Repurposing Architectural Antiques

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.

A copper window assembly creates a stunning powder room.

Eduard Hueber/arch photo, courtesy Jane Kim Design

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. (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.

Dan Mayers

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

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

Kyle Dickson

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.

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

Dan Mayers

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. 

Rod MacIvor/Ottowa Citizen

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.


Tags: Antique Doors Architectural Antiques Architectural Salvage bathroom DIY doors windows

By Old House Journal

Founded in 1973, Old House Journal is the original authority when it comes to old-house restoration, traditional house styles, period kitchens, bath & kitchen restoration, DIY projects, gardens & landscaping, and more-- from Colonial and Victorian through Arts & Crafts and Mid-century Modern homes. 

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