Tag Archive | recycle

Reusing an Old Red Door

My decorating career has come to a staggering halt. I am required to spend the next five Saturdays learning how to be a foster parent. Yes, I am already trying to look at the bright side. Perhaps I can apply any new techniques I learn to the brand-new teenager in the house instead. That may be a better use of training.

However, I have made progress on an office for myself. I had to lay claim to my new office space like a homesteader staking out his land in the wild, wild, west. I had to fight off the Foos-ball table, the television, and the X-Box, for my own room. It was a gruesome battle and I have won.

Fighting for my own room.

Fighting for my own room.

Much like the pioneer days, the wind whistles through the cracks in the windows and the temps regularly fall below zero in my new office. But I am not to be deterred. It is a big room that gets warm with the sun and needs so much work that even I feel a little overwhelmed. I have plans for this space.

It all started with a red door that appeared in the driveway. I called my husband to ask where it came from and why was it there. He explained he had picked it up when someone advertised they were getting rid of it on Free-Cycle. He thought I could use it for my desk.

Brilliant! I was so excited! We even had red sawhorses in the basement to match. I love the view of our old house through the window.

The Red Door turned into a desk.

The Red Door turned into a desk.

After placing it on the sawhorses, I cleaned the door with Bona Wood Cleaner and repaired the veneer using Elmer’s Wood Glue and clamps. I removed the hinges and peephole so a piece of plexiglass would sit flat on the surface, making it usable for writing, drawing or sewing. I placed a chair on either side to welcome any new design clients that might appear, and I chose a paint color for the room.

Old red sawhorses support the desk.

Old red sawhorses support the desk.

Repairing the door.

Repairing the door.

Clamps holding the veneer flat.

Clamps holding the veneer flat

Removing the peephole.

Removing the peephole.

My son wants the peephole installed in his bedroom door. I may do it, just to humor him.

Office Art Wall.

Office Art Wall.

The things left to do on this porch are too long to list. But this is a start. Next up: Paint! I can’t wait to keep you updated on the progress. But first, I have to do my time in foster parent training class.

© copyright 2013 Mariam d’Eustachio.

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Re-think and Recycle

I’ve been thinking about recycling lately. I am trying to fit my stuff into a new house and make it look as if it was always intended for THIS space, even though it wasn’t. On a purely practical front, people cannot go out and buy new stuff every time they move. The idea of repurposing your old and tired things appeals to me; breathing new life into some old junk.

Of late, my fantasies have consisted of beautiful dining room chairs prancing through my head. Once in a store, I occasionally have to wipe the drool from my chin as I ogle the chairs, until I am confronted with a price tag. Shocked, I take the reality check and walk away with nothing every time. Inevitably, this has lead to my recycling philosophy.

Chair Envy.

It all started with these chairs in a hotel lobby.

My wicker dining room chairs have lasted for twelve years and through several children who used to pick at them when they were in time out. The chairs refuse to wear out. I wish they would so I could justify pitching them. Rather than throw out perfectly good chairs, I decided to just give the cloth chairs on the ends a face-lift with new slipcovers. This changed the look of the whole room!

Slipcovered chair in my new dining room.

Dining room with a view of the not-yet-even-unpacked adjacent sunroom.

Fresh new paint in Benjamin Moore’s  picnic basket gives my dining room an entirely new look.

The solution turned out to be so easy. With the slipcovers from World Market, my chairs were new again in less than 15 seconds. The cost was $50 instead of at least 10 times that for new chairs. I successfully recycled the old chairs and breathed new life into them.

Recycling your old things not only saves money, but can make your home unique and add personality. I am challenging myself to reuse whenever possible and if I can’t reuse what I have, buy it used from Community Forklift, Craig’s List or The Habitat ReStores. When I rescue trash, I am actually preventing it from filling up the landfill and not giving in to the constant pressures to buy more stuff. Paint your frames if the finish is wrong, paint an old light fixture to spruce it up, recover an old fabric, or just add new hardware to an old piece of furniture. If the piece is solid wood, it will last forever. These ideas are not new, but to me it is refreshing to let the house be decorated over time and not rush into the latest must-have. You will end up with an eclectic look that is interesting as well as beautiful. That is a worthy goal.

 © copyright 2012 Mariam d’Eustachio