Recycled Bowling Alleys Make Awesome Wood Furniture
© CounterEvolution. The "Table Tots" piece can be flipped for use as a desk or bigger table.
If you love a good piece of furniture that's not only solid and sustainably-made, but that has a story to it, check out Brooklyn-based CounterEvolution. The furniture company was created in 2007, when musician Jim Malone ended work as a sound engineer for the Pokemon television show and started looking for a new career. He came across a large piece of wood from an old bowling lane, made it into a counter for his New York apartment, and realized he had found his calling.
In the five years since, CounterEvolution has produced lines of tables (dining, coffee, side, conference), benches, chairs, stools, desks, and even a guitar, all made from bowling alley wood. Until the 1980s, says marketing communications director Patrice Malone, bowling alleys used real pine and maple. Then, they converted to synthetic materials. As lanes around the country switch to the new material, they send old wood to the landfill- unless CounterEvolution gets its hands on it.
Lest Malone let any wood go to waste, he also offers clocks, wine racks, and Lazy Susans, made from scraps of wood not used in his larger pieces.
The furniture isn't cheap, but the prices are reasonable. Dining tables run around $2,000, seating for $700 - $1,200, and the clocks for under $200. For that money, you're getting quality pieces made from a material that's a real pain in the butt to work with, and that's also one of a kind.
For more of Jim's personal story and the philosophy behind CounterEvolution, watch his video: