Here's my recycled kitchen. Show me yours.

honorbiltkitJanuary 6, 2012

[Note: This thread is meant to build on the now "disappeared" -- i.e., probably being tortured in a soccer stadium -- DAT #12 wannabe. I hope the circuspeanut will repost here the details of her fabulous handmade kitchen, and also that mama goose and her fellow travelers will either post their kitchens with details or link to such posts.]

The story is that in 2009 I bought a bedraggled and foreclosed but still way cute 1923 Sears kit house, in an appealing but not upmarket DC neighborhood. I knew from the outset that the basic work needed -- renew the envelope, move some walls, upgrade the systems, replace the windows -- was going to leave a small budget for the kitchen. So, while the basic work was being done, I haunted craigslist, ebay, Community Forklift, etc, storing bits in the garage until we were ready to do the kitchen.


Kitchen from dining room

West wall and door to hall and pantry


Northeast corner, showing both windows

AFTER (but not finished)



[frugal] DETAILS

--Appliances: a virtually new set of upmarket black bought from craigslist, as a set. (The refrigerator is so Darth Vaderlike that I consigned it to the refitted pantry in the hall to keep it from looming over everything. It is five steps from the sink, so it works.

--White cabinets: dated style but good quality, a large enough set that I knew I would be able to put a kitchen together. (The leftovers went to Forklift.) This is the palatial suburban space they came from.

Turquoise -- a provisional color -- cabinets: Free, from a neighbor. I had to have the boxes built anew, but it was worth it because the scale is so elegant.

Counters: Ikea Numerar, done a la Brickmanhouse, with india ink, but finished with pure tung oil instead of Waterlox.

Sink: Kohler cast iron double, from Forklift. A bit chipped at the edges, but I touched it up with bicycle paint. Also new smaller radiator from Forklift.

Galvinized pendant over sink, cabinet hardware, Faber hood insert, faucet, ceiling fan, adjustable pendants over peninsula (needed because the ceiling is uneven): ebay.

Floors: Sanded, with the water-damaged boards artfully replaced with ones under the cabinets, finished in Bono oil by a wonderful family owned firm.

Backsplash: Lowe's unassuming 23 cent white subway.

My contractor -- a recovering economist with a genuine affection for old houses -- shimmed every single cabinet, built the wooden hood, built the shelving units that face the dining room from the wall cabinets and at the end of the peninsula, and fitted an open vertical space for trays or cookie sheets in the base cabinets on the range wall.

What I regret: The cabinets by the peninsula back up to a now drywalled chimney that runs from the basement through the roof but only vents the furnace. It was not nice enough to expose, but taking it out would have cost an extra 15k, so I will leave it to the next guy. (Who will also come in, yell "what were they thinking?," and rebuild the wall between the DR and the kitchen.)

Only indulgence: Having the window openings made taller, since I was going to have to have the windows made to size in any case.

That's it. Please bring on your own recycled, downcycled, upcycled kitchens.

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I thought we were done with disappearing threads. What happened this time?

Your kitchen is beautiful! I really love the pop of turquoise. So funny that your appliances came from a turquoise kitchen as well. You'll have to post a picture of Darth Vader for us.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 1:14PM
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it's so cheery! I love the subway tile with darker grout... could you offer more detail on that? also, the turquoise is fantastic - just enough. Did you keep track of the overall cost? I wouldn't ask you to share that, but I am very curious how much a remarkable transformation like this cost. Only tell if you are comfortable.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 1:40PM
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WOW - great kitchen on all levels! Impressive hunting skills, honorbiltkit. Those pendants over the peninsula are wonderful.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:15PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

LOL, honorbiltkit, how can I resist a shout-out that doesn't need a mood board? I'm still working on that.

Oh my, your pictures look so familiar--old walls, old materials, with the potential to be beautiful. I enjoy your B/W/and turquoise kitchen every time I see a picture of it, and I'm so happy when I see someone else who has created such a great space from cast-offs. I, too, hope that circuspeanut will add her wonderful kitchen to this thread.

BTW, my son used to live in the DC area--Arlington/Ft.Myer, when he was in the US Army.

My kitchen renovation started out as a facelift, which was to include new laminate countertops, paint and a 30x30 marble-slab baking center. After finding some black marble tiles in our local Lowes (1.49/sf), I found GardenWeb while searching for kitchens with black marble. About the same time I learned to search the net (old fashioned/slow learner), I found craigslist, and things started to gel. I've always been a thrifter/junker/recycler, so it was easy for me to visualize each new treasure in my finished kitchen, with my own twist added. The re-used/re-purposed items include some vintage cabinets from an old high school:

(In the seller's garage.)

Lab-tops from another old high school:

(Stored on the front porch.)

An old feed bin that was in our former dairy barn when we bought the property in 1994:

A used marble dining table:

And my favorite craigslist find:

I re-used/re-worked as many cabinets and cabinet doors as possible, from the old kitchen, and bought a few inexpensive, unfinished base cabinets, to make up for the lack of drawers in the vintage school cabinets.

An early progress pic:

The almost finished kitchen:

And a long shot:

I've finished the ceiling trim, so this will be my update. The flooring, and the dining area still need to be completed. You can find my threads and see my album links by clicking on my username, or find the kitchen album, with captions, by clicking on the link below:

Here is a link that might be useful: scroll down

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:19PM
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HB, my jaw dropped when you did the brickmanhouse india ink bit. I must have missed it when you first showed your kitchen as I thought your counters were soapstone. Please post a pic of darth vader would love to see the frig.

And of course, Mamagoose, just love the DIY part of your, actually every bit of it.

I have a small oak kitchen in an old house (DH will not allow the oak to get painted), but still haven't done much to it. Someday, my kitchen will evolve to something crafty as I love repurposing and upcycling, recycling.

Love this thread and can't wait to see other kitchens.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 3:31PM
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OMG!!! Love the turquoise!!! What an absolutely adorable kitchen. Great job. Don't make the beautiful cabinets a provisional color. Keep it!!!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 4:38PM
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Wow HBK, I love your recycled/repurposed kitchen! It's wonderful! You too, Mama Goose! I must say, you ladies have done such really impressive work in turning out your gems. To tell you the truth, I've got a recycled (second) kitchen in my own house, but it's not worthy of posting here. In fact, given the way we're starting off, I have a feeling this is one of those GW threads that is going to produce some truly special and inspiring kitchens which are founded on wisdom, economy and creativity as well as lots of hunting/inheritance/bargaining luck. Really looking forward. Thanks so much for posting!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 5:18PM
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mama goose - great job! what do you think you will do for the flooring? the high school cabinets are GREAT and look so at home in your kitchen. The craigslist find Range didn't make it into the kitchen?

very inspiring!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 5:23PM
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HB, your kitchen is DARLING! I love your pop of turquoise--it's so fun! You completely transformed those cabinets--they look brand new!

I also want to see a photo of Darth Vader! ;^)

Mamagoose, I have slobbered all over your kitchen on the Small Homes forum, but I will just repeat myself--FABULOUS job! Your kitchen looks like HOME.

Both of you are very inspiring! Congratulations on creating such fantastic spaces!

Now, let's see some MORE!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 6:52PM
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That looks straight out of Cottage Living Magazine (R.I.P.). It is entirely fitting for the style of house and I love how it is re-purposed stuff.
We have a 1940 Kohler sink, 1940s Chamber's stove and all vintage 40s hardware (some brand new in its original packages!). Our lights are older but not sure by how much. They have the ubiquitous diner look to them so could be old or not, in any case, I got them on ebay... I should be ready to post pix soon....

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 7:52PM
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HBK, your kitchen is bright and charming -- you have done an amazing job! Love seeing how you have re-used the cabinets.

Would post my re-cycled kitchen but I think it is tottering on the brink of overexposure on this forum already.


    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:00PM
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Both kitchens shown are amazing successes and jaw-dropping transformations. Wonderful job, HB, and MG!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 9:51PM
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What a transformation on both Kitchens. Just delightful on every level.

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 10:04PM
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HBK, I didn't realize your counters were done like Brickmanhouse's. I think I put his post in my clippings because I thought it was so clever. I love your kitchen with the turquoise cabs, black counters, and wood penninsula, it's truly charming. Thank you so much for starting this thread!

Mama Goose, I've avidly followed the evolution of your kitchen. You are so talented--an inspiration! I love that lab cabinet and your island--and don't get me started on your hood and beautiful stove!! It's all so amazing to me (I'm completely lacking in imagination and creativity). :)

Dianalo, I'm looking forward to seeing your kitchen--I check every week to see if you've posted any more progress pics. Whenever you're ready, we'll be waiting!

Sayde, we can never see your kitchen too much! Besides, it would be great if you would put a few pics and brief write-up on this thread for future searches on recycled kitchens. I know I'm bookmarking this thread for future reference.

Although we see lots of great kitchens on GW, there's something about the DIY recycled kitchens that strikes a special chord within me (besides jealousy that I wish I could do that). These kitchens seem to have a special feeling to them--a warm and welcoming soul that makes me want to pull up a chair and have a cup of tea and maybe a cookie or two. They take me back to my grandma's kitchen, playing with her salt and pepper shaker collection, and having PB&Js. Such good memories . . . thank you, everyone!

    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:33PM
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honor .... absolutely LOVE your turquoise cabinets. It's one of my fav colors, but don't know that I'd have the courage (or good design sense) to paint my cabinet that color .... it's like the *star* of your kitchen.

mama goose ... love what you've done in your kitchen too. Your range hood is genius!! And the fact you're using color in your kitchen, instead of all neutrals (love those bottom green cabinets)!!!


    Bookmark   January 6, 2012 at 11:45PM
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Love both your kitchens! Love that pop of turquoise and your counters are stunning, honorbilt. And I love that warm, homey feel to your kitchen, mamagoose. The green is so pretty! I love the idea of upcycling and wish we had done more of it in our kitchen reno.

I pulled up the original disappeared thread with circuspeanut's recycled efforts, but be ready for general pi@@iness and whining. I've linked to it below.

Incidentally, my take on the whole thing was much like bigdoglover's take on it. It sounded like a bunch of firstgraders. No, it's not ok for one 6 yr old to jump into the middle of a playground ball game and grab the ball, but it is ok for him to bring his own ball to the other side of the court and start a pickup game there for anyone who might want to join him.

Here is a link that might be useful: Because you asked for it...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:58AM
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here's another vote for Sayde to post her kitchen - as flwrs n co astutely mentioned, we can never see it enough and just like mama goose and honorbilt, it shows incredible ingenuity and is such an inspiration.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:01AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

Yes, sayde, please post your gorgeous kitchen! This thread may become a resource for anyone new to GW, searching for ideas for 'salvage' kitchens. And I know there are more of you out there!

Thank you all for the lovely compliments on my kitchen!

mamadadapaige, I've been considering using sheet vinyl, again, or VCT in a checkerboard pattern (similar to sayde's). I know that I'm doing things backward--remodel, then flooring, but I want to do at least one other area in the same flooring. I'm wondering if using the checkerboard in the kitchen, dining and playroom area would be overkill...I still haven't decided on the colors--probably cream with either apple green or charcoal gray.

The old stove is in the dining area, out of camera range in the last picture. It's not functional, but I saved all the pieces. Maybe someday... :)

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 11:25AM
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Another vote for Sayde. I'm pretty sure I saw pics before, because the name's in the back of my head. I'd love to see pics again. I don't always get to read EVERY GW thread word for word. Sometimes I have to scan them, because of time's sake. I have to say "recycled kitchens" always catches my eye, because I know there will be some great ideas and ingenuity.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:46PM
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I've promised pictures and here is the best I can do for the moment. Sometimes I just cry. Sometimes I'm proud of myself. Sometimes I'm bitter because STBX could have done in an afternoon what is taking me weeks and months to figure out and do. Sometimes I'm angry and often I'm grateful I don't have to take anyone else into consideration, or wait for someone else to get their sh!t together. I'm still scared sometimes of losing my house, but as long as I am healthy and can work, it's not going to happen. I often sit for a week or so, just staring at a little thing I've accomplished, loving it's potential. "Broken Teeth" thread remembered! Maybe I'll post more when I can.

I don't have any photos, no camera and pre-camera phone, but here was my kitchen floor, a base cabinet, and Kharma & Pauley before the fire. Kharma survived, Pauley died probably painfully of lung damage from smoke, after taken to the vet. It still tears me up, the little sweet soul.

Here is after the fire and for several years. Keep in mind there is no heat, and the window you can kinda see is only Tyvek paper, not glass. Credenza found on the road. DW has waste line shoved into a hole in the ground and the water supply is from a garden hose outside. My handy-dandy microwave.. Note the extension cord. I lived in 1 room with 7 cats, 2 dogs, 7 litter boxes, a toilet, and extension cords run thru the house, poked thru walls into the garage to the fuse box. Did I mention we had an electrical fire?

Here is the bank of cabinets I've built/found/combined looking from the kitchen sink towards the dining room then from the other way, dining room to kitchen:

And that mess at the end of the cabinets will be a credenza some day. Purchased base cabinets (I don't know how to do a 1/4" bead with a router yet, but these are the inset cabinets that are my ultimate goal for all these cabinets someday), 2-48" cherry cabinets left over from a job my STBX did, an 18" cab from the reuse center, and two spice drawer cabinets laid horizontally + future crown molding, etc., will make that:

And last but not least, my countertop I'm making. I've done the 1st sanding stage and am moving to the next grit:

I hope someday to have paint, trim, molding, and maybe window coverings and to be able to sit at my table and have a meal, looking out at my rebuilt porch and 6 acres of beautiful farmland and trees.

Everyone's gotta have a dream and mine are simple.
They just might take until I die.

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 12:54PM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

CEFreeman, thank you for posting pictures! I've been wondering about your kitchen since I first read about the melange of cabinets, and more recently the DIY wood countertop. Your story has helped me have courage to try new things, especially the use of power tools. I'm so sorry about the horrible loss of your pet.

Your kitchen is going to be AMAZING!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:28PM
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All these kitchens are great - you can be so proud!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 1:41PM
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Thank you, mama goose.
I lost 3 kitties and our Golden Retriever. We were blessed that 3 kitties survived and 2 of our dogs as well.

I think that almost destroyed us and it certainly didn't help with DH's depression!

But that's not my problem now. :) I have other things to work on and worry about.

Today I sanded the 24" butcherblock that's going on the other side of the stove.

Coming along...

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 2:10PM
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Many thanks to all who are contributing.

Mama goose, I am glad for the opportunity for new people to witness your alchemy.

Christine, I am abashed. Here I have been envying you for getting to hit CF so often, when in fact your energy and creativity are the necessary attributes of a Phoenix. I am awestruck.

Finally, for those of you who have been demanding a look at sayde's remarkable kitchen, I am posting a separate thread demanding that she cough up photos and words. If that doesn't work, I'll grovel.

Cheers. hbk

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 5:49PM
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My kitchen is kinda, sorta upcycled, but my pics are old, tomorrow I'll take some new pics and post them. I appreciate you posting this honorbiltkit, and your take on the whole senator13 thread laxsupermom, ITA with your thoughts. Frankly, I don't understand the issue over the thread (or forum) "rules", but I try to keep it all in perspective by remembering that the ones chastising senator13 aren't the only ones who think they set the rules for all, they're just the latest and greatest set of rules mavens. Please note, circuspeanut, I am *not* speaking of you, you tried valiantly to diffuse the other thread.

honorbiltkit, frankly, I don't even pretend to understand the nuances in many of your posts, as you are obviously very intelligent (and I, for sure, am not the brightest bulb in the marquee), but I admire your grit and energy, I am way too lazy to respond to this more recent KF kerfuffle, but I admire you for doing so. Great kitchen too, BTW, love the turquoise.


    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 6:12PM
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CEF, really sorry on the loss of your pets, its the worst feeling ever. There are some things in life that we have no control over.

Love the ingenuity on doing your own counters. I honestly could never do that.

Once again I sighed after looking at all these kitchens:

HB: loving the counters and the transformation of drab to fab

Mamagoose: use of that bin feed, the retrofitted cabinets, your marble run, that microwave drawer...ahhh, I could go on

Sayde: love that she kept the wood cabinets and just rearranged the cabinets and added her personal touches. I will be keeping my oak cabinets as they are in great shape, but I also have to rearrange mine. Your kitchen made me want to change my idea of a black counter to a white one...still undecided on that!

CEF: just beautiful...the counters the colors on the cabinets

I keep on admiring all your kitchens that I need to get off my lazy rump and get to it. I've been working on my kitchen at least on paper and in my head for the last 6 years.

I have a couple of salvageable items that I found in this old house as well as a couple of things that I have picked up along the way.

I'm off to convince DH that the time has come!!!

    Bookmark   January 7, 2012 at 10:40PM
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I love these kitchens. They are all so beautiful, and personal. Our kitchen was built by an amish cabinet maker and my husband, so we only have a few upcycled items in it (sink and diswasher). We were under a huge time crunch since my husband was building the home himself, and we had to get it done in time for my daughter to start school. That being said, I wish I had more time to have some of the great "finds" that you all have in your kitchens! We will be putting in a couple other major furniture pieces in our house as time goes by (hutch, some built ins, desks, table, chairs), and I hope to be able to find some wonderful items with those as I can take my time. We also own a lot that has a lot of old glass bottles on it. These have primarly been my trash-to-treasure source in the past 6 months. I just love these old bottles.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:25AM
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Senator13, when we put in our pool, we too found hundreds of glass bottles and part of a model t car! 1920,s idea of composting perhaps:).
Every kitchen posted here is lovely and special. Thanks for sharing!

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 8:56AM
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I love the word "upcycle".
Do you think it's origin is here? Or has it been read elsewhere?

I am going to upcycle .. um ... my bathroom vanity countertop!!!

OMG. I started writing that sentence and I swear it stopped me cold and took about 3 minutes to find something in my house I've bought or am going to buy new. [LOL] I had not idea when it comes right down to it, that my house is the house that others used to own. I should be on TV.

I love the kitchens.

Sandyponder, whatever you're talking about? I don't know and don't care. However, it is of utmost importance to me to see as many kitchens as possible so get on the stick and get those photos up. Here me, girl? Photos! Get on it!
(and anyone else lurking who could inspire me. :)


    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:28AM
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Both those kitchens are gorgeous. The stove is a real find, I never see stuff like that on craigslist. Also, I love love love the white hood. I saw a huge refrigirator in a magazine, that was made out of the hood material (same color, everything)that came with the woman's house when she bought it, and she was more than delighted. It looked like a big cabinet (covering the whole wall) but it was a frigrigator, and it was European.

My house was built in 1895 and the previous owner bought an antique french back door for the kitchen. Double ovens probably from the sixty's, that don't look so good, but cooks great.

My kitchen is normally not this cluttered, I promise.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:38AM
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Christine, you are an amazing woman. To rise from the ashes, dealing with your losses, is an inspiration to me. I tip my hat to you. Whenever I encounter a minor kitchen remodel setback, I will dig a little deeper and remember it too shall pass. You go.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:49AM
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CEF, you are a wonder woman! I'm so impressed with your ingenuity and ability to put it all together. Truly incredible - I can't wait to see it all completed.

Newdawn, that little stand for your microwave is such a unique piece - wherever did you find it?

Joining the chorus of voices wanting more pics of sayde's and sandyponder's kitchens.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:55AM
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More commands from the imperious OP:

Sandyponder, whether everything in your kitchen is technically recycled, the melange you managed to knit together absolutely captures the spirit. Plus it sets a high standard for those of us who need to think a bit outside the box. Please post pics.

Senator13, since was your unceremoniously jettisoned post that precipitated this thread, I think you should post part of your kitchen, even if it is only a nice old bottle on a nice new Amish-made cabinet.

Newdawn1895, I actually love the combination of anachronistic elements in your kitchen, although I fear that your are a rank amateur in the clutter category. (Here's my version of "neatened up for the photo.")

If anyone knows how to nudge enigmaquandry, I think her kitchen transformation has a place on this thread too.

Cheers and thanks. hbk

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 11:11AM
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Well that seems only fair, hbk, so here are some pics from my kitchen...and beyond...

My kitchen. Very little "upcycled", but all quality built with lots of love. We still need to put up our tiled backspash, and finish the custom top of the vent hood, and paint our pantry doors and trim, but the majority of the work is done. From Gardenweb photos

Some vintage items that I have collected. Many belonged to my grandmother, some were purchased. The glass bottles have "risen" from the dust on our property.
From Gardenweb photos From Gardenweb photos From Gardenweb photos From Gardenweb photos

Our dining room trestle table. Built by my grandfather many years ago. It is made from Butternut, and has developed quite the patina over the years...yet I love it. We will probably put a new top on it one of these days, mostly to make it larger to fit dinners with extended family. From Gardenweb photos

And finally, as we are just taking our Christmas decorations down today, her are some vintage decorations that hang on our tree. Many are from Germany. Some are fairly pathetic looking as they are extremely worn and there is hardly any paint remaining on them. But they tell a story, and I love them all the same. I could probably still sell them in the PB catalog for $25.00 a piece-right? :) From Gardenweb photos From Gardenweb photos

P.S. hbk, I LOVE Community Forklift. Every time I go in there I marvel at all those doors in the back. I wish I had something to do with them, because I find them so simply amazing.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 3:16PM
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I certainly hope that my next kitchen (if there is a next kitchen who knows) will be mostly up-cycled/re-cycled. As for my current kitchen, does reclaimed count too? My floors are reclaimed birch from the bottom of our local river (about 250 feet from my house). They are probably about 130 or 140 years old, a local company dives down and carefully brings up logs one at a time. I love them.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 4:06PM
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Sochie your kitchen is magnificent, magazine worthy. And I'm more of a country farm kitchen girl. You've got a wonderul work of art there, simply lovely.

Did you do it yourself?

Lapsupermom I think I bought that table at an outdoor fair for ten or twenty dollars. I have lots of willow furniture on the porch. Actually it's cheap down here.


    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 7:28PM
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Sochi, do you live in the UP?
I remember them starting that in Lake Superior. Very, very cool. Talk about old wood!

Senator13, I have picked up more than a few of those doors! They recently started to organize with interns. The small problem is they've packed the doors in so tightly I can't pull them out now and look. I'm buying the old 5-panel doors. The panels are horizontal rectangles. Remember those? Anyway, I'm replacing the new, solid maple, exterior doors we used for the 15 pocket doors I have. They're nice, but no character. Now. What to do with them...


    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 9:33PM
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Thanks honorbiltkit for starting this thread, and senator13 for bringing up "upcycling" in the first place. I am thrilled not to wait to explore this topic. My kitchen remodel is not going to be put on hold until we "get to this topic," and so I want ideas now :). I am particularly interested in seeing how folks re-use materials and mix old and new materials in their kitchens.

I love the feel of all the kitchens posted - really, thanks for sharing. They are particularly warm and inviting.

Hopefully within a few months I will have a few photos of my own to share (it will be a great excuse to revive the thread, if needed ;) ). Plenty of the kitchen will be brand-spankin' new, but we have been scouring craigslist and visiting the RE-store and have lucked out. Some of our finds been new materials, but even that brings its own "charm", in that you work with the materials that are available, rather then trying to pick out exactly what you want. And today a friend stopped by our new house to see the remodel underway, and gently reminded me to keep some of the vintage elements...

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 10:28PM
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Thank you all for posting. I love this thread and the ingenuity of the posters. Christine I very sorry to hear about the fire and your pets. Truly admire your spunk,creativity and resourcefulness. Honor I love the turquoise. Mamagoose amazing-wish I had your vision fr repurpsing. One of my dreams is to have an old working stove-after I've retired and have the home I plan to stay in. rarah when my DH and I were canoeing n the Cnn. River the river bank were full of layers and layers of old cars from the 20's and 30's that had been laid to rest there. Senator 13 and Sochie your kitchens are beautiful. Feeling very inspired.

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 10:53PM
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No pictures to post, but one cool thing that we did. We live in an old (late 1800's) farmhouse. When we moved in the house in 1991 one of the first things we did was replace most of the original windows. Despite everyone thinking he was a little odd, my husband kept the old windows. Now, 20 years later, we were able to use the glass from those windows to make our glass fronted cabinets. And, our cabinet maker told us one of the panes was the nicest piece of old glass he has seen. The other thing we will do is repurpose an old baptismal font as an island (may be posting pictures of that soon looking for ideas)

    Bookmark   January 8, 2012 at 10:55PM
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Our 1868 home has a truly unfitted kitchen. All re/upcycled except for the appliances. Sink was found in a barn, cupboards at various auctions and reclaimed, even the grain bin by the stove is now used for garbage and recyclables. Matching lights over sink and stove found on ebay.

Most of these are older pictures but little has changed except for updating the white MW to SS.The cupboard shot was taken shortly after we finished reclaiming it.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 12:06AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

newdawn1895, I've wondered about your username--I knew the rose was introduced in 1930. Mystery solved! I love your kitchen, especially the checkerboard floor! It looks as if it extends to the breakfast/dining area. Could you please post a picture of that side? Thank you!

senator13, good to see your kitchen, with all your vintage treasures, including the Christmas ornaments. Old-fashioned glass ornaments are my favorites.

sochi, I've always admired your elegant kitchen--reclaimed wood definitely counts as salvage.

mary_lu, your kitchen makes my heart melt. You did an amazing job on the old cabinet. I love the beadboard back.

honorbiltkit, thank you--this thread has inspired me to finish another kitchen project. I made shirred curtains for the old glass door cabinets, to hide all the baking supplies. I used 8 wooden dowels from the Restore (10 cents each) for rods, and the curtains were made from one 6yd panel that I found at a clearance outlet for $5.00. The total cost was $5.80.

Looking in from the new addition:

The fabric is the same color as the green cabinets, but a silky iridescent--it looks more yellowish IRL. I just finished these today, and I kinda miss seeing the jumble behind the glass. LOL, my DD says that now she can dream the every large jar is full of candy!

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 6:39PM
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Well... most of my recyled items you guys have already seen. I have a bath vanity in my other house out of a kitchen cart we bought for $60 off craigslist. It was painted with a maple unfinished BB top. I striped, sanded, stained, faux painted and stained the top then waterloxed it to death. I didn't take a before pic, but here's the after. Oh... we lost the top drawer in transit so I had DH inset a piece of wood and I tiled it with the same glass tile that is an accent strip on the wall in that bathroom.

Then the bakers table:

Not done yet... will be the master bath vanity. This is an old piece we have. It was very Early American looking. I took off the bottom, top, side/backsplash piece, and doors. I'm going to paint it, put on ice box latches, new hinges and it will be my master bath vanity. Cost... $0. I didn't take a pic before I cannabalized it, but here it is now.

I am no where near as talented or visionary as all of you but it's my little piece of upcycle. I have bought many many items in my home off craigslist and ebay. My patio set, tiles, bar stools, appliances, and so on. I've gotten some really great and useful items that way.

    Bookmark   January 9, 2012 at 7:04PM
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remodelfla -- I had not seen the "before" of your baking center. Basically you morphed it from something that many people would have thrown out to the next cool can't-just-be-bought thing on this forum. It took vision as well as elbow grease.

Ditto, mary lu, on your hutch. It isn't just the handiness involved in the rejuvenation but the ability to see what was lurking in the apparent wreck. Awe-inspiring, and perfect for your light-hearted unpretentious lovely kitchen.

Mama goose -- Because I ended up with ALL glass uppers in my recycled kitchen, I too have been thinking about sheered curtains for the white cabinets. Indeed, I recently had four different fabrics tacked up in the four non-turquoise glass cabinets, and none of them worked. Now I think I will try maybe gray and white ticking, based on your success.

[I have a canvas tote that reads WHOEVER DIES WITH THE MOST FABRIC WINS. And I appear to be intent on winning.]

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 11:01AM
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I haven't posted since there wasn't much DIY involved in our remodel. But the amount of footwork I did and the "cheering" I had to do to the folks that did the work took remarkable patience on my part...and theirs :)

This door was a standard 120 yr old painted door that opened into the kitchen. I had the idea of cutting it in 1/2 and mounting it so that it would open into the then DR thus freeing the wall and floor inside the kitchen. I spent hours sanding it in my carport. I tried solvents but nothing worked...I don't know what kind of paint was used on it as even with sanding I was able to only get so much off. I also stripped the trim in this doorway to pay homage to the old door. You will note the old hardware was left in place and is on the hinge side now...I dearly love the mechanics of old doors. Thus I have 3 door knobs !

before sanding but after cutting in half and trim still painted :

trim partially stripped by me :

finished door and trim :

This floor ,in the adjacent to the kitchen sunroom, was constructed from 1940's pine siding from an old indoor porch. The folks didn't want it anymore and so allowed it to be removed in lengths by my floor guy. It was painted a green which I decided to forgo although in places on some edges there is still a bit of green...which I love. My floor guy did an amazing job of laying the floor . This room was an old porch added to this house so there is synchrony in the reuse of the wood.

another up close pic of the beautiful wood :

I found these French doors at our local Habitat Restore . It has closed now but is going to reopen after 5 yrs. I am so glad for others to be able to get things there to reuse. I cleaned and sanded and painted them and my floor guy hung them.

My pantry cabinet was a rusted out metal mess that my neighbor , who has a junk/vintage shop gave to me. I sanded it and primed and painted it and it hold all of my canning and all of our extra dry goods and the Oriental things that DH needs for his cooking. It is in the sunroom. I can't find the before pic but I will keep looking:

This next floor was created from old heart pine that I found at a demolition site in Montgomery AL. I was driving around with DH and looking for something else completely and saw a sign that said everything in this huge lot was for sale. I had no idea what I was doing or what I was looking for . DH thought I was crazy but humored me. We called the phone number on the sign and a guy arrived. I told him I needed heart pine flooring. I now know that I should have picked t &g in better condition but 6 yrs ago I didn't know what I was doing. The wood was in pretty bad condition so I talked him into letting me have a huge pick up truck load and an old window for $100. It had a lot of nails in it and of course had never been sanded so had residual paint/dirt etc. It also had been stored outside for some time.

My floor guy was a champ . He took it and said that it was actually in good condition..I told you I had no idea...and he sanded and cut and made this pretty floor for our bedroom foyer. This space was created from a closet and had carpet over subfloor.

He used the rest of the best of the wood to patch this section of the kitchen floor. The whole kitchen floor was under a "new " wood floor that the PO had had installed in the 80's. It was removed in pieces similar to the floor in the sunroom and my floor guy took it and used it to panel porch walls on his house ! Wonderful reuse all around. You can see the difference in the wood on the far right ( the wood I bought) vs the original floor that is " wormy".

here is the old window before I refinished it :

old window after I refinished it :

Now for the fun stuff. I STILL had heart pine left in the carport and DH wanted it gone. I have a friend that builds furniture. He took all of the wood. He made a bench and a 6ftx3ft table and my sideboard from the leftover wood. He had some pieces in his barn that he used to supplement for the legs.



table top after I refinished it.

It was out in the garden for a long time and had turned grey. I didn't like the aged look and was worried about the wood. I sanded and refinished it with Waterlox and it is in DH's doghouse ( office ) out in the back garden as his work table.

One last fun thing with leftover wood. An artist friend took pieces and made this for me. He added some other wood he had too. It hangs in our bedroom foyer area.

I also have all the salvage that I purchased and persuaded my GC and cab guy to use. I have shown it lots of times. It took me 6 months of hard work to find it all and then required a leap of faith since it all came from Nor'east Salvage in NH and I only had pics and their word to go on. Old windows for cab doors, old soapstone sinks in kitchen and sunroom, the soapstone counter tops. My clawfoot bath tub, the huge china cab that I refinished in my DR , all of the transom windows in the kitchen. Oh and I bought my piece of AL marble from a guy that had pieces of salvaged marble from a bldg in Columbus GA out in his field. DH and I drove out after dark and I picked out the piece based on flash light exposure and the ability of DH and I to pick it up and put it in the truck. It was $50 . It has the edge intact where it overlayed the other pieces on the outside of the bldg that was demolished.

Here you can see the pretty edge. The piece wasn't quite big enough for the space we created for the coffee bar so it has a piece of my teak countertops on each side. Gives it an inlay look.

I have enjoyed looking at everyone's wonderful kitchens and hearing the stories. c

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 1:31PM
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marylu, love your unfitted kitchen! Really gorgeous way of bringing in individual pieces!

mamagoose, the shirred fabric looks terrific! (& I'm a fabric hoarder, too, honorbltkit.)

Remodelfla, your baking table is one of my all time favorite pieces! Whatever did you end up doing with the marble?

trailrunner, love, love, love your kitchen. It's nice hearing the stories about all that reclaimed wood.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 2:41PM
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Wow, Caroline. Just wow. I've always so admired your kitchen but up til now, I had no idea of the full story behind some of the fine details . . . . Wow!

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 3:17PM
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How beautiful! :)

these ads are becoming funny.
Doesn't matter what the topic, there it is.
Well, like an annoying gnat, we can ignore them.

I love how people who don't think they have much to offer end up with these fabulous posts and pics of gorgeous pieces, cabinets, floors, windows (stop me!) and all with such character and stories.

This makes me feel not so .. struggling .. to find people are doing what I must out of choice and vision.

Thank you. :)

    Bookmark   January 10, 2012 at 11:24PM
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lax: thank you ! You are so right about ML's kitchen. And mamagooses' is just so creative. Elyse has a master piece and her DIY skills are so amazing.

martha...thank you..I don't think I have ever really shown my kitchen this way. If it hadn't been for this thread I never would have. I just didn't see my kitchen in the same league with these others as far as DIY and creative. I am glad I decided to participate.

Christine thank are so admired here on the forum. What you are doing takes remarkable skill and talent...and just plain guts. I am glad that you have found some support in my post too ...for sure in the others. I look forward to seeing more of your progress. c

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 6:08AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

remodelfla, I've loved your 'possum belly' table from my first glimpse of it, even in its previous condition. I was looking forward to seeing it covered in marble, but the soapstone is better--earthy, rustic, perfect!

trailrunner, I really enjoyed your pics and your story. I remember reading about the marble slab from a field, and your re-use of vintage windows for cabinet doors. I'm so glad you added your kitchen to this thread.

I hope more 'salvaged' kitchens will be added. Although re-use/re-cycle often go hand-in-hand with budget/DIY kitchens, I'd be interested in any use of salvaged items.

I'm going to include a link to one of my favorite (DIY) kitchens from HGTV/RMS site, just because it is so creative.

Here is a link that might be useful: Amazing!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:16AM
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mama goose_gw zn6OH

I just looked through the pics of the kitchen I linked. I'd forgotten that for counters, the owner had used marble slabs salvaged from a bath house, where people would have sat on them covered with just a towel (or less). LOL, makes my used lab-tops seem tame by comparison!

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:26AM
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Wow!! another woman after my heart. Thanks for that link!
I'm excited to keep going.

Trailrunner, thanks again for your kind words.

I'm off to build a drawer cabinet today.
Wish me luck.


    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:31AM
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mamagoose, thanks for that link! What an amazing transformation and story! I'm so impressed with the way she stretched her dollar and the incredible deals she got. I thought I got my MW drawer for a steal, but her price blew me away. I love the story of the marble tops.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 10:49AM
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Great link. She has my sink LOL. That is exactly like my Alberene sink in my sunroom...she even has the tag still on the front like mine.

She sure has talent and initiative. They were amazing at scoring such perfect pieces for their kitchen and when not perfect they made them work...even better. Love it. c

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 12:48PM
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trailrunner -- I love the wisps of green left at the edges of your floorboards. Generations are going to have fun speculating on the how and why.

Also, would you please post pics of the uppers into which you incorporated antique glazed cabinet or furniture doors? It is such a fine idea for making a space a bit distinctive, which your was already but the rest of ours maybe not so much.

Everyone -- the strategically challenged Chinese cabinet spammer might strike again under yet another name. Just let GW know, giving the poster's user name, and they will be removed from -- I think -- every post.

Here is a link that might be useful: How to report flagrant spamming to GW

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 3:15PM
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HBK...they are the uppers in my whole kitchen. The doors/windows are 48" tall . They were in really good condition when they arrived. My cab guy had to even the edges of the frames by slicing some off to square them. They weren't reglazed but just touched up and then sanded and painted. I love the wavy glass in them. I think that a lot of folks could use old windows instead of new glass doors even in newer builds. There are so many old windows out there in so many shapes. If a person is having custom cabs made anyway then there is nothing hard about adding the windows as doors. Really...

here is the baking center:

coffee center:

and i had one more set so my cab guy made this freestanding cab for our master bath:

I was lucky to have someone that was willing to work with me...after some stern talk :) c

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 3:35PM
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supermom... we gave the marble slab to a kind neighbor who always made himself available to help DH carry the heavy items I'd find. He was so appreciative as were we of his help.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2012 at 5:33PM
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This is so inspiring! These kitchens are SO MUCH FUN!

HB, did your contractor mind all of the shimming? I am really interested in used cabinets because I want a painted finish, so if I can find the right style, it makes sense to me to reuse cabinets that are in good structural condition. I know that sometimes contractors can be reluctant to get involved in used materials if it will be hard to get a good result in the end.

Did you factor in the cost of transportation, installation and paint when you made your offer to the owner of the cabinets? We have identified some we like, and they are offered on a "best offer" basis. We need to come up with an offer, and I 'm working on how to come up with the number.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 9:18PM
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This is so inspiring! These kitchens are SO MUCH FUN!

HB, did your contractor mind all of the shimming? I am really interested in used cabinets because I want a painted finish, so if I can find the right style, it makes sense to me to reuse cabinets that are in good structural condition. I know that sometimes contractors can be reluctant to get involved in used materials if it will be hard to get a good result in the end.

Did you factor in the cost of transportation, installation and paint when you made your offer to the owner of the cabinets? We have identified some we like, and they are offered on a "best offer" basis. We need to come up with an offer, and I 'm working on how to come up with the number.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2012 at 10:33PM
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elizawhyza, you ask an important question about working with a contractor in putting in a largely recycled kitchen. Many people who artfully incorporate old things into their homes are seasoned DIY'ers, but I needed grown ups to get things in properly.

My contractor is not a firm. He is a recovering economist who has an affinity for old houses and likes to see them respected. His own skills are excellent, and he puts together work crews for each job he undertakes, whether it's a bathroom or a whole house.

I cannot imagine taking on this house with a different kind of contracting firm. Indeed, he looked at all the houses I was considering and outline what work would be entailed in for each of them. I have worked with him on several less extensive projects over the years, and I consider the trade-offs -- basically I had to start with a very rough ballpark estimate of what his work would cost and I was responsible for contracting with the electrical, HVAC, window, and floor people, but I knew that I would get careful work on the house -- more than reasonable.
By the time we got to the kitchen, he and his crew has turned this

into this

which entailed jacking up the roof, replicating a lost corbel, and patching the original cypress clapboards with newly milled ones. In that context, shimming the kitchen cabinets vertically as well as laterally was not a big deal.

On your other question, I bought the cabinets from my local craigslist, after checking out what was available almost daily for several months. I talked to the owner, drove out to look at the cabinets, paid him for them, and then hired three guys and a truck to pick them up and bring them into the city. The distance was about 15 miles and the moving cost a couple hundred dollars.

There are also a couple of local non-profit house part recycling places that occasionally have nice cabinets, but that works best if you are in a position to check them daily, which I am not.

The non-local sources for good used cabinets are ebay (which tends to have kitchen center displays that are listed for "local pick-up") and and Green Demolitions. The latter carries some very up-market used kitchen from the NYC area. They will email you all kinds of pictures to show the condition of what you might be buying, and they can help customers arrange shipping. I have never actually purchased from them, but I would certainly consider it.

I look forward to seeing your cabinets. Best of luck with the whole project. hbk

Here is a link that might be useful: Green Demolitions.

    Bookmark   February 24, 2012 at 3:00AM
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Great Thread !!! and all of you are inspiring to me.

Marylu--that's exactly the kitchen I wanted but couldn't do...It's really really nice :)
Another good resource for used cabinets/furniture is Build It Green and Betel of America if you are in the NYC area.

    Bookmark   March 2, 2012 at 10:14AM
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