We dutifully reject plastic bags proffered at the supermarket, leave the car at home in favour of public transport and check that our food is ethically sourced. In general we do our best to recycle and look after the environment. Well if you thought that you had ticked all of the green boxes, we’re sorry to tell you that may not be the case. What about your interiors? We’re not talking about energy saving lightbulbs, rather how ethical and ecological your sofa is. And what about your plates? And light-fittings?
Take one washing machine drum, a tin bath and a shopping trolley and what do you get? The beginnings of a junk yard? Wrong. The answer is in fact a stylish sofa, armchair and table lamp. Reestore recycle found objects to create interesting furniture with a sense of humour. Their furnishings are intelligently designed and will provide a focal point for any living room, as well as becoming a talking point. This will ensure that your peers are aware of your green credentials as well as your impeccable taste in interior design.
Buy: Annie, the “shopping trolley” chair, to relive your student days with a grown-up design twist.
Lou Rota‘s range of quirky chairs and plates is the proof that furnishings can be ecological and pretty at the same time. Using collage and decoupage, Rota manages to transform the most pedestrian of 1960s plastic chairs into a truly desirable object. All of the pieces are made individually, ensuring that not only are you being nice to nature, your one-off design is an investment! Rota’s customised plates are bound to encourage dinner party chitchat, with their unusual images of flora and fauna.
Buy: A personalised set of vintage plates; the perfect gift for a christening, wedding… or yourself.
Another designer using found objects in a fun and innovative way is Alex Randall, a young designer based in Devon who formed her bespoke lighting company, Jericho Hands, in 2006. Alex has already won prizes for her designs, carrying off the Liberty Award for Most Promising Newcomer ’07. Pairing reclaimed items and new technology, Alex creates quirky light fittings or “sculptural art” as she terms it, that would be a show piece in a lounge or bedroom. Don’t try to make any ‘phone calls from her Bakelite telephone lamp though! Will we see Blackberry lightshades in the future?
Buy: The Gramaphone chandelier; a reworking of a gloriously vintage object
Sarah Thirwell turns traditional craft on its head with her handmade vases and vessels. Using a combination of locally sourced or reclaimed timbers and recycled plastics or cork bathmats, the modern, clean lines of her vases make them the perfect ecological and ethical ornament. As they are made by hand, no two vessels are alike and the elegant ash and lime wood colours will add a touch of elegance to your interior. Again, if you’re looking for an unusual gift, this would be a really unique idea for anybody who isn’t a fan of Ikea!
Buy: Half n Half Vending Cup; ideal for those of us who occasionally consume a little too much coffee…
Raw Studio‘s designer, Nick Rawcliffe, trained at the Bauhaus and in Japan (as well as at the Royal College of Art) and these influences are reflected in his creations. The brand’s object are simple and minimalistic, yet very functional. Nick’s British sense of humour comes through in his “Slot” chairs; fancy a 2Pac chair,a Biggy bench or a Diddy stool? Made from sustainably sourced laquered birch plywood, the chair are delivered in a flatpack which can be simply assembled at home. Raw also sells chairs made from skateboards – perfect for a spot of urban chic.
Buy: Coffee Table; made from recycled coffee grounds – you don’t have to worry about leaving marks on this!