Written by Beth Flanagan
These amazing homes were built
from 100% recycled material. The architect, Dan Phillips, uses things that most
people consider garbage, like old license plates for roofing material and beer
caps for flooring.
Photography by Miro Dvorscak – House and home
Phillips thinks outside the box. The cookie cutter track
house box, that is. Over 12 years ago, he had a vision to create housing for
low-income families using only salvaged material or waste headed straight for
the landfills. That’s when he started his construction company, Phoenix
Commotion. To date, he’s built 14 affordable homes in Huntsville, Texas – all
from discarded material on lots that he purchased or received through donations.
One stipulation is that the future owner must help build their
own house. Homeowners not only invest sweat and time, but they get to know the
homes’ bones, electrical systems and plumbing. The goal is that if something
breaks down, they can fix the problem themselves.
Photo: Michael Stravato for The New York Times
The storybook house above is clad with old, recycled
shingles. The colors were orchestrated to mimic an old thatched roof from England.
These homes are made from whatever free material Phillips
can find at salvage yards, landfills, garbage bins, antique stores, and frame
shops, to name a few. He networks with contractors and designers who don’t mind
at all if Phillips picks through the mountains of junk excavated from a home
You wouldn’t believe some of these building materials!
Champagne corks make lovely cabinet door knobs. Glass bottle bottoms create whimsical stained glass windows. Wine
corks produce fashionable flooring. And picture frame corners make colorful
ceiling tiles. If the material can be used properly for the job, you better
believe it’ll pass code.
Photography by Miro Dvorscak - House and home online.com
Shown above is evidence of what a brilliant mind and another
person’s trash can accomplish. At first glance, this gorgeous floor looks like
it’s made from marbles, mosaic or colored pebbles. You’re actually looking at
hundreds of beer bottle caps.
Photo from Phoenix Commotion web site
White, gold and blue bottle caps are artistically placed to
create this beautiful mosaic wall mural of a Copperhead snake.
Michael Stravato for The New York Times
And these are recycled wine corks adhered together to create
a soft, cushy floor.
Photo Credit: House and Home Online
See that incredible ceiling art? The roofing interior is
made from discarded samples of picture frame corners, all fitted together in
colorful geometric patterns.
Photography by Miro Dvorscak - House and home
The picture above shows the local bois d’ark wood used as
railing and an accent. The floor light (rather than skylight) creates a bright,
green glow from the trees underneath, not to mention its artistic quality.
It’s absolutely amazing to see what can be done with waste.
Creative, insightful and aesthetic, these homes will certainly appeal to anyone
who advocates minimal surroundings and sustainable living.
Houston House and Home: www.Houseandhomeonline.com
What type of remodeling job are you interested in?