Create your own special shadowbox with cool-looking maps or maps of favorite places, or any other motifs that give you a warm fuzzy feeling. Give stacked books that you already own a cohesive look by simply having the spines face the back of the bookshelf, as Jen Woodhouse of The House of Wood did in decorating her recycled wood and crate bookshelf.
Recycling isn't just for cans. This mantel and fireplace were designed and constructed completely from reclaimed wood, adding an element of comfort and drama, while staying consistent with the rustic, shabby chic feel of the space.
The Wohnwagon hails from Austria and is constructed from natural, recycled and a few new materials. The exterior is covered in naturally waterproof larch wood, which is known for its durability and attractiveness.
If you have a bit more room to play with, the wet bar offers the opportunity to incorporate extra refrigeration, a second sink and even a recycling center. Designer Nathan J. Reynolds fit all this and more into this project. “This wet bar was designed with entertaining in mind,” he says. “The top refrigerator drawer is perfect for storing cold water, soda, beer — even juice boxes for the kids. The bottom freezer drawer makes ice and is great for chilling glasses and liquor. Fill the sink up with ice and display the beverages offered to guests for the evening. The far right drawer is handy for bottle openers, napkins and bar utensils for the bartender. Below the drawer is a recycling center pull-out with trash and recycling for the empty bottles. The countertop space is generous for displaying beverages and making your favorite cocktail.”
Using a window can reduce some of your materials cost in a sauna. You're not only using less wood and adding to the design of the outdoor sauna, but you will use shorter boards around the window. That means you have flexibility when using recycled wood, such as cedar, because you can cut out any bad or warped spots and still use the quality material, according to Glenn Auerbach of SaunaTimes.com.
The minimalist design of this living room is highlighted by its use of open floor space, with a wall of bookshelves elevated by steel pipes. Reclaimed wood flooring connects with the wood ceiling and gives a nod to the home's sustainable design. The homeowner, a professor of environmental studies, requested a home that runs on solar power, recycles gray water and captures rain water in cisterns. All interior doors are built from recycled flooring.
The beautifully crafted ﬂoating walnut wall tiles evoke blooming ﬂowers throughout the entryway and stairs. To add a statement-making touch, the panels are backlit. For the railing beside the stairs, recycled resin with actual wheat grass pressed inside adds a touch of nature.
To give a California ranch-style home a fresh, modern twist, designer Kristianne Watts used a mix of materials in the kitchen. “On the island we used reclaimed boat wood from Indonesia. With the original paint still on each plank, it brings an authentic feel to the space,” she says. “The raised bar is Portland cement, which can be broken and recycled. The countertops are a quartz from Silestone/Cosentino. The custom cabinetry on the perimeter is an environmentally friendly wood veneer, FSC-certified Shinnoki pre-finished wood panels in Midnight Ash.”
Designer Meg Caswell recycles a wood pallet as a unique photo display hanging over the tan sofa. The light blue walls and matching patterned pillows, along with the unique coffee table create a contemporary meets traditional style.
When storing garbage and recycling bins inside the garage isn’t an option, make lemonade out of lemons and transform their hiding place into a flower bed. This wooden lattice enclosure from Rowlinson Garden Products features a lined plant trough on top.
This playhouse structure is clad inside and out with rough-sawn spruce boards, which are naturally weather resistant, making it good for the family and the environment. Storage cubbies offer easy access spaces for toys and games, while a chalkboard wall encourages drawing and writing. A blue racer rocker, made of recycled milk bottles, offers fun yet durable seating. A ladder leads to the second floor loft area where twin skylights provide daylighting and the ability to follow the evening stars with the telescope.