11.11.2015

Sustainable Interior Design

Do you feel slightly scared that if you call in an interior designer they’ll tell you that you must chuck out all that “old rubbish” and spend a fortune on the very latest designs?  Well the world has moved on and now, it’s more important than ever that we produce environmentally friendly, and sustainable interior design.  We all have a responsibility to play our part.

Victorian button back chair with old cover

So let’s just imagine that you’ve got an old button back chair in your house.  It might have been given to you by a friend or family member, so you’d feel guilty if you got rid of it.  But it’s such an old fashioned design, the cover’s had it and anyway, you never liked the colour and it simply doesn’t go in the contemporary style you really want to live in….. What to do with it?

The environmentally friendly answer of course is to reupholster it and give it new life.  The worst thing you could do is take it to the tip.  But how do you get it to fit in with your contemporary style?  Look at it afresh!

Just because it’s a Victorian button back chair, doesn’t mean to say you’ve got to cover it in a dark traditional Victorian style fabric.  You could choose something much more funky instead and turn it into a statement piece.

One of our recent clients had two such chairs in her sitting room that she wasn’t sure what to do with.  She didn’t want them in the sitting room any more, but neither did she want to throw them out.  I suggested she re-locate one of them to the landing, where there was a rather empty space, crying out to have something of interest added to it.  The space was at the end of a relatively long landing that was all quite minimal – white walls and engineered wood flooring; what it needed was a “punctuation mark” at the end of it.

Landing with white walls and engineered oak floor and bespoke balustrading for staircase

The client had two pictures she was thinking of hanging on the walls and the cobalt blues of sky and sea sang out from them, immediately giving me my inspiration.  The swirling cut velvet of Aurelia by Designers Guild was a bold choice of fabric but picked up on the colours in the paintings perfectly.  But covering the whole chair would have been a bit overwhelming (and frankly rather Victorian) so to keep things light and contemporary, the back was covered in a light neutral fabric with a rustic texture that contrasted with the smooth velvet on the seat and back.

Victorian chair upholstered in Designers Guild Aurelia fabric on a landing with white walls and oak floor

The blank space at the end of the landing now has a bright shot of colour, the drab old chair looks bang up to date and it’s all been kinder on the planet – a good result all round.

Have you got some old furniture that needs to have new life breathed into it?  We love incorporating existing pieces into new schemes in a contemporary way, so please get in touch.

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