As many of us look for ways to minimise waste, ‘upcycling’ or repurposing materials has become a popular trend in home design. Outdoor areas are great place to get a little creative and let your design flair shine through by using old materials in unique new ways.
Whether you’ve been left with piles of timber flooring from a recent home renovation or are looking to breathe new life into an old bathtub, here are our top tips for repurposing materials in your outdoor living space.
1. Rustic furniture from natural materials
Cutting down a tree in your backyard can seem like a waste of perfectly good timber. Luckily, there are plenty of creative ways to repurpose the tree and create something beautiful for your outdoor living area.
You could transform the trunk into a rustic bench for your garden, simply by leaving it as is and positioning it wherever you please. If you’re handy with a saw, you could get a little more creative. Carving can be a very therapeutic pastime and there’s a great sense of achievement when you finally sit down on your brand-new bench with a well-deserved cup of tea.
Other options include using the tree stump as a planter, etching lines into it to create an outdoor game of noughts and crosses or using it to make a quirky fairy house for the kids.
2. Herb gardens from old timber beams
Old timber beams or bricks can be used to plant new life when you repurpose them to create a small vegetable or herb garden. Fashion the beams or bricks into a planter and fill with soil to create the ideal environment for tomatoes, basil, mint and more.
You can play around with layering the beams and bricks to make a raised planter that not only looks great in your garden but also means you don’t have to stoop to tend to your herbs and veggies.
3. Dining tables from old timber flooring
Gather friends and family around a brand-new dining table made from old timber flooring. Reclaimed floorboards lend themselves perfectly to making DIY tabletops – all they need is a bit of cleaning and varnishing.
You could use more old timber for the table legs or get creative by playing around with other materials. Black metal against the colour of the wood can look great and would trick anyone into thinking you’ve splashed out on a designer piece.
4. Firepits from old bricks
Crackling firepits are atmospheric additions to any outdoor living area and can be conjured up with a simple pile of old bricks.
You’ll need to shovel out soil to create depth for your firepit, calling utility companies first to check the location of any buried lines. Make sure the hole is level, then pour a sturdy concrete footing and stake the forms. Rebar and more concrete are added, then ‘refractory’ or firebrick is used to line the inside of the fire pit walls. Finally, the outside walls are lined with the old bricks to create a rustic look for your firepit.
Make sure you follow a detailed tutorial or engage a builder to create your firepit, as it will require specific materials that can withstand high temperatures.
5. Birdbaths from old tubs
If you’ve just overhauled your bathroom, it can seem a shame to dispose of perfectly fine bathtubs and basins. Let the neighbourhood birds make a splash by repurposing these objects into birdbaths for your outdoor living area.
Turn the idea into a fun family project by adding a new lick of paint or letting the kids create a small mural on the edges of the tub.
If you’re looking for more inspiration when it comes to repurposing materials for your outdoor living area, get in touch with the expert team at Radius Builders today!