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 CaptionFabricated of plastic and lacquered high-gloss red, the shelving units stand 90-inches tall. "Like any good runway model," says Drake, "they appear even more attenuated because of their slim lines."
Sweater Set

You never know what treasures you’ll find if you keep your eyes — and your mind — open. Just ask designer Jamie Drake (drakedesignassociates.com), who found these red totem-pole-like shelves at one of New York’s famed Triple Pier Antiques extravaganzas, long after the shelves stopped serving their original use as sweater display units for the French fashion company Rodier.

"I fell in love with the strong graphic presence of these functional sculptures," says Drake, "and had to have them for myself at once. I was in the midst of furnishing a weekend home in the Hamptons, and knew they would be perfect in the double-height living room. After selling that house, I moved them into my new city apartment."

Drake, author of Jamie Drake’s New American Glamour (Bulfinch, 2006), is no stranger to the art of repurposing pieces. In projects for clients over the years, he has used a 1920s enameled metal dentist’s storage cabinet as a dresser, and a steel-framed medical unit with two glass-fronted doors as a capacious linen cabinet in a country bathroom.

"There really are no rules about what can be used where," Drake says emphatically. "If you love it, go for it!"

Photograph by William Waldron.

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