Coming to your hometown newspaper, maybe, soon: An Associated Press (AP) story on the growing trend of homeowners stalking places like the Re-Store for used building materials that they can re-use or re-purpose. Writer Melissa Dutton interviewed for this AP story after she landed on my post about a kitchen countertop made out of recycled bowling alley wood. The bowling alley was at “my” Re-Store in Springfield, Mass. Melissa was a sweetheart, and we talked and talked and talked on the phone. I am a good talker, and though only a bit of the interview made it into the final story, I remember warning her that IMHO the trend to use recycled building materials was on the rise for, like, seven converging reasons –>
- Time = money, and these days, folks likely have more time than money, so it pays to search out less expensive solutions rather than throwing money at a problem…
- The incredible growth of the Re-Store network…
- Environmental consciousness, in this case, concern about landfills and in general, wastefulness…
- The impact of etsy.com, which has been such a big influence in terms of showing the power of “upcycling” aka adaptive reuse… Yes: People have fun doing this, like the story says, once you get into it, it can be a very creative endeavor…
- The growth of the internet is putting much more decorating and design advice and ideas in front of people… in reality, there is no “dominant look” today — it’s “anything goes” in terms of how you choose to decorate. You can now “find your community” much more easily – giving you affirmation that the way you want to decorate is “okay.” Compare this just a generation ago, when it was like Better Homes & Gardens and Sunset and maybe a few more magazines. Today, the market has fractured into a gazillion pieces all because of the voices now made available via the internet.
- Relatedly, the continuing acceptance of the idea that vintage is cool and that original patina can be even better than refinished.
- Finally, there’s a lot of Stuff to recycle and repurpose. Like, there’s a whole new genre of TV shows related to packrats (or worse, but then I don’t want to judge harshly, because I have 200 rolls of wallpaper in my basement).
Here’s a link to the story on CNBC. Let me know if you see it in your paper 🙂
Also, I searched through my archives, and here are a few more fun stories about “upcycling”:
- Vintage teacups – upcycled into pendant lighting and chandeliers
- Souvenir spoons turned into a chandelier…. tea towels used as upholstery
- Clocks made out of kitchen scales and more
- And a real favorite: Shane’s lampshade made from vintage Kodachrome slides. Some therapy, indeed.