This Shop Makes Furniture from California’s Discarded High School Lockers
Army green filing cabinets, mid-century recliners and more
Despite the unfortunate name, Etsy isn’t all popsicle-stick sculptures and kitten sweaters. Enter: Debunking Etsy, a bimonthly column profiling all the wonderfully talented craftsmen who use the site to peddle well-built, hard-wearing and handsome goods for your home and person.
In general, high school lockers are best left in the past.
You definitely stammered some words to a crush in front of one. You might have left a ham and cheese in the bottom of one for two months. At worst, you spent some time in there yourself, courtesy of a neighborhood delinquent.
But shoving all that pubescent minutiae aside, lockers are a fine piece of industrial design. They’re light, sturdy and branded with a subtle slice of Americana. Which is why repurposing them for interior design is a damn good idea.
That’s one of the many aims of Rehab Vintage, a custom furniture shop based out of Alhambra, California, that repurposes lockers and filing cabinets (fetched from California schools and hospitals) into off-beat, well-appointed storage solutions. The shop is headed by Patrick Fraleigh, who purchased a business called Sonrisa Furniture about a decade ago.
Sonrisa had begun popularizing the restored mid-century-industrial look, and Fraleigh wanted to head a small business that would re-purpose materials and give the planet a well-deserved break. In the years since, Fraleigh has sourced forgotten materials from pickers, private collectors, estates, liquidators and junk yards, in addition to the aforementioned schools and hospitals. Not surprisingly, working with discarded junk is a challenge — Fraleigh notes projects can take anywhere from one day to a year, depending on how much “bending and banging and clinking and clanking” is required — but on custom orders they average a turnaround of three weeks.
Along with Rehab Vintage’s locker cabinets and baskets (all spruced up now in powder-coated steel, some originally hailing from the 1950s or 30s) the shop proffers a sizable collection of mid-century modern chairs, rolling racks, rescued art and desktop curios. Spend some time searching the shop yourself, it’s like dumpster diving at the LACMA.
Below, some of our favorites from his collection.
5×2 Reclaimed Locker Basket Unit
1950s Reclaimed Steel Locker Baskets
Steel Tanker Desktop Organizer
1930s Card Filing Cabinet
chairs (3 images)
All images via Rehab Vintage
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