Upcycling is the art of repurposing salvaged furniture and materials in an upscale manner giving them new life as something other than what they were originally designed to be, especially since the individual components may have outlived their usefulness in their original incarnation.

Upcycling has become extraordinarily popular as we have been made more aware of the environmental impact of recycling, as well as a growing appreciation for vintage and antique materials. Home improvement and lifestyle programs, magazines, and social media have been tremendous influencers in this movement. A prime example of upcycling is creating a chandelier or pendant lighting from empty wine bottles and light kits. The bottom of the wine bottle is removed, then the cord is fed through the neck of the bottle with the light kit attached, and prepared to be hung from the ceiling. With a rise in popularity of this and other upcycled designs, there are commercial versions that have been created. Materials for such endeavors are sought at thrift stores, flea markets, antique malls, consignment shops, garage sales, salvage stores and the like.

Ricca’s Architecturals specializes in reclaimed salvage materials.

It is a treasure trove of lighting, doors, corbels, shutters, hardware, and more than you can ever imagine. Ricca’s opened its doors for business in 1956. Peter Ricca had the foresight to salvage building materials for resale. Restoration projects have been accomplished because they were able to find “hard to find” materials at Ricca’s Architecturals. The subsequent generations have kept the business thriving.

Some upcycling ideas that are achievable with materials from Ricca’s are:

  • Shutters can be fashioned into a serviceable case good in the form of a cabinet or bookcase. The hardware needed is also attainable at Ricca’s.
  • A simple vintage light fixture can be dressed with paint and crystals to create an elegant light source.
  • An old door can become the back panel for a potting bench or an outdoor serving bar. Iron brackets can become an intricate part of the design to brace the shelves. Balusters can be used as table legs to support a table surface. Paint becomes the unifying element.

Ricca’s Architectural Sales, located at
511 North Solomon Street in Mid City, New Orleans, LA 70119

(504) 488 – 5524 or (504) 822-8200 | Fax: (504) 488 – 5662 | Email: riccaarch@yahoo.com

Business Hours:

Tuesday – Friday 9 am – 5 pm, Saturday – 9 am – 4 pm