design for a "re"purpose

What happens when an object is no longer needed for its intended purpose? All too often I see an old shipping pallet and automatically think “Adirondack chair!” in the sheer excitement of my own creativity. However, I don’t need or want an Adirondack chair. So, when I started scouring the web for ideas to repurpose everyday items in ways that I could actually implement and want to use, I stumbled across Design for Repurposing – a website dedicated to transforming items in methods that are not only practical, but also include impeccable design. The website hasn’t been updated in a while, but still holds strong as an inspiration for upcycled designs.
Look eco-hip while easily transporting your lunch in an empty CD spindle.

© pwka
© pwka

Instead of cluttering up those shelves at the thrift store, repurpose that old tupperware into chic lighting design like MassArt student, Frank Criscione…perfect for your breakfast nook!
As much as I adore antique claw-foot tubs, again I get stuck in a design rut – immediately going to the obvious  garden or outdoor fountain – instead try this hip, unique furniture idea we found on Reestore.


Reestore is a UK based company who “take[s] everyday waste objects and playfully upcycle them into beautiful accessories and functional pieces of furniture.” Along with the sofa (above), I found this super trendy light table made from an old wash drum.


I love vintage suitcases piled up as an end table in my living room, however, I am totally digging these suitcases turned speakers. The folks at BoomCase are transforming old carry-ons into sexy boomboxes with urban appeal.

The BoomCase is a Self Powered Portable Suitcase Stereo BoomBox that works with your iPod/iPhone or any device with a headphone jack. Each case will last 10+ hours on a single charge (Charger Included). In addition to running on batteries, The BoomCase can also be plugged in when the party goes inside.


There are many ways to gather inspiration, try searching ‘upcycling’ or ‘repurposed’ designs on Pinterest and Etsy. Go on….get ‘re’inspired!

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Tom Foerstel : Founder & President

Tom Foerstel

Founder & President

Growing up in the San Francisco Bay Area in the 60’s, Tom developed a strong desire to create positive change for people and planet.

He went on to pursue his passion for art and design at Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, and worked for design firms in Southern California before moving to Boise, Idaho in the early 80’s. Foerstel Design opened its doors in 1985. Since its inception, the firm has cultivated a bold, happy, forward-looking team focussed on creating distinct and effective work on behalf of their clients.

An integral part of Tom’s philosophy is giving back to the community in which he lives — a company cornerstone that drives Foerstel’s long history of providing pro-bono services to local non-profit humanitarian and arts programs.

One of Tom’s proudest personal achievements is his ability to say Supercalifragilisticexpyalidocious backwards.