For this year’s Alcro Designers Collection, the paint manufacturer challenged ten students from Beckman’s College of Design to breathe new life into old pieces of furniture, using nothing but a lick of paint. The result is the ad.retur collection.

ad.retur at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in news events home furnishings  Category

Slate, by Susanne Ringstrom was one of my favorite pieces. She started by painting these wooden drawers white, and inspired by early military typewriters, she used a stencil to add a vintage green typewriter. Then, in a bid to provide a permanent home for all the notes and lists that usually end up on scraps of paper and post-it notes, she added a blackboard stripe like a reel of paper flowing out of the typewriter. Beautiful – and functional.

ad.retur at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in news events home furnishings  Category

ad.retur at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in news events home furnishings  Category

Kajsa Lindstrom’s Scrabble Box was once a cabinet her father bought on impulse for 25 kronor, that had been gathering dust under the stairs ever since. Inspired by the board games gathering dust under the same stairs, she created a nostalgic cabinet, with magnetic movable letters, that begs you to play with it.

ad.retur at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in news events home furnishings  Category

Joel Sandelius wanted to add value and a personal connection to this simple IKEA table by mimicking the silhouette of a gold Rococo table.

ad.retur at the Stockholm Furniture Fair in news events home furnishings  Category

My other favorite piece, Shadow by Andreas Frienholt, was inspired by a moment of serendipity. The sun shone through a classroom window and cast beautiful shadows across the chair. Andreas simply painted on the shadows.

He’s used quite a subtle color palate, so on first glance you might not even notice what he’s done, but he encourages other people to have a go and perhaps be bolder; “you can certainly experiment with brighter colors, too. It’s old furniture… so if one fails with a wooden chair, it is not the whole world, right?”

See the rest of the collection here.

Our trip to Stockholm for the Stockholm Furniture Fair 2012 was supported in part by Airbnb.com.