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Old stuff, new look

Created date

March 23rd, 2010
WCD_0410_custom interiors
WCD_0410_custom interiors

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that old furniture and home decor accounted for more than 9 million tons of waste in our landfills last year. [caption id="attachment_8776" align="alignright" width="280" caption="Paul Phillips worked with the Custom Interiors department at Wind Crest to incorporate the mantle from his old house into his new place. It looks like it always belonged there, he says of how it fits into his new apartment home. (Photo by Beth Brandenburg)"][/caption] But thanks to the Custom Interiors team at Wind Crest, new residents have found ways to reduce their carbon footprint. From furniture to window coverings and decorations, we do our best to reuse whatever we can, says Wind Crest s Custom Interiors Coordinator Nina Whitehead. If you have an idea, we ll listen and see what we can do.

Making it match

Paul Phillips worked with Whitehead to bring his own style to Wind Crest. I came from a bigger house, and my wife was an antique dealer, Phillips says. So I had plenty of things that I wanted to bring along. Whitehead came to his house to take a look and returned a few days later with a plan. She was wonderful to work with, Phillips says. She came up with an idea of reusing the huge draw curtains from my home and turning them into new window treatments to match the coverlet on my bed. He adds, You don t expect window treatments to be reused. But when I came here, thanks to their ingenuity, I didn t have to buy anything new. I reused a lot of different things.

Reuse, recycle

We are seeing more and more people have their old furniture reupholstered or slip-covered, Whitehead says. If a piece of furniture is in relatively good shape, with no structural damage, it can probably be revamped. Sofas can have new cushions cut for them, and chairs can have their insides replaced. With a little effort, old furniture can look like new or bring a different style into your home. It s the ultimate in recycling. And reupholstering or slip-covering certainly costs less than buying a whole new piece of furniture. Phillips says he was excited because the Custom Interiors team at Wind Crest figured how to use even the most unique things he brought from his old house. I had close to 20 rolls of wallpaper left over from redoing my last house, and I really liked it, Phillips says. I brought it here, and [Custom Interiors] not only worked to put it up for me, but Nina even matched the rest of the paint. He was most pleased that a unique old mantle was able to be installed in the living room of his new apartment home. The thing had close to 20 coats of paint on it when we got it, Phillips says. And my wife worked hard for years scraping that thing down with what seemed like dental picks to refurbish it and expose the cherry finish. I couldn t leave that behind, and [Wind Crest] not only found a place for it, but they installed it and made it look great. Now it s there in the living room, complete with a marble insert. It looks like it always belonged there.

Options for your favorite (old) furniture

If you want a new look and are considering throwing away your old furniture, consider these economic and eco-friendly options first: Reupholster. Replace the original fabric on dining room chairs or other pieces, giving your furniture a new look and years more life. The cost is usually cheaper than buying a new piece of furniture. Get a slipcover. If you have a favorite all-fabric piece that takes a lot of wear, consider purchasing a slipcover for the item. It can be tailored to precisely fit your favorite chair or sofa. And slipcovers can be laundered. Pass it on. If you are set on getting rid of an old piece of furniture, ask family and friends if they would have a use for it first. Often, nonprofit organizations will also accept used furniture, and the value may be tax-deductable.