Guide To: Stores that specialize in repurposing and restyling old furniture
Marketplace Link: Green Stores
Some people have a knack for breathing new life into old things. Fortunately for us, many of them have opened stores, making their Frankenstein-like creations available to anyone who wants them. The shopowners featured here are clever people who've inspired us with their good ideas for transforming furniture.
Reestore (UK/Online): Reestore is the brainchild of Max McMurdo,who excels in "cheekily" turning waste objects into stylish and functional pieces of furniture and accessories. The Max Bathtub Chaise is created from a vintage cast iron bathtub and upholstered in a fabric of your choice! (All products take 4-6 weeks for delivery and prices are in British pounds.)
The White Attic (Chicago): Owner Terry Ledford scouts for the shop's dressers, tables, and chairs, while the White Attic team updates Terry's finds using low-VOC paints and varnishes. The White Attic has a website, but they don't sell anything online. You have to call or visit the store in-person to buy.
Three Potato Four (Virginia/Online): Husband and wife team Janet Morales and Stu Eli keep their store stocked with a rotating collection of vintage pieces. Beautiful styling and photographs provide ideas for updating and reusing old items like crates, maps, and canisters.
Old Village Hall (New York/Online): Scott Hill screenprints these literary textiles by hand. The resulting material is used to reupholster old armchairs, pillows and dining chairs.
The Steel Fork (Pennsylvania/Online): Ben and Kate Gatski are just a couple of farmers/artists living out their sustainable dream in rural Pennsylvania, where they make furniture and home decor out of recycled farm machinery parts.
Driftwood (Los Angeles/Online): David Browne handmakes furniture (tables, coffee tables, chairs, bookcases and picture frames) from reclaimed timber.
Whimsey's (Llano, Texas): "We make crap look great, honey," says Patricia Hamm of Whimseys, and it's true. Patricia has an uncanny knack for turning trash to treasure and making other people really want it. We love the hot pink bike hung from the ceiling in between chandeliers and chains!
Brimfield (Chicago): Brimfield owner Julie Fernstrom thinks just about anything looks good upholstered in tartan and/or flannel, and she's got the skills to make it happen. Her Andersonville shop is equal parts English cottage, Mad Men, and 80s preppy.
Reclaim (Menlo Park, CA/Online): Bridget Bradley, a former staff editor at Sunset, writes and edits home improvement and decorating books. She and her husband Kirk opened the store after the idea occurred to her while she was researching a green home book. Many of the store's wares are made from recycled and/or repurposed materials.
Uhuru Design (Brooklyn/Online): Red Hook based Uhuru Design focuses on practical reuse of wasted and discarded materials. The Standard Chair is made from carved wooden chair backs, steel plate seat and legs, and industrial aluminum mesh.
Photos: Reestore, Sarah Coffey, Three Potato Four, Sparrow King, The Steel Fork, Driftwood, Sarah Coffey, Michele Lee Willson, Aaron Able