Remodeling Trends: Reusing and Repurposing

The National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI) took a look at some of the trends seen in the 2011 Contractor of the Year Award-Winners, and reuse or repurposing of items during remodeling received a bit of attention.


In addition to the environmental benefit from reusing some items rather than throwing them away, there is a move towards more classic design in all areas of remodeling and room additions that encourages the use of older or distressed items.


Many older items have already proven they can stand the test of time well. Elements that remain sturdy and in-tact after many years are good choices if you are looking to reuse furniture or materials already in your home for your kitchen or bathroom remodeling.


What NOT to Reuse


There are a few items you should avoid reusing, and it’s important to take note of these both for safety reasons and for the long term benefit to your home.


  • Electrical items. Depending on the age of the item and the condition of the wiring, it’s often safer to go with new lighting and electrical fixtures rather than risk a fire.
  • Anything that contains lead or asbestos. Look online for tests that check for lead and asbestos, which can be included in everything from older pipes and paint to walls and floors.
  • Older appliances. If you are remodeling, it’s a great time to get brand new appliances that will save you money in the long run. Older appliances are woefully behind in energy conservation when compared to new models.

Furniture and design elements, however; are great choices. If you have a piece of furniture, a picture, or a particular object that you want to keep as part of your design, share this with your consultant.




The other trend is one step beyond reusing: repurposing. Creative homeowners and designers are finding plenty of ways to repurpose some interesting items. Everything from dressers to barn doors to railroad ties is finding new uses in designs and remodels across the country.


A unique, repurposed element can serve as a focus point or a subtle feature, but either way, it’s sure to get your family and friends talking.


Whether you choose all new pieces in your remodeled space or reuse or repurpose something special, talk it over with your design services consultant to decide how best to get the look and functionality you want.

Remodeling and Home Design

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