We all know recycling is hugely important today – without it we’d be overrun with rubbish in the next 100 years. If you ever watched Wall-e with your kids (or alone, I’m not one to judge), you’ll know what I mean.
However, a lot of items are just too good to be completely disassembled and recycled, which is why upcycling is the next big craze – even Lord Sugar’s Apprentices have had a crack at it this year (however, take note: Union Jacks do not belong on furniture). Even though it didn’t work out so well for them, they’ve highlighted an important point: why chuck old items when you can turn them into something new and useful?
More and more companies are starting to realise that upcycling is the way forward when kitting out new offices.
Reusing old furniture is a great start, but upcycling can be so much more than just sanding and repainting. Although there might not always be the budget for one off pieces, here’s 5 pieces of inspirational office furniture that will get you and your bosses creative eco-juices flowing.
1. Leather Desks
These amazing desks by Maarten De Ceulaer show just how effective upcycling can be. He uses old suitcases stacked together and covered with leather to create unique pieces, which include black and grey desks which would be a stunning key piece in any office.
2. Rebar Tables
Mizner Designs reuse reinforcing bars to create minimalist style tables. They carefully hand craft each item, bending and welding the bars into a frame to be topped with glass or wood. Each item is different, and they make great desks for industrial-style buildings.
3. Vintage Lumber Tables and Chairs
Heavy timber is becoming scarcer and scarcer, so the great minds at Varian Designs have come up with a great range of solid wood furniture, all made from vintage lumber. Each piece is unique, and they all display the history of the wood – for example, reusing steel plates and bolts that were part of its previous use.
4. Glass Countertops and Floors
There are a fair few companies recycling glass of all kinds into countertops and floors, like EnviroGLAS (note: EnviroGLAS only provides flooring solutions). They create stunning sparkling surfaces, which look almost like granite, and come in a great variety of colours. Recycled glass surface providers sell it in plank-like tiles as flooring, or as a countertop – great for a unique desk.
5. Kozo Lamps
Kozo Lamps are beautiful lamps, created from upcycled galvanised steel piping. Each one is unique, and is crafted by hand, with the original features of the pipe showing through. You could get a table lamp, but my favourites are the angle poise lamps, complete with taps.
These are just a few examples of companies that have taken a creative initiative to turn what would be discarded materials into contemporary objects of beauty. How could you turn your old furniture into the next iconic piece of upcycling to enliven your home or office?
Image: Michael Mandiberg