From their corner shop in Downtown’s Arts District, Daniel Bennett and Carolyn Wright are out to prove that everything old can be new again, long after they’ve served their original purpose.
The couple recently opened Luxe Rust in the space previously occupied by Medusa’s Antiques, and have been hitting up scrap yards and landfills in their quest to find rustic, industrial and mid-century fixtures to transform into modern heirlooms.
That includes everything from discarded dental cabinets and steel lockers to casino art installations, like the one likely from Caesars that Bennett converted into a 14-foot curved sofa.
“All of these parts and pieces that have been forgotten about, there’s so much craftsmanship in those [items],” he says. “They’re from this time frame that people want to hold onto.”
Photos by Cierra Pedro
Bennett began repurposing and selling old furnishings while running a cabinet shop in Bend, Oregon. He owned the business for a decade before selling it and joining Wright in Las Vegas.
Together, they have an eye for seeing potential in pieces that others have tossed in the trash. On a recent trip to Beatty, Nevada they pulled over to collect “a bunch of rusty stuff” someone had left on the side of a road.
“I was like, ‘We’re taking it,’ because you just never know,” Wright says.
Sometimes a single item just needs a polish to restore its shine; other times it can inspire a larger piece such as an old oven that was once used to make dental molds. After finding 10 of those ovens in a scrap yard with other dental fixtures, Bennett reworked them into a line of cabinets and found no shortage of buyers willing to take them home.
Luxe Rust, Bennett says, was born out of not only the couple’s shared passion for preserving antiques, but also their belief that people still value custom furniture over mass-produced, easily disposable items that will “fall apart after two moves.”
“It’s the idea of having pieces like our parents did and their parents did, having value in those pieces,” Bennett says. “We can build something or take something that is sentimental and convert it for you, and it will still have value.”