Recycled kitchens, salvage with style

Issue 23 Words: Megan Norgate

Kitchens lend themselves brilliantly to salvaged materials and with care and time, recycled kitchens can be stunning.

There are many compelling reasons to use recycled and repurposed materials and products in the renovation of your kitchen, not the least of which is that a recycled kitchen can look and feel gorgeous. The patina of age can reveal richness, texture and complexity that is not easily achieved with new surfaces. Recycled materials are also often hardy and less vulnerable to becoming outdated.

Aside from these aesthetic attributes, recycled kitchens are arguably our best choice for environmentally sustainable design. The environmental benefits of using salavaged materials are twofold. Their use diverts waste from landfill while avoiding the embodied energy costs associated with the manufacture and transport of new interior products.

Adding to the environmental good of reusing, the longevity and quality of recycled kitchens has already been proven. If it has made it through many years of use and is deemed fit for a second life in your house then you should feel confident it is going to look good for many years to come.

Kitchens are one of the most energy-intensive and expensive parts of the home to renovate. They need to be very durable but they are often the first part of a house to become unfashionable. Fortunately, kitchens lend themselves brilliantly to salvaged and recycled products and the results can be stunning. With careful planning and execution, using recycled secondhand cabinet carcasses, benches or shelving in your kitchen renovation can see you save thousands of dollars. Appliances, sinks and kitchen surfaces can all also be sourced secondhand.

Using recycled materials in home interiors is not always a straightforward project, however. If you are planning to source and use recycled components give yourself twice the time you would otherwise to find them. If you don’t have the time, consider hiring a designer experienced with recycled products who knows where to obtain them. Once you have the materials, engaging capable tradespeople who are willing to take the extra care and time needed to work with recycled products is also important.

Megan Norgate is an interior designer, permaculture designer and sustainability consultant based in Melbourne. She is principle of design firm Brave New Eco.



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Cover of Issue 23
You can read more about Recycled kitchens, salvage with style in Issue 23 of Sanctuary magazine.

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Did You Know?

Refrigerators can cost anywhere from $80 a year to over $900 a year to run, so choose carefully.

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