Re-Purpose with Purpose

Hello all! Today I write to you with one important lesson in mind: practical design. Nothing is more beautiful than a freshly stained, antique vanity or a funky, new lampshade on a retro lamp, but what is even better is when a piece can be re-purposed with purpose. This means giving something that once was “useless” some efficiency by giving it a function. A popular trend currently is re-purposing old suitcases into mini-bars or mountable storage and shelving. Mum and I love this idea! It’s fresh, quirky, and adds interest to any home as well as storage space.

Re-purposing doesn’t have to just be about refreshing something old. It’s not all repainting, sanding, staining, re-upholstery. Sometimes it’s an opportunity for you to create more storage in your home while also giving something vintage or antique a second chance at life.

Today Mum and I stumbled upon an old ladder. It had this great, deep 1940’s red painted over its wood and was chipping. To most, it would have been garbage or firewood, but to us, it had great potential. Mum suggested we do very little to it (we loved the vintage vibe of chipped paint), maybe put a protective gloss over it and prop it against a wall that needs a decorative touch. Then I thought about how spectacular the ladder would look running horizontal on a wall rather than simply settling against it.

“What about a bookshelf?” I said to Mum and she looked around the estate sale we were at, curiously.

“I don’t see a bookshelf, dear,” she said and continued rummaging through an old trunk.

“No, no, the ladder.”

She must’ve thought I went mad the way she looked at me. I then explained to her my idea. The frame of the ladder was perfect for it, as its two sides were thick and flat, just as floating shelves would be. Situated parallel to the floor, nails could be used to mount the ladder evenly on its side; books would then be placed in between the slats that one would usually use as steps. Indeed, one wouldn’t have to put books on it at all, perhaps a collection of vases or other decorative items. Not only would the ladder’s rusty color add great detail and design to a client’s bedroom or den, but it would have another purpose other than just looking great – it would be storage!

The lesson we learned today is never look at an item as it was once used before. You could be doing it a disservice by not thinking outside of the box. Once a ladder, once a travel suitcase, never always the same. We hope to have the ladder-book-shelf figured out within the next few days and available in the shop, but more importantly, we wanted to share our most recent inspiration of creating pieces for multi-functionality. Now go out and explore! And remember to be creative!