There is a famous saying that ‘necessity is the mother of invention’. In today’s tough economic times, that saying has never been truer. With the cost of new furniture and home décor skyrocketing in price, while the quality of the pieces plummets, a new form of art in the design world has emerged. It is called repurposing, or as some people call it up-cycling. It is also another aspect to going ‘green’ by reusing existing items without depleting our planetary resources.
The idea is to take something that has long since outlived its’ original purpose, and giving it new life as something else. In the art world, it is called ‘recycled art’. In the world of furniture and décor, it is now called repurposing.
If you do a search on the internet, your results will bring forth numerous web sites devoted to repurposed items ready for your home, to do it yourself projects and ideas. One of the best known sites is Etsy.com. Its main focus is to showcase artists and their handmade items. They have entire sections of the site now devoted to repurposed items for your home, and in all price ranges.
Not sure what qualifies to be repurposed? In the antique and vintage world there are first quality items, second quality items (they have a few scratches, missing a drawer pull, or the material might have a stain or tear or two), and then there are the items destined for the dumpster. These are the prime pieces for repurposing!
For example, there are old Hoosier Cabinet doors that can be repurposed to be the tops to an end table, turned rails from an old stair case can be re-used as table legs, pieces of industrial equipment can be wired up and used as ceiling light fixtures, and the list goes on and on.
The repurposing design trend was huge in 2011, but I think that we have only seen the tip of the iceberg for this creative endeavor. It has gone from a necessity, to a true design form.
So, before you through out that old piece that you think is now junk, check into some design project ideas first. You just might have the makings of that really unique one of a kind piece that some interior designer would want to showcase in a home!