best ofInteriorssneak peeks

Our Favorite Upcycled Moments in Interiors

by Amy Azzarito

In honor of Earth Day, we’re ending the day with a look at some of our favorite examples of reuse from Sneak Peek homes. I’m continually impressed by how creative our home owners are with furnishing their abodes (and how by how frequently they are digging through the trash.) Here the best examples, of transforming trash finds or other objects into something useful. Have you had success at home transformation? I’m feeling inspired to find a ladder and put it to good use. –Amy Azzarito
Image above: A ladder as a pot rack in this Copenhagen kitchen. See the full home tour here.

Image above: An old crate plus a vintage office chair equals a nightstand with book storage. See the full home tour here.

Image above: A coffee table made of a collection of W magazines in Austin, Texas. See the full home tour here.

Image above: The bedside furniture in this home in Sao Paulo, Brazil was made of two old drawers from the old bathroom cabinet – the home owner put them together facing each other to create a box. See the full home tour here.

Image above: The dining table in florist Ariel Dearie’s NYC apartment was built using wood planks salvaged from an old factory on the Hudson. See the full home tour here.

Image above: The headboard in this Charlotte, North Carolina is made from a vintage Moroccan door. See the full home tour here.

Image above: Following a couple of coats of white paint, aluminum cans organize drawing utensils. See the full home tour here.

Image above: The chair was found at the side of the road. The vintage cheese box nightstand was made by using legs found at a flea market (modeled after this D*S Before & After) See the full home tour here.

Image above: The round mirrors were made from vintage railroad molds. The mirrors were added later. See the full home tour here

Image above: A ladder because the support for a bookshelf in this Australian home. See the full home tour here.

Image above: Mason jars turned art supply storage. See the full home tour here.

Image above: Ribbon wall art in the most stylish 6-week sublet ever to appear on Design*Sponge. See the full home tour here.

Image above: A vintage enamel cup becomes the perfect vessel for a little succulent. See the full home tour here.

Image above: A cardboard box turned playhouse. See the full home tour here.

Image above: A nightstand in Portland, Oregon made from found wood and books. See the full home tour here.

Image above: Ladder nightstand in Los Angeles. See the full home tour here.

Image above: The coffee table is a spool that was found at a construction site. All it took was a white coat of paint. See the full home tour of this French home here.

Image above: This sofa is filled with pillows made from a variety of reused fabrics – one from a cement sack, another made using all the tags from the family’s clothes since the early ’70s, one made from old French tea towels and one made from a T-Shirt purchased on Haight Street. See the full tour of this London home here.

The task table in Carla Caruso‘s jewelry studio was made using an old table base that was lifted slightly with couch legs and then topped with a hollow core door. See the full home tour of this Western Massachusetts home here.

Image above: The sofa art in this New York City apartment are two doors salvaged from New Orleans. See the full home tour here.

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  • Love, love, love all the reused items here! I’ve used old chopsticks for plant markers, old postcards as wallpaper, and chipped porcelain for plants, soap dishes and catch-alls. We’re taking down our old fence soon and will use the wood for shelving. Glad to see others doing the same!

  • So many great ideas, love all of them. I am into re using and re purposing too. My website is full of great vintage jewelry, which is a great way to recycle!

  • I’m going to send my husband a picture of that pot rack, he’s been trying to think of a way to hang them that won’t take up much space and would fit into our tiny apartment kitchen perfectly. we have minimal cabinet space so, having all the pots and pans stacked in one cabinet is not exactly functional.

    thanks for the wonderfully inspiring post!

  • I’m with you – let’s re-use, re-make and re-invent. There are so many ways to update old classics with slight modification. I did my part by re-using painting retro milk bottles from Hong Kong, in golden stripes.

    Ciao / Bella from Hong Kong

  • I use 2 plastic sawhorses as my work table. I pick up the free boards at Home Depot every chance I get so had several 4 ft melamine covered pieces ranging in widths, so used a couple below to make a nice huge shelf and then put 3 across the top and keep them on with old bungee cords. Gives me a ton of space.

    HATE to give away my age, but we were using those spools (the size shown here were mostly side tables and the much larger ones were coffee tables) way back in the 60s-70s. EVERYONE wanted them then and they were fairly easy to find where telephone poles were going up.

    So much fun to see what people come up with! As they say, necessity is the mother of invention. ;-)

  • Aw I love this! It always impresses me how inventive people get with repurosing. It adds so much personality to a home, and it’s good for the environment. Win-win!

  • Thank you so much for featuring the side table I made for my husband! I love when you can create something unique that is overall functional and that is incredibly reachable and affordable!

  • I’m moving to NYC very soon and we’re selling all our furniture, only shipping boxes with books, clothing and some kitchen tools and pots. I’m looking forward to fill my new home with creative, repurposed furniture. So fun!!

  • So many great ideas here: the re-use of ladders, the magazine coffee table, the sweet little enamel cup that would have otherwise been thrown away. Thank you for the lovely repurposing ideas!

  • especially I like the first photo with a composition of ladder and utensils in the kitchen. Also pens in the cans – not a new idea, but a pretty and picturesque.