Nine years later and still married, a cheapskate editor finally completes his kitchen with a mix of recycled materials.
Synopsis: For this Fine Homebuilding editor, home is indeed a work in progress. It may be slow, but it is steady, and a lot of the work includes recycled materials. This kitchen shows how a used deli table became a stainless steel counter, and a used restaurant table took center stage as the kitchen island. The article includes a design for a pedestal table that allows plenty of leg room for barstools.
My friend Andy came by the house a little while ago looking for some barn sash for a storage shed he was building. I have a similar shed in which I have banked a decade’s worth of tag-sale windows, boneyard doors, Dumpster sinks, and just-can’t-throw-them-out light fixtures. I expect this hoarding disorder is a holdover from my previous life as a remodeling contractor.
We quickly found a window that suited Andy’s needs. As we tied it off to the flanks of his truck bed, Andy said, “Don’t take this the wrong way, Chuck, but I really want to be here for your estate sale.” In my book, that’s high praise for a junk collection.
Home improvement, bit by bit
I hung up my contractor’s tool belt in 1980 to become an editor for this magazine, but I’ve never stopped working on our house. Traveling around the country to see the work of the best builders, designers, and architects on the continent has fueled my passion for serious nesting even more. Combine that with a thrifty streak, a fondness for finding new uses for old stuff, and a desire to do it all myself, and you’ve got a solid-gold recipe for glacial progress.
My extraordinarily patient wife, Jeanetta, and I bought our house in the early 1990s. We enjoy preparing meals together,…