Couple completely make over their home with reclaimed goods
- They snaffled items worth £35,000 new for a fraction of price
- Bed made from scaffold poles, tiles from fireman’s hoses, seatbelts for curtain ties
- ‘We don’t have two knives that are the same and we use old jars for glasses’
In these belt-tightening times, it always helps to shop around to get the best deal.
But one couple have taken that philosophy to the extreme by completely transforming their home simply with reclaimed goods.
Kresse Wesling and James Henrit bought their two-bedroom flat last year when it was little more than a shell.
Crafty: The bed’s scaffolding board hides a walk-in wardrobe (left), while this chair (right) has been fashioned from a wine barrel
Trawling charity shops and tips, and searching on websites Gumtree, Freecycle and eBay, the pair managed to create an incredible home from items no-one wanted.
What would have cost about £35,000 using new materials has been done for under £3,000 – albeit with thousands of man-hours.
Their bed is made from scaffold poles, the kitchen is created from reclaimed wood and granite and the tiles in their hallway are made from old firemen’s hoses.
Buckling up: In a feat of true resourcefulness, the curtain ties (left) have been created from BMW seatbelts, while wooden pallets have also been used to make the kitchen cupboards (right)
Kresse, 34, said: ‘We bought the flat a year ago and it was little more than a shell.
‘There was no heating and no sewage and our aim was to put nothing new in it at all.
‘Of course there had to be some compromise – electrical wire for example had to be new.
‘One of the few things we had to buy new was the toilet – we couldn’t find a second hand one.
‘Mostly when they are thrown out they are cracked so we had to buy a new one – we were very disappointed about that.
‘The floors were covered in lino and it took us five days to get it off and underneath were beautiful wooden floorboards.’
SO WHAT WERE THEIR BEST FINDS?
Kresse and James were delighted after snapping up a second-hand SMEG fridge, worth £1,200 new, for free.
They fashioned granite sideboards in the kitchen, which would usually would cost £500-600, for nothing by sourcing unwanted offcuts.
The couple were also pleased when they managed to snaffle pallets and scaffolding wood to make two beds, saving hundreds of pounds.
They also paid nothing for the large ceramic kitchen sink, of which similar styles can fetch anywhere up to £200 new.
The eight large wardrobe doors also made no impact on the wallet – again saving hundreds of pounds.
A disused work bench has been turned into a dining table and other furniture including the sink has been found at dumps and transformed into spectacular pieces.
Much of the furniture was made from pallet wood and a painting hanging in their front room was created by a friend.
The couple call their technique ‘upcycling’ – taking quality goods nobody wants or is selling cheaply and making them like new.
A bathroom mirror was picked up from a firm that makes them and was about to be thrown out because it was not quite perfect.
Cutlery and crockery was found in charity shops and the bathroom tiles were made from reclaimed Welsh slate.
Their TV was a present and their range and fridge were snapped up from websites offering second-hand goods.
The website Freecycle provided them with a Chesterfield sofa and carpets were provided by Kresse’s collection of old Tibetan rugs.
The couple, from Bournemouth, Dorset, have also turned their passion into their living and now run a company – Elvis and Kresse – that sells upcycled goods.
The wooden kitchen units (left) have been made from a modified ‘dresser’ found at the dump, while the bathroom tiles (right) have been created from reclaimed Welsh slate. The bath is lined with scaffolding boards
Kresse added: ‘Our bed and closet were made from scaffolding poles and we found many things at the dump or in charity shops.
‘We don’t have two knives and forks that are the same and we use old jars for glasses.
‘But we have a lovely Chesterfield sofa and Tibetan rugs in the floor and Welsh slate tiles in the bathroom.
‘We have proved it can be done as long as you keep your mind open and are prepared to do the work.
‘We estimated that doing the work with new materials would cost about £30-35,000 and we have spent a fraction of that.’