Tag Archives: used furniture

Reuse, Reclaim, Recycle… The New 3 R’s

With the controversy of Global Warming, whether you believe it or not, it certainly shouldn’t prevent you from reusing goods in the home. I recall in the eye popping book by Aldous Huxley, A Brave New World, one of the main concepts in the “New World” was to never recycle anything. It gives one the idea of a stratosphere of rubbish floating around in outer space, so much for starry nights…

I know I have said it before, but I always donate anything of value to a local charity rather than putting into the trash.

Recently, I started a design project for an office renovation and I discovered beautiful old wood behind walls that needed to be removed to make way for other things. My contractor and I, both having an eye for the art of reclamation put our heads together and decided to reuse some of that old timber.

We saved a substantial amount of wood from the early 1900′s. And the best part? We saved the client hundreds of dollars that he would have had to spend to get what we gave him out of his old walls!

I realized that there are things that don’t really get factored into reusing the old until you really look at it. So I thought I would give the savings of the reusable goods: the cost of wood, the cost of transporting the wood, the cost of the people to stock the wood, the cost of the drive to the store to procure the wood, the cost of the dump run to remove the wood from the property… I mean it goes on and on, not to mention the eco-footprint one saves in reclamation!

Also, the grade of wood from the early 1900′s is truly incomparable. It is magnificent to look at and feel! When it is all done I will post a picture.

It is a growing trend to use recycled materials, I hope it is a trend that lasts to the end of time! Not like big hair or neon t-shirts!

Make Pretty Happen!

Should it Stay or Should it Go Now…

I have been asked lately by clients “Do you think I should keep the ____ or should I throw it out?”

Well, first, I am a die hard believer in throwing out only actual TRASH, the old addage, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure is a mantra of mine. So, especially in these times, don’t can it, Goodwill it! The Goodwill, or Salvation Army not only helps to save the planet by recycling our used goods, but they also provide jobs for people who might otherwise be in the Welfare system.

I digress, so, here is the rule: If you don’t A. Love it B. Have a sentimental attachment to it or C. Need it for a specific purpose, get rid of it!

A kludgey house is a messy house.  Pare things down when possible, because if it doesn’t fall into one of the above categories it likely doesn’t contribute to your design aesthetic and therefore doesn’t need to be a part of your world.

If you have a piece that is a necessity in your life, but you don’t love it, do yourself a favor and add it to your “Dreality” binder (see blog #1) as an item you want to replace with something as useful, but more to your taste. Then, in your travels you can pick up something that is cost friendly and something you love!

Make Pretty Happen!

Melinda Brownstone