How to Repurpose Old Appliances into Eco-Friendly Decor
I often find myself with old or broken appliances that seem destined for the landfill. However, with a little creativity, these discarded items can become beautiful and functional pieces of home decor. Repurposing appliances is an eco-friendly way to give them new life and keep them out of landfills. Here are some of my favorite ways to repurpose old appliances into one-of-a-kind decor items.
Assessing Old Appliances for Repurposing Potential
Before deciding how to repurpose an appliance, I first assess its condition to determine if it can be safely reused. Here are some key things I look for:
Does it still function? Even if an appliance doesn’t work anymore, as long as it is safe, it has decorative potential. However, a working appliance opens up even more repurposing options.
What is the exterior condition? Dents and rust will need some extra work but can often be part of the charm. Peeling paint or large holes make good candidates for paint or tactile treatments like decoupage.
Are there hazardous materials? Old appliances may contain harmful materials like asbestos or refrigerants. I research the make and model to identify and properly handle any hazardous components.
Can pieces be disassembled? Taking apart the appliance allows me to repurpose individual components and also makes the decor project lighter and easier to mount.
Once I’ve determined that an appliance is safe for reuse, it’s time to get creative!
Vintage-Inspired Decor Ideas
Old appliances can add instant vintage flair to any room. Here are some of my favorite ways to give appliances new life:
Refrigerators into Cabinets
Refrigerators make perfect repurposed storage cabinets. I remove the compressor and insulation to eliminate any hazardous materials. Then, I give the interior a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper. The refrigerator shelves become handy storage bins. I freshen up the exterior with paint, hardware, and embellishments like ceramic tiles or trim.
Stoves into Islands
A vintage stove becomes an industrial-chic kitchen island or bar. I start by removing hazardous components like burners and valves. Then, I paint or re-enamel the exterior. The oven doors get replaced with shelving or cabinetry. I add a wood countertop andwheels for mobility. Finish it off with barstools for seating.
Washers into Fire Pits
Outdoor fire pits made from old washers are an inexpensive DIY project. I remove the interior tub and controls, leaving just the exterior drum. Flip the body upside down to create a built-in fire pit liner. Add lava rock, glass beads, or sand at the bottom for drainage. Build a fire and enjoy your new eco-friendly gathering space!
Functional Repurposing Ideas
In addition to decor, I repurpose appliances into useful items for my home. Some of my favorite functional repurposing projects include:
Fridge into an Herb Garden
An old refrigerator makes the perfect indoor garden for fresh herbs and lettuces. Clean the interior thoroughly. Add shelving, grow lights, and small pots for the plants. The fridge provides ideal temperature, humidity, and air circulation for growing plants indoors.
Dryer into a Dog Kennel
With a pet-friendly paint job and comfy bed inside, an old dryer drum becomes a cozy place for a small dog to curl up. I remove the motor and controls from the back and give the interior a fresh coat of pet-safe paint. I add a pillow or dog bed and watch my furry friend settle right in!
Washing Machine into a Water Feature
The tub of an old washer becomes a charming water feature or pond. I remove all mechanical parts and ensure no electrical components remain. Flip the tub upside down and add rocks, plants, a small fountain, and water. Place it in the garden for an eco-friendly focal point. Add a recirculating pump to keep water moving and prevent mosquitoes.
With a little time and creativity, outdated appliances gain new life as attractive and functional home decor. Salvaging and repurposing is one of my favorite ways to decor my home affordably and sustainably.