Tag Archive | reuse

A Long Awaited Photoshoot

This post is to prevent Community Forklift from having the complete scoop on my bathroom. I’ve been prodded into action by a co-worker, because Community Forklift has a blog-post scheduled about sustainability and design, featuring MY bathroom.

Why, what bathroom is that? The one we’ve just added, of course! The others already existed, so their sustainability was never in question.

Ooh la la!

I had trouble photographing the new bathroom because there is always someone in it. Can’t find the dogs? They’re probably lying on the heated floor. The youngest child? She’s sitting on the seat playing in the spa-like shower. Fortunately, almost all are afraid of the toilet as the bidet/toilet combo has scared them off entirely. We are now properly prepared for any toilet paper shortage that might come in 2021. You can’t be too careful.

An open European style shower.

So, feast your eyes. The sink is an American Standard commercial fixture from 1928. The towel bar is made of milk glass. The hardware is vintage art-deco and the lines mimic the lines on the sink. The shelves are reclaimed heart pine from Brick + Board. The door, the glass block window, and the soap dish all represent elements of reuse in this luxurious bathroom. The tile is Portuguese ceramic from a high-end donation that came to Community Forklift. The design evolved around all of these reusable items we wanted to incorporate. Not only is it a sustainable option to include reclaimed items in your renovations, but it is affordable. The quality of these older materials are not what you find in newer items made today, unless you are prepared to go for broke.

A mini-tour of the new bathroom.

This bathroom was gifted to us by my in-laws who wanted to upgrade our (their) guest space. I am grateful because it is something many people will enjoy for years to come, including us!

A milk glass towel bar!
Heart pine floating shelves.
1928 American Standard commercial wall sink with legs!

Our contractor who did the work? An artisan craftsman (who moonlights as a therapist) shall remain anonymous because I am not finished with him yet.

© Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise 2020.

Community Forklift!

My dear readers, I have been neglecting you. I am sorry. There is so much news to share, I am not sure where to start!

Recognize that huge Rothko poster?

Recognize that huge Rothko poster? Me and the baby (my sister is holding the camera) shopping in 2012.

I am working full-time. I know, right? Weird. I have never worked full-time in my life. Not counting the full-time mommy-ing, the orchestral musician and teacher thing, or even the part-time office manager-ing thing or blog thing I have been doing lately. Somehow, I have managed to combine an insane work-a-holic type ethic without ever actually holding a full-time job. I am expecting my therapist to call any minute now.

My new playground.

My new playground.

Yet, everything has fallen into place. I have found the quirkiest, funkiest place to work! I am working as the Office Manager for Community Forklift. This place promotes the careful deconstruction of building materials for reuse. Their motto is: “the greenest building material is the one that already exists.” If I could ever take a break long enough to walk around the 34,000 square foot warehouse, I would be in heaven, and probably broke too.

My dining room chandelier.

My dining room chandelier: a diamond in the rough.

We Americans waste so much. Community Forklift saves something like a ga-zillion tons of trash from going into the landfill by collecting donated building supplies. That little trinket you lost from your faucet? We’ve probably got one. A cracked tile? No worries… we may have a replacement.

An aisle of ceramics.

An aisle of ceramics.

No doubt Community Forklift rewards the creative mind that can piece things together. That is often how you wind up with something truly unique, like the old church cornice that now sits in my dining room as an architectural piece.

I have found art, antiquities, garden supplies, and light fixtures. With some elbow grease and creativity, you can bring a little old, quirky or upcycled element of design into your home. I encourage you to come on over to Community Forklift and think outside the box. I may even be able to come down and meet you.

© copyright 2014 Mariam d’Eustachio at Simply Turquoise.

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