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Creating an UpCycled D.I.Y Atmosphere at a Local Shop

DIY up cycled and repurposed design with pallet wood signs
DIY repurpose headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. chalk painted with up cycled upholstery. Farmhouse rustic style for indoor or outdoors
D.I.Y Up Cycled, Repurposed and Reclaimed Furniture, Decor and Pallet Wood Signs

Repurposed and Reclaimed Style

Detroit Deco creating the atmosphere at Captain Jim’s Kayak and Marina in Gibraltar, MI. Their colors were already chosen and surrounded the exterior of the building. The owner knew he liked the rustic, farmhouse, industrial style, so that part was done! What they really needed was actual furniture and a design that broke up the large open space into appropriate sections for their entertainment.

Why a Kayak and Marina?

Gibraltar is a small boating community, southeast of Detroit on Lake Erie. People like the outdoors and most of them spend some leisure time at the lake or on the water. Community events are very popular, most people know each other and enjoy getting together and having a place they can mingle.

For the owners of Captain Jim’s, Gibraltar is their home. They live and grew up there, always heavily involved in the community. Enjoying the town’s social events as much as everybody else, the owners wanted their place to feel like Gibraltar’s living room. A place where they could grab a cup of coffee and watch the game or meet up with friends for a game of Scrabble, rent a kayak for the afternoon, dock their boat and even pick up one of Detroit Deco’s home decor signs from reclaimed wood as a souvenir! It’s such a large space with no need to hurry and push people out the door for turn over. They wanted the community to feel comfortable enough to literally just come hang out.

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Laying Out the Space

Did I mention it was a large space?! The first step was deciding which areas of entertainment or service to include. They already had the coffee bar with some counter seating; the only other furniture besides the kayaks, were two high top tables in front of the wall-mounted T.V.

The Layout

We wanted to create areas for a gift shop, communal studying, watching the big screen, enjoying a snack or refreshment, and a children’s corner. The goal is for our guests to stay awhile, so we wanted to bring in games, books, and activities for the kids to invite them to stay longer. We knew what we needed. So what’s the budget? “$0.”

That’s where I stepped in.

A zero dollar budget! My specialty! Still having some items in the garage from the last round of trash picking, I wasn’t worried, but I knew I needed reinforcements! I needed my wonderful husband and his expertise in helping me find the perfect trash to make treasure (plus his labor)! After surveying the garage and labeling the items I wanted to use, it was time to go trash picking!

Trash Pickin’

It may not sound the most appealing, especially depending on where you’re at, but we have found some of the best items in the trash! You don’t have to go sifting through banana peels or anything! My method is to drive around the neighborhood on trash night or large furniture night and see what items are sitting at the curb. People throw stuff in the trash when it is damaged or just because they don’t have the space or use for it. That doesn’t mean it’s trash! Start with some elbow grease for a good cleaning, add a little creativity, plus two handfuls of TLC and you’ve got a recipe to D.I.Y just about anything!

D.I.Y Atmosphere on a Budget

Besides items from your garage, house, or storage and the items you rescue from the trash, there are many other places you can find free or cheap materials for your D.I.Y projects. Check out this list I put together for you with more ideas on where you can find free or cheap supplies. This list I’m sure will grow as I find more and more items to repurpose. To get an update on all the fresh ideas and inspiration happening at Detroit Deco subscribe to the tribe and don’t miss out on all the new ideas!

After Trash Picking’ and Dumpster Drivin’

Moving on to more sophisticated sources such as; Craigslist, where you can find many posts on free pallets or wood scraps and curb alerts which move rather quickly. There’s LetGo, OfferUp and Facebook Marketplace which I found are great for free furniture from people who are moving! I bought dollar hardware pieces for smaller accents, craft lots of fabrics and notations, and many chairs for cheap or free from these sites too.

My generous neighbor (who thankfully didn’t mind my loud noises) donated stencils, wooden boxes, and picture frames she didn’t use, and an elderly couple was downsizing and had multiple bookcases for free filled with books. Friends and family members went through their basements and donated board games. Once the word spread locals were stopping in to drop off items they thought fit the style we started.

Pallet wood signs and and reclaimed wood decor and repurposed furniture

Furniture and Seating

For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate all the seating; I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
For seating I up-cycled headboards and footboards from the trash into couch-like seating. To coordinate I upholstered them in a canvas colored tarp, from a popup gazebo that was mangled by the wind.
DIY repurposed headboards and foot boards into couch-like bench seating. Upholstery is up cycled from a gazebo. This rustic farmhouse style seating can be made for indoor or outdoor

I made simple throw pillows in fun patterns to make it feel more like home. The pallet wood coffee tables made it the perfect spot to sit with your coffee.

Repurposed headboard and foot board into a couch-like bench. Painted in red chalk paint and upholstered with an up cycled tarp from the roof of a gazebo. Clear coated it can go indoors or outdoors.

Painted in Rust-Oleum’s Chalked Farmhouse Red, She was my favorite and turned out beautiful!

Farmhouse Table for Communal Studying and Children's Farmhouse Table for activities with redone old mix match chairs

Farmhouse table for communal work or study and a children’s farmhouse table for activities. Accompanied by redone mixed matched old chairs and a repurposed headboard and foot board bench for the children’s table.

In progress of finishing up sanding my DIY Farmhouse table from reclaimed wood. Simple modern farmhouse style, rustic and beautiful all finished!

Farmhouse table in progress

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Gift Shop, Games and Home Decor

In the front section, after you walk in the door, we created a gift shop. Featuring Captain Jim’s merchandise, Detroit Deco’s home decor, embroidered hand towels and sweatshirts by TexAna Designs, hand-drawn postcards, and other homemade gifts from community artists.

To create the gift shop area, I used a bookshelf that came loaded with books as one retail display. Placed at the beginning of the gift shop area before a large wall of boater’s rope. The bookshelf signaled the start of the gift shop which led into the rope wall displaying home decor and wall art for sale. The rope met up with a short adjacent wall covered in pallet wood. We added a retail island for more gifts completing the gift shop corner. Each item had a craft paper price tags tied with twine, also indicating the items were for sale.

This free bookcase came loaded with books and we used it as a retail display for part of the gift shop. Displaying reclaimed wood wall art and home decor, Embroidered hand towels by TexAna Designs and Captain Jim's travel mugs and UV bracelets.
From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

From Trash to Treasure! Some of the knicks on the top were hid better under my hand painted checkerboard. The finished piece turned out awesome, though the checkerboard took some time, it was worth it!

Rustic and nautical pallet wood anchor sign Home decor

Rustic and nautical with a white chalk painted anchor, this pallet wood sign with an up cycled frame is painted in Crystal chalk paint from Home Decor. The pallet pieces are white washed, stained aqua and a natural wood, the finished piece made a wonderful piece of wall art.

Wall mounted coat or hat rack from reclaimed wood and repurposed cabinet knobs

Coat or hat racks made from reclaimed pallet wood and knobs from old cabinet doors. A little bit of chalk paint and its ready for your entry way or laundry room.

DIY Nautical Farmhouse hat hook! Made from a reclaimed piece of pallet wood, an anchor stencil, black chalk paint and an up cycled door knob from an old cabinet door and voila! You have a Nautical Farmhouse rustic hat or coat hook, perfect for any entryway, mud room or laundry room.

The seat of a broken wooden bar stool. I stenciled a white chalk paint anchor and rubbed a thin layer of aqua stain over it before clear coating. After it was dry, I roughed it up with a little sandpaper for a more worn look and to get the anchor to come through more. It made a awesome piece of wall art and I loved that it was circular.

Reclaimed Dock wood made into a planter. the wood was already stained, so I put a couple layers of protective brown wax over the entire planter for a uniformed finish, plus a clear coat that can withstand the water and soil.

Reclaimed wood from a dock being redone. The rescued pieces already had some colored stain on them, so I added a couple coats of dark brown glaze and polyherithian to bring it all together with the cut edges.

Pallet wood hanging shelf, rustic Home Decor

A decorative rustic hanging shelf made from pallet wood, with aqua and ebony stain and pieces from a white painted pallet that had spent its time outside. The turquoise “garden stone” is actually a lump of concrete I had left in a five gallon bucket, so I dumped it out and painted, stenciled and clear coated it!

Reclaimed Wood Stenciled Chalk Paint Signs

Reclaimed wood chalk painted signs were a big hit among customers, many loved them for above a door way or basement stairs. In case you’re wondering “poop deck” is the look out deck on a boat!

D.I.Y Adventure

Captain Jim’s was a fun D.I.Y adventure and really put my skills to the test. Many different trades and a lot of elbow grease went into this fabulous adventure. I enjoyed every minute of it and would do it again in a heartbeat! I would love to hear what you thought of the up-cycled D.I.Y style of Captain Jim’s! Please share!

On to more D.I.Y adventures, please join me and stay up to date by subscribing to receive an email update on the freshest ideas happening at Detroit Deco!

What Did you Think of The Kayak and Marina Style?

Comment down below!!!!

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