Our new client’s kitchen has just been renovated, which means that the bookshelves in the fireplace recess now house a collection of vintage china plates. This leaves the books temporarily homeless.
If the kitchen renovations have been designed to reflect a green and ec0-friendly lifestyle, the new bookshelves must showcase all of these factors.
Sourcing a pre-loved set of shelving is the easy part – either from one of our partnership businesses who are disposing of some, or via our local furniture exchange Emmaus www.emmaus.org.uk/oxford, or the scrapstore: Orinoco www. orinoco.org both in Oxford. The design and upcycling is the next and exciting part. The energy-efficient electrical appliances in the kitchen are all integrated into the neutral oak fitted units, with the exception of the large American-style metallic grey fridge (see ww.greenandeasy.co.uk for similar green appliances). The oak and the colour grey should therefore be the key to the new design. Using a grey/silver metallic paint as a base should be easy to mix from our stock of paint rescued from landfill. All the stages of this project are totally sustainable green.
Due to the location of this house: the New Forest, we feel that nature should be the theme for the sides and top of the bookcase. After all, the New Forest is one of our wonderful National Parks and an area where the wildlife and its natural habitats take precedent over man’s right to reside there – www.thenewforest.co.uk.
We have a stock of dried, pressed oak leaves (sustainably sourced every year from the woods at Clue Hill Farm) – the New Forest oaks being the main native broadleaf tree and are found in their thousands in the Forest. So we propose gluing these leaves around the bookcase and then layering them with marine varnish to ensure a long-lasting sheen and lacquered effect, very reminiscent of the layers of dew found on the oak leaves in the early morning or evening. Then interweaving threads of natural hemp, again glued and covered in gold metallic paint, to symbolise the rays of sunlight as they radiate through the forest canopy and suggest the effect of the threads of a spider’s web being caught in the early morning sun.
All the embellishments to this pre-loved bookcase will be handmade. They are all sourced ethically and in a sustainable way (mostly rescued from skips) and what they create is the renaissance of an item which was destined for landfill and the result is an upcycled iconic work of art representing a lifestyle choice in the home
A photographic trail of the upcycling process will be fed into the website at its various stages over the next few weeks, which is the time it takes to create this amazing transformation.