general store counter

1800’s General store counter turned into a kitchen island

Why has repurposing become such a world wide obsession? Well, we’re going to try to answer that for you!

What is repurposing? In our own definition, repurposing (some people call it upcycling) is taking something existing, maybe something old that may have reached the end of it’s lifespan, or something newer that just doesn’t have a purpose for you, and making it into something with a different intent altogether. This is something that almost all of us does without even realizing it. Like when you take an old container, bin or metal pot and use it for a planter. Or when you take an old couch cushion and give it to your dog to use as a dog bed. Yep, whether you realize it or not, you are part of the repurposing phenomenon!

Antique industrial factory cart made into a coffee table

Antique industrial factory cart made into a coffee table

So whats the difference between recycling and repurposing? Well, nothing really. Except maybe the part of the process we are referring to. When we send our cans and plastic bottles to be recycled, we don’t really know what they will be used again for eventually. But when we take something and turn it into something with a new use, or a new purpose, we are repurposing. Many of us do this for the obvious benefit of saving money. What a lot of us don’t realize, is that we are contributing to much larger good. The idea of creating less waste. For example, are you one of those people that doesn’t throw anything out, in the hopes that at some point you will have a use for it or be able to use it somehow in the future? And sure enough, when that time comes, that old tailgate from your granddaddy’s pick up truck makes the perfect cabinet door? Ok, most of us don’t do that but, you get the idea. 

porch post bed

Old farmhouse porch posts made into a 4 poster bed

So why has repurposing become so popular? Its a fact that salvaging the unsalvageable has become a huge trend in home decor. People love the look of repurposed home furnishings and decor. So much so that everywhere you look, people are finding ways to repurpose things. Demand is so high that, did you know that buying repurposed wood floors cost roughly 3X more than new wood?! Yes, it’s become a total craze. Maybe it’s the unique, one of a kind look that is so appealing. After all, a piece of furniture that has been repurposed is unlikely to be duplicated. Maybe its the creative ways in which some pieces are being put back together that makes them a conversation piece as well as functional.  Whatever it is, some of us (who me??) are actually addicted to it. Yes, I reuse and repurpose everything. (These photos are just some of our bigger projects :))

Antique hardware store cabinet

Antique hardware store cabinet used as entertainment center and overdyed antique rug

We love repurposing for all the reasons above. There’s a general sense of feeling good that you have not thrown something out or wasted something that could potentially be very useful in some other form. There’s also the satisfaction of creating something so unique and so beautiful that others can truly appreciate. And then theres the final product, something to be proud of because you pretty much made it into what it is. Repurposing is not only practical, resourceful and money saving, it’s creative and beautiful. And trust me, it’s a lot of fun!

Need some ideas and inspiration? I find that the best place for that is Pinterest (yes I am also a Pinaholic). 

Or you check out some of the awesome photo entries from our #repurposemyjunk contest :)

And lastly, some of our favorites:

DIY Design and Upcycling

Get Organized: 25 Clever Ideas for Repurposed Storage

The Big List: 49 Smart, Money-Saving Creative Reuse Ideas

Do It Yourself Repurposing Ideas

50 Creative Ways to Repurpose, Reuse and Upcycle Old Things

30 Creative Ways to Repurpose & Reuse Old Stuff

100 Ways to Repurpose and Reuse Broken Household Items

So what are you waiting for? :)