After four months of dusty renovation work, we’re finally thinking about the interior design of our home and reclaimed items have been at the forefront of our minds.
The process of ripping out old, broken and neglected parts of our house has been an eye-opener in terms of waste. With rotten and broken planks of wood, countless heaps of plaster and broken cupboard and interior doors, we’ve made over 20 trips to the local dump already.
We’re being careful and trying to recycle or upcycle as much as we can but it’s inevitable that, in any home renovation project, the rubbish is going to pile up.
Perhaps that’s why we’ve been considering buying reclaimed items a lot recently.
We’re facing the prospect of having to buying several new interior doors. While we’re going to fix as many as we can, there are some that are beyond hope or missing. Keen to retain as much of the Victorian character as we can, we’re looking for doors that match the originals as closely as possible.
But rather than heading to a manufacturer who may be producing new replicas, we’ve been trawling through eBay, finding reclaimed and second-hand versions that we can touch up with a lick of paint.
We’re also looking for a larger wardrobe (ours broke in the move and now leans at a worrying angle). Again, we’d like something with character, almost like a French armoire to bring out the fine detail of our cornicing.
Again, we’ve been straight on eBay and other websites, looking at second hand-goods.
I’d love to say this has been a completely conscious decision but in all honestly, it’s come about mainly because we’ve been looking for a particular style; something original and complimentary to the character of the house.
But the more we’ve looked, and the more we’ve had to throw away from our property, the more we’re becoming passionate on using what’s already out there.
I’ve written numerous times on the blog about plastic pollution – opting for reusing and recycling objects rather than buying countless alternatives made from single-use plastic.
I’ve gradually realised that the same could be done for interior design; giving a new lease of life (and love) to an object that is pre-owned, vintage and just needs a bit of TLC.
I always associated buying ‘vintage’ with costing more money. But if our eBay searches have been anything to go by, that’s simply not the case.
I’m also of the opinion that older pieces of furniture last longer than their modern day counterparts – mainly because we have a throw-away culture. I think that some companies scrimp on quality so that items have to be replaced in a few years time, when newer, sexier models will be available and we, as consumers, are tempted to buy anew.
It’s interesting to me that older items are still going strong 20-50 years later, while wardrobes like ours, which were brought just 2 years ago, fall apart with the merest knock.
We’re yet to buy either the interior doors or the wardrobe as other things have suddenly taken priority, but as things stand, I’m proud to say that it looks like we’ll be buying these reclaimed over new.
Have you ever bought reclaimed or second hand furniture and given it a new lease of life? I’d love to hear from you – drop a comment below or get in touch!