Ref-use Turns Wood Scraps into Furniture!

Ref-use Turns Wood Scraps into Furniture!

Adrienne Breaux
Jan 8, 2010

This isn't the first time we've mentioned the work of Austin's two dumpster diving designers behind the furniture company Ref-use. They're known for their environmentally-friendly practices, and now they've got lots of new designs to choose from when looking for the perfect eco-friendly furniture piece.

Adam Edwards and Nicholas Petersen of Ref-use have an interesting way of creating good-looking furniture items. By reclaiming the scraps used by cabinet and woodworking shops (an often laborious and dirty task), they're able to create chairs, benches, tables and even a flooring product from material that was once "destined for a landfill." Their smart and eco-friendly take on making furniture doesn't just stop with their unique way of getting the scrap material; Edwards and Petersen also make sure all the finishes on their products are non-toxic, formaldehyde-free, and low VOC.

Their first attempts at furniture making yielded the popular (and surprisingly comfortable) Stout Chair, which then led to a more streamlined Light Chair. Now, their furniture catalogue consists of the Stout Bench, wall shelves and coffee, end and console tables in a variety of sizes. They even occasionally tackle custom and larger projects, like a reception desk. We personally like the original finish of the scrap wood, which is a gorgeous, striated medley of wood tones (as seen on the Stout and Light Chairs), but you can now also choose a more uniformed look and get their furniture pieces in one of their "Dirty" stains.

Prices on the pieces vary (but are darn reasonable for handmade, locally-produced furniture), and if you're in Austin you can find Ref-use furniture at IF+D, Eco-Wise, Wildflower Organics, Urban Living or try them out for a spell at Austin's 24 Diner. Check out Zelen Home for Ref-use pieces if you're in Los Angeles.

What do you think about dumpster diving for wood scraps to make furniture? Have you seen these pieces in person? Let us know!

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