Built-in bookcases lined the walls of a writing studio. They were constructed of expensive vinyl-laminated shelving, removed before redecorating an upscale store in Southlake Mall. After 20 years, they showed no signs of wear or give, even under the weight of over 5,000 books.
The bookcases represented a small example of the many creative ways that various previously-used, or remnant, commercial products and materials had been retrofitted into the property.
Long time area residents stopped by periodically to see what else had been done to the property. My classmates’ relatives were fascinated with the transformation of the circa 1930 concrete block rural service station…then antique/repair shop…into a sprawling contemporary home.
Here’s the short list of products and materials that found a new home. Approximate cost of each is shown. Most “FREE” materials required prompt removal from the construction site or property. (“COST: FREE*”)
1. Item: White vinyl-laminated shelving, heavy-duty steel slat strips, brackets.
Where installed: Writing studio, bedrooms, upstairs closets.
Original use: Mall clothing store. COST: FREE.*
2. Item: Slide-by casement windows, wood frames, triple-pane. Brand: Andersen
Where installed: 20 ft. by 40 ft. second story great room; also 1st story.
Original use: Extra inventory of luxury home builder. COST: $40 each/construction auction.
3. Item: Slide-by vertical windows, aluminum frames, triple-tracked. Brand: Pena.
Where installed: 1st and 2nd story bedrooms and studio.
Original use: Lake Michigan/Ogden Dunes home. COST: FREE.
4. Item: Countertops, laminated wood-grain, block.
Where installed: 2nd story kitchen and gazebo bar.
Original use: Left from kitchen project, industrialist’s new home. COST: FREE.
5. Item: Countertop, red leather, 72-inches long by 36-inch deep.
Where installed: 2nd story gazebo/bar.
Original use: Left from Colonel Sanders Restaurant, new construction. COST: $5.00.
6. Item: Cabinetry, natural dark oak and pine.
Where installed: 1st story bathrooms, 2nd story kitchen.
Original use: Customer rejects, luxury home builder. COST: $20 per unit/section.
7. Item: Hardwood flooring, 3 large boxes.
Where installed: 2nd story kitchen.
Original use: Close-out, flooring sales and installation store. APPROX. COST: $25 total.
8. Item: Commercial solid wall vinyl: 8+ textures, 10+ colors; approx. 360 yards.
Where installed: Every room, including foyers, halls, baths. (Approx. 300 yards used initially.)
Original use: Left overs/projects: Hotels, restaurants, schools, hospitals, offices. COST: FREE.*
9. Item: Cork panels, 10 boxes, 18-inch by 42+ inch panels; over 60 panels.
Where installed: Cut into 18-inch squares, glued on two walls, quiet alcove off great room.
Original use: Left from Casual Corner store, new construction. COST: FREE.*
10. Item: Redwood shingles, interior rough-sawn; 5 boxes, approx. 100.
Where installed: 2nd story gazebo/bar canopy.
Original use: Left from Applebee’s Restaurant, new construction. COST: FREE.*
11. Item: Natural grasscloth wallcovering, custom, imported; approx. 5 full rolls.
Where installed: 1 wall, Master bedroom; 1st story halls.
Original use: Left from U. S. Steel Corporation president’s office suite. COST: FREE.
12. Item: Louver doors, full, solid wood; 7-feet ht. by 24-inch width each; approx. 12.
Where installed: 1st story linen, bath and utility areas.
Original use: Extra inventory, upscale development’s contractor. COST: $5 each.
13. Item: Doors, solid pine, interior; approx. 20, extra wide.
Where installed: 1st and 2nd story rooms, closets, etc.
Original use: Extra inventory, general commercial contractor. COST: $10 each.
14. Items: Brass hardware, door knobs and hinges, etc., approx. 400 pieces
Where installed: 1st and 2nd story.
Original use: Construction auction. COST: $35-40.
15. Item: Ceramic tile: 1-in. by 1-in., 8 box; 3-in. by 3-in., 14 box; 12-in. by 12-in, 9 box.
Where installed: Bathrooms, 2nd story kitchen.
Original use: Construction auction. APPROX. COST: $70/all.
16. Items: Half beams, rough-sawn, 1800+ running feet; rough-sawn finish lumber, 500+ feet.
Where installed: Ceilings – Great room, 3-story foyer, living room, 2nd story bedrooms, studio.
Original use: Left from mall store redecorating job. COST: $50.*
17. Item: Moulding and trim, Cherrywood, approx. 3000 running feet.
Where installed: Throughout house.
Original use: Left over from Applebee’s Restaurants. COST: FREE.*
* TRIVIA: In 1993, Harpo Production’s director of security and wife purchased remaining 500+ running feet, for their “small unfinished Wisconsin lake cottage.” Perfect spot!
18. Item: Red brick, solid; approx. 3000 bricks.
Where installed: Exterior: New planter half walls, large front drive planter/half wall.
Original use: Left over, large commercial project. COST: FREE.*
Remember: This is a partial list of the products and materials that the designers and builders – property owners – retrieved, recycled and retrofitted.
Within the last few months, I’ve had the opportunity to visit five hotel properties, where similar and very unique architecture/design/build/retrofit project work was being done. On a large scale. With astounding results!
You get the idea, I’m sure. By the way, anyone can do this!
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Thank you for visiting “Painting with Bob.”