When friendly carpenters/craftspeople/random junk collectors find their way into our humble little studio with leftover 2×12 wooden boards, workshop-Lina gets happy!


scrap wood in recreate design workshop


Wood isn’t just wood. Besides being a fabulously usable, generally nice and often fragrant material, it’s also environmentally sound – even more so when saved while on it’s journey to the landfill. And the possibilities are almost infinite (It’s true, I might not be objective, but hello…it’s WOOD)!

It’s with this (wood) material that we can, for example, offer some respite for Oscar Fredrik’s Church congregational members waiting outside the reception office – by offering a beautiful, and cushioned bench upon which to rest their weary souls.


testing the reclaimed wood bench base


The base of this piece is built from diverse scrap wood pieces collected in our studio; plywood for the seat, old bedframe slats for the sides, and leftover planks of wood for the legs. Fun fact: The plywood previously served it’s duty as floor covering during the restoration of one of Gothenburg’s most historic buildings, Börsen, and several of it’s reusable plywood siblings participated in the Circular Times 2019 trade fair as a message board ‘cube’ for visitors to leave their environmental commitments.


building reclaimed wood bench


A group of broken dowel rods were cut into plugs that hold the bench base together. In order to get a smooth and durable paint finish, we took the base to get spray-painted by our handy ‘just around the corner’ painter. The seat cushion was cut and covered in the capable hands of our fellow project team member, Johanna, who’s super skilled in furniture reupholstery.


preparing fabric for bench

detail of fabric corners


When you work with reuse the way we do, you’re often left to work with what is available there and then – and of course quality can’t suffer as a result of less-than-perfect circumstances. For this piece we had to purchase new cushion foam as well as new fabric in order to meet modern safety and chemical regulations. Even with the new fabric, we found a way to reduce waste and asked to buy end-of-bolt fabric bits.

Because our small studio has limited tools, the early plan was to create a pattern for the needed angle on the legs that we’d then cut on the miter or table saw. With more time and effort, we may have been able to get a good result – but when your trusted local carpenter offers his services to saw the perfect angles in record time, you don’t say ‘no’!


scrap wood


The assembly required planning and creativity. It’s super frustrating to discover, well into the glue-up process, that the clamps you intended to use are 1 centimeter too short! But that was soon solved with a sharp focus, a pair of helping hands, and a small step-stool (good to have when the bench you are working on vertically is as tall as you are).


Lina builds reclaimed wood base


The slightly tapered legs gently nod to mid-century design, and the classic darker color on the bench was inspired by the three framed drawings, circa 1890, of the churches fantastic, and huge, stained glass windows. A couple of pillows support the back, with one of them providing a happy patterned color pop, inspired by the stained-glass windows themselves.


oscar fredriks församlingshem entry after


There’s also a little sister bench like this one that sits around the corner.

Let’s have a peek at more behind-the-scene photos:


recreate design company workshop

glue up for reclaimed wood bench

reclaimed wood bench base

reclaimed wood bench base

Lina and painted reclaimed wood bench




oscar fredriks församlingshem entry before


…. and after.


oscar fredriks församlingshem entry after


A big thanks to the staff at Oscar Fredrik’s Church for letting us become a part of the church’s history!
See the entire interior design project in our portfolio.


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