Notes from the Field: Architecture, Design and the Art of Salvage

July 18, 2011

By Karin Lidbeck Brent

For a year now I have been following my friend Joanne Palmisano‘s progress writing and researching her upcoming design book, Salvage Secrets. The book, coming out next month (published by W.W. Norton), is already available for ordering! Check out Joanne’s blog for ordering details.

I’ve just seen one of the first copies–HOT OFF THE PRESS!–and I love it!

Instead of room by room, the book takes you through the materials, highlighting some of the most common salvageable materials (wood, glass, metal and stone), and showing excellent examples of their reuse possibilities in architecture and home design.

Page after page of beautiful photographs by Susan Teare combined with inspiring design stories illustrates how creative and highly aesthetic the world of salvage architecture and design can be.

We are living in a time where reuse is more important than ever, and Joanne demonstrates throughout her book the ease with which recycling and reuse can be incorporated with function and style.

Architects, designers and do-it-yourselfers should all have a copy of this book in their home design library.

Joanne shares some very creative recycling projects using tile, glass and metal objects. I love this example of old tiles made new again as mosaics.

Photos by Susan Teare, from “Salvage Secretsâ€

A large section of the book deals with salvage materials for kitchens and baths. Vintage cast-iron sinks are a great example of appliance reuse. You know the sink takes center stage in this kitchen, where it’s surrounded by reclaimed materials like the wood decking used for the drawers.

Joanne shares excellent examples of lighting created with with recycled materials, like these wine bottles. I really like the architectural detail created by the shutter on the ceiling.

I am a huge fan of using salvaged doors in new and renovated architecture. These stripped doors add so much character to this space, along with the salvaged wood floors and the antique wood beams.