Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Make Your Own Industrial, Danish, or Antique Furniture

So, how often do you have a specific furniture design in mind that you can't find ANYWHERE? Or the pieces you DO fall in love with all seem to be in the four-digit range?

Maybe you spend hours on Craigslist or Ebay waiting for just the right piece to come up, and it never does.

Think about making your own. Not from scratch--this isn't the "This Old House" blog. But you can source the basic components of the furniture you want, and assemble the coolest custom pieces.

And believe me, if you can put together that IKEA Billy bookcase, then you can most certainly do this.

If you love industrial chic--things that look like they're from old factories, schoolhouses, and science labs, this is a great site for inspiration. And sticker shock.

Figure out what the basic components are and then source them at Home Depot and Ebay:

These huge, uber-industrial casters are only $30 for a set of four on Ebay!

Add them to some steel shelving, $53 at Home Depot or Amazon. BONUS: it can be assembled horizontally as a workbench. Attach metal casters for an industrial bar cart, desk, or moveable kitchen island.

Or to these pine IKEA shelves that most people use for garage storage (this would look a lot like the first picture, don't you think?)

Or search Ebay or Craigslist for old wooden crates and attach the casters for a rad rolling toy chest, laundry cart, or storage bench seat!

Like the organic-modern vibe? Shockingly cheap to make.

Search "wood slabs" or "burl slabs" on Ebay. Both these pieces were only around $35.

Search "hairpin legs" for the bases. Screw them in.

Depending on the size of your slabs and hairpin legs, you can make anything from a huge dining table, to a long bench, to a pair of little side tables (total projected cost around $70).

Or attach them to a generic dresser for a George Nelson look:

These are the tapered wooden legs I bought to make my son's "Danish" bed. I attached them to the bottom of a captain's bed and painted the whole unit black. Voila-Danish storage bed.

These come in tons of sizes and you can attach them to the bottom of an ottoman, stool, bench, wood slab, or remnant of marble or quartz from a local countertop place.

Search Ebay for old wooden tripod bases, and with around $8 in electrical parts you'll have the most amazing industrial/salvaged/antique floor lamp.

For $2250 less than this one on 1st Dibs!

Want to Anthropolgie-ize an armchair or ottoman, or construct something completely custom?

You just can't fake the patina of real antique legs. These were available (very cheaply, I might add) on Ebay under "wood furniture legs":

Add $8/yard linen from Premier Prints:

And here's some others I loved:

Are your creative juices flowing? What would you consider making?



  1. hi, great pictures. Look at my work. I'm industrial furniture designer from Czech Republic.

    1. I just looked at your work its amazing I absolutely am inspired. I started watching the ¨Picker Sisters¨ programme and fell in love with industrial furniture design. I have no idea how to start but am going to enrol in a parttime design and welding course. Do you have any advise of what you need to really learn and how to start. Do you a a fb page for your work its terrific

    2. I just looked at your work its amazing I absolutely am inspired. I started watching the ¨Picker Sisters¨ programme and fell in love with industrial furniture design. I have no idea how to start but am going to enrol in a parttime design and welding course. Do you have any advise of what you need to really learn and how to start. Do you a a fb page for your work its terrific

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