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Want to update your home for a fraction of the cost? Upcycle DIY!

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During a recent trip, I had the opportunity to assist with a renovation project of an historical Hawaiian cottage-style home in the town of Kailua on the island of Oahu. This style of home, common to the area, originated in the 1940’s, 50’s and 60’s, making these homes a perfect candidate for a modern-day makeover.

Aging structures, endearing to the land; these homes capture a unique essence of the island. Similar to older homes in Colorado, the ambiance created with the notable architecture is irreplaceable – making a complete overhaul of the structure less desirable, particularly in the sake of prosperity. To preserve these cultural landmarks, we chose to upcycle only necessary conveniences and leave much of the original appeal remaining.

We began with the bathroom, comprised primarily of original materials, as the bathroom sink faucet was only partially functional. With the demolition of the sink underway, a rustic masterpiece unfolded. The exposed pipes that had been masked by large counter were exquisitely aged with artistically placed rust and stain. A wood paneled backdrop was ideal for the effortlessly quaint scene. It was a picture painted by time, a story passed through generations.

The sanding and staining of an old wooden door would soon be the foundation for the recycled porcelain sink – which was fetched from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Honolulu. Corroded pipes were replaced with new parts, and the damaged floor (hidden for decades beneath blue and yellow floral tile) was repaired and again concealed with a layer of laminate tile.

Several miscellaneous parts, tools and paint were thrown into the mix. After several days, hours of labor and insurmountable creativity; this small, Hawaiian cottage bathroom was transformed into an upcycled centerpiece of preserved history (including a trendy, mod-industrial flair).

ReStore Reused Sink = $40
Upcycled Door for Counter Top = $0
Updated Laminate Floor Tile = under $15sink

With the use of recycling, upcycling and resourcefulness of on-site supplies, the entire project came in well under $100. A do-it-yourself project in the name of historical sustainability.

====If you’re working on your own upcycle DIY, Colorado has over 20 ReStores where you can donate or purchase new and used building materials at affordable prices–everything from appliances to paint to rugs, lighting, furniture flooring and more.

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