The goal of every working person is to eventually reach retirement and be able to spend their time doing something that they love. In the case of Linnea Poach, she spends every day of her retirement upcycling or painting old furniture.
While discussing upcycling, Linnea says, “It is a passion to reimagine an old or junky piece into something wonderful. It’s a hobby and it’s a job. I resell many pieces. I love chairs!”
When asked if she had shopped at the Habitat for Humanity ReStore home improvement outlets before, Linnea exclaimed, “Yes! Absolutely." When Linnea’s cabin was damaged by flood waters, she used kitchen cabinets from the ReStore to replace the damaged ones. Instead of using a usual material for the counter top of these cabinets, she cut to size, painted, and edge-stenciled a solid core door from the ReStore. In addition to these projects, Linnea is frequently upcycling and painting furniture using materials from the ReStore.
As a regular shopper at the ReStores, Linnea was there when Habitat decided to host their very first UpCycle Challenge last year. “I was in the New Brighton store and was the very first person to take home a chair," says Linnea.
Using a chair from the ReStore and other materials, Linnea worked her magic to create a unique version of a “planter chair." She added a twist to her chair by choosing to use a herb garden theme. To create her vision, Linnea added a chalk board to the chair to announce “Fresh Herbs." She then created some tiered shelves out of reused fence pickets and also some used bricks. Once the foundation of the chair was complete, she added a fountain and planted her herbs in tin cans with decorative metallic paint. Finally, she added a grow light so that the plants could continue to thrive even while the chair was indoors.
When reflecting on the UpCycle challenge, Linnea said that her favorite part was figuring out how to get the grass to grow. “The chair had a cane seat and I planted and herb grass in a ‘drawer’ of dirt under the cane so the grasses would grow through the broken cane seat," says Linnea.
This year, Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity is inviting up to 50 challengers to bring their skills and creativity to upcycle common items or materials found at ReStore. This time, however, we are not limiting you by giving you a chair to transform. You have more freedom to create anything you want! For more information about Habitat’s Freestyle Flip Upcycle Challenge, follow the link below!