Home Publisher's Point of View Extending the Life of Furniture Has Many Benefits

Extending the Life of Furniture Has Many Benefits

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Glenn Hasek

Extending the life of your furniture assets can have a significant positive impact on your bottom line and the environment as well. Just ask Bob Stephens, owner of Northern Lights Restoration, Spencer, N.Y., and Mario Insenga, owner of The Refinishing Touch, Alpharetta, Ga. Together, the two have been restoring furniture and other woodwork for a total of 65 years (40 for Mario, 25 for Bob). It is hard to imagine the volume of furniture they have kept out of landfills.

I spoke with Bob and Mario for an article I posted on Green Lodging News this past week. Bob’s company specializes in not only commercial furniture refinishing but also historic preservation services. Northern Lights Restoration is a Preferred Partner with Historic Hotels of America and Historic Hotels Worldwide. Many of the company’s clients fall into the historic hotel category. On a job site, Northern Lights Restoration may not only be refinishing furniture in a guestroom; it may also be refreshing stairways, doors and intricate, antique woodwork.

Mario’s company offers a wide variety of services such as furniture refinishing, upholstery and engineering, solid surface materials, and building in power outlets and USB ports. Like Northern Lights Restoration, its finishes are odorless, non-toxic, non-flammable and environmentally safe.

If you have any doubts about the value in restoring furniture, just ask Bob and Mario. According to Bob, compared to buying new, refinishing furniture can save you from 70 percent to 95 percent. On his website, Mario’s company cites a project in Charleston, S.C. where the property spent $55,000 on refinishing instead of $403,000 on new furniture—an 86 percent savings.

Refinishing’s Many Green Benefits

Aside from keeping furniture out of the landfill, choosing to refresh on-site furniture has many other environmental benefits as well. Think about the impact of manufacturing new—the sourcing of the materials, the transportation of it, the making of the furniture, and the transportation impact again.

Used furniture and other woodwork on property can be made to look new again and it is not as difficult as you might think. Typically, a guestroom worked on in the morning can be ready to sell in the afternoon.

Eventually, furniture reaches the end of its life. At that time you can try to donate it to a nonprofit or liquidate it. Do everything you can to keep it out of the landfill.

I have written about many what I consider to be “no brainer” types of steps you can take to run a sustainable hotel operation. Furniture refinishing is certainly one of them.

If you have a unique story to tell about extending the life of your property’s furniture or other woodwork, I would love to learn about it. I can be reached at editor@greenlodgingnews.com.

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