WHEN MY PARTNERS AND I FOUNDED ARTISTRY EVENTS & DESIGN, an event design and décor firm in Denver, we made it a core mission to provide eco-friendly design. This means keeping items out of landfills, repurposing and revitalizing décor and using found items.
Having been in design for more than a decade, we knew that repurposed and preowned items often have the most interesting character, and that we wouldn’t have to sacrifice style for purpose. In fact, recycled and repurposed pieces usually have the best style, as they’re guaranteed to be unique and often have great charm. With a little elbow grease and the willingness to think outside the box, you too can create beautiful and stylish pieces while being kind to the environment.
USE PAINT & BRUSH TECHNIQUE
Often, pieces that are no longer functional can be turned into decorative pieces with just a little paint or some minor work. Paint color and brush technique are key, and, in the right hands, can completely change the style of a piece.
COMBINE PIECES TO CREATE SOMETHING NEW
Consider combining two or more repurposed items to create something completely new. We took metallic and cowhide pieces bought from a thrift store in Taos and mounted them on stumps to create unique
Western sculptural pieces (pictured left).
To build this sign-in station (right), we combined three different items. We mounted an antique cabinet front on table legs and attached it to an antique door. We then painted the piece using a mint-colored paint diluted with gel to accentuate the weathered appearance.
USE ANTIQUE MAINSTAYS
Antique doors, windows and cabinet fronts are extremely versatile and serve as great foundational pieces. Antique windows have a lot of creative possibility and work extremely well as signs and decorative art pieces.
We routinely visit thrift stores for used items. The key to success is imagination. Often, items can be repurposed for completely new uses, even when they are no longer suitable for their original purpose.
Eric Jaenike is a partner at Artistry Events & Design, a company specializing in design, décor, audio and lighting for events in Denver.