Tiffany Threadgould is living a DIY life. The Chief Design Junkie at TerraCycle, an international waste management company headquartered in Trenton, New Jersey, grew up recycling. So when it came time to furnish her post-college New York City apartment on the cheap, upcycling was a natural next step. “I was just taking cast offs from the street and making things from found objects,” Threadgould says. “It wasn’t really environmental — it was more about cost.”
She carried the same aesthetic into her job at TerraCycle and the home she later bought in Philadelphia, which she shares with an upcycled pet, rescue dog Tia. But you don’t have to be a DIY design junkie or get overwhelmed with “a ton of visual clutter” to incorporate the upcycled look into your home, Threadgould promises.
“The design is most successful when you first see what it is now,” she says. “If you have a table made from a door, it should be seen as a table. And then you can have that ‘aha!’ moment of ‘oh, that used to be a door!’”
As seen on TV
Terracycle is a “waste management company that does really cool things with garbage,” Threadgould says. “We focus on hard-to-recycle materials that don’t typically have existing recycling facilities.”
The company works with major brands — like Colgate and Scotch Tape — in 23 countries, collecting and recycling everything from used packaging to cigarette butts.
See Threadgould and the rest of the TerraCycle crew at work at the docu-comedy “Human Resources,” Fridays at 10 p.m. on Pivot.
Turn a door into a one-of-a-kind kitchen table
Time: 2 hours (plus drying time)
An old door
Four table legs, such as Adils from Ikea
¼-inch glass (optional)
Rubber spacers (optional)
Paintbrush or roller
Choose your door. The best places to find an old door are asking neighbors or friends, or even in your own basement. Paint it and let it dry. If you’re using acrylic house paint, then coat with a layer of shellac after the paint is dry.
Attach the table legs to the four corners on the bottom side of the door. If you’re using a hollow door, make sure the legs come to the edge, to ensure that the screws are fully secured.
Flip your table over. Add glass, if you’d like. If you have beveled panels, measure the panels and subtract a ¼” from your measurements. Get your glass cut at your local hardware or framing store or online. If the bevel is more than ¼ inch, use rubber spacers to make the glass flush with the rest of the table surface. You can also cover the entire door, if you’d like, just be extremely careful of sharp edges.