Friends of mine scored a garden-apartment rental on a tree-lined block of Fort Greene, in Brooklyn, which has fast turned into a living setup that befits them perfectly. Their space is peppered with eclectic finds of all periods and persuasions; she, an on-the-side floral designer, has a knack for positioning things just so. Naturally, I was thrilled to see the way they repurposed vintage luggage; that and other suggestions after the jump.
- If, like my friends, you've got a selection of vintage pieces in all sizes and colors, do as they did above: Stack them with the largest at the bottom to create a side table. Top with flowers, books and more; bonus points for storing smaller, less artistic luggage, totes and duffel bags within.
- Keep a small vintage suitcase or hatbox open on a dining room sideboard to display a variety of after-dinner teas.
- Take a cue from Etsy artisans Brad and Ashley Reynolds, the team behind VintageRenaissance, who give pets a prettier perch with their upcycled Suitcase Pet Bed. If you're aiming for a DIY version, keep it simple and forgo the legs—just be sure to line the vessel in a soft, supple fabric.
- A weathered vintage trunk can hold guest linens, throws and more. We keep ours in the living room—it's sturdy enough to serve as extra seating at parties. Top yours with long, flat bench cushions and a bunch of colorful throw pillows.
- Let those lines speak for themselves! (Because, let's face it—while you can travel with Tumi, Tumi does not a home accessory make.) Before turning the suitcases into a side table, my friends had them piled up beneath the fireplace. Framed by the curves of the hearth, the stack became a focal point that played off the character of the timeworn interior architecture. Functional? No. Perfection? Yes.