The current green movement sweeping the nation has inspired the reusing of all kinds of materials through the home environment - from reusing barn floors as headboards or old newspapers as lampshades. What I haven't seen much of is how to reuse your furniture by remodeling it. I call this "remodeling" in a very loose sense of the word, however. We're not so much rebuilding as we are changing the style of the piece with some minor modifications. In interior design, we are are often asked to evaluate unused or less than desirable pieces and reuse them in a new design. If we think about how we might alter the pieces for the better then we can get additional life out of the piece, save the client money and have a nw great piece to work with. The changes might be as small as building up the back or taking away extra cushioning on the arms, etc. I was working with a client recently on furniture selection for their condo in John's Landing and we were having issues agreeing on the sofa style. I just happened to stop by their old house (that we're in the process of remodeling to sell) and saw a sofa in the living room. We started talking about the sofa and it ends up that it was a custom sofa they had built in the mid 1980s. There was really nothing wrong with the sofa except some tattered parts and over-used cushions. That led to a conversation about having the sofa reupholstered in a more contemporary fabric. But, some stylistic aspects of the sofa were getting in my way from totally agreeing. A few sketches later and we had a plan - let's just remodel the sofa!
As you can see, this sofa was well used (and abused by the cats). The roll arms and oddly shaped back were altered - rolls arms cutoff and back leveled off all the way around. The "new" piece is ready for a more contemporary setting and will continue to serve my clients for years.
Before you throw out that old piece of furniture, consider remodeling it. You might just give the piece another 20 years of life, and it won't end up in a landfill.