Posts tagged "cupboard doors"

How can I reuse or recycle a whole kitchen?

I’m back post-lurgy and I thought I’d post this great question from James – asking how to recycle a whole kitchen:

We shall be replacing our kitchen in the next few months. The present one is 15 years old and is perfectly serviceable. I don’t want to “skip” it. Any suggestion as to how I can recycle it?

My first suggestion would be to try to pass it on – lots of people would love a kitchen revamp but can’t afford to go the whole hog so just replace cabinet doors etc. I regularly see sets of door & drawer fronts offered up on eBay, Gumtree or Freecycle/Freegle (and probably Craig’s List in the US). Built-in appliances can be sold/passed on separately too as they often expire before the rest of the kitchen so people might want to replace just those bits.

People don’t just use them for revamping their own full kitchens either – someone might want to make a “tea station” at a community venue, or for storage in a porch/understairs cupboard – so if you’ve not got a lot, someone still might want them for that sort of thing instead. And tatty but still usable cupboards and worksurfaces are still useful in places where function very much trumps form like a garage, cellar or shed – and old sinks are often useful in those places too. We recently covered ways to reuse old ovens (and toaster ovens) too so again, people might want those for non-culinary pursuits where aesthetics are less important.

As for more creative reuses (rather than just reusing stuff for its original purpose), I’ve made oversized planters from wooden cupboard doors before, I’ve seen people making pretty serving trays from doors and Alison Bailey Smith curated an art project last year where people used her old kitchen as art materials.

(Of course, I also have to mention the most important point in the recycling triangle – reduce. New kitchens are very resource intensive and a greener option would be to revamp an old kitchen rather than replacing it with all new …. but you know what, I think that’s a whole ‘nother post for tomorrow! ;) )

Any other suggestions for ways that James could recycle his whole kitchen? Have you given away an old kitchen – or got one from someone else? Any tips?

(Photo by cgarbiano)