Can you recommend home design repurposing/hack resources?
December 17, 2010 9:53 AM   Subscribe

Can you recommend home design repurposing/hack resources or ideas?

I'd like to learn more about how to repurpose things in creative ways. For example, sometimes I see something really amazing at a garage sale but I don't buy it because I just can't imagine a good use for it and I don’t want it to end up as clutter.

Are there any books or websites that you are aware of that focus on this topic? I'm seeking ideas similar to but with less of a focus on making/buidling and more on using things in creative ways. If not online resources, are there any general principles for items that are always going to be useful/reusable for other than their original purpose?
posted by mintchip to Home & Garden (5 answers total) 10 users marked this as a favorite
Oh, I know that feeling. A few very basic ideas:

A wooden step ladder makes a perfect book stand for a large dictionary or atlas, with the book propped on the shelf meant for the paint can.

A piece of a ladder can be hung (horizontally) from the kitchen ceiling to make a pot rack, or on a wall as a towel rack or rack for drying laundry.

Old window frames look great displayed on a wall; you may be able to build some small shelves into them, depending how deep the frame is.

Drawers hung on a wall become shelves. Especially good: a silverware drawer with built-in dividers.

A shutter, or anything with horizontals slats, can make a rack for mail or magazines (are there still magazines?).

A door can be a headboard for a bed.

You can buy a kit to make a lamp of a anything that could accommodate a lightbulb.

Interesting, heavy things of appropriate size make good bookends or doorstops.
posted by Corvid at 10:32 AM on December 17, 2010 [1 favorite]

New Uses for Old Things on RealSimple
posted by leigh1 at 10:34 AM on December 17, 2010

ReadyMade magazine/blog/Facebook, for sure. They're a little up-and-down in useful content sometimes, but there are some really ingenious projects in it that I itch to make on a regular basis.

I'm still looking for the perfect bicycle rim to use as a potrack.
posted by scarykarrey at 10:51 AM on December 17, 2010

The best way to go about this is to figure out something you need to accomplish in your home, and then find hacks from there.

I like the Before and After days on Design*Sponge. Generally it's refurbished furniture, but sometimes the project is a whole room, and often there are unusual objects used in interesting ways.
posted by Sara C. at 12:39 PM on December 17, 2010

Ikea Hacker might give you some ideas even if you don't use Ikea stuff.
posted by jgirl at 3:39 PM on December 17, 2010

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