Images: Purpose Restoration
The following are all well and good when it comes to furniture: zero-VOC paints and glues, FSC-certified wood, bamboo, kirei board, multi-functionality, portability, and so forth. But if you break it down, I'll wager that using an already existing piece of furniture will win the green star award any day. And there is more than enough furniture already out there. But let's be honest; a lot of it looks like it got run over by the ugly truck.
Pratt graduate Jason Fox has built a cottage industry around saving furniture from death row, giving his pieces unique facelifts and special modifications. Convened in 2009, his Culver City-based Purpose Restoration is "a unique team of design professionals, carpenters, refinishers, and artists dedicated to the craft of furniture restoration and reinvention."
In some cases, clients are already in possession of the table, dresser, chair, or bed. They then bring them to Jason and his crew for transformation. Other customers find artifacts at flea markets and yard sales, or in the back of their garage or storage space. One happy customer brought his dresser to Purpose after nearly ruining it in his efforts to refinish it himself. Giving new life to destitute furniture has the potential to save terrific amounts of waste. Furthermore, being involved in the restoration process no doubt creates a more lasting bond between owner and object (I think Dan Arielly would agree this is an example of his "Ikea effect."), and may extend its useful life further still.
More on Reclaimed and Green Furniture
Restore Thrift Store, Second-Hand Furniture (Planet Green)
Find, Design Your Own Refurbished Furniture (Planet Green)
10 Coolest Multifunctional Furniture Designs (Slideshow)
How to Go Green: Furniture (Planet Green)