We are pleased this issue to welcome interior designer Alia Babapulle to the editorial team, as our “Eco Trends” columnist. Over the past 12 years, Alia has been providing clients with innovative and creative designs – creating her own furniture and producing bespoke pieces. She notes that she does not have a “style” but does what the space dictates for her clients.
Eco-friendly, green, sustainable… these are words we increasingly see used these days. It means that people are more and more enlightened as to what can be done to not harm the environment we live in and also to maintain a balance between nature and our necessities of life, especially in design. There are wonderful products and ideas coming onto the market today, and in this section we will be offering an ongoing insight into some of the most intriguing and functional.
Based in Australia, this is a firm which makes traditional Chesterfields, hence the name, but in ways that incorporate different colours to the normal browns one sees everywhere. Denim has been used as well, and the Eau de Nil Chesterfield featured here shows that a traditional style can be made modern very easily. The white Chesterfield is an award-winning piece of furniture, without losing the “look” – it won the Queensland “Best of Leather” award in 2013. It is nice to see that just by changing colours, and also the “fabric”, a whole new dimension comes to a piece of very traditional furniture.
Based in New York, Design Lush is an up-market interior design group making custom, contemporary, modern and luxury furniture, together with lighting and outdoor furniture. They also have a Green Line, which is shown here in the photos together with an outside view of a client’s house and a bar, also designed for a client. They combine organic materials with technology, making a good fusion of two very different worlds.
CARE BY ME
This is a small Danish company working with sustainable luxury products for women and their homes. In Nepal they have a social sustainable project supported by the Danish government, transforming a normal production to a sustainable production with the focus on educating women and providing better jobs – while at the same time changing to a more environmental production. In Nepal they make the most amazing cashmere throws and pillows – all without the use of electricity. Combining Danish design and Nepali handicraft they hope to contribute to the new niche market within sustainable luxury goods. In India organic certified beddings and quilts are made – also with a focus on both social and environmental sustainability, modern design and great qualities.
TIARA FURNITURE & GAZEBOS
When Peter Tian moved to Marbella and decided to set up a new business, he chose the furniture industry as he had many contacts in Indonesia. “The Indonesian wood species is very hard and of excellent quality so I decided that I didn’t want to use new wood but, instead, reclaimed wood offering sustainable furniture from Indonesia using old wood from old bridges from the 17th and 18th centuries and railway sleepers made of iron and teak wood, for example.” Once he had made this decision, he opened a workshop in Bali. The wood species comes from the island of Java and then he takes it to Bali for finishing. Most of the furniture items in his shop are unique pieces. Once the item is sold, there is nothing exactly the same again in the shop. Everything is limited edition.
Nancy Reilly began creating this unusual furniture by a circuitous route, much like the curved and twisted vines which are used. She is trained both as a biologist and a registered nurse, but has a strong artistic side. During her many walks in the forests doing field work in biology, she became acutely aware of the magnitude of invasive species in New England, where she lives. In some woodlands there are huge vines of bittersweet girdled trees, growing over their tops in a fierce competition for sun light. The bittersweet is always the victor. Her creative side saw the beauty in those twisted vines and she began to think that there could be a way to remove the vines and turn them into functional art. That moment, 10 years ago, sparked her current work, and she has thoroughly enjoyed this endeavour.
GEORGE SCOTT STUDIO
At George C Scott Studios in Seattle, they seek to create innovative and beautiful art glass, but strive to do it in an environmentally sound way. Much of the raw glass that turns into pieces of art might be trimmings and scrap from a large art glass manufacturer in the Pacific Northwest, which they buy in buckets, or whole sheets of glass that do not meet a producer’s exacting standards for their intended purpose. Because so much of the art glass made is cast (formed of smaller pieces of glass melted together into a larger item), they are able to put this waste to good use as the finished product comes to them as a waste product from another source. They practise this same passion for efficiency with the waste generated in their own studio. Many of their exciting layered and cast slabs are made of trimmings from earlier projects. Rarely is glass thrown away, and they also focus on re-using packing materials when appropriate. The pyramid fixture ceiling lamp is made from post industrial waste supplied by PPG Pittsburg Plate Glass, while the other items shown are also from waste glass.
All of the people who are involved with Oden, situated in Vancouver, believe they are stewards of the earth and are to leave the planet better than when they arrived. They build their pieces using traditional methods and ensure they will last for many generations. There are no toxic products such as MDF or chemical finishes used in any of the pieces made. They represent artisans from Canada and the US. Featured here is the “Ginkgo” table made by Rob Brown.
Heart Ethical is a new textiles and wallpaper company based in New Zealand. Founder and managing director Margot Bawden wanted to create a textiles and wallpaper company that was ethical and eco-friendly, using luxurious natural fibre textiles and the latest in print technology. Heart Ethical goes on to digitally print just the amount of fabric or wallpaper the designer requires for their project. In this way textile waste into the environment is also reduced. The wallpaper bases that clients can choose from are also eco-friendly. All use the latest latex inks, which are more eco-friendly than solvent inks because they are water-based and odourless. They do no emit volatile organic compounds in the printing of the wall covering nor in the wallpaper itself on installation. The papers are also PVC-free, which means they don’t require 1,000 years in a landfill site when it is no longer required.
The sand-textured paper is made from special cellulose and textile fibres. It uses up to 30 per cent less ink in the printing process than other comparable digitally printed papers. Furthermore, the company which makes Heart Ethical’s most textured wallpaper, MacTac, has recently been awarded the sustainable development prize awarded by Viscom-Signal’Etiq France.
Romantic Renaissance is a Scottish company that has revived the ancient form of enamelling (fusion of glass-on-glass) onto pure crystal glassware. The company specialises in creating unique hand-made designs for private collectors, dealers and companies internationally. The inspirations for the designs originate from ancient symbols, nature and pure visionary imagination. The creator and artistic designer of Romantic Renaissance is Antosa. Although born in Scotland, she has spent most of her life in Kenya, and her experiences there have contributed to and influenced her art.
Antosa is a qualified ceramicist-artist and has worked in every medium. She is also a published illustrator and author of four children’s books – and delights in creating artwork for children.