Repurposing Architectural Antiques - Restoration & Design for the Vintage House | Old House Online
From transforming antique doors into a fireplace surround or building a shelf using salvaged corbels and fence boards, we show you six different ways to breathe new life into old items.

Repurposing old items to make something "new" has always been a favorite of ours. Don't throw away that old fence board—transform it into a shelf instead. That old copper window might make a perfect bathroom vanity. Have an old fireplace screen? We have an idea for that too. Here, we show you six unique ways to reuse objects to create your own special architectural antiques.

copper window vanity

A copper window assembly creates a stunning powder room.

Copper Window Vanity
Repurposing a round, exterior copper window to be used as a mirror frame took some imagination.

Bliss used reclaimed barnwood for her cabinet frame to match the patina of the antique window.

Bliss used reclaimed barnwood for her cabinet frame to match the patina of the antique window. (Photo: Bliss Ranch)

Make a Cabinet Out of an Old Window
Rescue a vintage window by turning it into the front of a small cabinet.


The refinished cabinet is the centerpiece of a Greenwich Village kitchen outfitted with stainless-steel appliances.

The refinished cabinet is the centerpiece of a Greenwich Village kitchen outfitted with stainless-steel appliances.

A Unique Kitchen Island
Cleaned up and repurposed, an old French dental-tools cabinet is nifty and functional in the kitchen.


antique corbels create display shelf

Paired with salvaged fence boards, a pair of antique corbels becomes a display shelf. 

Make a Shelf from Salvaged Corbels
For this project, a pair of antique corbels and salvaged fence boards were combined to create a focal point the dining room.


fire screen to window grille conversion

An ornate Victorian firescreen with colored-glass rondels was reconstructed and repurposed to improve this light-admitting, privacy-ensuring bathroom window.

Fire Screen to Window Grille
Why settle for a blackout shade when you can ornament the window with a screen of wrought iron and blown glass? It can be plain—or fancy!


OHJ readers Mal and Greg Hotte made this fireplace surround out of salvaged doors.

OHJ readers Mal and Greg Hotte made this fireplace surround out of salvaged doors. 

Make a Fireplace Surround from Salvaged Doors
Give your fireplace a facelift by combining salvaged panel doors and stock molding pieces to create an attractive, traditional surround.

Related Articles

Products of the Week

Victoria + albert

Victoria & Albert

Victoria + Albert Baths is a British brand with a worldwide reputation for creating beautiful freestanding tubs and basins.