Necessity to Accessory

August 2013

The other day, my musician husband mentioned he wanted to create something new. Some revolutionary music-scape that’s never been done before. The only problem, he said, is that everything has already been done before. Aside from some experimental jazz (or as I like to call it, just plain noise), no new, incredibly unique things have come from the music industry.

It got me thinking. Is that how the furniture industry is leaning? Are we making and selling the same old bookshelves, dressers, beds, tables? Are we innovative enough? The basics of furniture will continue to be the same. But we need to twist those basics to suit the ever-changing tastes of the consumer.

So I’ll tell you what I told him. Take something old. Something necessary, something integral to the music world—like classical music and its scales—and redo it. Repurpose it into something new and ground-breaking. That’s all creation is, really. Figuring out what once was and changing it. As he embraces that concept in the music world, so too has the furniture world taken hold. What used to be necessity has now become accessory. Items we couldn’t live without before that have now been passed by technology are being repurposed and formed into furniture pieces and decoration statements. Here are some of our favorites from this trend.

Fishing Baskets

These rattan lights by Tucker Robbins in New York lived former lives as Indonesian fishing baskets.

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Bike Chains

These bike chain chandeliers are the creative vision of Carolina Fontoura Alzaga, made from bikes reclaimed from dumpsters and junkyards. Images courtesy of the artist, John Valls and Alan J. Crossley.

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Old Books

Artist Brian Dettmer in Atlanta, Georgia, carves detailed sculptures out of books.

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Bike Tires

System Design Studio in Spain has taken old bike tires and stretched them across used furniture legs to create this unique shelf.

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Airplane Parts

MotoArt Studios in El Segundo, Calif., makes furniture and sculptures out of salvaged airplane parts.

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Whiskey Barrels

Heritage Handcrafted reuses old whiskey barrels to create one-of-a-kind furniture pieces and accessories.

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Sewing Machines

A reclaimed wooden spool and the base of an antique sewing machine form this bistro table by Reclaimed Rustics in Kimberly, Idaho.

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Electrical Wire

Miami-based artist Federico Uribe makes stunning portraits using reclaimed electrical wire and power cords.

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