MARQUETTE - Don't throw away that old dresser just yet. You might be able to get some ideas for "upcycling" that potentially large throw-away item.
The North Coast Collective, an initiative that seeks to find and foster design and style in the Upper Peninsula and beyond, is holding a new furniture upcycling contest that features redesigned items from area contestants.
"Redo: View and Brew," also a fundraiser for Marquette County Habitat for Humanity, will be from 2-4 p.m. June 14 at the Ore Dock Brewing Co., 114 W. Spring St.
Furniture will be on display at the event where for $10, members of the public will receive a drink ticket, snacks and the opportunity to vote for their favorite piece. There will be a judges' favorite and fan favorite, with items to be available in a silent auction.
Marina Dupler is coordinating the event with Jessica Jones. The DIY, or do-it-yourself component, appealed to the two.
"We sort of bonded over our love for DIY, for interior design, and we just thought, wouldn't it be fun to do a contest, and I guess bring people out of the woodwork, so to speak," Dupler said.
The event, she said, coincides with people's spring cleaning. An item can be a new, refurbished item to enter the contest, Dupler noted.
"It has to be an old piece - so it's either ugly, uninteresting, maybe not usable - and transforming it into something functional, beautiful or interesting," Dupler said. "So I think that's sort of the 'green living' part of it."
A fresh coat of paint, upholstery tacks or other touches can change a tired piece of furniture, she said.
Ten contestants, ranging from a photographer to a carpenter to a landscape designer and other visual vocations, plan to enter items.
Said local photographer Samantha Collins, "Being a part of this event is great for so many reasons. Upcycling is a win-win. It not only promotes a greener community, but also pulls out one's creativity."
Upcycling possibilities are many and varied, according to another participant.
Allison Clark Nie of Curio Design Studio said, "As long as you find something that has lines and shapes that you like and fits the dimensions of your space, the opportunities are endless on what you can turn it into: a vanity for a bathroom, a media cabinet or a sideboard for the dining room."
Andy Brown of Prospective Woodworks & Design said his project deals with how simple shapes and forms can come together and be something with visual interest without being overly complicated.
"I really wanted to take something and give it new life," Brown said, "but make it have a very different life than it once had."
After all, Dupler pointed out one of the goals of the contest is to promote the mantra "reuse over refuse."
So, maybe people should think twice before they chop up that old chair and toss it into the trash, even if they're not professional craftspeople with a way with a hammer.
"I hope it's not intimidating for people," Dupler said. "Hopefully it's inspiring and makes you want to go home and pull some stuff out of your basement, and grab some paint, make it your own."
For more information, visit www.facebook.com/northcoastcollective.