When you’re renovating it feels good to reuse and recycle where you can. Not only can it help keep costs down but it can often look better than having only new stuff.
Here’s where what I reused in my forever home.
ONE - TIMBER LOUVRE DOORS
I found these bad boys on eBay for around $40 per door. If you jump online yourself you’ll see they come in all different sizes so it was hard to find multiples of the same size for the kids rooms – but I got lucky and found 10 of the same. I then found an additional two tall ones on Gumtree for my Urban Mud Room. I would never have bought these timber doors without the plan to white wash them. And by white wash I don't mean make them predominantly white - I just wanted to take the edge off the strong orange/brown timber colour to give them a vintage, almost dusty look (was I mad!? I wanted them to look dusty?) We used the same paint we'd been using on the walls – Dulux Wash n Wear in Lexicon Half – painted it on with a brush (not watered down) and then rubbed it off with a rag. This pushed the white paint into the grain to give it that rustic feel. It was time consuming – but worth it.
Press play below to see more of how we transformed the timber doors, fast-forward to 4:29 if you only want to see the timber doors section.
TWO - PAINTED POTS
Having lived in the house for 15 years, I had accumulated loads of pots – both inside and out. Most of them had no real plants in them and were simply a vessel for gathering dirt, dust and worms (not that I dislike worms). But as the house transformed into a slice of Santorini – so too did those pots! We didn’t buy special paint, just hijacked the tin my painters were using on the outside of the house (Dulux Weathershield in Casper White Qtr) and started painting. It’s amazing how fresh and new they came up.
THREE - BIFOLD DOORS
Anyone who’s looked into buying new bifold doors will know they're NOT cheap! So in my reno, I re-used all my bifold doors and saved myself around $12,000 at least. The bifold doors to the upstairs terrace were cut down and moved into a new position. They’re were 10 years old, aluminium and cream (omg not white!). But after finding out it would cost thousands to paint the aluminium white I decided I could live with the cream. It was a great decision because no-one’s ever noticed and I feel really comfortable and happy with that compromise.
In the family room, next to the kitchen, we reused the timber bifold doors which were about 12 years old. We simply gave them a fresh coat of paint – Dulux Lexicon Half on the inside and White Box Half (soft mint green) on the exterior
FOUR - RUBY'S WINDOWS
In Ruby’s room we reused the timber windows from the top level. If you're doing a big reno, look for every opportunity to reuse your windows.
FIVE - TRANSPLANTED CYCAD
A slow-growing mature plant like this Cycad could cost hundreds of dollars to buy – but I transplanted this one that was hiding down the side of my house. I never even knew it existed. Now it takes pride of place at the front entry.
SIX - WINDOW SHUTTERS
My window shutters are original vintage shutters from Bali. I know it’s not the Mediterranean but with a coat of Dulux White Box Half they look soooo Santorini. I painted them with my mum one evening and there were so many deep gouges and bumps in them – I loved it – they looked worn and real – the perfect counter-balance to an otherwise new property.
Whether you’re doing a small or large reno project, don’t underestimate the positive impact of reusing and recycling items. Not only can they look ah-maazing but you also get to enjoy the feel-good factor of saving money and saving the planet #winwin.