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Monthly Archives: June 2012

Space dividers play multi-functional roles in an office space. Other than creating spaces within spaces, they act as acoustic insulators, vertical storage units, signage holders or even message boards. Every office design brief today specifies the need to incorporate cabins, meeting rooms and conferences as an integral aspect of the space planning and in most cases, interior designers and architects end up specifying toughened glass, gyp-board or MDF partitions in their design specifications for partitions. The benefits of using these materials are pretty obvious but also extremely over-rated.

The impact that glass and particle board production has on the environment has been widely documented and conveniently ignored. From the mining of sand for the glass industry to the release of potentially lethal gases and VOCs during the production process of glass and particle board, every step is a step towards an unsustainable tomorrow. A rather direct and simple way to tackle these issues would be to simply reuse and recycle these materials. It might not be easy or even practical to completely do away with the standard materials like glass and particle board, but would it do us harm though to think outside the box and look at the many eco-friendly and brilliantly creative solutions that are already available today for the modern office space. Not only are the solutions highlighted in this post simple, recycled, recyclable, they add a lot of character and design value to the spaces they are installed within.

‘Fort’ Acoustic Partition System

Designed by Arihiro Miyake, the individual modules of this acoustic partition system are formed of recycled PET bottle fibre. The assembly of modules is facilitated by integrated high-performance magnets which allow easy modification and unlimited extensibility to this system.

Recycled Water Bottle Partition by Klein Dytham 

Tokyo-based practice Klein Dytham Architecture has recycled used water bottles to create partitions for the office of Danone Waters.

‘Nomad’ system by MIO

Made from recycled, double-wall cardboard, Nomad is a modular architectural system that can be assembled into freestanding, temporary partitions without hardware, tools or damage to existing structures. The modules can be arranged into open or closed configurations creating private environments or light and airy room dividers. The Nomad System can also be configured to create doorways and corners, easily adjusting to any indoor space.

‘Ditto’ by 3Form

Individual cross-shaped pieces combine to create a three-dimensional partition, wall feature or even an art piece. Ditto allows for high design customisation with the low impact of 40% pre-consumer recycled content.  Ecoresin, the 3Form product that is used to make the pieces that form Ditto, is a non-toxic and sustainable material.

‘Tikibaq’ by Bleu Nature

Marketed as an outdoor screen for decks and patios, Tikibaq from Bleu Nature can become a beautiful screen for office spaces. Formed from driftwood and lacquered stainless steel, Tikibaq acts as an interesting space divider.

Barrisol sheets

Providing a variety of solutions for partitions and ceilings, the Barrisol sheet is formed from a co-polymer material which is guaranteed to be lead-free and 100% recyclable. Barrisol takes back old Barrisol sheets after years of use for recycling.

Having lived in your home for a few years now, do you now feel that you need to do something to make it feel new and invigorating again? Do you feel that one bright painting on that wall might lift the gloom from your living room or that a fresh coat of polish might make that dining table breathe life into those dinner parties that you host so often? Being an interior designer, I am constantly asked by friends and family for ideas to make their lived-in homes, warmer and may be a tad bit more alive.

Here are some unique and creative solutions that may help you if you face the same conundrum every time you sit back on your favourite couch after a long day at work. All you need to do is get up and make a start, the world is full of inspiration!

WALLS AND PARTITIONS

The first thing that you think of when you want to make your home look new is paints. Coating the walls with a fresh coat of paint has always been our answer. How about stripping the plaster off the walls and going for a rustic exposed brick look? Or maybe get someone to paint caricatures on the wall. Creating a wallpaper with old newspapers could do wonders too! You could also get creative and create partitions or screens by recycling materials like old beer bottles.

Exposed brick wall with old photo frames

Walls with caricature sketches

Newspapers used as wallpaper

Discarded beer bottle partition

CEILING AND LIGHT

Lights play an important role in changing the aesthetic appeal of a space. It is true that the light is more important than the lamp itself but it would do no harm to have a lamp or lamp shade that in itself could become the pièce de résistance. Lamps could be created from discarded tubelights, bulbs, milk cans, etc. Moreover, the day and age of white gypboard false ceilings is long gone. If you look around with a creative eye, something like discarded pet bottles could become interesting ceiling elements.

Pendant lamp created with discarded fluorescent tubes

Cambell’s soup cans reused as suspended lamp shades

Pet bottles with coloured liquid used as ceiling element

Another view of the ceiling element created with pet bottles

FLOORING AND RUGS

It is not always necessary that making a change or improvement to the existing tiled flooring in your home will cost you a lot of money. There are many ways of doing these improvements at a reasonable cost and a lot of these are Eco-friendly solutions which involve recycling or reusing materials that would generally be discarded. Using reclaimed wood planks for wood flooring is a great idea as reclaimed wood has its own patina and adds a lot of warmth to a space. You could even use a bit of paint and use your creativity to add value to the wood by painting motifs onto the floor. Using old carpet tiles of different colours and patterns to create an area rug could be another way of sprucing things up. Similar rugs could also be made with pieces of discarded fabric woven together.

Wooden flooring with reclaimed wood planks

Reclaimed wood flooring with motifs painted onto it

Area rug for dining table created with a combination of bright carpet tiles

FURNITURE AND ACCESSORIES

Reusing or recycling materials or products to create interesting pieces of furniture has limitless possibilities. Old chairs reupholstered with pieces of discarded fabrics, coffee tables made using waste or reclaimed wood, dining chairs created from discarded street signs, the options are infinite. Accessories like photo frames or wall shelves created from reclaimed wood or display units created using old jewellery boxes could all add that zing to your home.

Contemporary urban furniture from recycled road signs by Boris Bally

Discarded skateboards make interesting stools. Designed by Jason Podleski for Deckstool

Chair made with old pipes

Irregular profiles of waste wood combine to form a beautiful coffee table

Antique or old wooden frames have a natural patina that gives them character

Old frames of different sizes and finished create an impact on a white wall

Pieces of old wood fixed to a metal bracket create an interesting wall display unit

PLANTS AND LANDSCAPE

Nothing could possibly breathe life into a space better than plants, literally. Adding plants to an interior space has now become easier than ever. Self-watering planters, recycled pots and similar products are readily available in the market today. Information about the kind of plants that grow in spaces without too much direct natural light and ways of keeping indoor plants from withering are easily accessible on the internet. Having an indoor organic herb garden in your kitchen is now the first step to a healthier lifestyle. Plants in unique and interesting planters or pots have now become the center pieces in homes today.

Inverted planters by Boskke create an interesting kitchen herb garden

Cacti and other plants in interesting wall-hung planters

Moss terrarium in old wine bottle from Uncommon Goods

Inverted planters by Boskke form an interesting suspended landscape

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