Reuse

Finding New Uses for Household Items

As realtors, this time of year can be very busy.  Whether we are helping buyer clients find a new home, or helping seller clients sell their home, the spring market tends to be jam-packed with real estate-related activity in Northampton.  As with any career person during their busy season, it's good to take some time throughout the day to put down the phone or walk away from the computer and do something else... Ok, so I often sit near my phone and stay at my computer and look at other information online when I need a break, but still - it is a break of sorts. 

As I have mentioned many times, as a former NYC resident of many years, I still love to read the Apartment Therapy blog whenever time permits.  It has so many great tips and ideas for freshening up ones' living space. The following blog post has some great ideas that maybe I will get around to during the winter season in real estate, which tends to be a bit slower than spring!

Read on, and remember, please be kind to your realtor, he or she is working very hard for you!

 

REALLY UNEXPECTED USES FOR OLD THINGS AROUND THE HOUSE

You'll never believe what this little greenhouse is made from!

We see makeovers all the time, mostly of the "let's sand this table and repaint it" variety. So we get overly excited when everyday household objects get remade into really surprising things with a completely different purpose. Here are common things you may no longer have use for, and inventive ways to adapt them into entirely new household objects.

1. Old picture frames are a dime a dozen at yard sales, flea markets and thrift store. Emily of The Wicker House gathered a bunch and made this pretty indoor terrarium.

2. This home from Chic Design Investments cleverly used old wooden doors in lieu of traditional stairway railing. The use of salvaged material throughout the house lends the space a lot of character. Want some more ideas for old doors?

3. We recently featured this vintage ice bucket that Brooke from Prettyographyhacked to make a countertop compost bin. And, if you have other flea market stuff:

4. For this project from Sugar & Cloth, bundt pans were painted and repurposed as cute hanging planters.For more ideas on how to repurpose stuff from the kitchen:

5. When the children leave for college, that baby furniture has to go somewhere. Try change a changing table into a potter's shelf like this one from Shelstring. If you also get your hands on a crib, try:

 

6. Using old cookware found at secondhand stores, Eric Smillie fashions new lamps using enameled pot lids as the shades.

Craft Idea: Interesting Ways to Reuse Plastic Bottles

I'm not sure about the rest of Northampton, but I am starting to experience cabin fever of enormous proportions. I love a good snow fall as much as the next guy, but coupled with sub-zero and single digit temps, I'm going outside only when absolutely necessary!  A friend posted a link to this interesting article on architechturendesign.net depicting 20 ways to repurpose plastic bottles...While, admittedly, some of these projects may be a bit time and labor intensive -- there are some great ideas here. Looking for a fun project to do with your children on yet another snow day? Read on!

 

20 Creative Ways To Reuse Old Plastic Bottles

Posted by MMK

 

DIY recycling projects are always cool, especially when you can turn your trash into something new and useful. We’ve not written any posts about ways to recycle before, but it turns out there’s so much that you can do with recycle plastic bottles that they deserved their own post.

The PET plastic that most plastic beverage bottles are made of is a fairly useful material – it’s resilient, flexible, transparent and food safe. As such, there are probably countless applications for these bottles that will give them second lives. These 20 are a great place to start, but can you think of your own as well?

 

1 | Vertical Garden

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2 | Chandelier

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 3 | Broom

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4 | Beautiful Mosaic From Caps Left By Hurricane Sandy

 

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5 | Spoon Lamp

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6 | Jewelry Stand

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7 | Parking Canopy

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8 | Bouquet Lamp

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9 | Christmas Tree

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10 | Cute Planters

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11 | Intricate Bottle Vase

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12 | Durable Purse

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13 | Sci-Fi Rocket Jet Pack

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14 | Hanging Chandelier

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15 | Lake Boat

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16 | Solar Light Bulb

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17 | Ottoman Seat

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18 | Curtain

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19 | Bottle Cap Decoration

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20 | Napkin Ring

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Photos by: Architecture & Design (via Google & Bore Panda)

 

Fun and Useful D I Y projects

While we at Maple and Main Realty are in the business of selling homes, we certainly like to pass along interesting advice about household related information as well.  I find that few things feel as good as a successful DIY project.  Finding a new purpose for some junk lying around the house while making something useful and attractive with your own hands - what could be better?  I came upon this blog post from one of my favorites, Apartment Therapy, and just had to share it.

 

Do It Yourself: 10 Things to Make Instead of Buy

Over the years, we've shared a lot of money-saving projects, large and small. If you can make something at home easily and cheaply, why wouldn't you? Save some cash and flex those DIY muscles with these ten ideas for things to make rather than buy, from the Apartment Therapy and The Kitchn archives.

  1. Household cleaners. Ban chemicals from your home once and for all, and save pennies too with these recipes for eco-friendly cleaning products.
  2. Toothpaste. Hey, why not?
  3. Curtains. There are loads of tutorials on this easy sewing job (hey, it's just a bunch of straight lines) around the web, so have a look for your favorite and get to work. Bonus: here are some tips on making them that much better.
  4. pegboard shelf. Practical, beautiful and versatile, this would look great in a kitchen or home office.
  5. Pesto. This is something I'm always surprised to see people buying in the grocery stone. It's just so easy to make your own, not to mention that I've never met a jarred variety I liked. Tip: pesto freezes perfectly, so make a big batch and freeze in ice cube trays for future individual servings.
  6. headboard. This is one piece of furniture that can be pricey, but it doesn't have to be. There are infinite ideas out there -- just pick one and get creative with it.
  7. Floor cushionsWindow seat cushionsToss cushions. All of the cushions!
  8. Pendant lights. Lighting can eat into a decorating budget pretty quickly, but luckily there are loads of inspiring DIY ideas out there.
  9. Planters. 'Tis the season, after all!
  10. Bread. An oldie but a goodie. No kneading or breadmaker required.

What do you make yourself instead of buying?

(Image credits: Martha Stewart)

(Blog Credit: Eleanor Busing)

Spring Recycling Events

Few things make me happier than purging things we no longer use or need.  In light of that, and that fact that spring actually seems to have arrived; so I'm sure that many of you are itching to do some spring cleaning...
This information just in from my live-in, walking recycling resource:
RECYCLING EVENT this coming Saturday, April 12, from 9 until Noon at Smith Vocational High School on Locust Street sponsored by the Northampton ReUse Committee. This is the first of a series of special material recycling events coming in the Spring and Fall 2014.The materials to be collected this Saturday are: Paper Shredding Styrofoam Pellet Plastic Bags from Pellet StovesPaper ShreddingOn site secure document paper shredding will be provided by Pro-Shred of Wilbraham. Please bring only clean and dry paper. Manila folders are okay but plastic folders and page dividers are not. Shredded paper will be recycled at the event. There is a limit of two curbside recycling sized boxes.

Styrofoam Recycling

Materials that will be accepted are large pieces of white, clean and dry foam. Any paper or plastic must be removed and will not be accepted.In addition colored foam, packing peanuts and food related foam like cups, plates and trays will not be accepted.

Pellet Bags Recycling Bags must be empty, dry and relatively clean. Only bags from wood pellets will be accepted. Please stack empty bags, fold them together and place the roll inside another empty pellet bag.

The ReUse Committee is always looking for volunteers to help at these events. They usually require one to four hours of time on a Saturday morning. If you are interested in joining our corps of volunteers, please contact me at david.starr@comcast.net. The events are fun and social and require no previous experience.

Upcoming Events

April 26th - Community Tag Sale and Swap, Northampton

May 3 - Bulky Rigid Plastics and Kid's Stuff Exchange    9 till Noon at Smith Voc toys, lawn furniture, plastic play structures, plastic buckets...

For information regarding this and upcoming recycling events please contact Susan Waite, Northampton Recycling Coordinator, with any questions 413 587 1059 or swaite@northamptonma.gov.

In addition to the exciting news above.... My resources tell me that there is a drop off site in Holyoke for any unwanted paint!

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As you can see, we have a nice collection going and we are thinking it's time to purge!  And what a great idea that someone else might actually be able to use it.  A win-win situation.  Here is the information:

Latex paint can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Drop-off Site for disposal. Paint swap is available for anyone interested in unused paint. Empty latex paint cans that are dried up can be brought to the Refuse/Recycling Center. Empty cans of oil-based paint must be disposed of during the City's hazardous waste day, which is held twice a year in the Spring, and Fall. Information concerning the City's Hazardous Waste Days is available by calling the DPW at 413-322-5645.

 

Happy Purging everyone!

 

 

 

D-I-Y!

I love Northampton, have I mentioned this before?  There are so many reasons why, but, today I am thinking about all of my Northampton D-I-Y people.  One friend of mine makes moth eaten sweaters into adorable Sweater Handwarmersarm/hand warmers (pardon the blurry image).  And I got to be the lucky recipient of a pair at Christmas this year!  Another friend buys earrings at Target (for instance) for a fancy event, and then buys extra bling from the bead store in town to add to the earrings - making them more fabulous than they ever knew they could be!

 

I love how crafty my friends are.  It is inspiring to me.  However, nothing bowls me over like the people who are able to D-I-Y their homes, and have them come out looking as good or better as if the work had been done by a professional contractor.

 

I was having dinner the other night with dear friends of mine, who also happen to be clients.  They bought their home just over a year ago.  They have spent this year scraping off wallpaper, glue, carpeting, etc.  They have painted every room, they demo'd the basement themselves (which had some dampness) to prep it for mitigation and a new and improved pimped-out finished basement (as yet undone).  They are speaking to a friend who teaches wood-working classes about having his students build cabinets for their kitchen, down the road.  Of course, they are the god and goddess of entertainment and cooking, so I shouldn't be surprised - but I was wowed by what they have done all on their own.

 

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This image doesn't quite do it the justice it deserves.  Just imagine the "before" picture - ugly wallpaper, floors marred by old carpeting glue, an unattractive light fixture.  To me, this room now exudes warmth, color and coziness.

 

Lastly, I have been following a blog written by clients of mine who purchased their home this past spring.  This is their first home and it really needed some elbow grease to bring it up to snuff!  They have done absolutely everything by themselves - and the house looks great!  They made need to rethink their career choices and create a new HGTV show!  They were able to see the diamond-in-the-rough and make it shine.  Not everyone has that vision.

 

I like to assuage my feelings of inadequacy about the lack of D-I-Y that I, personally, have accomplished by reminding myself of the fact that I didn't really own a house until I had small children taking up most of my time.  There are pictures of me painting my son's room while pregnant!  And there are those curtains I once sewed for both kids bedrooms all those years ago.  See?

 

Happy D-I-Y-ing!

 

Looking for a new home you can go D-I-Y crazy with? Check out open houses in our area and let your imagination run wild.