Rural Missouri - June 2021 - 48

New life for old things
Noel and Chris Clayton share their
secondhand lifestyle at Recycled Homestead

by Jim McCarty | jmccarty@ruralmissouri.coop

" We ran across a guy in Warrensburg that demolished
an apartment complex off the plaza in Kansas City, " Noel
says. " He had about 150 doors. At this point he wanted to
hen Noel and Chris Clayton first drove past
sell them all at one time. And my husband was like, 'OK.'
the building that once was home to Triangle
So we went to Warrensburg and got a bunch of doors. "
Lumber in Adrian the wheels started turning in
Even the name is repurposed, sort of, from a blog the
their minds. " My husband said, 'you can really
family does called " Recycled Homesteading. "
do something cool with that,' " Noel recalls. " It had been
Everywhere you look, yet another creative idea from
on the market, but we thought we just don't have the time
Chris and the couple's son, Hunter, can be found. " He is
right now or we don't have the money now. And then it
pretty amazing, " Noel says of her husband. " He sees somefinally all came into alignment and we bought it in Februthing and says, 'I am going to make this out of it.' I just go
ary 2018. "
'OK, how can I help you?' "
It took them six dumpsters and close to a year of work
In the bathroom the base from a treadle sewing mato haul off the debris left behind by a string of previous
chine holds up a country sink. One wall is lined with old
owners. But when they were finished they opened one of
receipts from Triangle Lumber. A local man spotted a reMissouri's most unusual antique stores.
ceipt dated October 1971. It was one of the first purchases
What sets the store apart are the two grain bins rehe made after returning home from Vietnam and starting a
purposed and nicely tied into the store's décor. One is
construction company.
decorated as a comfortable living room while
Another wall is papered with old maps Noel's grandthe other - painted with two circular Ameriparents saved from their many trips. Customers like to
can flags - holds Americana items for sale.
look for their own hometowns on the maps.
" The way grain bins are put together, you do
" That was kind of our purpose, to show people
the roof and then you lift it up and add a ring.
Adrian
that there is stuff everywhere that still has value, "
People in town said it looks like they are growNoel says. " It's not all scrap metal. You can
ing. Well, they were growing, " Noel says.
make stuff that is real pretty with it. You can
The idea behind the grain bins and a host of
definitely repurpose it into something else. "
other repurposed materials used in the remodelThe design lends itself well to the hundreds
ing is to show the value in finding new uses for
of items on sale by 64 vendors. While every day
cast-off items. That philosophy began at the house
brings something different through the doors, you might
the Claytons built north of Adrian, which is served by
find tools, dolls, antique signs, vintage clothing and no end
Osage Valley Electric Cooperative.
of retro appliances. Some vendors sell handmade knives,
The footings for the unusual home used 400 worn-out
while others deal in repurposed barnwood signs or walltires. Everything else came from Craigslist purchases, surhangings crafted from cast-off textiles.
plus building material auctions or leftovers from construcOne item for sale there used a well pulley to suspend
tion jobs Chris worked. Part of the house is formed from
two buckets for planting flowers. Visitors couldn't miss the
two recycled grain bins.
one-of-a-kind tandem, three-wheel bicycle parked outside
" We did all that and then we carried it over here, " Noel
the front door.
says of the store. " These are from a picket fence that we
" More times than not, people buy memories, things that
cut apart and used for the walls. The shutters came from a
bring them comfort, " Noel says. " They remember having
mansion outside Kansas City. This ceiling tin in the front
it as a kid, or remember their grandma having it. We ask
entry came from an old hotel in Garnett, Kansas. "
them if they are looking for anything in particular and
Barn wood that panels the interior walls came from
they say no. When you are walking through there's a lot
a nearby tumbled down barn. Then there are the many
of people who see something that sparks a memory for
doors that display items for sale and also line the stairs
them. "
and the upstairs walls.

W

48

RURAL MISSOURI | JUNE 2021



Rural Missouri - June 2021

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