Belfast-based designer transforms oil barrels into bright furniture

Chair made from a recycled oil barrel

At the annual International Contemporary Furniture Fair in New York City, one of the things I look for is creative re-use. The Urbanite Home, a Belfast-based interior furnishings studio, is a particularly attention-grabbing example at this year's show. The collection’s brightly colored chairs and tables are made from repurposed oil barrels.

Designer Phil Davidson said he began working with barrels after learning that they weren’t being recycled in his area from his brother, who works in an auto garage. So, Davidson began collecting the barrels from small businesses like the one where his brother works. The design studio drains and cleans out any residues, which are then made into red diesel for agricultural use. Once clean, the barrels are cut into new forms to make furniture, and any smaller leftover pieces can then be recycled.

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