Gentle Adventure is a project that aims to encourage a beautiful, ethical and sustainable lifestyle.

Repairing Furniture

two black chairs in front of a table
Furniture can be very expensive and often requires a lot of material to make. But they can be very durable, and can be relatively easy to repair yourself. Of my furniture almost all is second hand, and most have even been free. Some were given to me by friends, others found at the recycling center and a few were dumpster dived. This has mostly been due to financial reasons, but they are also very eco-friendly ways to get furniture. More expensive great ways to get furniture would be hiring a local carpenter or making them yourself.

 

the repaired leg of the chair
An example of a salvaged piece is this beautiful chair that was missing a leg when we found it. Many a chair breaks a leg or loses some small part, instantly rendering the item as trash, even when otherwise completely intact. But things that are broken can be repaired instead of throwing them away. The chair now serves in front of my desk/dining table (I only own one table) next to another broken chair (it’s missing the backrest) that was found for free.

We replaced the missing leg with two short pieces of round dowel we already had (the thicker used to be a broomstick). We left the leg and the slimmer supporting dowel their original colour. We didn’t want to hide that the chair had been repaired, but to emphasize it. The same could be done when repairing clothing for example as well. In Japanese ceramics there’s a traditional art called Kintsugi, where broken pieces of pottery are rejoined with gold, further drawing attention to the repair and rejoicing it.

Repairing an item makes it more unique and special to the owner. Spending money or your own labour to extend the lifetime of an object gives it more value, makes it worth more to you. Doing it yourself can also make you feel more able, like you can do things for yourself and are less dependant on others. It can make you feel worth more to you.

 

plants on a windowsill
Furniture should of course be functional. Owning something so big just to fill up the space, or because it is normal to own something like it, or even because it is beautiful, is not very practical. We don’t really decorate with furniture, although they are aesthetically pleasing to us, but with plants and treasures. Plants make people happier and more productive. They also can’t become waste, turning into earth at the end of their time.

I dream of spaces with just a few perfectly imperfect objects, but filled with plants.

Daniel

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