Give Old Furnishings a New Purpose

With a bit of imagination, furniture and found objects can do double-duty in your home.

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Hide CaptionShow CaptionChairs as easels, closets as cupboards ... there really is no end to the way furniture can be repurposed. And even items that were not at all intended for residential use can bring beauty and function to your home.
"Cart" Blanche

Chairs as easels, closets as cupboards ... there really is no end to the way furniture can be repurposed. And even items that were not at all intended for residential use can bring beauty and function to your home.

Known for her creative use of industrial objects in refined settings, designer and retailer Francine Gardner(www.interieurs.com) often transforms objects from the 19th century into 21st-century furnishings. This coffee table, for example, is made of a coal cart from northern France, most likely used at the height of the industrial revolution.

"We kept part of the track that would have been running along the mine corridors in the mid-1800s," explains Gardner. "The cart itself is the support for the coal bins."

Gardner, who has also transformed industrial chests, lockers and chairs into contemporary furniture, likes to retain as much of the pieces’ original form and finish as possible. "The only thing I have done to this cart," she notes, "is to have it stripped of its years of grime and oil, and topped with a piece of glass."

And while the table is shown here with a contemporary linen sofa, it would work well with more old-fashioned seating pieces, as well.

"Wherever you use it," says Gardner, "it will give any interior a modern creative look and feel."

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