Go Green With a Recycled Kitchen

This homeowner shows HGTV Magazine how to go green by decorating the kitchen with found objects and repurposed materials.
By: Leilani Marie Labong

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

Photo By: Lincoln Barbour

A DIYer's Dream

The brand-new kitchen in Shannon Quimby's Portland, Ore., home isn't new at all. It's full of things the designer/salvage expert and her husband rescued from a rundown bungalow that was on the property when they purchased it in 2007. Before knocking down that dilapidated house to build their new one, they saved anything and everything they thought could be reused: doors, floors, windows, even beer bottles!

Something Old Is Something New

The collected materials, along with other earth-friendly finds, like recycled concrete and glass countertops and sustainable handmade tile, all come together in this one-of-a-kind kitchen. "My attitude is, if something's broken, turn it into something else," Quimby says.

Dining Area

The salvaged spruce table is from urbantimberworks.com. Shannon painted its base with paints from past projects; for a similar look, try Rekindle by True Value. The chairs were $7 each at a rummage sale.

Handmade Chandelier

Eleven bottles of beer and wine hang from the ceiling. Before the old house was torn down, Shannon found them strewn in a hedge. A mason cut off the bottoms, then Shannon spray-painted them and strung bulbs with cord to create a bottle chandelier. That's an old bifold door on the ceiling.


The custom hard rock maple cabinetry is painted with eco-friendly no-VOC paint (Air by Yolo Colorhouse) and has mismatched pulls. "You'll find great pulls at salvage yards, but maybe not as many as you need, so just mix them up," says Shannon.

Beverage Fridge

A mini fridge covered with screwed-on slats of flooring from the old house holds drinks for their 11-year-old son, Chase, to grab on the go.

Open Storage

After installing the mini fridge under the recycled concrete and glass countertop, Shannon still had space to fill. Easy fix: Build some shelves next to the fridge. "Now that our vintage bowls are out in the open, we actually use them," she says.


The 8-foot-by-4-foot island top combines Douglas fir wood from the original house and scrap wood left over from the new home. The side planks were salvaged from the old house too, and Shannon found the corbels at a garage sale.


The planks of reclaimed California chestnut wood from greendepot.com range in length from 12 inches to 5 feet. "It was all puzzled together," says Shannon. She had the floor sealed with sustainable, hard-wax oil by Osmo to make it easy to clean with a steam mop.

Under-Cabinet Canisters

Shannon's grandfather used to store nuts and bolts in cabinet-mounted jars like these, so she adapted his workshop idea for her kitchen. She used an ice pick to make holes in the lids, then attached them to the underside of the cabinet with screws. Want to make your own? Click here for a step-by-step guide.

Wooden Pin Display

A ledge above the stove holds a collection of vintage bowling and juggling pins. The antique "groceries" sign fit the space as-is.

Flowerpot Fixtures

"I wanted something more creative than metal can lights. I remembered these pots I had and thought, perfect!" says Shannon. She covered the rims with pom-pom trim, threaded light cord through each drainage hole, and used Devcon 5 Minute Epoxy Gel to adhere them to the ceiling. Small 40-watt bulbs hang from the cords and sit inside the glass jars ($6 each, Target) filled with wine corks; they have also held golf balls and ornaments. They still unscrew so bulbs can easily be changed.

Shop Related Products

Next Up

Distressed and Antiqued Kitchen Cabinets

Add cottage-style charm to white painted cabinets by distressing then applying antiquing glaze. This quick and easy project will give builder basic cabinets a custom look in no time.

Kitchen Cabinet Door Accessories and Components

Dive into the range of available kitchen cabinet door accessories and components, and create a kitchen with style to spare.

Kitchen Remodeling and Renovation Costs

Expect nearly a third of your budget to go for cabinets and hardware.

Small-Space Living Room Layouts

Use smart strategies to make your small living room feel larger.