As important as the environment is, there are other reasons that make recycling worthwhile. After all, if something is recyclable that means it can be reused, but it doesn’t necessarily need to be reused in the same way. In the right hands, old items and materials can be transformed into some rather incredible pieces of furniture.
Here are some examples of what can be achieved with a little imagination and resourcefulness:
Wine Barrel Stave Chair
The French wine industry is a large one, which means a lot of barrels are used, and designer Remi Denjean does not like to see them go to waste. Instead, he has had the ingenious idea of reusing the barrel staves for a variety of creations, including this rather stylish chair.
Pallet Bookcase and Chair
A chair with a bookcase integrated into the back of it is a wonderful idea in itself but it takes a certain creativity to be able to look at a boring, old pallet and transform it into a charming, highly practical piece of furniture.
A bar stool may provide the foundations for this inventive chair but with the use of an old suitcase, imbued here with sentimental value for creator Mauricio Camacho, it has become a truly unique chair that perfectly captures the spirit of travelling.
Cardboard Box Armchair
When cardboard boxes are compressed together for recycling, they rarely have a future in the furniture industry. However, designer Hyun-Woo Park has a studio devoted to producing genuinely useful products out of discarded cardboard. The chair pictured is one such example, carved out of 127 flattened boxes.
When is a door not a door? When it has very skilfully been turned into a stylish, multifunctioning desk. Closed it can be used as a standard table, but it opens up into a handy workstation, complete with storage spaces.
Old bathtubs need not wind up on the scrapheap. Design studio Reestore produces a number of products and a standout piece is the bathtub sofa, cut into shape, sandblasted, repainted and finally upholstered with fabric for a quirky, comfortable seating solution.
Shotgun Shell Chair
Alexander Reh’s Fully Loaded Chair has to be seen to be believed. No less than 388 12-gauge shotgun shells have gone into its creation, but fortunately they are all used and perfectly safe to sit on, although the material may put some people off.
This is not a cheap sofa to make as thousands of nickels have gone into its creation, and the raw material itself would amount to hundreds of dollars. The resulting sofa is slick, stylish and carefully shaped to provide comfort. You could never accuse the artist of selling out.
Mine Cart Coffee Table
The mine cart used to create this coffee table would have been used in a French mine over a century ago, but with some alterations it is now a rather exciting piece of furniture with some genuine history behind it. It even comes with a rail section.
This bar began life as a Russian army tank but its new form is a lot more welcoming. It certainly stands out as a fascinating centrepiece and the creators have done a fantastic job of restoring what’s left of it to its former glory.
Plastic Bottle Chair
Many plastic bottles are wasted every day so it’s nice to see them put to better use. This chair may be a highly resourceful solution but Polish designer Pawel Grunert has implemented his interior design skills well to craft it into a stylish shape as well.
Plastic Crate Furniture
The work of Israeli design student Naty Moskovich is a perfect example of how an initially ugly object, plastic crates in this case, can be transformed into something colourful, eye-catching and visually pleasing. Among his creations are perfectly functional tables, chairs and much more.