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,
Rachelle at Popsicle Interiors
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.
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.
On a boiling hot Sunday in September I visited the new style ‘Open Market’ on Brightons’ London Road. The sign at the door suggested that today the market may have a few more exciting finds then the usual inside!
Judys Vintage Fair were visiting and how did I not know this! I have been a fan of this travelling vintage fair for a few years now and am no stranger to having to go to great lengths to visit it! For those of you who are not educated on all things vintage, Judy’s is in its 9th year now and as far as my eye can see it is going from strength to strength and literally popping up everywhere! And all this from one woman’s frustration of having ‘nothing to wear’… Her words not ours!
The swinging tones of ‘The Wind Ups’ were also in attendance with Judy’s. They had prime spot at the entrance to the market, enabling their swinging tunes to be heard and enjoyed across the whole event.
What’s that you say? Vintage scarves at a bargain price. Don’t mind if I do… I shall have 10, maybe another 10, maybe I should leave before I am spent!
Another favourite stall of mine was the jelly bag stall. The stall took me right back to my childhood, one of my first memories is of my neighbour who was a few years older then me so ‘cool’ by age, who stored her wool in a light blue one! So I had, I repeat HAD, to pick up a few!
If you like your bargains vintage, I would definitely recommend this fair. The only negative point about the whole event was the size… I always want my vintage fairs to be bigger!
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.
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.
The night is finally upon us… It is the final of The Great Interior Design Challenge! For this audacious occasion I had all the obligatory celebratory snacks – popcorn, double decker and of course to wash all this down a much needed full-fat coke!
For this final challenge the two contestants; Sarah and #TeamJordon, were in grand Liverpool Georgian homes and had the momentous task of redesigning a hallway, front room, guest room and a child’s room. At least the budget had gone up to £4400 and they had the help of a chosen friend, two builders and a decorator.
Again I think Jordon had the easiest of the houses to make over. His clients had a blank white box and were easy with his suggestions, having no style choices of their own that they wanted reflected in their makeover. Sarah’s clients had a strong sense of what they wanted from the makeover but also already had a well presented house with their personality reflected in it.
#TeamJordons makeover was, like all his past ones, well thought and executed. For this challenge though he had such strong unique ideas that outshone his past makeovers. The room of his that I favoured out of the four was the child’s bedroom he made over, this was simply a perfect girl’s bedroom, in my mind!
Unfortunately though #TeamJordon was outshone by Sarah and she was ultimately chosen as the winner by Sophie and Daniel.
Sarah’s makeover which included placing an old church statue of Mary in the hallway, a pool table in the family room, a car chute in the child’s room and an ingenious peg and shelf system round the entirety of the guest room was a deserved winner.
Goodbye The Great Interior Design Challenge – hopefully see you in 2015!
The show currently being aired on BBC2 is proving to be compulsive viewing in my house. I am an addict! The host Tom Dyckhoff (architectural historian) astounds the viewing audience with his architectural knowledge and presents the rooms to be made over to the contestants then the glamorous judges; Sophie Robinson (interior design journalist) and Daniel Hopwood (interior designer) judge the made over rooms.
Imagine the excitement in my house when the show opened and the backdrop to Tom Dyckhoff’s opening is Regency Square!
The contestants for Brighton week were; Jordon a 30 year old café owner from South London, Alice a 37 year old mum from Lewes and a 44 year old business woman Jenny from Cornwall. The rooms that these contestants had to make over were huge living areas in Regency Square properties.
Personally, I think Jordon had the easiest room, an already blank canvas of a living room. Alice had the hardest room, it was the largest of the three large rooms and situated within a rented property so she was restricted by the landlord to use muted colours on the wall and not replace some fixtures and fittings, this partnered with the room needing to be split and used for a few different purposes I believe was unfairly tricky. Jenny had it far from easy too, having to update a kitchen as well as the attached living room with the meagre £1000 budget.
However you cannot take anything away from Jordon’s winning room (Spoiler Alert!). His ideas were unique, immaculately executed and as the judges stated he totally understood the brief the client gave him and RAN with it! The mural, the paint effects and oh the colours! His room totally had the X-Factor!
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.
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!
Welcome to the blog page of Popsicle Interiors.
We will use this page as an opportunity to bring together interesting snippets from the world of the home and its interior to the masses!
Please do keep checking back and if we haven’t posted in a while do please let us know, sometimes we get lost in our workshop!
Rachelle @ Popsicle Interiors