2010 Second Place Winner

Kitchen Remodel

When we bought our house in Stinson in 2007, we had a very limited budget dedicated to code upgrades like toilets, electrical panels and new appliances(existing ones were circa 1972). When our electrician was upgrading the wiring in the kitchen, we found there was a lot of damage and in doing the necessary work, the kitchen cabinets disintegrated There was no room in our budget for new cabinets. Pricing out the cabinets at a discount store would cost $1700 and we would have to assemble them ourselves. So much for our marriage!


We have been customers of the Reuse Bazaar for years. With measurements in hand, I headed over to the warehouse. I spent two days walking around, measuring and re-measuring cabinets.I finally made my choices-all solid oak and the same style doors. The downside was that they were three different colors! Total cost? $350. Even after painting,less than $700 for solid wood cabinets instead of particle board junk. We also opened up the kitchen wall so you could see the ocean from the kitchen-those pillars are from an Indian temple-from a Berkeley salvage yard. The original cabinets were not standard depth so sadly we couldn't reuse the stainless counter top. It went to a local fisherman who now uses it in his workshop. The floor is Marmoleum that I bought on craigslist-it was leftover from someone else's remodel. There was exactly the right amount.


While I was in the warehouse, I noticed a very cool architectural element. You can see how I used it to create a canopy bed in one of the bedrooms. There is a wonderful black iron lantern hanging over our staircase-also from the Reuse People. One of my favorite examples of reuse is the chandelier over the dining table. It was boring. However, armed with a glue gun and buckets of local shells I transformed it into a real conversation piece!


This all became much more personal in the last month. My parents sold their lovely old 1906 home to a young couple who will be completely "transforming" it into....uh, well, something else. Happily, the Reuse People came in and salvaged all of the gorgeous carved moldings, fireplaces etc. These things will bring charm and a sense of history to someone else's home.


Tori Owen

Stinson, Ca

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