Gems of Repurposing
By Karen Parr-Moody

The buzzwords of decor today are reclaim, reuse, repurpose and re-imagine. Repurposing can be creative usage, such as separating the bottom half of a hoosier and turning it into a retro media cabinet. Or it can be taking multiple items, blending them together, and inventing a fabulous smash-up. So it's no wonder that many GasLamp dealers now sell these great old items that have been turned into something brilliant.

Take, for example, these beautiful old egg baskets that have been turned into this industrial-style light fixture (photo, right; $395; Booth B-306). This is exactly the kind of salvaged and reworked type of fixture that was featured in the chic shelter magazine, "Metropolitan Home," last summer. Such reclaimed objects still retain some of their original character, but putting them into another context gives them the feel of finished objects. This is the kind of fixture that would smarten up any type of dwelling, from a cozy farm house to an industrial loft.

Another great example of a repurposed item is this decorative tin tile placed into a shabby chic frame (photo, left; $69; Booth B-306). Tin ceiling tiles reached their height of popularity in the 1890s in America, and in recent years have become popular as wall art. They can be hung singly or in groups. They can also be used in lieu of tile in the backsplash of a kitchen or as tabletop inserts.

This darling teddy bear has been created from an old quilt (photo, right, $24.95; Booth B-110). What a wonderful way to preserve a memory by repurposing an heirloom quilt or baby's quilt that has seen its better days. A quilt is traditionally made of a top, a backing, and a filling of some sort of batting, so the thickness of the design makes for a cozy teddy bear.












Vintage or antique books are beautiful to behold, but sometimes more mileage can be found by featuring the pages as art. This is what has happened with this framed Little Red Riding Hood illustration (photo, left, $48; Booth B-110). It is from the 1927 children's book "Little Red Riding Hood" that was published by Munk, Platt & Munk Company. This plate was created by Eulalie Banks, a well-known children's illustrator born in 1895 in England. Her books fetch high prices today both for their beauty and rarity. (She was also a well-known muralist in her heyday, painting murals for the children's section of the Santa Monica Library in 1928 and for private clients, such as Charlie Chaplin in the 1930s.) What a lovely piece of art history this framed plate would make for a baby's nursery or children's room.

Another fun item of repurposing is this wine cork memo board with corks fixed together in a parquet pattern (photo, right, $50; Booth B-2012). It includes wine corks from the Alsace region and the McManis and Darricarrere wineries. Such a board is the perfect spot for sticking those shopping lists and family photos. Alternately, it could be used for a wedding or party by pinning up the seating cards for guests to discover.

Modern design is, thankfully, so free and open to fresh ideas. And any one of these re-imagined items is sure to transform a room with style.

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