Proving that one person’s trash is another’s treasure, the Melbourne carpenter-turned-furniture designer Luke Neil, of Old2New Designs, caught our eye recently with his ultra-unique designs. With a self-described ‘Industrial Art Deco’ design aesthetic, Luke constructs his pieces from what is essentially rubbish and with amazing results.
“My furniture is made from rubbish – recycled metal and timber that would otherwise end up in landfill. With this rough raw material, I make furniture that I believe to be both practical and stylish,” says Luke of his designs that feature unusual shapes, circular drawers and curved corners. We love!
Luke’s design journey began when he was out of work and creativity took hold – he initially created some small pieces of furniture with recycled timber. “Then my hot water heater died and I was sitting in my yard so I started playing around with it and was amazed with the possibilities and fell in love with the amazing contrast between timber and metal and straight lines and curves and also completely repurposing something and giving it a new life,” says Luke who works with a variety of unlikely materials including scrap metal, hot water heaters, old fire extinguishers, plumbing pipes and plenty of timber too.
“The materials I use are mostly taken out of jobs that I have been on as a carpenter or from mates who are builders. If they are doing a demolition, I will drop by and take what they are throwing away before it ends up in landfill – old beams, studs, any sort of structural timbers and lots of flooring. If I have a large job I will go to a timber salvage yard,” says Luke.
“The recycling of materials is important to me. I believe there needs to be a change in the way we consume things as there is too much waste in the world. This is an ethos I try to live by and is one of the main drivers in my work,” says Luke.
Shop Luke’s designs here.