Increasingly, artists and designers are finding innovative ways to breathe new life into repurposed items. For example, someone might turn an antique table into a funky new piece of furniture, or they might make lamps out of old wine bottles.
People have also created innovative home furnishings from travel-related items ranging from railroad ties to airplane seats. Here’s a roundup of some of our favorites.
Robert and Jim Hendrick, a father-son team in Tennessee, make one-of-a-kind furniture out of repurposed railroad ties. The duo uses new crossties that haven’t been treated with toxic chemicals. Although the ties had excessive knots, splits, warps or other imperfections and weren’t strong enough for trains, they work wonderfully for chairs, coffee tables, desks and end tables. The switch point desk (above) is “simple, sleek and stylish and finished off with a date nail from 1930.”
Located in Stockholm, Sweden, Fartygsmagasinet specializes in nautical antiques and furniture. For more than 40 years, the company has dismantled old seafaring vessels, restored original ships’ furniture, and collected nautical artifacts. The store also stocks solid brass lighting equipment and navigation lamps, old nautical charts and navigational instruments, ship models and marine paintings.
Based in the United Kingdom, Jarabosky has been transforming hardwood railway sleepers into elegant furniture such as this captains chair (right) for more than 20 years. The company builds dining tables, desks, linen chests and other pieces of fine furniture. They even make clocks and mirrors. If you happen to be in the Yorkshire countryside, Jarabosky has a showroom attached to its factory.
Want to own a piece of aviation history? California-based Motoart creates furniture out of vintage airplane parts. Products include a 747 jetliner bed (left), The DC-9 T Stabilizer Wing Desk and chairs made out of first-class seating. The company also sells sculptures fashioned from airplane propellers and nose art created with B-52 panels from World War II.