Category Archives: Up-cycling

Design of the Day – Re-vamped fine bone china

As you all know, I’m a huge fan of up-cycling, so when I came across Melody Rose’ designs I must say I got very excited! The Canadian born designer, Melanie Roseveare, lives and works in West London,  re-vamping various china with quirky images from humming birds and skulls to 50’s pin-up girls.

My favorite pieces from her collection are the skull tea cups and plates. I just adore how Melanie has fused the eerie skull image with dainty bone china. Her designs are available to buy from www.notonthehighstreet.com or you can go direct to her website for personalised commissions and enjoy the array of rather splendid designs.

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Filed under Ceramics, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, homeware, News, Quirky, Up-cycling

Interior Designer Karen Lane’s new up-cycling project!

Following on from her ‘Flower Chest’ project, Interior Designer Karen Lane, has rescued an old cabinet from her local second-hand shop and given it the love and attention needed to turn it into a beautiful piece of furniture. Here’s how she did it!

  1. The cabinet was first rubbed down and then undercoated.
  2. After another light sanding two top coats of emulsion were painted before the flower (cut from wallpaper) was applied using PVA.
  3. The whole body was then painted with several coats of clear satin varnish to protect it from wear and tear.
  4. Finally the inside was lined with an attractive but practical, scrubbable wallpaper.

Karen, “I am very happy with the finished result and now have another item to add to my range of hand decorated, recycled furniture.”

If you would like to contact Karen regarding commissions or for an interior design project, please visit her website!

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, distance learning, Eco-friendly, higher education, The National Design Academy, Up-cycling, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – Meet Annie the chair, previous occupation – A shopping trolley

Today’s Design of the Day is one which will make you smile and think “what a crazy idea yet so perfect!”. Contemporary Eco design studio Reestore takes random objects like aeroplane wings, wheel barrows and shopping trolleys, then turns them into beautifully stylish pieces of furniture – another fantastic approach to sustainable interiors.

Designer and Managing Director of  Reestore, Max McMurdo, first made head way with his products when he pitched to the terrifying Dragon’s Den panel in series 5 of the show. He managed to impress the fierce Deborah Meaden and business genius Theo Paphitis, who invested in the company.

I’ve chosen Max’s “Annie” chair which in a previous life was a shopping trolley. It’s just fascinating how this symbol of the scrap yard can be totally transformed in to a perfectly functional chair. It takes 4 – 6 weeks to be delivered and will set you back £550.

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Filed under Bedroom Interiors, Eco-friendly, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Quirky, Reestore, Soft Furnishings, sustainable interiors, Up-cycling

What trend is sweeping the interior design world and getting everyone shouting?

It’s fantastic to see interior designers from all corners of the industry really thinking about sustainable design and showing people how they can re-use materials to create not only eclectic pieces to put inside a home or building, but taking a serious approach to their own carbon footprint. Pressure groups and political parties have shouted about eco-friendly living for years, so this new “eco-chic” or “up-cycling” trend which has swept the design world hasn’t just popped onto the scene from nowhere.  Bearing this in mind, I ask, why has it taken us so long to finally care about our surroundings and start to change our habits?

I’m sure some boffins out there have an intricate explanation, but from my point of view, attending shows such as Birmingham Interiors, Ideal Home Show and keeping track of what other bloggers, designers and tweeps are discussing, reveals one major point, people have far less to spend so are forced to make-do and mend.

I know many people and designers, who’ve jumped on the band wagon, using old wood from skips, battered doors, unwanted plastic bottles and vintage suitcases to re-create various pieces of furniture which look immense. Eco designer Sarah Turner, who I met at this years Birmingham Interiors Show, creates lights from used plastic bottles and Hendzel & Hunt who are behind the label “Made in Peckham”, also showcased at BIS, create wonderful rustic tables and chairs from wood and pallets discarded on the streets of Peckham. Watch the video below to see their designs!

Hendzel & Hunt

Sarah Turner

Sarah’s designs also featured in some of the show homes at this years Ideal Home Show at Earls court in London and it’s great to see young fresh talent really pushing through on the eco front, basing their designs around sustainability and setting a positive example.

This years Ideal Home Show followed suit and was heavily based around sustainable living from George Clarke’s Coronation Street eco-refit, that demonstrated how energy inefficient many of the UK’s homes are and how they can be improved, to Linda Barker’s eco-chic styling seminars. As well as interior design celebrities endorsing green living, other areas of the show also showed their support for green living. The stand for the Help for Heroes campaign at the event was kitted out with furniture made from various soldiers uniforms, buttons and hats which I thought was a lovely gesture.

The impact these shows have on people is huge, in one of her eco-chic seminars, Linder Barker showed spectators how to make a cake stand from old plates and glasses. I thought this was a fantastic idea and decided to make one myself and write a guide for others to do the same. To this day, one of the most popular searches I find on The Design Hub, is how to create a vintage cake stand! Okay it’s not on the same scale as investing in under floor heating or compressed insulation, but it’s still making a difference and tackling the “throw-away” culture which we’ve all been caught up in – thank you Linda!

Even Robin, the Finance Director at the National Design Academy, had a go at up-cycling and created a magnificent cupboard from bits of scrap. It didn’t cost him a penny and give him great satisfaction I’m sure, to know that he’d created something from nothing. Interior Designer Karen Lane, who’s based in the East Midlands, often gets old worn furniture from charity shops and restore’s them to sell on – check out her guide!

Which brings me to another important point, all this restoring and up-cycling is really benefitting our charity shops. I think my local one is sick of the sight of me, but I get a lot of pleasure making use of unwanted items and helping others at the same time, so it’s worth having a look to see what you can find.

Like South African designer Katie Thompson say’s, “make something ordinary, extraordinary”. (check out her Suitcase Chair’s they’re a great example of up-cycling)

In these hard economic times, people seem to be more open to all ideas thrown out there that can save money which could be the reason “eco-chic” and “up-cycling” and has taken off.  Those who have redecorated their home on a shoe string are leading the way with chic, rustic, recycled designs that all the home magazines have jumped on. If you want to achieve this look, it’s cheap and easy, just use your imagination and make use of interior design blogs/sites/forums to get inspiration, because they’re all shouting about it in one form or another.

Back to the point, this years biggest trend is sustainable living which like all trends has levels of expense, if you can afford a £2000 chair made from old t-shirts, great, it’s still an appreciation of the eco concept and keeping that designer in business, but if your more towards the make-do and mend end of the spectrum, you have a wealth of exciting and creative eco-friendly options to try. Whatever level, whatever design keep thinking green and you’re already bang on trend.

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, Birmingham Interiors Show 2011, Eco-friendly, George Clarke, Ideal Home Show 2011, Kitchen Interiors, lighting, Living room Interiors, News, Periord Ideas, Quirky, Sarah Turner, sustainable interiors, The Designers Block, Up-cycling, www.nda.ac.uk

Design of the Day – The extraordinary Suitcase Chair

Interior Designers across the world are now firmly on the eco-friendly bandwagon and pushing their designs to new environmentally savvy heights. One designer from South Africa has demonstrated how old vintage suitcases can be transformed into chairs! Katie Thompson graduated from Design Time School of Interior Design in Cape Town with the aim to make the ordinary rather extraordinary.

The “Suitcase Chair” is my favorite of Katie’s designs, I just adore it’s quirkyness and the white linen set against the pale blue case gives this piece a beautiful and delicate personality. Also, the clever recycling of what can be seen as “junk” is a fantastic example to their designers wanting to be more forward thinking.

The chair has a steel reinforced internal structure with the body is covered in 100% white linen, with the buttons draped in floral Liberty fabric. I’m not sure how much this piece is, but going by her other designs which sell from £600 upwards, my guess is that it’s not going to be cheap, but neither is quality.

 

Image source: interiordesignsense.com

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Filed under Katie Thompson, News, Quirky, Soft Furnishings, Suitcase Chair, sustainable interiors, Up-cycling, upholstery

Up-cycling made easy with Interior Designer Karen Lane

It’s the hottest new trend in the design sphere and I find myself banging on about up-cycling every week. But why not, Linda Barker‘s doing it, Madonna, Gwyneth Paltrow and of course interior designers have been re-vamping tired furniture forever! If you’re wanting to save some pennies and transform your home don’t think you can’t have your cake and eat it, because you can!

Here are some examples of up-cycling by Interior Designer Karen lane, with a short guide of how to create the desired effect. So set aside a lovely Saturday or Sunday afternoon and enjoy being creative. If you need any advice on your project or want  Karen to sprinkle some of her magic on your furniture just  visit her website Autograph Interior Design or leave a comment. Continue reading

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Filed under Bathroom Interiors, Bedroom Interiors, chic, country style, Eco-friendly, Home Acessories, Kitchen Interiors, Living room Interiors, modern design, News, Periord Ideas, Quirky, Style, sustainable interiors, Up-cycling