5 compelling reasons to embrace reused furniture

Francesca Gatta-Bowden, Furniture Consultant Furniture, Sustainability

When embarking on the journey to enhance your workspace, the pursuit of sustainability can often seem like a complex or overwhelming task. Sustainable design is not an elusive goal, but an attainable reality achieved by making considered choices, and Peldon Rose can help to guide you. One powerful method involves a close examination of your existing furniture.

In this insightful guide, we delve into the often-overlooked potential of reusing your current furniture. Embracing reused office furniture transcends cost savings; it's a strategic step towards cultivating a workspace that seamlessly combines sustainability and adaptability, without compromising on aesthetic. So, why should you reuse office furniture, and how can it elevate your office design?

How much of my current furniture can I reuse?

Within the intricate journey of redesigning your office space, assessing existing furniture is a crucial first step. The process involves a comprehensive furniture audit, a meticulous examination that delves into the functionality, durability, and potential for reuse of each piece. Whether it's damage, fading, or structural issues, understanding the current state of your inventory empowers you to make informed decisions about the future of each piece. By scrutinising the condition and potential lifespan of your current furniture, you gain valuable insights into which items possess the strength to endure for years, as proven in our recent work with Foundry and GoCity.

The office furniture audit is more than a routine check; it's a strategic move towards cost-effectiveness and sustainability in your office interior design project. Identifying versatile or standout pieces forms a key aspect of this process, allowing you to repurpose them for various functions within the office, to create an office environment that seamlessly blends form and function. Identifying versatile or standout pieces forms a key aspect of this process, allowing you to repurpose them for various functions within the office. This nuanced process aids in identifying multifunctional gems within your existing furniture landscape, and weaves together functionality, sustainability, and design finesse for an office environment that seamlessly blends form and function.

Stylish workplace design featuring contemporary decor, ergonomic furniture, and ample natural light for a comfortable setting
The image shows a vintage leather sofa and wicker stool in an office

Can you combine new furniture with reused furniture?

Absolutely! Combining new and reused furniture is a proven strategy in cultivating a vibrant and diverse workspace. Thoughtful investments in new pieces, strategically integrated with existing furniture, ensures a seamless and harmonious design. It's about striking the right balance, where each element contributes to the overall aesthetic, creating a workspace that resonates with purpose. Choosing between cold, warm, or neutral tones can help to inspire other design elements within your space and create a cohesive environment.

In this collaborative approach, the art lies in achieving harmony between the modernity and freshness of new additions and the character embedded in reused elements. It's not just about mixing furniture; it's a deliberate curation process that elevates the workspace atmosphere. There’s power in this synergy – where the past meets the present to define the future of your office design. Furniture procurement extends beyond mere functionality; it’s a component of crafting workspaces that tell a story and inspire productivity in an environment that feels both familiar and invigorating.

What are the benefits of reusing office furniture?

There are many benefits of used office furniture within a workspace that reach beyond cost savings. Here are five compelling reasons to embrace reused furniture for your workspace.

1. It’s more cost-effective

For business leaders navigating budget constraints, an office refurbishment may seem financially daunting. However, unlocking the potential of reused office furniture can render a redesign not only cost-effective but also strategically impactful.

By circumventing the collective expenses tied to procuring new furniture, you open avenues for substantial savings. Redirect these saved costs back into your office interior design project, perhaps investing in bespoke elements like mobile meeting booths or upgrading essential workplace technology for an enhanced user experience.

This financial flexibility allows you to tailor expenditures to align with your priorities, fostering a more comprehensive and cohesive design. Our dedicated Furniture team understands how to balance budget considerations with design aspirations, guiding you toward a workspace transformation that harmonises financial prudence with creative excellence.

2. It’s more sustainable

The environmental impact that comes with the production, procurement, shipment and installation of new office furniture is inevitable. During any office fit out or refurbishment project, choosing sustainable office furniture can help mitigate the size of your carbon footprint, as can sourcing locally, evaluating the materials used, and looking closely at the manufacturing process, including the energy used and waste produced in making a product. The workplace plays a crucial role in your business' overall sustainability strategy, setting an example for employees and clients alike, and bringing you a step closer to realising your environmental goals.

We have an opportunity to challenge growing consumer demand for new products and materials across the furniture industry. Surprisingly, in the UK alone, 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded and sent to landfills every year. Moreover, 50% of fully functional or reusable furniture ends up in landfill.

Reusing furniture helps to combat this issue. By sending less to landfill, you’re protecting the planet and giving your business the opportunity to play a part in environmental conservation, as well as creating a more sustainable workplace. See how we achieved this for Tarkett’s sustainable office refurbishment project.

tarkett showroom seating space

3. Adaptability and longevity

Furniture is inherently versatile, especially in an office setting. An entire floorplan can be altered by reconfiguring furniture pieces. The pieces themselves can also be used for various functions. For example, we can reuse desk frames, adding new top surfaces to fit a desired look and feel, soft seating can be gathered in clusters within social spaces, or used in warm-up or cool-down areas positioned outside meeting rooms. Reusing furniture puts that versatility front of mind and encourages you to think about what more you can get out of what you already have. In partnership with Mulvaney Capital and Columbia Threadneedle, we brought consistency and richness to each design through their existing furniture.

4. Retaining brand identity

Retaining brand identity is crucial for fostering a cohesive and authentic workplace environment, that reflects the spirit of your company culture. Reusing furniture is a powerful conduit to personify the essence of your brand within the workspace. Existing pieces, infused with the history and character of the business, carry a tangible connection to a brand's journey. By strategically incorporating these elements into a refreshed design, you create a harmonious blend of consistency and innovation.
The familiarity of reused furniture will impart a sense of continuity, helping employees and visitors alike to adopt and embrace the new space. See The Craftory’s uniquely characterful refurbishment for more inspiration.

5. Buy less, buy better

By giving your furniture a second life, you actively contribute to the reduction of waste and resource consumption. This process supports the circular economy model, where items are repurposed and extended, mitigating the need for constant production and disposal.

A great way to ensure that your furniture lasts is to choose high quality furniture, when you do buy new. Reinvesting the money you save into a smaller amount of excellent furniture adds assurance that your furniture inventory will go a long way.

See our guide to a planet-first workplace to learn more about how the workplace fits into your wider ESG journey.

Overcoming the barriers to reuse

Design obsolescence, driven by the evolution of trends, can deter business from reusing office furniture. However, by identifying timeless, long-lasting pieces that align with contemporary aesthetics, you can easily blend the old with the new. Alternatively, embrace the characterful pieces of the past and have courage to weave them into your future design.

It’s an opportunity to bring your teams along the journey too. Illustrating the environmental and economic benefits and highlighting examples where reused furniture contributed to a cohesive design can help to shift perspectives. We’ll help you create an environment that is enjoyed and embraced by all.

We've explored the untapped potential of reusing existing office furniture as a strategic move towards sustainability and adaptability. Beyond cost benefits, reusing furniture fosters a dynamic and authentic workspace, aligning with the principles of a circular economy. Importantly, reusing your existing furniture doesn't compromise the design quality. It's about creating a workspace that not only meets your needs today but stands resilient and authentic for the days to come. Peldon Rose’s team of in-house furniture specifiers possess the collective expertise and project oversight to create a bespoke furniture programme, specifically designed to fulfil your project goals and your employees’ individual needs.

Detail shot of brown terazzo worktop with brown leather seating

Start your workplace transformation today.

Your workplace holds enormous potential to improve your business performance. Get in touch today, and we will unlock that potential together.