I’m a veritable addict for collapsible, multi-functional furniture. Panels that slide to reveal unexpected compartments and seemingly unlimited possibilities. So it’s no surprise I fell fell hook, line and sinker with designer Akemi Tanaka ‘s collection of “now-you-see-it-now-you-don’t” tables. The Tagei Table slides playfully into a bench for two with end tables to match. With this kind of versatile style and function any of us can live large in a small space.
“The convertibility factor makes it ideal for small spaces,” says Brooklyn-based Tanaka. “A lot of the time, for small spaces, you have to bring in kitchen chairs or stools when you have people visiting, and it doesn’t really fit the environment of people getting together and hanging out in the living room. But this encourages relaxation and communication.” If storage is more important to you than seating, remove the seat cushion and you’ve got a hideaway for your remote controls, magazines and other coffee table clutter. Continue Reading / See Additional Photos
If you only made a dollar a day, what kind of furniture would you buy? Maybe some cardboard furniture will do the trick for you. Yes, the billions of mud hut dwellers and college students alike, can find something to love about COMPACt, the cardboard furniture inside a pizza box.
COMPACT is totally sustainable furniture design made from cardboard and recycled polypropylene. The modular solution comes in 5 flat boards which make for easy transport. Assembly should be a cinch if you’re used to IKEA and it’s all held together by interlocking areas that are sealed with wood glue. Configurations are endless, everything from storage, to a work area complete with lighting.
It isn’t easy coming up with a new idea, but that’s just what Thomas Bina has done. While traveling through Brazil with a friend, Bina came upon what would become his design muse — a perfectly weathered piece of Peroba wood. That one piece of wood, and the natural process that created it, has ushered in Environment Furniture and the Peroba Collection.
Imagine an old shed or a dilapidated barn, leaning and nearly collapsed. I’ve just described the birthplace of Bina’s designs. EF dismantles these structures and uses the wood for new and exciting furniture. For me, the appeal is not just the clean modern aesthetic or the “rawness” of the Peroba wood that speaks to me; personally, I’m a sucker for history and a good story. These pieces of art are not just preserving the planet, they’re also preserving a piece of history. I like to imagine where some of this wood came from, and who may have lived with it before me…
The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” holds true on the other side of the Atlantic, too. The only difference is, we call it rubbish in the UK. Semantics aside, how do you transform household rubbish, especially hard-to-recycle plastic, into a new design aesthetic? Well, if you’re Brit designer Richard Liddle of Cohda Design, you invent a machine and demonstrate in front of a live audience.
Cohda Design’s innovative event took place from October 20 – 28 as part of the UK Design Council’s dot07.com festival. The public was invited to bring plastic waste items to be broken down in Cohda’s modified industrial machinery. The plastic was then re-heated, re-formed and recycled into one long spaghetti-like strand, which was then manipulated to create colorful chairs, tables and whatever else the imagination could dream up.
As a first-time homeowner searching for stylish and eco-friendly furniture, I was pleased to stumble across British-based interior design company, One Eco Home. Designers Helen Mudie and Kate Millbank partnered up after deciding the current marketplace lacked products for the home that were both sustainable and desirable. Hoping to help fill this void, their line includes home furnishings and accessories ranging from sofas, dinettes, and media centers to lighting fixtures, rugs, and tableware. All of the products are made with a respect for nature, an eye toward sustainability, and a demand for quality and style.
Looking at Cliff Spencer’s design gallery is truly like viewing a work of art. When I first heard there was a designer using old wine barrels to make furniture and cabinetry, I was dying to see what the pieces looked liked and how this idea had come about. And when I did, I was impressed.
My only prior experience with wine barrels was a wine-tasting road trip up the coast of California’s lovely wine country. I knew that wine was given its flavor from the wood as it ferments, and that after a barrel loses its flavor (on average 3-4) years, the barrels are either discarded or used for storage. It had never occurred to me that just as the oak flavor of the wood seeps into the wine, the color of the grapes would similarly leave a permanent stain on the wood — and in an array of natural colors.
If you told Ryan Frank that his Strata collection was garbage, he would probably smile proudly and nod.
This native South African has found a use for the battered redundant office furniture that East London apparently has an abundance of. He’s designed Strata, a beautiful set consisting of a chair, dining table, coffee table and stool. In order to create the unique look, Frank laces different woods together, so the collection is 60%-70% salvaged material and the rest is FSC-certified birch ply.
I want to earn LEED points without sacrificing style. I want to incorporate more bamboo into my house. I want a table that’s really a chair that’s really a table.
Luckily for me, I stumbled across EcoSystems’ Bamba and Tandem 1.
The best part of these chairs is not their versatility (you can get one or one million and they lock together seamlessly) or their sustainable materials (bamboo, aluminum and non-toxic finishes) – it’s what happens after you’re tired of them that’s got me excited.
Too often, we don’t take into account the end of a product’s life. It’s easy to strut around with a reusable bag, buying corn carpeting and denim insulation. But with no convenient plan in place for its disposal, many otherwise green products still go the way of the landfill. It’s super-heartening to see that even small companies like EcoSystems are taking the cradle-to-cradle concept seriously and building a recycling plan into the design of the product.
Salvaged wood is all the rage. It’s not recycled, it’s not renewable — it’s a completely reused product. If milled right, the whole process has a very small impact on the environment. Many homeowners also match hard-to-find antique woods, like Heart Pine flooring, with reclaimed wood from other sources.
And (as if you needed another reason) it can be cheaper than new lumber.
Designers Bart Bettencourt and Carlos Salgado are salvaged wood trendsetters. In 2003, their furniture line, Scrapile, was born in Brooklyn. Using a special technique of collecting and repurposing scraps of wood, they create benches, dining tables, stools and side tables.