Decorating With Salvaged Finds

Looking to remodel your kitchen but don’t exactly have the funds for a new soapstone sink or maple cabinetry? Consider designing the space with salvage. With up to 60 percent reduction in material costs and no additonal impact on our natural resources, both your wallet and Mother Nature will thank you for your salvaged pieces!

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that residential demolition accounts for five million tons of debris per year nationally; EPA figures suggest that only 52 percent of this material is recycled. That’s the equivalent to tearing down two Empire State buildings each month and throwing the debris away!

Before striking out in the salvage arena, establish what period and style kitchen you would like to achieve. Ask salvage dealers if they have old building material catalogs to help you determine what style best suits your home and personal taste. If you’re looking for a vintage Victorian feel, you’ll find loads of sources for kitchen cabinets nyc hardware, such as bin pulls, butterfly hinges, and cupboard catches. During the Victorian era, the American decorative hardware industry was at its zenith, and while high-quality cast brass is becoming scarce, pressed-iron is still available in abundance. If you want 1920s feel for your Craftsman bungalow, add a Hoosier cabinet or zinc countertops.

Measure your kitchen space before purchasing cabinets and appliances. Look at the scale of what you’re purchasing in relation to your kitchen. An oversized hutch may not fit the ceiling height or wall. Don’t forget to include the thickness of a door as well as the height and width.

Most cities have architectural salvage operations—whether they’re for-profit or nonprofit establishments. To find the best sources try networking through state local historic organizations. And be sure to shop around for deals! Many nonprofit resale outlets, such as Habitat for Humanity’s Restore, keep reusable building materials costs down and items out of the waste stream while renovating your kitchen. There are also salvage yards that will pick up your kitchen cast-offs for someone else to use.

When it comes to using salvage, don’t fret about everything matching. Kitchens don’t have to be completely uniform to be functional or aesthetically pleasing. Look for quality pieces in good condition. When you can buy suites of items, such as hardware, go for it. This way, your cabinet hardware will match even if the cabinets don’t, creating a more cohesive look. You might have to put some sweat equity into the salvaged pieces you purchase, but a simple cleaning can instantly turn someone’s discarded trash into your shining treasure.