For those who find the relentless uniformity of modern, mass-produced furniture tedious (and not to mention environmentally unfriendly), there's always the option of furnishings that are made from recycled materials, like these pieces by the resourceful American trio Unite Two Design. Combining unlikely elements of rustic with the industrial, Unite Two Design's distinctive furniture is handcrafted from farm beams that are reclaimed locally, and odds and ends of industrial machinery. Calling their unique, juxtaposed style "farmpunk", it's cool to see that sometimes each component can hail from different centuries altogether.
According to their website, their inspiration comes from being creative with what's at hand:
In the beginning we embraced the philosophy of use what you have or find and create with it, which shows true ingenuity. Sticking to our roots, utd now recovers material from local farms, industrial sites and residential projects. Our raw, homegrown designs draw inspiration from the past, present, and future while working with the original form.
This creative reconciliation between rustic and industrial is apparent in all their work. Using old farmhouse beams gives their furniture a rough-hewn edge that contrasts with the unyielding, industrial character of welded metal.
Farmpunk or not, this console using an old wooden and I-beams looks very much steampunked too:
But there's little surprises too, like this table which has a reclaimed farmhouse beam, a dairy farm pipe, a cattle-watering trough, plus an old stop sign to top off the mix:
Another retired stop sign was used in this bench, which also includes an old 1800's farmhouse beam, a discarded bulldozer sprocket, gang mower axles, bands from a demolished silo and a steel wagon wheel.
One of their tables even features an old bumper complete with a still-visible bumper sticker.
Though it's probably not for everyone in terms of aesthetic and price, it's incredible how furniture using reclaimed materials can take on so many forms and styles, in addition to the added appeal of real craftsmanship. Rather than sticking with one or the other, Unite Two Design's furniture skillfully blends the industrial with the pastoral, giving an urban edge to the country-living aesthetic.
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