When people first think of contemporary furniture, some tend to picture something completely out of this world, kind of like something you would see in the Museum of Modern Art or at the Met. True, some crazy looking furniture does exist, but it’s the artistic value and work that was put into it that shouldn’t be overlooked. What’s even better is that most of these artsy furniture pieces are functional, perfect for those who are looking for something unique, broken in, and recyclable.
Many artists are familiar with the concept of “found art” or “found object,” a form of art championed by 20th century artist Marcel Duchamp with his popular and humorous urinal piece titled Fountain. Presently, found art has made its way to the furniture circuit, with couches made out of recycled t-shirts, lounge chairs made from used bicycle parts, and even coffee tables made out of old recycled phone books. Art has never looked so green.
Some people may have some qualms over the functionality that these artistic furniture pieces have to offer. Contrary to belief, most of these pieces were designed to be used on a daily basis. Usually constructed with the same foundation as regular furniture and carefully measured to make sure that the piece complies with the laws of physics, you can rest assured knowing that your found art furniture piece is just as reliable (and much more eco-friendly) than the alternative.
Before you go out and buy some random piece of furniture that you find is both artsy and environmentally friendly, be sure to consider the following important factors:
First of all, will it complement your home decor? Unless you’re going for that eclectic look there’s nothing more embarrassing than leading your guests through your home and having mismatched furniture. If you’re going with a theme, whether it’s tropical, eclectic, contemporary or traditional, make sure that your artistic furniture pieces will be able to harmonize with your theme.
If you have small children or pets, be sure to investigate whether any of the byproducts used in making these unique furniture pieces are safe to have in your home. Find out if any of the pieces you’re considering come apart easily, and by easily I mean with a slight tug on the fabric, a brush of the hand, etc. Of course, you should use this rule of thumb for any furniture item you intend to buy, whether it’s a found art piece or the latter.
Lastly, think about the longevity of the item. Just because it’s a recycled, eco-friendly piece does not necessarily mean that it’ll last as long as a piece from your local furniture wholesaler. Do some research and see what kind of care is required to make your found art furniture piece last. After all things have been thoroughly considered, you’re ready to bring home a bit of art and eco-friendly furnishings into your home.
By Vicki Duong