Reuse and Refresh for Earth Day

According to the EPA, Americans generate about 12 million tons of furniture waste a year, and about 80% of it ends up in landfill. With Earth Day approaching, it’s a great time to look for ways to reuse, upcycle, and upcycle furniture and decor.

Interior designers and other experts share their thoughts on ways to view older furniture and previously used items a little differently. It’s a good decision for the environment, and with a little creativity, you can also invite fun new aesthetic touches into your living spaces.

Real estate sales, antiques

These clean and crisp contemporary interior design elements that have been popular for over a decade aren’t really going away anytime soon; however, more homeowners are now open to transitional design concepts. This allows for classic or vintage touches in the home to warm up spaces with neutral color backdrops and furnishings and decor that blend generations and styles.

Natasha Pace, owner of Silver Lining Estate Sales, said estate sales are full of items that can be repurposed to freshen up a space in your home. At the same time, when you buy and use something from an estate sale, you are extending the life of a piece that had a purpose for someone else in the past.

“It’s almost like someone walks in the door and hands you the keys to their life,” Pace said.

The estate sales expert said people are often looking for unique or classic pieces of furniture, but also everyday items like pots, pans, knife sets and cutlery, and even tools. Some tools are sought after for their use, but others also appreciate them for interior decoration.

“Some like to call them ‘man-ticks,’ where they use things like old woodworking tools, planers, routers and even fishing gear, which are still popular, as accent pieces,” Leslie said. Bell, owner of Silver Horse Antiques in Las Vegas.

Artisans also frequent estate sales, Pace said. “Some will buy old blankets and reupholster a futon or other piece of furniture with them. All you really need is a stapler and you can stuff something.

In the past, large antique wooden furniture was generally considered unsaleable, according to Pace, but now older pieces are making a comeback. Buyers are also younger and, in addition to furniture, they are also interested in CDs, VHS. cassettes and vinyl records as fun retro accents in the home.

Bell said French cottage-style furniture has always been in style, even in today’s contemporary homes. Its soft pastels, pinks and blues fit well in all types of interiors, she added. Many vintage pieces of furniture are also perfect for small areas.

“People might not want them for the whole house, but they might seek out that vintage Victorian or Asian couch or chair for their entryway because it’s stunning.

She also said Las Vegas is a great place to find hotel furniture that hits the secondary market and can be reupholstered or reupholstered in some other way. “We probably have more used furniture in this city per capita than any other city in the country,” she added.

Let your creativity run wild

Home design experts say there is no creative limit to redesigning used household items, regardless of their size and previous use. Kate Diaz is an interior designer and co-founder of Swanky Den, which researches and recommends products for the home. She offers some creative suggestions, such as:

Turn an old door into a headboard for your bed.

Turn an old coffee table into an ottoman.

Simply use mason jars as vases for the flowers.

Karen Aronian, the founder of Aronian Education Design, which advises families on how to create fun and educational home spaces for children, offers these suggestions:

Reuse plastic salad containers to classify and store small toys and art supplies.

Repurpose oversized children’s tables and desks as bases for pet aquariums and terrariums.

Repurpose used linens for picnics and kids’ craft tarps.

“Another great use for an old sheet is as a pet-proof cover for beds and furniture. (It) keeps your duvet and pillows free of pet hair, dirt, and their chew toys. “, she said.

Stefan Bucur, co-founder of interior design website, isn’t shy about getting creative with newer furniture, either. He described how you can upcycle Ikea’s minimal, modern four-cube storage piece, the Kallax, into a bar cart or coffee station.

“Add casters to the base to make it mobile. Casters with a gold accent will look great with the white or black storage piece,” he said. “Add door handles to the top of the unit … they can be used as handles to move the trolley and prevent objects on top from falling. …Add a plant for some greenery and some of your favorite decorative pieces.

Brad Holden, editor of Family Handyman, also suggests that an “irreparable old piano can be converted into a desk. Remove the keys, hammers and harp and add a work surface,” plus other practical and fun tips like:

Using old kitchen cabinets in the garage.

Create an herb garden with soup cans.

Separate an antique suitcase into two halves and add cushions for a pet bed.

Sometimes, it’s also the little touches that can make all the difference. Amy Stansfield, who explores interior design topics for, said any wood furniture can be updated with chalk paint for a “shabby chic effect”. Changing drawer pulls and doorknobs on cabinets and tables is another way to update furniture, and she also said creating a gallery wall with older or unused items that speaks to your personal style is a popular way to use up what you have or breathe new life into something you can find at a thrift store.

However you choose to honor Earth Day, keep in mind that a little creativity will not only give our dumps a break, but will also keep precious dollars in your pocket.

About Leslie Schwartz

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