Thursday, July 31

5 Ways To Repurpose And Reuse Old Stuff

Location: Trenanthia Cottage located in Muskoka, Ontario, Canada (90 min north of Toronto)
Some very cool improvements have been going on around here, and we’ve been able to repurpose and reuse our old stuff.  Our renovation motto was “YOLO”.  Er, wait, wrong motto. It was “reduce, reuse, recycle”. And after a lot (and I mean a lot) of hard work, we finally completed our wicked transformation.

Prepare yourselves for some seriously useful (re-useful?) decorative tips and secondhand-savviness

one of the bedrooms gets a make-over with reused window panes & postcards

Turning an old fishing net into a batman signal

When it comes to decorating large spaces you have to get creative in a big way. Like, as big as a giant fishing net. This net comes from Bronze, an antique store in Toronto.  It's more than 100 years old and came from a fishing port in Maine.

At 25 feet long with lead weights and wooden floats on it, this baby is biiiiiig. The way we’ve hung it, it sort of looks like a bat, which I like to think is symbolic of Batman looking out for the cottage guests.  Or just a really cool looking net, whatever.

Old knobs into coat hangers

We used antique painted porcelain cupboard doorknobs as coat hangers with the back-board made of reused dock wood, and a spot of varnish to seal in the weathered look.

These kinds of doorknobs are commonly used in old kitchens in France and are notoriously hard to get a hold of, when you do see them they can be quite pricey.

We'd been on the look out for a long time and finally found some in a salvaged wood furniture store in Toronto in 2012. They've been waiting patiently for us to use them creatively.

Old window panes into wall art

The window panes come from a unique place in Oro Station called "Untiqued" that salvages and repurposes old wood.  (Hiya Derrick!)

The comics in the window frame are single sheet strips from the 1930s onwards, featuring Joe Palooka and Little Orphan Annie.

In the other window frame, we used an old hessian coffee sack to resemble a partially dropped shade of yesteryear.

Old dock wood into shelves 

It’s the r-r-r-remix! Of old wood. Dock wood sure comes in handy for stuff like this. We used it for our recessed shelves too and cut the wood to size, cleaned it up and varnished it to seal in the weathering.

Old postcards into wall wonderment

This transformation is a classic.  We know that postcards on the wall is nothing new, but have you ever seen anything as hip as this?  (Besides, they wouldn’t stick to the ceiling.)

We got a bundle of  postcards from an antique shop in France and these postcards have been all around the world, each are addressed to the same family. We framed them to display the photos, sender’s messages, and envelopes.

Old actions into our thanks

We couldn't have done any of this without the help of local shop owners - Derrick at Untiqued, Dan & Chrissy at Lazy Farmer Antiques, and the folks at Bronze - thanks for all the great finds.  And to the friends & family that pointed us in the right direction (wayne, gloria, kat, greg, lorna, laura, emma, michey, amy, john, gloria the first, don, mom, grandma, brother james, brother barry, anita, ethan, maya & everyone else who helped out along the way) - you're all superstars.