A passion for repurposing – Entertainment – The Guardian

Heather and Lenny Gallant’s kitchen table was crafted from a mishmash of scrap wood.

By Mary MacKay

The Guardian

One Prince Edward Island couple is taking the upcycling old furniture trend to new heights.

Using salvaged materials, Lenny and Heather Gallant of Souris design and build unique new items, many of which have a whimsical quality that is not typical of anything found in a furniture outlet.

“Why can’t your furniture be artwork, like you have a painting on the wall? I think you should love your furniture and it should be one of a kind,” says Heather, who like her husband hopes to transform this hobby into a fulltime business called Birdmouse.

This creative couple doesn’t mind bucking trends.In fact, when many people their age are heading west in search of greener pastures, last summer they struck out in the opposite direction, trading the constant race and chase pace of Edmonton, Alta., for the quiet laid-back life in rural Kings County, P.E.I.

”One thing they did take with them was a love of repurposing old items into renewed useful things.“As far as the Birdmouse goes — the furniture — in Edmonton, we were just making it as a hobby and friends and family were liking it. So we just started making pieces for them,” Heather says.

“We would just wander through back alleys and find junk that people were throwing away. At first we would just refinish pieces that were already made, and people were interested in them.

”Lenny’s creativity pushed that repurposing envelope to the max when he began taking the old items apart and upcycling the pieces into imaginative new furniture.

“Once it’s in a big pile on the floor, then it turns into something else,” he says.

“The longer you stare at it, all of a sudden a chair can turn into a coffee table in a few hours, no problem — just that kind of creativity and problem solving. It’s like a puzzle.

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