Habitat ReStore announces 2021 ReUse contest winners

Press release from Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity:

The Asheville Habitat ReStore is pleased to announce the winners of its tenth annual ReStore ReUse Contest. Congratulations to the following winners:

Best in ShowBenny Varney, Jr. (Spruce Pine) wanted a coffee table that reflected his love for old technology, but was functional and spins. Starting with a combination wine barrel and a flat wheel grist mill pulley from the ReStore silent auction, he then found a barber shop chair pedestal for the base and a glass table top, and made his coffee table vision a reality.

“I think everyone should try to do something creatively and, for me, it’s trying to keep something out of the landfill. It’s trying to make a different use for something that’s no longer able to do what it was meant to do. Trying to find how to make it work is a challenge – and I like the challenge… It was fun. I really enjoyed it and I enjoy coming [to the ReStore] and checking out what challenges I can find,” said Varney about the ReUse Contest and finding inspiration in the ReStore.

Live/Work SpaceThe Aylestocks (Asheville) made the most of the situation when their spring break 2020 plans were put on hold indefinitely, finally building that tree house the kids had been asking for. A post on social media led to everything from the stairs, roof, walls and even furnishing donated by people who just wanted to make some kids happy during a time of uncertainty. “We had such a blast building this with our kids and will remember this creative (and very affordable) project…A fun lesson that even when life doesn’t turn out the way we want we can make the most with what we have,” shared Nathan (dad).

Vans & Vehicles Jordan Brown (Asheville) built a small homemade camper using an old utility trailer as the base, added an old truck bed topper, and used reclaimed deck boards and other reclaimed materials to finish the camper. 


Furniture Paul Ginther (Swannanoa) built a Montessori-style Kid Kitchen with working sink for his grandchildren that they use (based on age-appropriate activities) to prepare their own snacks, wash/cut veggies, get a drink, wash dishes, wash hands, brush teeth, etc. Water flows from a storage jug by gravity to tube, through a working faucet and sink, into a wastewater bucket. Height-adjustable legs will “grow” with the children. The project incorporates a reused old-school desk for countertop, drawer, back and shelf parts. Walls/doors/hardware/knobs were all salvaged from old cabinets.

HomesteadingJuana Gonzales (Lake Toxaway) started collecting items two years ago for her future chicken coop. Scrap wood from neighbors, deals from the ReStore and other thrift stores, and “miss tints” of paints. “It was a lot of fun using whatever paint was available for $1/gallon and then matching colors. This project has been an adventure from dreaming about how it would look, to figuring out who was going to help me make it a reality.”

Home DecorAngela Woehlcke (Arden) repurposed a big blue 44-gallon recycling container from the ReStore to a large R2D2 that has become a versatile member of the family now dividing his time by being her grandsons’ toy box, sports equipment storage, hiding place, reading nook, and most important of all- a champion for recycling and reusing!

ArtPeri Allen (Burnsville) makes wall art from unfinished, unused cabinet doors. She is inspired by geometric shapes that interlock to form new shapes and draws influence from Moroccan tiles, Celtic Knots, Mexican and Islamic art. 

Photos of winning entries and all submissions can be seen in this online photo album.

Entries were judged on quality of design and execution; replicability of concept; clarity of description; and quality of photos. Winners received a gift certificate to the Habitat ReStore.

The judging panel included:

Joel Johnson – Home Repair Manager
Tim Bromley – Habitat homeowner and ReStore Supervisor

Jenny Pickens – Local artist 

Stuart Cotterill – Habitat volunteer, woodworker, and past contest entrant 

Kim Klaas – Weaverville ReStore Manager

About the Asheville Habitat ReStores
The ReStores in Asheville and Weaverville sell donated items to the public with proceeds helping to fund Asheville Area Habitat for Humanity’s building programs and covering administrative and fundraising expenses. Along with Habitat homeowner mortgage payments, the ReStore represents a sustainable funding source for the non-profit. The ReStore provides the community with a source for affordable home improvement items, diverts 1,650 tons of usable material from the landfill each year, and supports Habitat’s global work with the sale of Guatemalan handicrafts. For more information, please call 828.254.6706 or visit ashevillehabitat.org/ReStore

About Community Bulletin
Mountain Xpress posts selected news and information of local interest as a public service for our readers. To submit press releases and other community material for possible publication, email news@mountainx.com.

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