Individuality rules when it comes to teen living spaces. In the years before my son left for college he would change his room around often. While I originally thought the constant “dumping” of discarded stuff onto my living room floor was a rebellious act meant to drive me crazy, I realized that it was more a reflection of his maturing tastes towards reinvention and independence. As Raffi was replaced by Jimi (Hendrix) and “Goodnight Moon” gave way to “Siddhartha,” the training wheels were substituted with skateboards and snowboards. I now view these changes as opportunities to “connect” with him.
We went through a period during the skateboard phase when my son was breaking boards every few weeks. An expensive proposition that at the time ate up most of his allowance. His extreme sport became extremely expensive. After he cleared out his room to go to college and took his skateboard of the moment with him, I sifted through his closet. Skate decks, wheels, axels, trucks and bearings were left behind in the wreckage. I scooped them up and went to work figuring out how to reuse his castoffs.
I am awestruck by the ingenuity of designers with ideas in divergent directions. One company that creatively blends skateboard culture with mid-century design (a personal home style favorite of mine) is Skate Study House (SSH). Recreating popular modern furniture designs by reusing skateboard decks for tables, chairs and couches, and skate wheels and bearings for clocks, SSH takes green design to the extreme.
My son is home for the winter college break and I showed him the SSH site. He loves to build things (right now he is building a guitar). Here’s how he made a skate bench.
For the bench we ordered hairpin legs at www.skurniture.com and secured them on the underside of the board using the hardware provided in the kit. These legs were designed to fit right into previously drilled holes on skateboard decks. Used skateboard decks have grip tape on one side, which has a sandpaper feel that you might want to cover. We didn’t, for a more authentic look. The gashes and scraped graphics add to the gritty appeal and the hairpin legs give the bench a retro feel. Other websites offer these hairpin-type legs. They come in a variety of heights, finishes and pre cut holes:
If skateboarding is a part the culture of your family, Bamboosk8 is a skateboarding company practicing due diligence to minimize the impact of skateboarding on the environment with their bamboo skateboards. Read here to learn how they green their decks.
The skatebench is a quirky take on design, but it is an inspired approach to furniture design that even an eco-mother could love.
Ronnie Citron-Fink lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for Family Fun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including Family Fun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.