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Helsinki based designer Willem Heeffer has a “can do” attitude. When he was commissioned to create a lighting and accessory range for the new American restaurant Midhill Diner for top chef Hans Välimäki, he knew the industrial styled interior (by Martina Rosenqvist and Vera Öller) needed to be complimented with an eye catching icon that captured the American theme – Enter the world recognised but humble baked bean can.
In total, Willem individually sourced 334 recycled cans from numerous restaurants. As if this task was not difficult enough, he then individually cleaned each one – a grand feat in itself! Once all traces of beans and sauce were removed, Willem transformed the cans into statement lighting “candeliers”, bar lights and cutlery holders.
Amidst all the excitement of the Midhill Diner opening just yesterday, Willem spoke to State of Green about his latest design;
1. What inspired you to use baked bean cans in this project? The Baked Bean can light is an old product of mine. It suited this project well as it hints towards pop culture which suits the American style diner.
2. How long did it take to collect all 334 cans? I think it took a total of six weeks making daily journeys to the local restaurants, pizzerias and oil recycling centers. All got to know me pretty well!
3. Did you face many challenges in the collection, cleaning and design of the chandelier/candeliers?? I am a good organizer so solved little issues on the way but nothing big. Sometimes it was hard to keep up a positive attitude when surrounded with so many dirty cans, and to maintain the belief that something cool will be coming from it.
4. What has the feedback been like from patrons attending the Midhill Diner? It has only been opened for a day, but so far all the iphones are coming out taking lots of pictures…
5. Do you have any other exciting projects in the pipeline? I am working on a bigger series of products and one of them is the washing machine drum light. Not a true original but I am sure I can bring it to the next stage!
If you have the perfect spot for your very own iconic baked bean can light, or if your palette tends more towards Campbells Tomato Soup, Willem is happy to make one for you – Just pop on over to his website to check them out!
Who loves a good “before and after” project. You know the sort ~ take an old falling down house and transform it into the best looking pad on the street! This time, Feast Watson have challenged 9 Australian designers to take an old piece of furniture, and transform it into statement designer pieces. And here’s the clanger ~ you have the opportunity to buy one of these designer pieces. As part of the Re-Love Project, Feast Watson are auctioning each of the upcycled pieces on eBay over the next 7 days, and all proceeds will be donated to Salvos Stores.
Interior and props stylist Simone Barter (blog:www.stylelifehome.com.au) is particularly on trend with these four paint dipped dining chairs. I’m predicting these will be a HOT item!
Many of you would know Sophie Vine (blog All That I Adore (http://allthatiadore.com), who appeared on renovation reality show, The Block last year with her husband Dale. I admired their use of upcycled items throughout their renovation projects last year, and this ‘Talk with Tea” table is no exception. Could you picture yourself sitting here with a cuppa on a long distance phonecall to a dear friend – I can!
Made On The Left (blog: http://madeontheleft.blogspot.com.au/) is a great new discovery for me. They are a non-profit organisation based in Western Australia who promote creative talent across the western seaboard. Four creatives came together for this old school desk makeover project, namely Nicole Moffat (Tall Rabbit), Jacquie Hughes (Empire of Delight), Rebecca Antos (Little Sparrow Design) and Marie Joubert (Mea Culpa). The pastel retro waves paired with chalkboard desktops brings together a beautiful nostalgic flavour that would sit well in any childs room in 2013!
Project Architect and
design blogger EllaLeoncio (Pages from my Moleskine: www.pagesfrommymoleskine.com/) added a touch of glamour to an otherwise uninspiring and boring coffee table. I know which one I would prefer to have in my lounge room!
Giftstore owner Sam Cannell (SE10 Gallery: www.se10gallery.com.au/blogs/homewares) is passionate about interiors. Taking a formal Telephone Table, she has injected a bit of fun, colour and life into it – but you can still have a good old fashioned chinwag.
Interior Decorator Emma Blomfield (Nest (http://nestdesigns.com.au/) shows just what can be done with grandmas’s old dining chair, with a few relatively simple changes. A fresh sand and lacquer, with a vibrant piece of fabric have breather another life into this former dull chair.
That’s just some of the great items on offer by Feast Watson on eBay. If you love any of the pieces above, or want to have a peek at all the great upcycled designers, head on over to eBay – The Feast Watson Re-Love Project auction kicked off at 5pm this afternoon, and runs until the grand finale on 18 May 2013 – All for a great cause!
Clothing companies like Nudie Jeans are bucking the trend of selling fast fashion. They are encouraging consumers to hold onto their jeans for as long as possible, and are setting the bar high for a sustainable fashion future. Finding the perfect pair of jeans is gold. Unlike other pieces of clothing, it is often an emotive day when you realise your comfortable jeans are beyond their use by date. But Nudie Jeans appreciates the attachments
we make to these second skins, and offer a fantastic service that is second to none, by offering to extend the life of your jeans in more than one way.
If you don’t want to part with your beloved jeans that have worn through at the knee or your derriere, you can take your jeans back to a Nudie Jeans store for them to repair them for free. That’s right ~ FREE! If in the unfortunate instance they are really beyond repair, you can leave them at the store and get 20% off your next pair which could be a nice soft and aged repaired or re-used pair of jeans which they also sell. Imagine that – no need to break them in or wait for them to gain the lovely patina of faded age!
For those jeans that are well and truly worn out, Nudie Jeans have just started cutting them down to strips which are then sewn together, spun onto spools and hand loomed into sturdy and attractive floor rugs.
Taking the reduce, reuse, recycle initiative even further, the Nudie Jeans Recycle Denim Maniacs project has been established to challenge up and coming designers to recreate old Nudie denim into brand new designs. Love it!
Originating in Gothenburg, Sweden, Nudie Jeans now have stores and stockists spotted all over the globe (a store opened in Brisbane today!). Let’s hope others in the fashion industry stand up and take note of Nudie Jeans great fashion and environmental initiatives – What a fun place the fashion world could be if they all followed suit!
Postscript: Just in case you are wondering, this is not a sponsored post. I’m just darn impressed by Nudie Jeans ethos and just had to share ~ Jenny
Lighting design can be quite experimental, but Poland based designer Magda Jurek of Pani Jurek has taken it literally with her design of the Maria SC Chandelier. Made from glass test tubes suspended from a circular plywood
band, the chandelier has been designed for the end consumers own visual experiment.
Graduating from the Academy of Fine Arts in Warsaw, Magda Jurek is an advocate of sustainable design. She makes products that can be rearranged for different purposes and which encourage interaction and creativity. The Maria SC chandelier was inspired by the Polish scientist, Maria Sklodowska-Curie, who was awarded the Nobel Prize in Chemistry, adn the design possibilities are limited by your imagination.
Challenging us to think outside the square, Magda promotes just some possible design options including uses as a striking suspended flower feature, the coolest of party celebration features, a bright rainbow of colour or …… do you have any other ideas? If so, please share with us in the comments field below!
Our feature interviewee for today is a true inspiration to all budding designers out there. Tasmanian based designer Duncan Meerding is just 26 years of age, and already has a long list of achievements under his belt. After making his own guitar at just 14 years of age, he went on to win the “Design In Wood Award” at Hobart College aged 18. At age 23 he completed a 4 year Bachelor or Arts, History and Furniture Design Major degree at the University of Tasmania. Not one to sit back, he then went straight on to score the coveted Designed Objects Tasmania Springboard Scholarship AND the Biennial Ministers Youth Arts Award in the same year! This then led to an amazing opportunity to be mentored with acclaimed designer David Trubridge in New Zealand.
In the last two years alone Duncan has been listed as a Top Ten Finalist in the Bombay Sapphire Design Discovery Award (2011), shortlisted in Australia’s Launchpad (2012) and accepted to be part of the Red Dot Design Awards in Germany this year. Feeling exhausted? I haven’t even mentioned all the exhibitions he has participated in over the past 5 years! Now here’s the icing on the cake. Duncan’s exquisite timber designs have all been handcrafted by him whilst legally blind.
Duncan ‘s love of nature and high level of skill is reflected in the beautiful pieces he creates. Taking a few moments out of his busy schedule, Duncan has graciously shared with us further insight into his work;
1. You work predominantly with timber. Why is this your material of choice?
First of all I have had an interest in the material from when I was at school – I seemed to have been drawn to wood. The making process can feel very rewarding and the feeling and appearance of wood can be very warm and relaxing.
2. This may be a hard question, but do you have a favourite piece, and why?
I recently made a Mini cabinet from salvaged materials. Everything except the draw fronts were made from off cuts in the workshop. The drawer fronts were made from She Oak which was salvaged. I really enjoyed the making process with this project and the playful method of designing I employed during it. I would like to do more projects like this.
3. What inspired you to become a designer?
I’m not sure how I ended up becoming a designer. I think it stemmed from my interest in wood craft. At first it was purely from the making perspective, it later became more of an interest in being creative with my work. This also meant I experimented with other materials and I ended up designing in my own unique way. I did not think I’d be making things with wood, when my vision degenerated when I was 18, but after doing the design course at the University of Tasmania I discovered I was especially keen on creating new ideas using
wood and other materials and continue to evolve as a designer.
wood and other materials and continue to evolve as a designer.
4. Can you give us a sneek peek into what’s in the pipeline for Duncan Meerding?
I have a few projects I wish to work on in the near future. I wish to establish some of the designs which I have recently come up with, such as the flat pack Leaning Leaf Coffee table and the Spirals light range.
In terms of new works I wish to combine my interest in lighting and cabinet making and create some cabinets which integrate the two. I also wish to refine the Propeller light, which was inspired by having pieces of timber and feeling the way the grain would twist and determine the propeller inspired form.
Often I focus on the form of a piece with less concentration given to complex detailing, I keep on being drawn towards the dispersion of light. Combining these two interests I hope to create some pieces which have a simple looking form, but have some unexpected or interactive lighting component to them.
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip
I suppose lots of people put out there that they have the answers to sustainability. I think a lot of it has to be tackled as holistically as possible, society wide. It is not just enough to purchase things which we think are more environmentally friendly. I think a general mind-shift has to take place as well. People need to think, need to consider, the impacts that their choices have, both on the humanitarian and environmental fronts.
For example in Australia we hit an all- time high of new car sales at over 1 million cars sold last year. I think for me this brings up some larger questions regarding mind-sets of the Australian community but also the funding that government gives to public transport infrastructure in Australia.
In terms of the consumer side of things, I think we are seeing a change in the mind-set; people are more interested in the story behind the pieces – for example who made it and why. We are also seeing people more interested in buying products which are going to last longer. Things which will stand the test of time may be a little more expensive in the short term, but will prove to be more economic in the long term.
Thanks so much Duncan Meerding! If you would like to admire Duncan’s handcraft up close, he is participating in the following exhibitions this year:
- Wood Design Architecture (Jam Factory & Botanical Gardens Adelaide) ~ March 2013 (followed by national tour. See schedule here)
- Objects in Place (curated by Designed Objects, Hobart)~ 13-20 March 2013
- Object Future (Brunswick) ~ May 2013
If you are looking to add a little eco chic industrial design style to your home, international creative design web-store, Etsy is the place to hunt down some real treasures. Trawling through their site is a true delight, and one which will find you loosing a few hours very easily! Today I share with you a few of my favourite industrial lighting designs.
Starting off with my outright favourite find is the wirecage by USA based designer Kevin Pritchett of Junkyard Lighting. Using salvaged and other “unconventional” materials, he creates unique and delicate lights that would sit well in any room ~ although over a kitchen bench top would look particularly stunning!
Hilary Nagker of FleaMarketRX has re-imagined the traditional bulb cage light which I am finding it hard to put words to – it’s rustic and industrial with its sturdy rusted cable thread, but also features pretty wiring twisted into delicate petals! Hang a single cage light outside by your front door, or group them together at varied lengths as a real design statement.
I love this upcycled take on the classic Planet desk light! Fashioned from a timber folding bricklayer’s ruler, a gasoline funnel and a log splitting wedge, this desk light is spectacular – perfect for a dressmaker, draftperson, architect, builder - or just me because I love it!
There are so many more unique finds on Etsy, but the above are my current Top 3 – though that may change any time – Will keep you posted if I find any more beauties.
I love a room makeover. Sometimes just very small changes, make a remarkable difference. Case in point today ~ I laid out one of our Boucherouite rugs for a photo shoot, and am afraid it may now just be there to stay! Don’t you think it adds a nice vibrant lift to the room!
I usually shy away from using too much colour, but today am at a positive turning point. It has provided such a joyous and happy lift to my lounge area. I have had lots of queries about this room, so in case you were wondering, here are the specs:
Wall Colour: Dulux Barnfloor on walls and ceiling creates a lovely cosy feel.
Lounge: Jardan covered in removable linen cover ( a godsend with young family members).
Timber side table: Mark Tuckey (strong and sturdy – you can throw anything at this piece and it just looks better and better!)
Chair: Refurbished Danish Deluxe Armchair (if only it could tell a tale of its previous existence).
Lotus Silk Lamp: This holds special memories ~ a special find during travels in China!
If you have any other questions, please let me know!
~~ State of Green ~~
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I’m a frustrated interior designer of sorts. I love trawling online (and on the rare occasion in person) through auction sites and second hand stores, creating rooms in my imagination from the veritable treasure trove of pieces available through auction sites. Well today ladies and gents, the perfect opportunity has arisen to share with you some of my visions. At this very moment, Melbourne based auction house Leonard Joel have TWO absolutely wonderful auctions, that have inspired me to create some lifestyle pinboards ~ showing you how to create some great looking rooms using second hand and preloved pieces. Below are some of my top picks available, which mix depression era furniture, with modernist classics, upcycled creations and some unique artworks.
Leonard Joel have just uploaded their Monthly Interiors Auction, in addition to a very special studio clear out of local artist Murray Walker’screations and collections he has accumulated over the years. Holding both these auctions at the same time, presents a unique opportunity to pick up quite a few pieces that will transform your space within the next fortnight! Looking through both auctions is like exploring an Aladdin’s cave with oohs and ahhs around every corner.
To say Murray Walker’s accumulation of artefacts over the years is eclectic is an understatement. There is a great collection of upcycled furniture, many of which include Murray Walker’s own creations, and sourced from the depression years ~ an era where being resourceful with materials and using your imagination were very much at the core of everybody’s existence.
You could easily create a vintage themed kids bedroom. Imagine your child’s books and teddy’s packed high on the green bookcase, vintage Australian maps on the wall, rustic bed made from packing crates, and a requisite rocking horse. Add a few modern day elements like a ceiling mobile and modern organic cotton doona cover and you have “the look”.
There’s furniture too that needs a little love and care, but with a little creative vision they could be taking pride of place in your home in no time (above). Add a new recycled timber top to the centre table, spray the branch chair in white and add a bright cushion for a little shabby chic flavour, and add some nourishing wax to the side table to bring out the timber’s natural beauty(left) and paint the top to your desired shade.
If you ever needed inspiration to re-design all those old “collectables” in your garage, this is it! I love the old tractor seat tools converted into stools, and garden furniture made from old horse shoes!!
I honestly could have spent many hours pairing together various finds on these two unique upcoming auctions. There’s a great collection of Tiwi aboriginal artwork, transformed wooden crates, upcycled sideboards, paintings, pottery, depression era toys, mid century design …. oh just go take a look, and good luck with your bidding!