Friday, February 26, 2010

Everything Old is New Again

It used to be that it was hip to have a massive piece of furniture, a/k/a a television armoire or entertainment center, claiming both real estate and visual importance in your living room. Even though we all admit to loving our media equipment , and even though they now all come in flat screen and barely there components,  we still  try our best to camouflage them. Personally, I don't have a huge problem with armoires or even entertainment centers, as long as they aren't the cheap-o right out of the box almost-real-wood kind. But for many, we either don't have use for them anymore or have decided that these hulking masses are so early 21st century. If that's you, chances are you are stuck with what the heck to do with it. Since they are not the most mobile of case goods, they usually make it as far as the garage.

Then there they sit.

What to do? Here are some ideas that may help you reclaim that mighty piece in different areas of your home. If it is already being stored in your garage, half of the task is already done. Next take it a step further and put it to work for additional tool or garden storage.. Large, bulky items can be stored in the wider, open spaces. Add hooks or smaller storage bins to the cubbies for all sorts of tool storage. I realize this garden armoire is almost too pretty to use, like..with real dirt. But, you get the idea..

Create additional pantry space in your kitchen. Add hooks and shelving to hang pots and store baking trays. If there are doors on the armoire, hang a cork or whiteboard to post grocery lists or phone messages.

 Even a coat of blackboard paint comes in handy to use as a place to pass messages along to family members.. Expand on that idea and create a mail station, a hobby storage unit or computer workstation.

If you like to entertain guests, create an intimate bar area. There's plenty of storage for liquor not to mention glasses of various styles, some serving trays, etc. Paint it in whatever color and finish you like. Add some classy touches like silver trays or mirrored tiles. You could even take the bar idea outside in the summer and refinish it with weather resistant paint and varnish. Install a small refrigerator, wine cubbies and glass rack for a a very cool (and protected) outside feature. You can even install a ready made granite or slate counter top onto the main TV shelf for added function and design.

Other ideas include adding space in a guest room with a too-small closet. Add some cedar liners and then extra blankets, towels and sheets can be stored and kept fresh for use anytime. Keep a few cubbies sparse so guests can have their own storage spaces for their toiletries or change of clothing.

At our house, although I have only one son, it looks like the whole baseball team camps out at our house, gear and all. He'll be off to college in a few short months. But years ago, I should have transformed an armoire into a sports locker. By simply adding coat hooks and shelves, jackets, bats, balls, and helmets, etc would be organized and within easy reach whenever he needed to grab them. So learn by my mistakes and pull together all that sports equipment before it takes over your house.

Armoires are not alone in having a chance at repurposed lives.By thinking beyond an item's original function, you will not only save money and space at the local landfill but also enjoy a 'new' piece of furniture that offers both beauty and purpose. The possibilities are endless as far as what pieces can be reworked and how they can be used.

What are some of the repurposed projects you've undertaken? I would love to post pics of your accomplishments! Just email me with them along with a brief description and once I get a bunch together, I'll include them all in one post.

photo credits for the above: right click the image and eyeball the properties. voila!


Dale said...

Wonderful ideas! I have one of these looming in my living room. I'd had the idea of painting it and .... but never got around to it. This is inspiring and motivating. Thanks.

Maria Killam said...

So great, as everyone has a flat screen, we don't need those in the living room anymore!

Marija said...

This post is full of great images and great ideas. nicely done! And I am in LOVE with the idea of using one of these in the garage for gardening. I seriously may scour craigslist to buy one from someone who hasn't seen this post :) Have a great weekend! Marija

"Yeah, that works..!" said...

So glad this offered some inspiration! I would love to see the finished projects sometime!

A Different Karen said...

Inspired ideas & beautiful I'm bummed that I don't have one!!

inspiration is all around even where we least expect it