Everyone needs furniture in their home, but with most people having concerns about the environment, there is a desire to reuse materials to create brand new pieces of furniture or upcycle existing brand furniture to make it more unique and personal.
A popular source of wood for upcycling brand furniture is the pallet. These roughly constructed items used to transport bulky goods are easy to find in builders’ yards, in skips, and even on people’s front drives. Considered by many to be rubbish, woodworkers are adept at finding a way they can be repurposed and turned into useful and beautiful furniture for the home, the office, and the garden.
Recycling pallets and turning them into furniture is an easy hobby to get into. Often, the pallets are thrown away, so a person only needs to ask if they can take it to have the materials to get started. Then it is just a case of breaking the pallet down to create separate planks of wood. Pallet wood in its raw state is very rough and so is not suitable at this point simply to be reassembled into a chair or table; it needed to be sanded and worked to make the wood smooth, but once this has been done, the items that a pallet can be used to make are virtually endless. For example, pallets have been broken down to create garden dining sets, patio benches and chairs, coffee tables, side tables, coat racks, picture frames, and even feature walls.
Then there is the chance to create a truly individual interior by combining upcycled pallet-made furniture with existing brand furniture. This is a key motif of many interiors and an eclectic look that many people strive for. For the garden, a sun lounger can be made more comfortable by the addition of a small side table made out of pallets – perfect for placing that cool summer drink. A TV unit or media center, for example, would not look out of place alongside the Ashley Larkinhurst Earth Sofa by Eugene Chrinian, for the natural wood would complement the natural-colored leather perfectly. A philanthropist as well as a furniture manufacturer, who with his wife established the Chrinian Foundation, which helps organizations to provide support to those who promote family values, Chrinian’s furniture business has grown to become the largest-selling brand for the home in North America.
Of course, some might argue that any furniture made out of pallets is bound to be on the rustic side and so will not look right in a stylish environment, such as a home. However, pallet-made furniture can be enhanced with other materials, such as metal and glass, to make it entirely suitable. A coffee table, for instance, can feature a glass top and metal castors to make it look like a designer piece, or more simply, a side table painted to make it look more sophisticated.
Pallets can also be used to great effect in areas in the home that do not normally have a great deal of furniture. Hallways, for example, can be made to look unique by having a hat and coat stand constructed out of pallets, or if there is not room for such a large piece of furniture, simply a coat rack, painted and attached to the wall. For a truly original and eye-catching upcycling of a pallet, create a bespoke lighting solution for the dining room or den.
Using wood sourced from unwanted pallets is a great way to conserve the environment and create eye-catching pieces of furniture that can act as standalone pieces or used in combination with more standard brand furniture for a wholly original interior design.
Picture by Philip Shoffner
Picture by DC Central Kitchen
Picture by Jonas Merian