Green Genius

Green Genius: Don’t throw it away – give your hutch, desk or armoire a new life!

Green Genius - sustainable living and design ideas at The Unexpected Chic

I think one of the best things that has come out of the recession is resourcefulness. People don’t have as much so they make more effort to find things or make things that are useful. Included in this trend is upcycling and re-using – taking old pieces that may seem useless or outdated, and changing them or re-purposing them to give them life again!

I’ve come across some fabulous ideas for what to do with old pieces of furniture, whether it be something you currently own but don’t know what to do with (don’t throw it out!), or maybe you’ll want to go out and shop around at antique markets specifically to get one of these pieces after reading this post!

These ideas will help you with those difficult, large pieces, like desks, armoires and hutches, which are tough to imagine being useful for anything else other than their big and clunky original use. These pieces can have a new lease on life with a little bit of imagination! Read on…

Green Genius furniture re-use ideas at The Unexpected Chic


This old dining room hutch could easily be written off as too cumbersome and outdated with its glass display cabinets which aren’t actually practical enough to store much of anything, especially if you don’t have a collection of grand crystal goblets or something like that which you want to display.

Here, however, the perfect use has been found for its shallow depth, which is to accommodate a funky little bar! Paint the inside a bright colour and use small trays to accommodate bottles and glasses. It would be perfect for a corner of a bedroom in a studio apartment; store clothes underneath, and cocktail making equipment in the small top drawers. Fun!

Green Genius furniture re-use ideas at The Unexpected Chic


I love this desk-cum-TV stand. A small shelf inserted in the central area (normally for your legs) becomes an ideal nook for media equipment, and the drawers fit DVDs and remotes perfectly! The new dark finish gives it an updated look as well. Very chic!

Green Genius furniture re-use ideas at The Unexpected Chic


I think this one is my favourite – an old hutch with tiny impractical silverware drawers turned into a planter! I think that this would work equally well hidden in a nook of a large garden, waiting to be discovered, or as the focal point of a small garden or patio. Perhaps you don’t really have a garden, just a balcony or patio – this is the perfect way to create one with very little space and pretty much no mess!

The hutch already has a great patina which would only improve with more exposure to the elements!

Green Genius furniture re-use ideas at The Unexpected Chic


And last but not least – a super practical idea to turn an old armoire into a home office or kitchen workstation! I think everyone could benefit from one of these, as you have a focused place to store all of your organizational bits and bobs but you can easily hide them away when you want to!

Key points of this design:

>> install a sliding keyboard or laptop holder so that you can pull it out and have a space for your legs

>> use pinboards covered with fabric inside the doors and back for notes, papers and inspirational images

>> add magazine files and small containers to keep everything organized on your desk surface

Well, here’s hoping that I’ve inspired you to save one of your old pieces of furniture (or perhaps one that a parent or neighbour is getting rid of) and reincarnate it into something totally unique, stylish and practical!

If you want a little bit of help to make every space in your home feel wonderfully happy and put-together, please do Get in Touch!

Have an awesome day! x


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