The Upside of Upcycling
Exploring the hot new eco-friendly building trend
photography Courtney Samway
(page 3 of 3)
An Upcycled Resource
ITEMS' FROM MY FURNISHINGS
1. Reclaimed barnwood table with chairs is new while the china, lamps and other accessories are consigned items.
2. Custom reclaimed headboard made by Luke from My House Furnishings withnew pillows. The red table and lamp are both consignment pieces.
Consignment shops are a great way to add sustainable flair to any space. We asked Sarah Mullendore, owner of My House Furnishings in Ketchum, to help us incorporate a few items I purchased from her store into our home. Sarah has an eye for refreshing people’s environment in a way that supports reuse. She also creates new items from what most of us would consider waste.
“Instead of looking at old furniture as garbage, you should look at it as a resource to be mined,” says Sarah.
Sarah’s husband Luke, a skilled craftsman, constructs the furniture designs that she and her clients dream up from both repurposed and new materials. For example, Luke made our side tables and coffee tables, which are great examples of blending old and new materials. The tops are reclaimed barn wood while the bases are made of sleek, welded metal.
Sarah has an obsession with furniture and loves that consignment can offer an element of sustainability, affordability and fresh inventory. That’s why My House Furnishings is full of unique, rustic, transitional and contemporary furnishings that are both consignment and new. It’s the perfect mix.
Upcycling is not only for those watching their wallet. Susan Witman of Susan Witman Interior Design states that, “Clients of all income levels are more aware of waste and appreciate the ingenuity of those creating new products from unlikely materials. It also creates character.”
Susan recently designed a home in the Wood River Valley and discovered special architectural elements locally at Davies-Reid Tribal Arts. In Ketchum antique hand-carved posts were designed into the custom cabinetry package to authenticate the style of the home they were designing.
“Of course, the end result has to be best-in-class, innovative, stylish and fit within their lives. We definitely are seeing a shift in consumer attitudes, changing the way we plan today’s projects,” says Susan
The key to successful incorporation of repurposed materials is planning. Just like working on any construction project it’s important to have the whole team in place so that everyone is working toward a common goal.
In general, the upcycling movement is about thinking ahead so that we reduce our waste and our use of energy at the source. Repurposing in our homes can be seen as anticipating the waste and finding something else to do with it—to upcycle.