The rich beauty of reclaimed wood, the timeless appeal of historical metalwork, and the vivid diversity of reclaimed glass are not things that can be easily replicated. Anyone who is building and desires the timeless look of these architectural elements knows how cost inhibitive it is to reproduce them. Why not simply incorporate these same beautiful items from yesteryear rather than try and reproduce them? And, yes, it is possible to design from scratch using reclaimed items!
One of our customers restored her stunning Tudor home with reclaimed materials carefully curated from Olde Good Things, designing the house from the ground up over a period of three years. Many of the items were purchased from OGT’s web store and Ebay after adoption from the Constable Estate in Westchester and a townhouse on East 10th Street, in Greenwich Village, NYC.
Current trends in home decor lean towards the modern rustic and industrial, often with a stunning combination of the two elements. Shabby chic is another popular look that hearkens back to the days of custom craftsmanship. Still, building with architectural relics is not a part of the mainstream, despite the fact that using reclaimed materials for building and restoration projects is advantageous in so many ways.
Architects and designers are turning to reclaimed materials more and more to meet the demand for sustainable architecture. Reclaimed wood and other architectural salvage pieces are an integral part of green building techniques. Re-purposed materials lessen the need for new materials to be harvested or mined and transported, and elements rescued from historic buildings scheduled for demolition keeps these treasures out of the waste cycle, where they would eventually be relegated to a landfill.
Reclaimed tiles make a lovely vintage backsplash and a one-of-a-kind focal point for the fireplace. Originally from an Buenos Aires hacienda, they found new life in this Tudor Home. Also from a similar home in Argentina, an entire tile wall was re-used as wainscotting to decorate a parlor room. The stained glass windows from OGT add splendor to the magnificent arches which originally decorated a Gothic style room from the lavish Constable Estate in NY State. A classic parquet floor, detailed door surrounds, gothic woodwork, and reclaimed tile result in a home like no other. Even the bannisters and exterior staircase were construed of antique iron. The stairs and landing were designed from old heat registers.
Although using reclaimed materials can present certain logistical obstacles in a throwaway culture, many visionaries realize the inherent value in preserving and re-purposing. Reclaimed materials give a distinctive edge to any home or business with a custom style that can’t be found in new items.
We hope this example of design savvy using antique architectural items is inspirational to many who are undertaking a sustainable design project. We have many customers who when they see these details in the rough can visualize a re-use for them. Yet there are many who need inspiration. We think this project serves that very purpose.