Upcycle and Repurpose: Everything Old is New Again

Upcycling and repurposing is now au courant. Interior designers, architects and manufacturers have come together to create a cornucopia of beautiful products and innovative structures.

In fact sustainability and aesthetics are no longer either/or options as seen below!

Recycled glass

This translucent 100% recycled glass product is an exciting alternative to its competitors.

Bio-Glass, with its unique fabrication process, offers a cleaner look than most recycled materials. Instead of the telltale glass chunks set in a binder, it has a unique crinkly texture that somewhat resembles sea-glass.

It is made from pre-consumer recycled glass, post-consumer glass bottles or a combination of both, and is 100% recyclable at end of life.

Round tower repurposed into a residence.

The Round Tower was falling into ruin before it got converted into a modern home.

By adding an underground extension to the tower, the spacious living areas, sunken courtyard, swimming pool and sun terrace are all out of public view.

The tower offers stunning panoramas of the surrounding countryside and houses 4 bedrooms in addition to the front entrance.

Chaise of recycled cork

A sculptural chaise made of recycled cork.

What better to use in The Round Tower’s pool than a floating lounger? Here is a chaise that is constructed of reclaimed waste material from the bottle-stopper industry. Being made of cork, the seating offers a cool feature – it floats!

The non-toxic chairs are made with a marine-grade adhesive and a small amount of polyurethane makes the furniture suitable for indoor or outdoor use.

Dog house created from salvaged materials.

Dog house created for a charity auction to help mistreated animals.

Architects Jon Junker and Seth Grizzle made the dog house from salvaged old windows behind the garage, together with scraps of wood from the basement and leftover cedar siding.

For the finishing touch, they found a sign left by a road crew and appropriated it for the dig house roof!

Lampshades from repurposed cardboard boxes

Exquisite lampshades handmade from 100% repurposed cardboard boxes.

The lamps are stylish solutions for the mountains of cardboard we generate daily. Being handmade, they all vary in shape & size.

The lamps work with a variety of light bulbs and include energy saving LED and compact fluorescent options.

These eco-friendly lighting designs share similar sustainability goals.

Chairs upcycled from street signs

These quirky chairs are upcycled from street signs which are folded and cut into shape.

These colorful highback chairs are made from recycled NYC Subway graphics on aluminum traffic signs, champagne corks and hardware.

Truly street art for the home, these edgy chairs are probably best admired as such, or used as high turnover seating. I imagine a run-in with the chairs will be a painful experience…

Pendants made of discarded sketch paper

These pendants are made of discarded sketch paper from the firm’s design projects.

Ah these lighting fixtures so tug at the hearts of designers and architects!

We go through reams of sketch paper (or ‘flimsy’ as we call it, for obvious reasons) starting from our days at school. The sight of them connects with our core and bespeaks the essence of our trade. To upcycle the stacks of discarded flimsy is wickedly clever…

An office ‘building’ from repurposed shipping containers

An office ‘building’ of repurposed shipping containers.

The 11,600 structure has 12 office spaces. In addition to using recycled steel in the form of containers, green creds include a high performance building envelope, ultra-efficient HVAC, energy recovery ventilation and daylight sensing light fixtures.  For the outside, the site is designed to reduce storm water runoff.

A house from repurposed shipping containers

Five shipping containers were transformed into a striking, energy efficient home.

The 2,600 sf home was built with used shipping containers from China. The home’s vibrant décor belies its modest origins. Industrial designer Debbie Glassberg designed the home for herself.

The house sports a green roof, spray foam insulation, passive solar design, and geothermal heating – important features if you happen to live in Kansas City!