Toronto Life - The Goods

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The Thing: an old suitcase gets new life as a swanky chair

Upcycled chair

Courtesy of REcreate

In the past few years, up­cycling has taken a high-end turn, with a spate of designers transforming trash-bound castoffs into splurge-worthy luxury items. One of our favourite indulgences comes from the South African firm REcreate, where designer Katie Thompson has turned an old faux snakeskin suitcase into a covetable throne swathed in button-tufted black velvet and supported by turned-wood legs. The chic, playful piece combines the whimsy of vintage, the sleekness of contemporary design and the quality of great craftsmanship. In the past, repurposing old junk was a practice born of economic necessity and enviro-friendly good will—nice sentiment, ramshackle results. But a luxe repurposed chair with plush upholstery and fine wood detailing? That’s something we can get behind. $942.