Cool Couches Made From Recycled Fridges (Photos)

Photos: Adrian Johnson. Specs after the jump.

The fridge couch -- well, someone out there had to finally marry the two. Created by Canadian designer Adrian Johnson, these customized ultra-retro seaters are made from vintage refrigerators and salvaged car seats that he rescues from local junkyards. Johnson's apparent mission: "To go where recycling hasn't gone before."
The sweet citrus Fridgecouch 735i Dual-Temp. Specs: Navy blue 1984 BMW 735i back seat with central arm rest in electric orange 1983 Admiral Dual-Temp refrigerator. Trimmed with pecan oak shelving, integral padded arm rests, adjustable side racks, lower door shelf, fridge handle legs.

It all started in 2006, when 34-year-old Johnson, a former professional snowboarder who now works as an architect, wanted to build something special for his outdoor wedding reception. As he told South Coast Today:

I was at a scrap yard in Freetown, and I saw this really nice BMW seat, the most beautiful cherry red interior... almost new. That intrigued me. I went to a dump in Mattapoisett and found a green fridge form the 1970s that fit the leather seat exactly, within a half an inch.


The hot Fridgecouch 325e Frost Clear. Specs: Cherry red 1986 BMW 325e back seat in olive green 1980 Gibson Frost Clear Deluxe refrigerator, trimmed with red mahoghany shelves and fold-down freezer door side table.

And the rest is history.

Each Fridgecouch is meticulously handcrafted from Johnson's collection of car seats that he keeps in storage. With a seat in mind, he then goes in search of the right fridge to fit it, dismantling the refrigerator at the dump and leaving the freon for safe recovery (which means, sorry guys, you will still have to get off the couch to get a beer.) Johnson trims the couches with wood, because German cars have wood trim inside.

So why go to all this effort of making something like this instead of just recycling these components? Johnson explains:

Refrigerators and car seats are large-scale waste. They're heavy, un-reusable products that have a short life cycle. They're being recycled, but energy goes into crushing them, melting them down. Whereas with a concept like this, it flips from being one thing to being something else immediately.

I consider these couches art pieces, and not just products. Each one is unique. Everything is hand-made, custom-designed.



Speaker-integrated comfort: the 535i No Frost. Specs: Black leather 1988 BMW 535i back seat with fold-down arm rest in Harvest Gold 1980 GE No Frost refrigerator with dark walnut and oak shelving, swinging freezer door side table, storage cabinet and iPod-compatible Philips sound system.

Though the Fridgecouch is still in the "development phase" and with only three so far actually made, Johnson still has had to turn down potential buyers in the meantime. But he fully intends to turn his upcycled prototypes into a full-fledged commercial operation:

Ultimately, I want to develop this recycled-furniture concept into a business, with the goal of creating desire in the waste product.

I want people to see the creative value in reusing, rather than always wanting new from the store, which contributes to our massive waste problem.

Amen to that. Hopefully, we'll see more of these well-crafted and unique couches soon.

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Tags: Designers | Furniture | Recycled Consumer Goods | Upcycling