Quite a few years ago, when P. Pince and I were starting out, we rented a tiny studio apartment. To make a little more space, we built a free standing loft over our beds where we had a computer, some little shelves and cabinets and one of those pouffes for a chair.
After moving into a comfortably large house, we gradually disassembled our loft and reused the boards and hardware to make furniture more befitting our new lifestyle. Most of the pine boards went into making a large wardrobe called “the Monstrosity” and the top of our computer desk.
After making two little beds (like the ones in Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs) for our puppies on their first birthday, all we had left of our old loft was a rickety set of steps.
We had often been on the verge of tearing apart these three crudely made steps, but we felt sentimental about the last traces of our former and relatively poorer life. So, I finally decided to keep our loft stairs as a step stool for our library/master bedroom where we had built a wall of ceiling-high shelves.
But I like everything to look pretty in my life in as well as to having a dual purpose, so I turned the stairs on end, nailed on a back and bottom, installed a hinged top on each step, and painted it pink with leftover paint from doing Penelope’s bedroom floor.
Our renovated little staircase stands three feet high and is great for hiding things out of sight, especially long rolls of wrapping paper. Our steps also make a pretty display for baubles and antique books. It goes with our mother’s old dining table which has also been redone with the same leftover paint.
Making new things from old or broken objects is one of my favorite creative/useful activities. To anyone interested in this sort of craft, I suggest reconsidering the potential of any old or broken furniture you own, consider taking them apart for lumber, turning them upside-down or sideways, and reusing ornamental parts or hardware. You could even volunteer to “dispose” of unwanted things for your friends, family and neighbors. One could even start a business selling unique furniture made from reassigned materials.