“Then said he unto them, Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old.” Matthew 13:52 (KJV)
Blending the old and new into attractive functional spaces can be a challenge, but when done thoughtfully, the result is satisfying. It not only saves cash but avoids unnecessary waste of vintage materials. We just completed a project, done in stages but are pleased with the result.
The W.B. Alliston House built in 1905 is adjacent to Maison Steinbuchel, our historic home. We are close to completing its rehabilitation so we can move out of Maison Steinbuchel and into the Alliston house. This will enable the restoration of Maison Steinbuchel without us having to live in the middle of it all.
When we purchased the Alliston house, there was a dilapidated garage with a cute chicken coop attached to its south side. We rented the property for a number of years. The renters used these “vintage” structures for various purposes. One even tried to prop up the garage a bit. Once we decided to stop renting and redo the place for our use, something had to be done about the garage.
The popular thing to do would have been to demo the entire thing, coop and all, and replace it all. That’s not our style. We liked the little coop, although we do not plan to have chickens, at least in the near term, I wanted to use it for a potting shed.
The garage was another matter. When these structures were built, property easements were less than required under the current code. If we tore down the entire garage, any new structure would have to abide by current clearance guidelines. The result, a much smaller footprint.
What To Do?
We left the back wall along the alley in place as well as the entire chicken coop. The back wall became a privacy fence. We were then able to get permission to have a “temporary” building erected on the footing of the old garage.
This past winter we had the space between the old garage walls and the shed covered providing additional secure storage. The completed project has combined old and new into a functional space for:
Secure tool and equipment storage
A covered outdoor workspace
storage for materials and supplies
a potting shed
storage for flower pots and other garden paraphernalia
a place for outdoor entertaining
Yes, it might have been easier to knock the whole thing down and start over. Aside from cost, a bit of history would be lost. New is nice, but vintage has character that just makes me smile.
New From Old Downsized
Of course, this “old from new” can be done in any size or scale. I collect ideas, like many folks, on Pinterest.
In what ways do you reuse things? Take a look at my Pinterest and share something that inspires you in the comment section!