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  • Bilek Builders

Old Is New Again!

While restoring a historic Sea Captain’s home in Chatham, MA, the homeowner was tasked with the challenge of emptying the contents of the house before the project could begin. She assumed most of it would end up in the dumpster. While she sifted through what at first glance seemed to be junk, she started to spy what she felt were treasures. Remember beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and she saw items that while they had outlived their intended purpose, new life could be breathed into them, repurposing them into a second coming.

Old window sashes especially those with water or leaded glass are very shabby chic with a little wire brushing. Also removing glass and adding mirror to it, can add depth to a room. Hanging an old window sash in a room without a window creates the illusion of one.

The homeowner found a bevy of 100-year-old solid wood interior doors. Seemed like a shame to toss them, so she thought about what new purpose they could serve. Their second life was 2-fold in the restored home.

They were also used to create a headboard in a guestroom, as well as a sort of paneling in the basement, in lieu of wainscot. Can you imagine the stories these doors could tell!

In the shed she found a trove of old oars, who knows how old! They were cut down and made into a custom stair baluster. So clever & Cape Coddie! Another client sourced a long oar and had the paddle engraved and used it as a stair handrail. My next project is to create a coat rack with 3 oars standing on their paddles.

These are just a few examples of trash to treasure. So, think twice before you throw something old out, it could be repurposed and have a great story behind it! Just a quick note: our only caution, as with old window sashes, flooring etc, be on the look out for lead paint which is toxic and should be remediated carefully!

What have you made "new" again?! Please share with us your pictures and inspirations!


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