Whether you’re planning to redecorate your existing home or striking out on your own for the first time without so much as a single chair to your name, you’ll love this guide to eco-friendly home furnishings!
Just about everyone loves the idea of using eco-friendly furniture. I mean, what’s not to adore? It’s not only good for the planet, but it’s good for your budget, too! Let’s start with where to find it, then work our way down from there, shall we?
Where to Buy or Find Eco-Friendly Furniture to Make Over
This is the easy part, since planet-friendly furniture (or the makings for it) is literally ALL around you! Here are a few of the top places to start your search besides thrift stores.
The answer to eco-friendly furniture is right in front of your eyes. Use the stuff you already own to restore, revitalize, and repurpose your existing furniture into something brand new and beautiful.! It’s cheap and one of the most earth-friendly choices you can make
You can even turn old furniture into something completely new with a little imagination For example, you can turn an old dresser into a bench, a kitchen island, or even a cute play kitchen for kids (like the one in the video below).
Hey, don’t knock it! Salvaging isn’t just about dumpster diving, I promise (although there’s nothing wrong with that, either). Torn down buildings, factory closings, and liquidation sales are all excellent places to pick up some truly useful items that you can repurpose.
For example, for a super eco-friendly kitchen island, you might find a stainless steel rolling cart from a restaurant closing. Or use a big, heavy piece of salvaged wood for a beautifully chic and sturdy surface. Just make sure you have permission to take things, especially from work sites.
One of the best places to get old furniture, as well as benefit the community, is to visit a Habitat ReStore. They sell both new and used furniture, materials, accessories, and even appliances at a fraction of the cost you’d find in a department store. Some pieces are brand new & ready to use, while others need a little TLC to make them just right for your home.
Whether in a popular furniture store or the flea market, you can also look for anything made of recycled materials. Wood, metal, glass, and many other materials can all be recycled and made into brand new furniture.
New Uses for Old Furniture
For an ultra-creative and eco-friendly décor idea, look no further than what you already have. There are plenty of ideas to revitalize and reuse some of your old furniture and give it a brand new life.
Old Entertainment Center = New Kids’ Play Area
Just about everyone has an outdated entertainment center gathering dust Turn it into a child’s dream kitchen or art work station. All it takes is some clever re-stationing of the shelves, some paint, and a little creativity.
Old Dresser = New Buffet Cabinet
An old dresser makes a beautiful and super useful new buffet cabinet for your dining room. Sand it, stain it or paint it to match your décor. Then update the hardware for a brand new look.
Old Ladder = New Bookshelf
Old wooden ladders make super cute bookshelves! The best part? You don’t really have to do anything to turn it into one. Just lean it up against the wall and call it a day! Of course, you can go the extra mile and make it cute if you want.
Old Headboard = New Bench
Repurpose an old headboard by turning it into a bench. It’s a little harder than turning a ladder into a shelf, but still doable.
Old Door = New Headboard
So you used your old headboard for a bench, but now you actually want a new headboard. Just grab an older wooden door! Then paint it to match your bedroom decor or give it a distressed look for an antique feel
Old Bookcase = New Bar Cart
Turn an old bookcase into a creative bar cart. Take out the shelves in the middle to create enough space to pour and store tall bottles. On other shelves, add hanging strips for wine glasses. You can even use the wood from the removed shelves to build wine bottle storage.
Old Dresser = New Bench
Cut out the top section of an old dresser and add some cushions and pillows to create a chic and useful bench that would look great in your kitchen, entryway, or child’s room. Leave the bottom row of drawers intact for extra storage. Or, make a “bench thingy” like the one below.
Old Dresser = New Kitchen Island
There are many old pieces of furniture that would make a great kitchen island. And old chest or dresser can be reinforced and painted to make a super useful kitchen island that anyone would be proud of.
Repurposing old furniture can give you something brand new out of something that was previously no longer useful. Making something beautiful and useful out of something old or ugly is certainly a rewarding task. With a small amount of tools and some paint, you can completely recreate just about anything.
Recycled Lighting Ideas
While lighting isn’t exactly “furniture,” it’s definitely an important part of your decor. Plus, you know, it helps you avoid stubbing your toe in the middle of the night! Did you know that you can create lighting from just about anything as long as you have little time (and a simple light kit from any hardware store).
For an eco-friendly creative look, try one (or more) of these recycled lighting ideas.
Wine bottles make beautiful pendant lighting. After washing out and drying the bottles, remove the labels and either paint or hang them as is. Wine bottle pendant lights would look perfect in a kitchen or above a bar area.
For a chic, old-style look, hang mason jars as pendant lights. The clear glass makes for bright lighting that would look good anywhere, but would especially shine on a screened-in patio or other area with an outdoor feel.
Cans of just about any shape and size can be turned into attractive pendant lighting. Clean the cans thoroughly and remove all labels before using them for this project. For an extra creative touch, cut cans in half for an industrial chic look, or poke holes in the sides of cans to show whimsical shapes. These make excellent indoor or outdoor lights.
How cute are these globe lights? Wouldn’t they look adorable in a kids’ playroom or a homeschooling room?
For a super creative and beautiful chandelier, you can make one out of recylced picture frames!
Another super creative way to upcycle old stuff into a chandelier would be to use old silverware.
Turn a wine bottle into a cutesy lamp with this tutorial below.
What to do with all those software CDs now that computers don’t even have media drives anymore? Make a night lamp, of course.
There is literally no limit to what you can use to make beautiful and creative lighting. These recycled lighting options and more would not only give your room a creative lighting touch, but would also be great conversation starters.
Other “junk” lamps
Check out the video below for more ideas on how to upcylce “junk” into lamps:
Have you ever made your own eco-friendly furniture? I’d love to hear about your projects!