The Creative Repurposing Dynamic Duo
September 2020 Issue
by Meredith M. Deal
Photography by Nancy J. Reynolds and Bobby Haven
Nancy Reynolds Haven and Bobby Haven are a couple of creative souls on a new adventure called Honna’s Haven—the place for throwaway old stuff brought back to life in a new form. They claim their two artistic minds have been given new life in repurposing salvage, antiques and exceptional wood pieces into useful and upcycled décor and works of art.
Fans of boho vintage décor, the Havens have a collection of salvaged doorknobs, corbels, cornices, beautiful salvage pieces and relics. Wrought iron, railings, antiques and architectural finds. Salvaging is a top priority and favorite pastime.
Their shared newfound creative outlet is making their lives more complete. “We are artists and have been professional photographers for 35 years,” Nancy said, adding the couple are both natives of our area. “We kept thinking, ‘how can we re-invent ourselves, do something we are passionate about, something we can really enjoy doing together?”
Bobby is a self-taught craftsman carpenter and collector of unique things. Nancy’s favorite finds are screen doors, knobs and drawer-pulls. “I made our closet door into a screen door. It pulls me back to a much simpler time, like summertime as a kid. I love old and new knobs, especially single ones. Many of my favorites do not match.” And the Havens are enamored with solid old wooden doors and recycled wood. “Why cut down more trees when there is so much to recycle?” Nancy asked.
What spurred them into thinking they might be great at heirloom repurposing? “In 2017 our home flooded after Hurricane Irma. We lost so many pieces of furniture, anything upholstered had to go, but some antiques survived quite well. We salvaged things like popping up our destroyed heart pine wooden floors. Some pieces were fixable, so we needed to hold on to them.”
“We then started doing finishing touches to our home, like acid wash staining our floors—a look we really love, tiling our kitchen back splashes, shelving and more. We did a few pieces for ourselves, and when friends saw what we did, they wanted something similar, too.”
The business’s first name is Nancy’s other name. “My three little granddaughters call me ‘Honna,’ as my son coined so many years ago. And this is our ‘haven,’ where we go to refresh and where my creative juices begin to flow. We started putting this together in January this year, and in the early pandemic months, started buying and got to work, piece by piece. With each project we gain confidence to tackle another project and another.”
Nancy shared how proud she is to be living her dream and Bobby’s too. “All our finished pieces have a story attached, like how they were found, or what other life they had. I get excited now thinking about the next piece we will be working on together!”
Pictured Left to Right:
Top Image: Nancy is surrounded by some of their creations including The “Love” mirror framed from an old wooden church pew which was on Bobby’s mother’s front porch for as long as he can remember. “Such great childhood memories.”
1) A corner shelf in a devotion room made from their previous pine flooring and “chippy” painted shutters. The choppier the paint the better!
2) A lovely old oval picture frame is put to good use by attaching screen wire for earrings to hang on easing choices for the right pairs to complete an outfit.
3) This planter is made of driftwood plucked from the marsh just outside their back door. Old bed springs from Bobby’s baby bed provide just the right spot for some favorite succulents.
4) Bobby is sanding a piece of driftwood for their next project.
5) This smaller mirror was made for a friend headed off to college for her first year. The hooks can be used for her book bag, clothes or accessories and fits perfectly in a small space like a dorm room. “We call it the Greta mirror in her honor.”
“Nothing in our house or what we do for Honna’s Haven is perfect, but we like it that way. The organic feel we utilize from nature adds to the charm of everything we do.”