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November, 2008

From space-saving designs to the latest in sophisticated style, our design tips are made with you and your dream kitchen in mind.

Reduce, Re-Use, Repurpose

Reduce, Re-Use, Repurpose

To minimize our impact on the environment, the green movement has brought about a move toward repurposing existing structures, rather than creating entirely new ones. Repurposing doesn't have to be limited to old vs. new construction – in fact, you can repurpose right within your own home. Not using the living room? Turn it into a family entertainment room. No longer using the wet bar? Make it a coffee bar or a snack area for kids. By repurposing rooms, you will decrease your environmental footprint and increase the use of your home.

Purposeful Repurposing

Repurposing is not a new concept – it actually began during The Great Depression when families couldn't afford to buy new items. Not only is repurposing environmentally friendly, as it reduces your carbon footprint, but it's also friendly on your pocketbook. All you need is a little imagination for finding ways to stretch the life of existing items or uncover new ways to use them.

Changing Spaces

A lot of homeowners are already repurposing and don't even know it. If you use a room or space in your home for something other than its traditional use, you're repurposing. Instead of keeping a formal dining room that you use only a couple times per year, turn it into a space that is more functional for your family's needs. Create a playroom to house children's toys and games, or create an area to accommodate one of your hobbies, like scrapbooking. Try The KeepsSake Creation Station™ from For Keeps Sake™. It's an entire scrapbook room behind four doors – in an armoire cabinet you can put anywhere in your home.

When you first moved in, you thought you would use that wet bar every Friday and Saturday night. If the wine glasses in your home have been replaced by sippy cups, and your wet bar is now collecting dust, utilize the space by turning into an afternoon oasis for your kids. Use the countertop for doing homework and projects, and the prep area to prepare healthy after-school snacks. The Camerist™ bar/prep pullout faucet from Moen® Incorporated is a great addition to your repurposed space – its high-arc transitional design is stylish, and the pullout functionality with two spray options makes preparing snacks or cleaning up after craft time a breeze.

Not getting enough utility out of your utility room sink? Get more function by installing a pullout faucet instead of your standard spigot. Try the Neva™ pullout kitchen faucet, also from Moen. Neva is transitionally-styled and provides added convenience and functionality to any sink. It features an ergonomically designed pullout wand and simple, spring-activated spray button with several flow patterns including a forceful, aerated stream or powerful spray. Now you'll be able to bathe pets, fill buckets or get out tough stains easier than you ever imagined by revamping your existing secondary sink space into an all-purpose area.

Scavenge and Save

Scavenging for materials is another way to gather pieces to repurpose within your home. There are a number of locations in every community – if you're feeling adventurous, stop at construction sites to ask for leftover materials or scraps they won't be using. Near the end of the school term, ask your district's facility manager if local schools will be discarding any usable items. Stop at store closings to see what you can salvage in terms of furniture and fixtures.

For another great resource, check out your local Freecycle.org group, where members of your community post unwanted items for others to claim. Or, repurpose natural elements – a beautiful stone can function as a doorstop; a sturdy, fallen branch that's been sanded down can be turned into a coat rack by adding a few hooks.

A little imagination can go a long way, and as a result, you'll be able to turn existing spaces into purposeful rooms within your home.

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