM Blog over! Inspiration is abounding these days – not in the least with regards to the development of Issue 7 and our launch in print. Many exciting things happening on that front and I literally cannot sleep at night because of it. While we keep working away on that matter well keep you inspired right here!I came across this home while browsing the weekend paper and was immediately impressed and inspired. This coastal home in Maine is a testament to what can be achieved with some creativity, patience and know-how of course I think some good design sense is needed too as this project is absolutely stunning considering its humble roots. Owned by a former schoolteacher, Jennifer Wurst and her partner, artist and creator Michael Fleming, the pair have managed to completely renovate and furnish their home for an incredible $4000 dollars!! According to the couple and the article, which orginally appeared in the New York Times and was reprinted in The Globe and Mail the living room was the priciest endeavour coming in at $828, largely due to Jennifers “spluge” on a antique sofa from Brimfield Market for $150, which has now been slipcovered in an antique linen sheet. The cohesiveness and polish in this home is astounding, considering Jennifers primary source of treasures is the dump!! From the article: “Some days it’s pure excitement, running back to the car to unload armfuls of stuff, only to go back for more!” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’s amazing what people throw out. I have found completely new still in packaging items such as my Bodum tea press/pot and even down throw pillows still in packaging and a fabulous ’50s-style wall-mounted can opener.” I have always said there is nothing more humbling than a trip to the dump – a grim reminder of our terrible habits of overconsumption – but I seriously commend Jennifers ability to scavenge such wonderful items from the heaps of trash! If their home is an example of what can be achieved then Id say its worth the challenge.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Among the home’s upcycled decor examples can be seen of Michael’s work – he collects sea bleached pieces of driftwood, from twigs to stumps and creates everything from scultural peices (as in the large-scale piece seen here behind the dining table) and this original and imaginative driftwood pendant lamp (seen above). View more on Michael’s site Designs Adrift.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine


Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

via Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine.

Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Shacks occupy a strange place in society. On the one hand, outdated and dilapidated dwellings come to mind. On the other hand, such otherwise-sad shanty structures conjure visions of peace, quiet and personal freedom and lived-in comfort as well.


Ethan Hayes-Chute takes found objects and turns them into quaint huts and half-collapsed homes, over and over and over again. Some are wrapped around real living trees, while others are set inside museums, contrasting starkly with white walls all around.

Tina DiCarlo summarizes this strangely obsessed artist-and-builder well:“[His work]  is so basic, so familiar, so ordinary, and such a mess that at first glance one might mistakenly call it primitive”

“…. [but each building]  is an accumulation of stuff, the ephemera of the every day. Its materials are found, stitched together, hand-assembled – chair, desk, table, shaving mirror, and coffee mug furnish the cabin’s primary function to house and sustain.”

Born on the east coast of the united states – an area famed for its quaint cottages and regional vernacular architecture – this builder is not just creating a sense of nostalgia, nor simply tapping into emotional reactions. He is, in a sense, telling stories of historical and personal fantasy, blending old yarns into modern tales free of simplistic morality or happy endings … somewhere between fiction and folk art.


via Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Giant Cow Sculptures Created Using Automobile Parts -Laughing Squid


Finnish sculptor and Marimekko textile company designer, Miina Äkkijyrkkä (aka Liina Lång) created this wonderful series of giant cow sculptures made from recycled automobile parts starting in 2000. Known throughout Finland for being a protector of the native Eastern Finncattle dairy breed, Äkkijyrkkä was inspired by her own cows to create these towering metal bovines.

via Colossal, Illusion and Designaside

photos by Juha Metso

images via Colossal

via Laughing Squid.

matter! where art and sustainability hang together – via Upcycling


matter! is a contemporary fine art gallery featuring original artworks from over 100 artists using recycled and reclaimed materials; sculpture, garden art, furniture, lighting, jewelry, paintings and other wall art. If you have questions about an artwork or artist, need help buying a gift, or want to learn about artworks on the way, email or call! And if you’re anywhere near Olympia, WA – come visit! We’re open everyday. Check out a slideshow of some of the stuff at matter!

To shop now, you can browse by category or by artist on the matter! website. Have fun! matter! was started by these fascinating people:

Owner & General Manager: Jo Gallaugher

Jo has 20 years business experience and a long-standing love for artworks incorporating reclaimed materials. She holds an MBA from University of California Irvine, and a BA in Political Science from University of Washington. Jo has primarily concentrated on west coast artists while gathering works for matter!, but has begun to expand geographically. She is continually on the lookout for artists creating beautiful artworks with repurposed materials.

Photographer & Art Accomplice: Bob Snell

Bob was trained as a commercial photographer, but quickly decided mainstream commercial photography wasn’t for him. In addition to being the sole art photographer for matter!, he has done several photography shows featuring his original works… choosing everything from stripper shoes to metropolitan skylines as subject matter. His goal is to honestly capture the crazy inventiveness inherent in all that is human.

via matter! where art and sustainability hang together.

10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace


10 Sources for Reclaimed Living

Much like the growing slow food movement, in which people want to know more about where their food comes from, there is an increased interest amongst people buying furniture and building new homes who want to feel connected to the materials used throughout their space. Sourcing reclaimed woods for anything from tabletops to flooring is a good idea for many reasons – not only is it an environmentally friendly approach to design, but salvaged materials contain a rich history in all their notches and nail holes. If you have an interest in living the reclaimed life, then check out these ten stores and services in our Marketplace for bringing natural, handmade furniture into your home.



Old Barn Reclaimed Wood Co : A massive retailer of high-quality reclaimed wood products, this company offers recycled flooring, lumber, furniture and wood paneling. With materials pulled from 19th century

barns, tobacco warehouses, textile mills and factories, you can bet the pieces made from Old Barn are full of character.

Crofthouse083011Croft House – Modern Reclaimed Wood Furniture : This LA-based company is a great local producer of handmade furniture and home decor. With a focus on sustainable materials, Croft House’s designs are simple, sophisticated and offered at a practical price point.


Danielstrack083011Daniel Strack Furniture : In addition to his use of reclaimed wood for his original furniture designs with eco-friendly finishes, this Chicago-based designer also creates a beautiful line of guitars. Custom work is also an option.


Industrywest083011Industry West : From Jacksonville, FL comes this company with a goal “to help you create a more intriguing environment for your home.” Their inventory includes recreations of 19th and 20th century furniture pieces made from metal, distressed fabrics and reclaimed woods.


Cliff083011Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker : With an aim to evoke warmth and create comfort in the home through each piece, Cliff Spencer offers custom designed furniture and cabinetry while specializing in lesser known hardwoods. All wood is hand sourced in California.


Environmentfurniture083011Environment Furniture : With showrooms in New York, LA and Atlanta, this California-based design house specializes in timeless contemporary collections of furniture that respect the planet. Using unique, sustainably harvested wood like patinaed Brazilian Peroba Rosa wood and salvaged maritime shipping beams, each piece from Environment Furniture is full of rustic elegance.

Americanbarn083011American Barn Company : Started by contractor Jay Wikary, this company has recently relocated to Friendship, Wisconsin, where he continues to source the best local reclaimed materials possible to produce all kinds of home decor products and lumber. American Barn Company also accepts custom order requests.

Meyerwells083011Meyer Wells : Using the grand reclaimed trees of Seattle’s urban areas as the source materials for their line of modern furnishings, Meyer Wells has created a hands-on production process that makes use out of materials that would normally be considered part of the waste stream.


Fromthesource083011From the Source : With their eclectic mix of antique and contemporary pieces made from plantation grown and reclaimed wood, this company offers solely unupholstered pieces, primarily made from teak. With furniture available for all areas of the home, From the Source has a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood as well as a design house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Reclaimedmain03083011The Brooklyn Home Company : This design house is made up of a family-run cooperative of artists and craftsman dedicated to creating quality and classic, well-designed living spaces. Based in Brooklyn, the RISD-trained team at The Brooklyn Home Company is focused on designing homes that will endure.

via 10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace.

Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Reusing, and Diversifying

Upcycling can be a boon to existing businesses as well. For Hammer & Hand, a Portland, Ore., design-build construction firm, upcycling became a jobs-saving revenue stream during the recession. It began a decade ago, when co-founder and president Sam Hagerman quit using dumpsters.

“I was writing the garbage man a $10,000 check every month, and I realized that could support a living wage and a half,” he says. So he bought a truck and started an in-house recycling system in the yard of the office building (which boasts flooring made from recycled bleacher seats).

From then on, Hagerman took reusable parts from construction sites–framing components, light fixtures, appliances and lumber. “I realized we could get a beautiful pile of lumber for free,” he says, “and turn around and add value to it.”

When the construction industry got a walloping in 2008, Hagerman weathered the downturn by entering the upcycled furniture market, along with the home energy and the handyman business. “We saved the jobs of 40 people,” he says. “We got creative by necessity, but we changed our business because it also makes financial sense.”

If there is a downside to upcycling, Hagerman says, it’s the inefficiencies related to organizing, moving and storing the supply. Regardless of how cheap any reclaimed materials are, they can represent a huge waste of energy and time if you don’t already have a purpose in mind when you take possession of them. Plus, there’s the danger of running out. “You can’t develop a line of something, because there’s no guaranteed way to get more of the material,” he says.

via Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

 Since 2008, Hayes-Chute has been building these quirky huts, hermitages and shacks while exploring themes of self-sufficiency, self-preservation and self-exclusion. Built completely out of salvaged wood, found materials and vintage and antique goods, the huts are piecemeal – as though they were constructed slowly over time. Hayes-Chutes builds these shacks inside museums and galleries so visitors can tour through them and experience a mode of living that is normally inaccessible.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.