Today's article is all about "Repurposing". What is repurposing? Well, it's one of today's new buzz words. It means redesigning items you already have and finding new and creative uses for them. These uses can be decorative or functional. You can give furniture a lift by repainting it, or recreating it for another function that will bring new life and meaning into a worn or unwanted piece. The key to repurposing furniture is to look beyond the item's current state to imagine what it could be. Do not let some worn fabric, chipped paint or broken drawers stop you.
Why repurpose? It saves money and, like recycling, it helps the environment. For example, if everyone saved their old magazines to either recycle or repurpose into craft items, that would be space saved at the landfill. Once you start repurposing, it is hard to stop. Every greeting card, piece of wire, old table or chair, you name it, has potential. In the end, repurposing is a not-so-guilty pleasure. After all, you are saving money and helping the environment one used item at a time.
Define the furniture's new purpose
Take inventory of the furniture you have and decide how your new piece fits in. Maybe you need a new bookshelf or a dresser to compensate for the lack of a new linen closet. Perhaps a comfy couch is just what your living room needs. Have a vision and determine a plan. Shopping for new fabric, paint, stencils and the like may be required. Rather than allowing the furniture's current purpose to dictate where you place it in your home, allow your home to tell you what it needs and then create it.
The most important thing to consider is whether the "bones" are in good condition to be given a second life. For example with couches and chairs make sure the frames are sturdy and the springs are intact (if applicable). Fixing the foundation of the furniture is a much more expensive process. You can refinish wood furniture yourself with a sander, new paint and lacquer. Wood filler is a great tool for covering up old holes or repairing cracks. Some re-upholstering projects are also easy for the do-it-yourself hobbyists. For wooden pieces such as dressers, tables and armoires, you can repair hinges and legs. Benches, headboards and dining chairs can be updated with new fabric using a staple gun. More elaborate projects such as couches and cracks in wood can be difficult to fix and may require the work of a professional. You can also repurpose drawer knobs, old cabinets and picture frames. There are always surprising uses for these smaller items.
• Recover an upholstered couch with a fun, graphic print for a modern look.
• Turn a table that has lost a leg into a console for an entryway or living room.
• Paint two end tables for new nightstands. Even if the tables are different a common paint colour will unify the look.
• Mount an old door to a bedroom wall (horizontally) for a unique headboard.
• Transform an old storage chest into a mini office, complete with a bulletin board and filing cabinet.
• Stack two small cabinets on top of each other (they do not have to be identical). Either paint or cover insides with a decorative paper, and use like an armoire or linen cabinet.
• Convert a dresser to a television stand.
• Cover a dresser or small cupboard with a slab of remnant granite or marble for a new kitchen island.
Furnishing your home can be an exhausting and expensive undertaking. Consider making the process a little less painful for your wallet and the environment by repurposing pieces you already have or can find. With a little creativity, you can turn worn pieces of forgotten furniture into a custom showpiece for your home. Remember to Repurpose, Reuse and Recycle… and Happy Emancipation!