recycled furnitureIf I told you there was a way to get rid of old your furniture and acquire new furniture WITHOUT spending a fortune, what would you say?

We live in a throwaway society and that’s a real shame; we waste a lot of materials and money this way. I mean, what happened to make do and mend? What happened to character and creativity?

It’s kind of funny when you think about it, because ‘shabby sheek’, ‘rustic’ and ‘vintage’ trends are hugely popular – and people spend a lot of money on new furniture items made to look aged, vintage and original.

Why is that funny? Because you can repurpose old furniture pieces yourself for a fraction of the price – and it’s guaranteed to be one-of-a-kind!

Perhaps the problem for most people is a lack of inspiration. Sometimes you just cannot see any potential in that old, faded, hideous pine wardrobe. But with a bit of imagination, it is possible to breathe new life into your old furniture.

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Recycled furniture – Here’s 10 inspiring projects to help get you started:

1. The trick with repurposing is to think outside the box, which is certainly what the creators of this cute project did! The green/blue hanger would be particularly useful for hanging scarves or belts. You could also use these refurbished coat hangers as a display/art piece, or simply liven up your guest room’s wardrobe! Image via Volume 25

recycled furniture

2. Have you got four old doors and some pitched tin lying around? Because if you do you can also make this adorable tool shed. Image via Roomzar

recycled furniture

3. This extremely cute bar was easy to create from an old pine bookcase. All that was needed was a bit of elbow grease and an imagination! Image via Apartment Therapy

recycled furniture

4. How about turning a coffee table into a bench? It just goes to show what a lick of paint and some pretty fabric can do! Image via Sabby In Suburbia

piano desk

5. This desk/shelving unit is made from an antique piano – what a statement! I don’t know if I could actually dismantle a piano myself to create this – but if you do own a piano that is gathering dust and seems too big for your home, this is a great way of keeping it. Image via Dream Book Design

recycled furniture

6. A lovely idea for an old vintage suitcase, and I especially like how they’ve matched the fabric with the cushion. The great thing about using a suitcase as an ottoman/foot stool, is you get the added bonus of storage. I, perhaps, would have used wooden legs instead of chrome, but I think the overall effect works well. Image via Design Of Furniture

recycled furniture

7. Throwing away your old mattress? Save some of the springs! There are loads of things you can use them for, just look at this cute vase used from a vintage bed spring. It works because it’s so simple and effective. Little objects like this are often overlooked, but sometimes you just have to look at everything as if it’s a design opportunity… Image via The Crafty Blog Stalker

recycled furniture

8. A practical way to transform a baby’s crib once it has been outgrown. The glass top compliments the bars, and gives a modern twist to the finished piece. I love how nothing has gone to waste here; the fourth wall of the crib has been turned on its side and fashioned into a handy shelf. Image via Archados de Decoracão

recycled furniture

9. This is another great idea for an old bookcase or chest of drawers – especially for wine collectors. Image via Rustic Crafts

recycled furniture

10. This wrought iron fence has been repurposed with some wood to make a decorative table/shelf. This would look lovely in a hallway or corridor. I also like how it brings an element of the outside into the home. Image via Dishfunctional Designs

Are you feeling inspired yet? I’d love to hear about your repurposed home projects as well, so please leave a comment to share your own experiences!

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authorLouise Dickens is an interior design enthusiast who blogs about home décor and DIY projects for MySofaBeds

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You carpool whenever possible, line dry your laundry to save energy and carry a stainless steel water bottle to minimize your plastic consumption.

But what about your home decor? Does your home radiate the sustainable vibe that you do?

Here are some easy ways to incorporate elegant, eco-friendly decor elements into your design aesthetic at home.

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RECLAIMED WOOD

Sustainable design has gained popularity in recent years. Old has become new again and reclaimed wood has made a meteoric rise. Barn wood has been particularly popular with many city dwellers schlepping out of the city in search of reclaimed wood from falling down old barns. Pinterest has endless inspiration – everything from headboards to dressers and dining tables. Design projects are often quite affordable if you’re on a tight budget. If DIY isn’t your thing, check out Etsy for one-of-a-kind tables, desks, bookends, wall art and more.

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FRESH FLOWERS

Strategically placed vases of fresh floral arrangements are an easy way to revive pizzazz in any room and refresh the ambiance. Create an air of decadence with a cluster of bold peonies or accentuate your romantic side with a classic bouquet of roses. Display bouquets in recycled glass vases for a look that’s as sustainable as it is chic. Adding flowers to your home is also good practice of feng shui.

INDOOR PLANTS

The easiest way to make your home greener is by adding a few houseplants. Not only will these additions breathe new life into your decor, but indoor plants are also beneficial to your health. In 1989, NASA conducted a study to determine the effects of indoor plants and found that they can boost indoor air quality by reducing the amount of volatile organic compounds, absorbing carbon dioxide and reducing the amount of formaldehyde in the air. These findings were groundbreaking at the time and still stand true today.

You don’t need to have a green thumb to enjoy these benefits. There are a wide range of houseplants that are as low maintenance as they are beneficial to purifying the air in your home. Some easy-to-find varieties include:

  • Philodendron
  • English ivy
  • Snake plant
  • Bamboo palm
  • Spider plant

REVIVED RUGS

Add a bold mix of color to your entryway with an area rug made from recycled materials. Eco-conscious designers and retailers are beginning to manufacture and sell rugs made from materials like recycled cotton from the floors of textile factories, recycled leathers, and recycled polypropylene rolls.

HAND-CARVED BOWLS

Stash your ceramic fruit bowl centerpiece and update your kitchen tablescape with a hand carved wooden bowl to add an earthy edge to even the most modern space. A large, shallow gnarly bowl carved from a tree stump makes for a free-form conversation piece. Acacia, mango, and olive wood also work well for this application. Keep your eyes open, you may be able to find a bowl made from one of these types of wood locally at a craft festival or farmer’s market. –

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brittany's biscuits“It’s named Brittany’s Biscuits because of my heritage. I’m Puerto Rican and Trinidadian, but there’s also English in my family. I was named after Great Britain and in England they call cookies biscuits. So it’s a play on words and pays homage to my family’s roots.”  – Brittany Gonzalez, Proprietor and Lead Baker of Brittany’s Biscuits

Brittany Gonzalez is a Brooklyn, New York based entreprenuer on a mission to make people smile. Her sweet method of zapping frowns are her custom cookies. Influenced by her father’s love of baking, González continues the family tradition yet doesn’t limit herself to strict recipes. Her specialty is original and tasty treats inspired by customer imagination…

INTERVIEW

brittany's biscuitsbrandnewdaydesigns: What makes your cookies unique?

Brittany Gonzalez: I’m not limited to a certain flavor or brand. There’s this idea in the culinary world where you’re suppose to have a niche because there’s so much competition. I’m up for a challenge. I would say about seventy-five percent of the cookies I make are custom orders.  A lot of people, especially people who are gluten intolerant or follow a strict vegan diet or can’t eat dairy come to me. I can provide a cookie to their specification. They can tell me they want a gluten-free raspberry cookie and I will make one that will be delicious. Another example is my Alicia’s Aw Shucks Popcorn Cookies. That was a cookie that a friend of mine thought of.  It was a good thing for me as those popcorn cookies have been one of my biggest sellers. My customers are very creative and I have yet to have an idea for a custom cookie that hasn’t worked. I like to let people’s imaginations run wild.

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brittany's biscuits

bndd: Do you bake everything to order?

BG: People know about the phenomenon of fresh baked cookies coming out of the oven, but one of the best ways to get great cookie flavor is to make the dough in advance and chill it. It’s the same concept as marinating meat. With the exception of large quantities, everything is baked to order and packed and shipped within three to five business days. All orders arrive fresh.

Related: Cupookie - The Art of Custom Cookies…

brittany's biscuitsbndd: Let’s talk about marketing and your strategy for letting people know about Brittany’s Biscuits. On your YouTube channel, there’s a video of you baking cookies and then going to a park and giving them away…

BG: It’s the kid in me. Sometimes I just want to be able to give someone a cookie and make his or her day. I’ve also discovered that people really want to see a face. So that’s how my YouTube series started. Nothing is scripted. Everything is improvised. It’s just me doing crazy stuff and handing out cookies. Since I like making people laugh acting a fool (laughs) it was natural for me to have a web series and combine that with my baking to get more attention and it’s worked. A lot of times people are stressed out from work or family life and I like walking up to someone and asking “Would you like a chocolate chip cookie?” Watching them smile and telling me how good my cookie is makes it all worth while.

VIDEO: Watch Brittany Gonzalez put a smile on people’s faces with samples of her homemade cookies… 

bndd: You’re very dedicated to promoting your cookies through social media…

BG: [When it comes to marketing a business] I don’t think a lot of people give social media enough attention. I started out with just word of mouth and then I found the courage to open a store on Etsy. I love talking to people and social media is the perfect place for that. I use Tumblr, Facebook and I’m especially voracious about Instagram.

brittany's biscuitsbndd: What are your top three selling cookies?

BG: The Campfire Crunch Cookies are an original recipe of S’mores I make and my Chocolate Chip Cookies always sell out. Another favorite is the Oatmeal Very Berry Delights, which are very healthy and I actually eat them for breakfast.

DISCOVER:  Brittany’s Biscuits

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