Pallets, mainly wooden, were always reserved for putting under the fridge, also shopkeepers using them to keep their goods off the ground. However, still performing those different tasks, pallets now form part of a new trend of modern furniture.
The first time I got my first pallet was from a friend, who worked near a factory. It was easy for him to get them free of charge since they are always disposed of once the shipments are offloaded.
“Sometimes it is just as easy as asking (nicely) if they plan on using them and you can have one or two, although they may not be as neat and polished as those which are custom made. Chances are, that some stores or warehouses will be happy to give them away,” Daniel, my friend pointed out.
Now pallets are finding their way into restaurants, poolsides, on balconies, patios, living rooms and bedrooms too.
People have started picking up pallet furniture over ordinary furniture because they are versatile and are easily recycled. Once your furniture is old, it can easily be repaired or recycled to something else such as flowerbeds, among other projects.
Emmanuel Arnon, managing director of Arnon Services Kampala says they mainly use pine wood for fixed furniture.
“Hardwood is often used when the type of furniture we are making is supposed to be reassembled,”he says.
Pallets are mainly treated to avoid rotting among other natural hazards. According to Arnon, this is taken care of before putting it up for sale.
“Our furniture has pallets that were previously treated. Once we receive them, we expose them to both (rain and sunny) weather conditions and they lose these chemicals so by the time we pick the ones we received months ago to use, they are ideal for use,” he said.
He pointed out that pallet furniture is exclusively rustic. Once one has selected a certain type of furniture, a coat of paint or vanish is added to keep it up to date.
Before you choose…
Before choosing a certain design, one needs to keep in mind the cushioning they will prefer .
This will help them to achieve a satisfying look when they are finally taken home in their respective rooms.
According to Kulusum Jamal of Pallet Furniture and Home Décor in Kawempe, the pallet furniture is sometimes thought to be expensive because some of the pallet material is imported. The labour that is involved in the process of making custom made furniture is also considerable.
The pricing is mainly dependent on the design and finishing of respective furniture (some are finished with lighting beneath them, especially beds).
In Muyenga, a suburb of Kampala, a set with cushioning costs on average Shs300.000 to Shs1.5m (from a single seater to a five seater respectively). A bed costs between Shs350, 000 to Shs1.8m while a dining set and table cost between Shs1.4m to Shs1.6m for a four seater and six seater respectively.
In Kawempe, pallet beds range from Shs150, 000 to Shs1.5m. Sofa sets start from 850, 000. Tables range from Shs150, 000 to Shs300, 000.
There are many pieces of furniture that can be made from wooden pallets. These include loungers, sitting sets, coffee tables, dining tables, beds, benches, centre tables, TV stands, shelves and couches among others. The decision solely depends on what one wants for one’s home.