Me and Q!

Me and Q!

Yup! Barefoot and all – that’s me and Shannon Quimby, my DIY gal-pal who also happens to be one of the most talented reusing, recycling, restyling, and renewing designers and decorators I’ve ever known. She’s also a generous host who invited my husband, Matt and I to stay with her this summer on the first leg of our road trip from Oregon to Northern California.

I just had to snap off these photos to share with you just how innovative and clever Q is. I certainly left with an enormous amount of awe and inspiration…I hope you will, too. So, for part 1 of the Quimby REX Project home tour (REX stands for Re-use Everything eXperiment), let’s start in the garden…shoes optional!

Terracotta pots garden

Terracotta pots garden

Terracotta pots in place of flowers!

What a great way to use leftover terracotta pots…in place of flowers! Just paint and group together.

When Shannon first told me about the REX Project, I was so excited to see just how she did it. In her own words, she describes perfectly, “Imagine taking an old, dilapidated house, one with a crumbling foundation, rotting floors, crusty windows, stinking carpet, rusty water heater and old kitchen appliances and attempting to find a use for this disaster. I was up to the task. I love the challenge to take any old item and make it into something useable for the home or garden.” The evidence was everywhere! Come on…I’ll show ya!

Plumbing archway

Plumbing archway.

When she first recounted the old house’s hideousness (cat pee carpets, oil stained floors and walls from the previous owner using the living room as his workshop, etc.), I was like, “If the main house was that bad, there’s no way you would reuse the bathroom plumbing!” She just gave me a grin and pointed to this fabulous garden archway (above). “No way!” I exclaimed. Without a beat, she replied, “Way.”

Bed spring sculpture

Bed spring garden sculpture. A fun, quirky nod to her professional baseball player husband, Glenn (formerly of the Oakland A’s) and pro ball up-and-comer son, Chase.

Rebar and pipe art

Rebar and pipe art.

The garden arbors and all their detailed art sculptures were created by local artists, Joe and Mackie Clifton. It was just so fun to discover something new each time you looked at them.

Who knew plumbing parts could look so sculptural?

Who knew plumbing parts could look so sculptural?

Wrench, pliers, knives garden fish

Wrench, pliers, knives garden fish. Garden arbors created by Oregonian artists Joe and Mackie Clifton.

Beautiful entryway

Another beautiful archway…oh, and what’s that I’m stepping on with such a crunch?

A hazelnut shell pathway!

A hazelnut shell pathway!

An ecological and long-lasting alternative to bark, hazelnut shells also deter pets, slugs, and weeds! Now, that’s just nuts! Below, Matt just had to climb this treehouse built from leftover, salvaged lumber and branches cut from one of the trees they had to remove…reuse’n it all, baby!

Matty in a salvage-material tree house!

Matty in a salvage-material tree house!

You’d think that anything needing a jackhammer to remove it would never be salvageable…think again, my friends!

Sidewalk garden bench

Foundation and sidewalk garden bench. Why this works? The craggy nature of old cement is softened by greenery.

Wheel barrel and garden tools water fountain

Wheel barrel and garden tools water fountain. “Turn it on! Turn it on! I exclaimed. “Well, she’s in need of a little repair.” she said, reluctantly. “Okay, next time,” I replied. Running or not…this bad-boy is a sculptural ode to repurpose!

Salvaged broken brick edging and door knob garden ornaments

Salvaged broken brick makes for perfect walkway edging.

Door knob and rebar garden flowers

Door knob and rebar garden flowers.

Vintage buoy fence toppers

Vintage buoy fence toppers.  Again, all salvaged from the previous owner’s property.

Thanks again to the Shannon and her wonderful family for putting up with my paparazzi picture-snapping. Now, see Part 2 of the Quimby REX Project home tour!



All photography by Skaie Knox, HomeJelly (oh, except for this last one…Matt captured our personalities perfectly!)

Have you reused something for your garden decor?

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