Category: sustainability

Think Of Nothing Else!

Popsicle Interiors is coming up to its first birthday and as with any anniversary there is a tendency to reassess and reconsider. So of course the question; “Is Popsicle Interiors something that I should continue with”? and the doubt that comes with this question appears in to my mind.

When I think about what I do, when I consider whether I am in the right ‘business’ and whether I am willing to commit time and energy to ‘this’, what comes in to my head is a quote from Letters To A Young Poet by Reilke, which also happened to be used in Sister Act 2; “When you wake up in the morning and you can think of nothing else but writing then you’re a writer”.

When I wake up in the morning I think of Popsicle Interiors, I think about what I have achieved so far with the brand and what the business is going to evolve in to. I live and breathe interiors and style; I am constantly researching designers and products from the mid-century, looking for companies who salvage, upcycle, recycle, looking for people who share the same ideologies as me.

Then I know that I am an interior designer… just not an average one!

There are alternatives to buying new, to throwing away the old, to waste within the world of interiors. There is an ever increasing amount of designers who use ecologically friendly materials and manufacturing to produce items, there are companies who mass produces ecologically friendly paint and wallpaper, there are salvage yards, second hand shops, vintage fairs where you can find the key pieces to place within a clients’ home/office/commercial space.

Designers are looked up to as leaders; we should be responsible for what we promote to those who ‘follow’ us. The only future we have is a sustainable one so be mindful of this… always.
Popsicle Interiors is evolving past its first anniversary into something I am very proud of, so to my supporters, from the bottom of my heart,

Thank you,
Rachelle at Popsicle Interiors

The Dutch Upcyclers

I have been speaking with Hidde and Lo the ‘adventurers’ behind The Upcycle in the Netherlands, they are lovely people ; friendly, welcoming and professional to the very end.  Hidde and Lo started the business with the realisation that in their native Netherlands there are more bikes then people (yes that is a real fact!) and that every year approximately 40,000 of these bikes are sent to the scrap heap when SO much more could be done with them.

upcycled lights

 

These lights are Popsicle Interiors favourite piece that Upcycle sell under the heading ‘Family Products’ along with rubber tyre belts, bike chain bracelets, business card holders made from tyres and saddles and a foot stool made from inner tubes… Genius!

We are hoping to stock The Upcycles products in the very near future but until then visit their online shop to get your hands on their goods.

 

Open Eco Houses

The Worthing Eco Open Houses trail has become quite the popular event and the 2014 trail was a biggy!

I’ts inspiring to see what normal people have put in to their normal homes to make them eco-efficient. A prime example on thus years trail for me of normal eco-efficient was the home of  Rosa and Molly on Langbury Lane. Mother and daughter have made low cost improvements to their home to bring about huge changes to their energy costs and carbon imprint. Here at Popsicle interiors our favourite of their improvement is the addition of two chickens to their home!

The one building I was absolutely super duper no words to describe it excited to see was the building on Lancing’s Beach Green. This building has been an unfinished eyesore (just being honest!) in the community since 2007 when the original owners took on the huge project to transform a pub, arcade and bungalow in to a restaurant.

In 2011 the Hole family bought the building and changed the plan for the building. The family have a commercial history in solar panels so for them the natural way forward with the building was to make it an eco building, the architect behind this green vision and exciting development is Bill Dunster from ZEDfactory. What the building is to become has also changed from the original restaurant plan, instead the building will now house 3 apartments on the first floor and on the ground floor will be a cafe and a water sports centre.

As a Lancing resident there is but one word to describe the plans for this eyesore…. Great!

The Future

The Future

Ideal Home Show

We are all very excited here at the Popsicle Interiors HQ getting prepared for our Ideal Home Show trip tomorrow.

Unfortunately we have missed George Clarke giving his talks from Restoration Man and Amazing Spaces but we are looking forward to seeing the Princes Houses; Full scale eco-efficient houses being showcased as part of the Princes Foundation, for which George Clarke is ambassador.

We hope to bring you news from the show tomorrow, unless the excitement completely takes over us then we will update when we get back in to the office!

If you want to book tickets for tomorrow then we found this discount code MSEMAG worked giving us 2for1 tickets on the door.

 

Recycled Interiors

Whilst I am a fan of using vintage, second hand and upcycled pieces in your home not only because they look good but also because it is a far ‘greener’ way to furnish your home. The style though is not for everyone, but this does not mean your home interior cannot go ‘green’.

Sustainably designed products use renewable resources, have a reduced carbon footprint and are manufactured in an environmentally conscious way. The intention of sustainable design is to make sure there are no negative impacts on the environment by using sensitive, skilful design. This means not using any non-renewable resources, impacting on the environment minimally, and connecting people with the natural environment.

A key example of a sustainably designed home product is the Dirk Vander Kooij’s Chubby Chair. The chubby chair is made from recycled refrigerators and e-waste and created by a repurposed and reprogrammed industrial robot producing precise 3D models whilst generating very little waste.

chubby chair

Some examples of household products not only made sustainably, but also for the purpose of creating a ‘greener’ home are:

The ‘Nest’ learning thermostat. Simply this thermostat learns your households’ behaviour and adjusts all temperature settings to your usage pattern.

Replenish’ cleaning product. The bottle is reused and you just by filling up with water and a ‘pod’ of concentrate is replaced on the bottom of the bottle. This keeps billions of pounds worth of waste out of the environment.

The ‘Luci’ light was designed by MPowered to tackle what they perceive as “light poverty”. The light is a solar-powered and rechargeable LED lantern, which is inflated like a balloon to use and folded into a handkerchief when not needed. If the lights solar cells are exposed to the suns’ rays for 8 hours it powers the light for 12 and unlike its kerosene counterparts produces no harmful emissions.

Although not technically a household product ‘Levis’ have launched type 511; a cycle commuter range of jeans.  I like the 511 a lot and believe we can get away with including them in this list because of the encouragement it gives to commuters to travel in a ‘greener’ way from HOME to office!  Features of the range include a strap for the cycle lock, a nano sphere protective coating that repels water and dirt, interior cuffs and reflective strips.

Whatever your thoughts on recycled design or sustainable design the belief held by many, including me is that the future has to be sustainable if there is to be any future at all.

Flat Pack Home

2014 is being reported as the year of the flat pack home!  The UK already has the smallest new build homes in Western Europe.  In fact since the 1960s our kitchen size here in the UK has shrunk by a third. The small space is gaining popularity following on from the huge success of George Clarkes Amazing Spaces programme and Kevin McClouds Man Made Home. As well as more affordable these small spaces are also, generally, more ecologically friendly.

Featured in the news recently are two small space home ideas which are essentially purchased by the consumer as a flat pack kit.

The first is Mark Burtons ‘Tiny House Kit’. This kit costs around £6500 to buy from the tiny house website and comes complete with all normal domestic appliances, but not glass for the windows! But when the glass is fitted they are very warm benefitting from full insulation.

The second of the small homes was designed by Dr Mike Page, a lecturer from the University of Hertfordshire. His QB2 or ‘cube house’ kits costs around £10,000 to purchase and it four hours to construct. The 3m x 4m box is split into four areas; a lounge, kitchen, bathroom and a bedroom. It even comes complete with a spiral staircase!

The flat pack home is by no means a new concept though; 140 years ago a flat pack 9 bedroom mansion was shipped from Norway to North Tawton, Devon. Fondly known in the local community as ‘Old Norse Lodge’ the Grade II listed home is worth an estimated £500,000 and features hand painted art nouveau decoration, fretted ceiling roses and cornices and a sweeping staircase.

I think it is time I marked out a patch in the garden for my Amazing Small Space!

The Earthship

Brighton is home to the only Green Party MP in the UK, Caroline Lucas and the Brighton and Hove city council is run by the Green Party.  In May this year the city also became the first world’s first designated ‘One Planet City’, due to its commitment to sustainability. The New England Quarter within Brighton is the first ‘One Planet Community’. Work started on the development in 2004 and was built to specification using the 10 One Planet principles: Zero Carbon, Zero Waste, Sustainable Transport, Sustainable Materials, Local and Sustainable Food, Sustainable Water, Natural Habitats and Wildlife, Culture and Heritage, Equity and Fair Trade and Health and Happiness.

It should come as no surprise then that Brighton is home to an Earthship; “A cutting edge ‘green’ building, constructed using waste car tyres and other recycled materials. They use the planets natural systems to provide all utilities-using the sun’s energy and rain to provide heat, power and water”.  It was built to the following five core ‘green’ credentials: Use of low impact materials in construction, passive solar design, renewable energy, rainwater harvesting and using plants to treat waste water. If in fact the Earthship structure was deconstructed you would find 1000 used car tyres, 1500 cardboard boxes, 2 tonnes of cans and bottles and 90 reclaimed granite blocks.

earthship brighton

The Earthship is set in the glorious surroundings of Stanmer Park and delivers on being a community base and an education centre. Tours and courses are held on a regular basis at the Earthship and it is home to many community groups. The building and its ethos is a true credit to Brighton as a forward thinking ‘green’ city.

Visit the website today to book your place on the next Earthships tour – I will be!