Pretty ill-looking, right?
Brooklyn-based Uhuru Design has taken used Bourbon Barrels – which normally find second lives as planters or fire wood – and up-cycled them into furniture. Now, if taking what’s essentially been considered trash in the past and repurposing it into high-end, expensive furniture isn’t the work of a true ninja, I just don’t know what is.
Dubbed The KÃ¼pe line, after the middle Dutch word KUPE – the origin of the word â€œcooper,â€ which is the profession of making staved wooden vessels including barrels – the series currently includes chairs, benches, side table, coffee table, ad mirrors. Not bad.
More on the work, from Uhuru:
The KÃ¼pe line is crafted from used bourbon barrels from Bardstown, Kentucky, the Bourbon Capital of the world. The barrels are constructed from new white oak and charred on the inside to produce the unique flavor and color of the bourbon. These barrels are only used one time to age bourbon, after which some are sold and shipped to Scotland to make scotch. The remaining barrels are discarded by the distillery and often sold for firewood or planters.
While many people have repurposed barrels for other uses, our intent is to work with the material in striking new ways. We begin by dismantling the barrels into to individual pieces, the staves, metal bands, and circular heads. We explore how these parts can work together to create a simple functional design while retaining the individual characteristics and natural colors of the aged wood from the original barrels, thus creating a new vernacular. We even hoped to impart some sense of the added quality of working with the barrel parts In our Red Hook shop where the sweet scent of bourbon permeates the process.
The furniture in this line clearly demonstrates using reclaimed material to its fullest potential. These pieces represent six simple solutions to repurposing aged-oak bourbon barrels into unique contemporary functional furniture. They demonstrate beautiful applications for the material far beyond firewood or planters.
So, is it acceptable to call it ‘Bourbon’ furniture if it’s made in Redhook? Should the title revert back to ‘just regular whiskey furniture’ when it isn’t assembled in Kentucky?
Head on over to Uhuru Design’s website to see more of their furniture – all of which is made from reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed materials.