Furniture. It’s a big-time necessity for living in the modern world. It’s hard to imagine life without it.

However, how often do we move, redecorate and end up discarding it? All the dang time. Sidewalks are strewn with unwanted mattresses, dressers and desks, and to us, we don’t think twice – it’s just a natural part of our urban landscape. Yet, there are visionary recyclists out there who want to revolutionize the way we utilize and treat unused furniture. They’ve developed repurposing practices that’ll keep that ol’ dresser, crib, armoire, or chest off the streets and into that hip, fresh new office or that old executive suite that needs a face-lift. We’ve scoured blogs, magazines and Pinterest boards to find you the best ideas for inexpensive, yet sophisticated office design.

Paige, an antique furniture aficionado at Lucky Me Studios, repurposed this 1940s dresser that originally belonged to a student at Penn State University into a stellar mini-workstation. One of the previous owners had removed the upper-middle drawer and drilled a hole in the back to thread a cord. Voilà! Compact desk perfection!

Chests usually only make sense in sprawling living rooms, dens and at the foot of a bed. They’re gigantic, heavy and difficult to maneuver. Guess what else fits that description… filing cabinets! Except finely crafted wooden and antique chests are not things you want to dispose of. Trade in your clunky green filing cabinets for an old fashioned chest! Loraine at Breakfast 4 Dinner has the right idea. She has sanded and painted over an old chest, emptied and cleaned it out, and turned it into a filing system!

Are you a clutter bug? Do you accumulate mail like Justin Beiber collects Instagram likes? Martha Stewart has figured out how to repurpose an unused coat-hook plaque into a classic mail sorter. Stewart recommends the following steps:

1) Paint or stain a precut plaque, available at crafts stores.

2) Paint hooks to desired color.

3) Secure the hooks side-by-side with 1/2-inch wood screws. Repeat to form additional rows to separate your mail.

Moved to the city and wondering what to do with your family’s old wooden shutters? No fear, Martha’s done it again! Three-panel shutters are easy to hang and perfect for storing and bulletining important papers. Best of all, it’ll add some home-grown charm to your office and some excellent conversation!

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