Salvage is not all Black and White

by Joanne Palmisano
author of Salvage Secrets and Blog,

When I wrote my book, Salvage Secrets, I was thrilled when people from all over the country told me how they now see what is available to salvage and how to use it (i.e., recycled, repurposed, reclaimed) because of it.   No two boards are alike, bricks are different in consistency and color and everything from an antique wood to scrap metal has  its own unique design idea. The possibilities are endless!  Here are some black & white examples that prove there is a lot of gray area when it comes to Salvage Design.

This is one of my favorite pictures. I love these club chairs and the black & white vintage prints make a statement. That’s it — vintage prints,  some old frames, a couple of chairs and you have made yourself a very cool design statement!  Photo by: RENÉ GRANSTRÖM



I love this antique table and fun hand-painted flooring. This is where reclaimed dimensional lumber would work great as well– sand it down and paint it. I love the repurposing of floors in unique ways.
  Another painted floor example.  Little more work but quite a wow factor. Kept simple with a couple of antiques and the room is done.


Painting and embellishing chandeliers is one of my favorite things to do. There are thousands of 1970’s, 80’s and 90’s light fixtures that are crying to be adopted at your local recycle center and brought back to life like this one was.  Also love the second-hand metal chairs that were just clear varnish and kept the antique look.  Bravo!
  This Apartment Therapy Post is very clever. A kitchen island made from pallets that have been painted black. The most basic, everyday salvage material — pallets, turned into a stunning design.


 Remember when designing with salvage, whether it is vintage furniture, architectural salvaged sinks and tubs or even reclaimed wood — there is a lot of gray area for design (i.e. a lot of wiggle room to get creative) in between all that BLACK and WHITE!
This kitchen used salvaged pieces of black soapstone for the backsplash and tiles for the counter. Thinking outside the box and using salvaged stone made this project, not only beautiful but affordable as well.  This picture is in my book, Salvage Secrets! Photo:  Susan Teare



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