What do you typically do with your old worn out furniture? Haul it to the local dump? Throw it in your garage? Sell it? Well, how about re-purposing that old piece of furniture. Take it from drab to fab with the help of a company called, Rethunk Junk. Rethunk Junk takes pieces of furniture from ordinary to extraordinary. An employee of Plaid, Leanne Melton, lead us to Laura and her company, Rethunk Junk. We absolutely love her work, and wanted to learn more about her. Get ready to be amazed by what she can do with old furniture.
1. How did you come up with the concept of Rethunk Junk?
I love painting furniture. I always have. I have decorated that way so that I don’t have to yell at my five kids, “get off that! Don’t touch that! Do you know how much I paid for that???” My husband prefers what we call “hotel décor”…just a bed, a nightstand, and maybe a piece of art over the bed – very minimalist. So we reached a point several years ago where he kindly requested that, I quit bringing anymore dag gum furniture into the house :). So I decided to post a piece for sale, and was shocked when someone actually purchased it. Thinking it was a fluke I posted another, and slowly decided this could work!
2. What made you begin to re-purpose furniture?
I had a need/desire to have a home I enjoyed, without spending a ton of money. We had a wee budget, but wanted things to look inviting and comfortable.
3. What was one of your most difficult projects to re-purpose?
A set of matching dressers that after I gave a bid, I discovered were 100% laminate. They were for a family having twins and they wanted them painted (YIKES), and I had to find a way to make the paint stick. They also wanted them “decorated” in a classy way that would make them personal to each little baby (one girl & one boy). That was a challenge…to do something without going with the usual pink and blue. That tied with the piece someone brought me, that had to be sanded for about 1,500 hours due to veneer issues. Then on top of that I had to make some custom trim for the back that was missing. However in the end, I loved the finished product.
4. What is your favorite type of furniture piece to redo?
UGLY FURNITURE! Ugly enough that it surprises me, when it turns out so charming and normal :)!
5. You recently were asked to make some pieces, which will be on display in Plaid’s booth at CHA Winter. How did you get connected with Plaid?
Leanne Melton, Director of Product Development, Plaid Far East, recommended me. She is a wonderful customer, amazing person, and she threw my name around till someone listened! Ha-ha :). I am truly grateful!!!
6. Can you please describe your craft/work place?
We just recently moved to Woodstock. We were previously in a neighborhood where the homeowners association was “less than thrilled” when there was a dresser in the driveway overnight. Ha-ha! We purchased a home, and my husband built a 1,200 square foot shed behind our home. I use the front half to display and sell the finished pieces, and the back half to work on pieces. It’s a wonderful, chaotic, happy, messy, creative, and disorganized fun place!
7. Do you have any goals for Rethunk Junk in 2012?
I would love to figure out a way to grow things a bit. I would love to have some pieces on consignment in retail stores. Right now I post pieces for sale on my website, but I think it can be a bit of a hassle to have to contact me, and find our shop. Going to an official “store” would be easier for some people. So, that’s the direction I would like to add to the plan.
8. What trends do you see occurring within the re-purposing industry?
I have no clue! Ha-ha. I do what I like, and I listen to customers. I do a lot of custom work and that seems to be huge. The ability to go somewhere and say to someone, “I am looking for a robin’s egg blue dresser no more than 60 inches long, for my nursery and I’d like silver hardware.” This is not something very many places offer. I feel happy that I can work with people to make their visions a reality.
9. What do you like to do in your spare time?
I love to spend time with my family (five kids ages 17 to 6, and my husband). We’ve been married for 24 years (and yes – if you’re wondering I got married when I was 7) Ha-ha! I also enjoy playing the piano, and I like listening to music. I never watch TV, and I love to rearrange my furniture :).
10. What advice can you give to people who are new to furniture re-purposing?
Find a fabulous primer!!!! Remember that it’s only paint; you can redo it if you don’t like it. Don’t use oil based paints or polyurethane. The hardware is the “accessorizing” part and can make all the difference in the finished look. Oh and of course have fun!!!!
To get in touch with Laura and Rethunk Junk visit, http://www.rethunk-junk.com/. Or call, 770-366-1852
Here are some more projects Laura has created: