Monday, April 22, 2013

Chic-Cycle for Earth Day

With another revolution of the seasons, Earth Day is once again upon us. This year, we take a look at what it means to be green in the land of high-end furnishings. Instead of working up the usual ‘Top Ten Green Products’ or ‘Tips to Preserve the Planet’, we asked friends to share their best or most surprising chic-cycle moments (and we share a few of our own.)

Inspiration Strikes in the Strangest Places

In the holy trinity of Reduce Reuse Recyle, reuse offers creative opportunities unlike anything else in the design process.

Happenstance encounters with unusual objects, or full on hunting expeditions for the perfectly weird, or the weirdly perfect thing to complete a room are the moments we live for. Whether it's happenstance encounters with unusual objects or hunting expeditions for the perfectly strange, we live for the moments when we find that weirdly wonderful object that completes a room. We have even been known to scrounge through dumpsters and spend hours trolling the Internet looking for that oddity that puts the lid on a look.
Worm-eaten Barn Wood Transformed
On a show house installation in the Hamptons we found worm-eaten timbers from an old barn built in the 1700s and collaborated with Brooklyn artist Kristy Knight to create an heirloom worthy of the ages.

This Egg Came Second

Jeweler, James de Givenchy of Taffin, has experimented with making jewelry and objects from old guns. In the beginning, he experimented designing with guns from World War II and found it extremely rewarding. “It was personal for me because my family was involved in the French Resistance.  The underlying meaning gave the object(s) a specific identity… a substance transcendent of their intrinsic value.” For Fonderie 47, he designed a collection using steel from AK 47's. “I wanted to reinvent the way people view the AK 47... The egg embodies rebirth and thus is revolutionary in the proper sense of the word.”

Gear Gets Dressed Up for Re-use

Christian Nikum of Rocky Mountain Hardware reuses and recycles metal too. “This giant cog/gear is a part that would typically be purchased by a metal smelter as a recyclable piece. In turn, they would melt it down to re-purpose the various elements into alloys.”  Nikum believes this specific gear was used in an old oil refinery/processing plant.  “We loved the cool recycled style of this as it is, so we bought it from our ingot supplier and plan to turn it into a large table in our new showroom. 

“In addition to using recycled bronze to cast all of our products, Rocky Mountain Hardware is committed to an environmentally sound green philosophy, both corporately and culturally.  Our headquarters are LEED gold certified.”

Celebrate Earth Day 2013 by sharing your gems of up-cycling in our comments below or on Facebook, simply "tag" Ellen Hanson Designs!

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