With the enormous amount of creativity in home design today comes an increase in frequency of remodels and renovations. From season to season, variation in hot interior design trends dictates a great deal of decisions about which pieces in your home will stay, and which will have to go. In fact, homeowners in the U.S. reportedly spent upwards of $130 billion on remodeling projects in 2013, a 3.1% increase from the previous year. With permits for remodeling jobs increasing at a similar rate, the upward trend of frequent home renovation, especially in ever-changing kitchens and baths, is likely to continue for some time.
That, as you might imagine, will result in hordes of discarded appliances and fixtures which are begging for new homes. Giving these pieces new life keeps the bulk out of junkyards and landfills, and allows you to buy something brand new in good conscience! Below are five creative destinations for your discarded bathroom and kitchen fixtures that certainly beat the scrapyard:
Upcycle to the Garden
Your rusty, stained, or leaky old kitchen sink can be the perfect addition to the backyard garden or toolshed. Whether you install it into an aged wine barrel to continue its life as an outdoor utility sink, or top it off with potting soil and your favorite flowers as a statuesque, porcelain planter, this is one fixture that can definitely live on beyond its time in the kitchen.
A Vessel Sink for the Birds
Our feathery friends won’t mind if their new (to them!) birdbath doesn’t match your freshly remodeled powder room. If you have an old vessel sink to spare, simply affix it to a post or railing with the drain sealed or plugged shut with a tight-fitting replacement drain plug. Then, pour a few cups of seashells or pebbles where the birds can safely stand, add water, and watch the birds flock!
Support Your Local Reclamation Store
Your unwanted fixture may be your neighbor’s new treasure! Drop off your used item to your local reclamation store (The Re-Store, Habitat for Humanity, Goodwill) a fantastic destination for reclaimable building materials, vintage décor, salvaged appliances, and more. Not only will you save big on waste disposal, but you’ll avoid contributing to a landfill and in most cases, a donation to a reclamation store earns you a tax deduction or in-store trade credit.
Leave Your Faucet Hanging
If you’ve upgraded to something shiny and new in the kitchen or bath, take a minute to reinstall your old, antiqued sink faucet or faucet handles on a flat surface, such as a plank of aged barnwood, to act as a set of unique hooks. They’re so “recycled-chic,” you’ll hesitate to cover your upcycled hooks with the towels and jackets they’re meant for.
Have a Seat on Your Half Bath
For more of an audacious project, carefully take a saw to the long front-side of your old, claw-foot bathtub for the makings of the most unique loveseat around. Nestle long fitted cushions into the back and bottom of the tub, and “soak” into your new, upcycled couch.
Author Biography: Jack Wade
Jack is a content contributor to a growing family of online resources for the designer and discerning homeowner focused on handcrafted, functional works of art, including Copper Sinks Online. Find him on Google+ and Twitter.