Reinventing The Wheel – The Art Of Repurposing In Design

Posted on | July 17, 2012 | No Comments

Designers are always using items in creative ways in order to breathe new life into a space. Michael Steiner, of Steiner Design Interiors, has earned a reputation for his ability to see the potential in the most mundane and ordinary of objects – reinventing, recreating or refurbishing them into specialty pieces that make a room shine. We chatted with the Raleigh Interior Designer to find out more about what drives his vision and inspires his unique creations.

Images Courtesy of Steiner Design Interiors

It turns out that Michael’s love of transforming objects is deeply rooted. “My grandfather was a jack-of-all-trades – mechanic, carpenter, plumber, electrician. He also grew up during the depression era, so he saw the value and potential in every object. As a result, he had a huge collection of stuff. As a kid, I spent a lot of time tinkering with Grand Pap, making strange things out of other things.”

Michael still has an as an affinity for the old, the unusual and the one-of-a-kind. He loves combing through flea markets and thrift stores, looking for potential treasures. “When I find something interesting I hold it up in the air look at it from all angles, and try to envision what else it could be,” he says. “I buy lamps, accessories, furniture – anything with potential. When I find great stuff, every day is like Christmas.”

Needless to say, Michael has amassed his own collection, which he can revisit if he needs a special item to pull a room together. “I look at magazines and showrooms, and keep an eye on what’s new,” he notes. “Then I find a way to create items that fit into that scope using pieces I have found.”

Among some of Michael’s most interesting reinventions: A ceiling medallion made from a metal tray for a vintage chandelier acquired at a thrift store. A very large carved Art Deco folding screen used as a headboard. A chandelier made from hand-blown glass pigs, with a ceiling medallion made from an air vent, in which rings of colored neon were added. A chandelier made from vintage hand-blown glass lamp parts, with a broken mirror frame used as the ceiling medallion. A Tiki Hut valance made from thatching and bamboo poles for a young surfer’s bedroom.

“For me it’s all about repurposing, reusing, reimagining,” says Michael. “It’s about creating something truly one-of-a-kind and adding character, dimension and visual interest to a space. I find that exciting, and so do my clients.”

Recognized among Raleigh interior designers for imaginative and inspiring concepts, Steiner Design Interiors addresses the needs of residential and commercial clients throughout the Carolinas.

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