Put eco at the heart of your interior design
Graphene paint: Natural, breathable and hard as nails
Woven Image Recycled plastic fantastic EchoPanel from Down Under
Succulents easy care, minimal water... weâ€™re all going nuts for these plants
Summer 2017 www.decomag.co.uk
Crane 29 at Bristol Docks
Eco travel A house in Provence
Contents 3. News
Editor’s Letter There may be a lot of political turnmoil out there but here at Deco we trust you’re all finding plenty to enjoy about 2017 ..and are still focusing on eco-friendly living of course, which is always enjoyable is it not? Our summer magazine has become something of a plant issue, with a focus on succulents with expert grower Fiona Wemyss. Her article precedes a look at the beautiful stone succulents carved by Ben Russell, while we also bring you beautiful ethereal photographs of exotic plants in greenhouses by photographer Caroline Gavazzi. And we take a look at a very special place to stay - Crane 29 at Bristol docks. It’s a high up hideway with decoration provided by lots of green and glorious houseplants. And for anyone planning some painting and decorating, see our article on new graphene paint, produced by Graphenstone in Spain and now available in the UK through The Graphene Company. If you would like a printed issue of this magazine - and it’s always nice to have a hard copy - we’re delighted to be able to provide you with this service, so email us at email@example.com. With best wishes Abby and the Deco team COVER: Photograph courtesy of the House & Garden Festival Publisher ABD Associates, London N4, UK t +44 (0)20 7561 0675 E: firstname.lastname@example.org Twitter@deco_mag Content team Editor: Abby Trow Deputy editor: Kay Hill Advertising manager: Ajay Duggal Photographer: Mike Trow
See deco online: www.decomag.co.uk
5. Graphene Paint Wonder material graphene in a new range of paints 6. An eyrie above the river Enjoy a stay at Crane 29 at Bristol docks 8. Serpentine Pavilion This year’s pavilion in Hyde Park is a stunner 10. Super succulents Big in the ‘70s, succulents are enjoying a revival 14. Set in stone Stone succulents carved by Ben Russell 16. Switch to LEDS ..and reduce your energy bills bigtime 18. Be a more eco traveller Wooden sunglasses, recycled nylon swimwear, bottles for life... 20. Upcycle the future EchoPanel is an impressive surface material made from recycled plastic bottles 24. Tropical sighs Ethereal plant photographs by Caroline Gavazzi 26. City Living Award winning urban garden by Kate Gould 27. Masterful craftsman The incredible work of John Makepeace 30. Simplicité à la Provence A country house in the Luberon
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£5,000 ecopoetry competition
Parasols for summer paradise
Poets are invited to submit a poem on the theme of ecology for this year’s Resurgence Prize. Entries must be received by 17 August and the winner of the £5,000 first prize will be announced in November. The competition, launched in 2015, aims to encourage poets to engage with ecology A new business has launched in London with support from The Princes Trust to make luxury parasols for the home and hospitality sectors. The East London Parasol Company has been set up by Lucy Ferguson who says she wants to offer people ‘something fabulous, decadent and different.’ The parasols are hand-made by artisans in India and Indonesia using traditional methods to create stunning contemporary designs using block prints, hand-painted fabrics, sari borders, tassels, pom poms, and richly coloured taffetas. Parasols come in sizes ranging from 2-4m with prices from £180. Matching cushions and accessories cost from £25. www.eastlondonparasols.com
and to foster the role poetry can play in raising awareness of the ecological imperatives facing us. The competiton is organized by The Poetry School. The Resurgence Poetry Prize was founded by poet Andrew Motion; actress Joanna Lumley, and Peter Phelps together with the peace activist Satish Kumar.
Antiques for everyone at the NEC
Bosch launch smart home range of products
Electricals giant Bosch has launched a range of smart homes products ranging from rechargeable power tools to LED home security systems. New products include the diminutive but surprisingly powerful Easycut hand-held cordless saw, designed to encourage more of us to do DIY in the home and garden.
Easycut, a finalist in the RHS Garden Product of the Year award at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show, features Bosch’s nanoBLADE technology which means the mini chainsaw blade is self-tensioning and doesn’t need oil lubrication. Other products in the range include an LED outdoor security light and camera; an app that will alert you when your fridge is running low on beer/milk/yoghurt; an indoor security camera that allows you to monitor your home on your smartphone when you’re away and a smoke alarm that also monitors air quality.
The Antiques for Everyone Summer Fair runs from 20-23 July at the NEC in Birmingham. Now in its 32nd year, this show is the largest vetted antiques fair outside London. Visitors can see stands by more than 200 exhibitors showcasing art, objets, furniture and decorative accessories, with prices from £10 to £100,000. The event attracts an international audience as interest in antiques continues to grow - in part because of the drive to encourage people
to see that buying antiques for their home is a very eco-friendly option over buying new. Roomsets will give an idea of how antiques can look in contemporary homes. And a highlight of the show is From Victoria to George VI: Gadgets, Gizmos and Thingamajigs, a talk and exhibition by the Maurice Collins Collection. BBC Antiques Roadshow experts Judith Miller and Will Farmer will also be giving talks on a wide range of antiques topics. www.antiquesforeveryone.co.uk
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summer â€˜17 edition Advertisement
The Northern House: Swedish vintage rag rugs
Paul Warren Design Beautiful interiors with eco chic
Blissful sleep without any chemicals
www.cottonsafenaturalmattress.co.uk Handmade in Devon, our sumptous mattresses contain no foam and no fire retardant or other chemicals so you sleep in peace. Cottonsafe Natural Mattress. deco mag 05
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Carbon copy: graphene paint We like the idea of a natural paint but tend to go with the acrylic ones because we believe they’re more hard-wearing. So graphene paint should be greeted with whoops of delight because it’s a paint free of petrochemical ingredients yet it’s super tough. Text: Abby Trow
Disovered in 2004, Graphene has been dubbed a wonder material
The first commercially available graphene-infused paints are now on sale in the UK and they’ll appeal to anyone who want paints that contain no petro-chemical ingredients yet are super hard-wearing and breathable. Sourced from pure carbon, graphene is the strongest material known to science. Discovered in 2004 by two Nobel Prize winners at Manchester University, it’s inert, innocuous and nontoxic. Graphene’s inclusion in paints, coatings and other building materials enhances hardness, durability, compression, tensile strength, elasticity and coverage. Graphenstone paints are available in more than 1,000 colours. They contain no petrochemical-derived ingredients and are ideal for home and contract use. Easy to clean they offer peace of mind to allergy sufferers and to parents with young children who’re concerned about indoor air quality.
These sustainable and eco-friendly paints are ideal for restoration projects as well as new builds. Graphenstone has achieved industry accolades and certifications including C2C Gold (Cradle to Cradle) for its pure white Biosphere Premium lime-based paint. The merits of graphene Graphene fibres are: *highly inert, so corrosion resistant * 200 times stronger than structural steel *1,000 times more conductive than copper Graphene fibres form a transparent nanolevel mesh which is fully encapsulated within Graphenstone paint. The graphene mesh makes the paint finish super long-lasting while it remains a natural paint - ie it’s free of petrochemicals. The graphene also makes the paint very easy to apply - you should get two x 8m2 coats of paint per litre on average. And as
graphene is a conductive material, the paint will improve a building’s thermal regulation, which means less heating/air conditioning should be needed. Lime base Paints are derived from raw natural mineral limestone (calcium carbonate) extracted through traditional artisanal and carbon neutral lime cycle processes. First quicklime (calcium oxide (CaO)) is extracted from the limestone through a calcination process. Water (H2O) is then used to hydrate the quicklime, converting it into calcium hydroxide (Ca(OH)2), an extremely pure and active lime with over 98 per cent whiteness. Once applied to a substrate, the calcium hydroxide in the paint absorbs CO2 as it cures so it returns to calcium carbonate with the same inert properties of raw natural mineral limestone, thus closing the lime cycle.
Graphene paint, made in Spain by Graphenstone, is available in the UK through The Graphene Paint Co, run by Patrick Folkes. This eco friendly paint contains graphene fibres which form a nano level mesh in the paint and give it its durability
The porous nature of Graphenstone’s lime and graphene-infused coatings ensures walls can still breathe. This improves reduces humidity, acts against moisture collection and condensation and contributes to safe and healthy environments. Patrick Folkes of The Graphene Paint Company says he’s impressed by Graphenstone paints’ health and environmental benefits: ‘I’ve been inspired by the excitement about graphene as a wonder material, but Graphenstone’s paints, coverings and materials are one of the first applications of graphene to be fully project-proven at scale around the world, and supported by certifications backing up the manufacturer’s claims. Graphenstone will contribute to more sustainable and healthier environments in the UK.’ www.graphenstone.co.uk
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An eyrie above the river A cargo crane by Bristol docks has been turned into an eco hideaway for two which is available to rent over the summer months Left: Crane 29 has been designed to feel like a treehouse and it’s full of plants inside and out Below left: the cargo cranes at Bristol Docks are part of the city’s industrial heritage Below: the space is very cosy and comfortable with wood floors and soft furniture and accessories by Anthropologie. Get the look! Plants, plants and more plants. And fill outdoor containers with plants that will attract butterflies birds and bees such as lavender and geraniums
Crane 29 is open until the end of September 2017. From £185 a night
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We’re all looking for interesting places to stay are we not? Well if you fancy a weekend in Bristol between now and the end of September, and you like the idea of getting high, so to speak, then Crane 29 could be for you. It’s a sweet eco-friendly plant filled space for two believed to be a world-first a one-bedroom ‘treehouse’ constructed around one of Bristol Harbourside’s cargo cranes. Crane 29 has been brought into being by outdoor holiday company Canopy & Stars helped by sustainable build partners B&Q. The project was challenging but the finished results are well worth the effort because what’s been created is a plant-filled eyrie that offers peace and quiet high above the city with wonderful views. The design team used sustainable build materials from B&Q to create this nature-inspired sanctuary inside and out, while retaining elements of the crane’s industrial heritage. Indeed guests are promised ‘a deep multi-sensory experience of textures, colours, plants, smells and sounds that work together with the architecture and interior design to evoke a feeling of calm that can normally be found only in nature’. Materials were chosen to work with the industrial heritage of Bristol Docks, such as rustic timber and corrugated steel. Wood flooring has been used and guests will enjoy using furniture, textiles and ceramics from Anthropologie. And in case you’re worried about how comfortable a night’s sleep you’ll get, rest assured the bed has a ‘sumptuous’ mattress. www.canopyandstars.co.uk
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The annual summer pavilion outside the Serpentine Galleries in London’s Hyde Park has become a major tourist draw
Above: This year’s eco-friendly pavilion outside the Serpentine Galleries in Hyde Park has been designed by award-winning architect Diébédo Francis Kéré
Open from June to October, this year’s Serpentine Pavilion brings a sense of light and life to the lawns of Kensington Gardens. Architect Diébédo Francis Kéré, who is from Gando in Burkina Faso is the 17th architect to accept the Serpentine Galleries’ invitation to design a temporary pavilion in its grounds, and he’s responded to the brief with a bold, innovative structure. Inspired by the tree that serves as a central meeting point for life in his home town
of Gando, Francis Kéré wanted a responsive Pavilion that seeks to connect its visitors to nature – and each other. So an expansive roof, supported by a central steel framework, mimics a tree’s canopy, allowing air to circulate freely while offering shelter. Indeed Kéré has positively embraced the British climate in his design, creating a structure that engages with the everchanging London weather in creative ways. The Pavilion has four separate entry points with an
open air courtyard in the centre where visitors can sit and relax on sunny days. In the case of rain, an oculus funnels any water that collects on the roof into a spectacular waterfall effect, before it’s evacuated through a drainage system in the floor for later use in irrigating the park. Both the roof and wall system are made from wood. By day they act as solar shading, creating pools of dappled shadows. By night, the walls become a source of illumination as small perforations twinkle with the
and activity from inside. As an architect, Kéré is committed to socially engaged and ecological design in his work, as evidenced by his awardwinning primary school in Burkina Faso, pioneering solo museum shows in Munich and Philadelphia and his immersive installation in the 2014 exhibition Sensing Spaces at London’s Royal Academy.
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Right: architect Diébédo Francis Kéré lives and works in Berlin. His pavilion is hosting a programme of events over the summer months exploring questions of community and rights to the city, as well as the continuation of Park Nights, the Serpentine Galleries’ public performance series. Below: the pavilion has been designed to offer shelter inside and out, with an ingenious system for dealing artistically with rain water
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Super succulents Succulents were the height of bohemian chic in the ‘70s and they’re enjoying a resurgence thanks to a focus on easy-care plants and the need to improve our indoor air quality. Grower Fiona Weymss of Kent-based Blueleaf Plants gives us the lowdown on these adorable little creatures
Succulents are (as everyone knows..) easy to look after. They need a sunny spot, though some plants can tolerate partial shade, and infrequent watering. This means that they can be grown in places that other plants can’t - hot conservatories for example. Above: Echeveria rosettes are beguiling
Succulent. It’s a word that conjures up juicy deliciousness and there’s an obvious reason why certain family of plants are called succulents...their leaves are fat with water. Which means you don’t need to water them very much at all. And that makes them a hit with growing numbers of homeowners who want plants indoors, but only ones that won’t peg out on them. Because keeping house plants alive is something many people find quite a challenge. Keeping succulents alive, on the other hand, isn’t hard to do. And once you get the collecting bug, you will find you start becoming quite artistic in your displays because succulents lend themselves to groupwork... one on its own doesn’t make much impact, but have a few together and they have an uplifting green presence in your home. And garden too
because they can be used outside in rock gardens, for example, or on green roofs. Succulents aren’t pretty in the way flowers are, but they are handsome plants and I love their versatility. Put them in terrariums or arrange them in pots on shelves. Or plant them in teacups or glasses. And they’re wonderful to use as table decorations at big events such as weddings.
is to ensure drainage or be very careful not to waterlog your plants. Indoor air quality Keeping succulents indoors is good for air quality as plants absorb CO2. I like to have a Below: use little plants such as echeveria to make charming displays
handful of plants in our bedroom because I like to think of them absorbing the carbon dioxide we breathe out while we sleep. Succulents have a modified photo-synthetic process that has been adapted through living in arid conditions. This is known as the Crassulacean acid metabolism, or CAM process. CAM plants don’t generally transpire during the day (ie open their stomata to release water vapour) as this means in hot climates they would lose too much water. Instead they keep stomata closed during the day and
Small is beautiful Many succulents are small and therefore don’t take up a lot of room. This means you can build up collections of your favourite plants and put them on windowsills, and they remain manageable. Choose from a huge selection of shapes, colours and textures, and most containers can be adapted to house them from colourful tins and teacups to shells and jars. The key thing to remember
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‘I’m often asked if succulents will live happily in bathrooms. I remind people that these plants don’t like water and they don’t like dark spaces, so, in short, the answer is no!’
Left: flowering cacti look stunning Below: use similar planters for individual plants and group them together
open them at night and collect carbon dioxide for use during photosynthesis. There’s also an argument that transpiring plants increase humidity and are therefore good in centrally heated homes studies in Norway show that growing plants indoors helps you avoid dry skin and coughs and colds... Water..or lack of it If you live where water’s scarce, succulents are the obvious plant to go for because they don’t need much watering; and while we’re hardly an arid country... yet...many parts of Britain are drier than they were 20/30 years ago, so it’s worth getting to grips with succulents if you love plants. These plants may have: Fleshy leaves (e.g. echeverias and pachyphytums) Fleshy stems (cacti) Fleshy stem-root structure (haworthias) Types of succulent You’ll no doubt be familiar with succulents such as agaves, aloes and euphorbias if you’ve been on holiday to Spain or
the US because these plants proliferate in hot arid regions. However succulents grow wild in many different environments throughout the world and plants from the northern hemisphere include sempervivums (houseleeks), sedums (stonecrops) and saxifrages. Many grow naturally in alpine conditions and are hardy here in the UK. More exotic succulents can be grown as specimens in pots outside in summer and under cover in winter, and many make ideal house plants. POPULAR VARIETIES Echeveria Large genus consisting of plants with fleshy leaves that may grow in a stemless or shrubby branching rosette formation which can look similar to sempervivums at first glance. Echeverias are native to Mexico and parts of central and southern America where they grow in mountain areas, which means they can withstand low temperatures. Leaf colours vary greatly from pale green to opalescent mauve and black, with wavy edged or plump and hairy leaf shapes and textures. In the
UK a number of varieties are commonly grown as bedding plants because of their tight, compact form and are used in floral clocks and civic crests at seaside resorts. Many echeverias are halfhardy and some can be over-wintered outside if kept dry and frost-free. Most plants offset readily and eventually form clumps with nodding bells of pink, yellow and orange flowers in the spring and summer. The wide variety of species and cultivars mean echeverias complement other succulents when grown in containers, but look equally spectacular as specimen plants. Beautiful varieties include Echeveria agavoides, Echeveria affinis and Echeveria lilacina.
Haworthia and Gasteria Haworthias are a large group of striking architectural plants, often with spiky leaves streaked or blotched with attractive white markings. Native to southern Africa, they’re generally small to medium-sized plants that form spiky clumps. Handsome varieties include Haworthia reinwardtii, Haworthia arachnoidea and Haworthia truncata and the Zebra plant – Haworthia fasciata – that lots of us will know, which has raised white stripes and blotches on its leaves. Gasterias are plants with firm angular leaves that may be variegated and covered in raised bumps,
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or smooth and shiny. These small to medium-sized plants are slow growing and form clumps. Notable varieties include Gasteria armstrongii and Gasteria verruscosa. Both groups have attractive flowers that resemble tiny flamingos on tall stalks and make stunning and unusual house and conservatory plants. Sedum Another large varied group that grow in temperate climes as well as central and southern Africa and the Americas. Many sedums are hardy and grown as alpines in containers and rock gardens. They’re the ideal turf substitute for ‘green’ roofs as they provide good ground cover and can withstand dry conditions. Sedums come in many forms with pretty cultivars that complement some of the larger succulents. Useful varieties include Sedum acre and Sedum morganianum – sometimes known as Donkey’s Tail, because of its trailing habit. Leaves are small, plump and pale green and resemble green beads on a string they’re very charming.
Sempervivum These small rosette-forming evergreen perennials provide colour year round. They’re decorative plants and indispensable for the rock garden, raised bed, scree, dry wall or trough. Sempervivum originate in mountain areas of Europe, central Asia and North Africa, where they often grow in rock crevices. Although the plants have attractive flowers, they’re grown mainly for their colourful architectural foliage. Flower colours range from pink and red to purple, white and yellow. A close cousin, Jovibarba, is very similar but has the benefit of not being monocarpic – this means, unlike Sempervivums, it does not die after flowering. Aloe Most people are familiar with the species Aloe vera as it’s used in a range of household products for its soothing and medicinal properties. However, this plant group includes a wide variety of plants, ranging from trees and large branching shrubs to tiny delicate specimens. Mostly native to southern and eastern
Africa, aloes look fantastic as specimens and some large older plants can withstand British winters outdoors. They produce bright colourful flowers in red, orange and pink. This group contains many varieties suitable for houseplants and some can tolerate partial shade, as well Top right: succulents work best in groups Right: echeveria ciliata Below: cacti may not look as cuddly, but they are succulents despite their spines
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as being tough as old boots. Popular varieties include Aloe atristata and Aloe variegata (the partridge-breasted aloe). Agave Agave americana will be recognised by anyone who’s travelled in Spain, where these Mexican plants have naturalised.It’s also known as the century plant to reflect it’s infrequent flowering, when huge towering flower spikes are thrown out from the crown at terrific speed. Agaves are great statement plants but not all are huge, so some can also be grown in containers in conservatories and on patios. Beautiful forms include Agave filifera, which has white markings and curling fronds and Aloe stricta with redtipped needle-like leaves. Mesembryanthemum These are a huge group of very small succulents, with fleshy leaves and brightly coloured daisy-like flowers. It includes lithops (sometimes known as living stones), fenestraria, conophytums and lampanthrus species. The hardiness of some mesembryanthemums makes them popular for sunny seaside borders. About Blueleaf Plants Most of our plants are propagated or grown on by us in the UK and grown in peat-free compost. As you can see, succulent plants come in a dazzling array of forms and colours. They’re ideal plants for contemporary gardens and lifestyles as they seem to thrive on neglect. And do consider them as a less conventional option for floral displays or table decorations.
Top right: blossom of the agave plant Top left: match plants with colourful pots Above right: daisy like flowers of the small mesembryanthemum plant Above left: Sedum rubrotinctum This image: Echeveria is a large genus of flowering plants in the Crassulaceae family, native to Central America, Mexico and northwestern South America
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ben russell sculpture
Set in stone
Or for plants that wonâ€™t ever die on you, then the work of sculptor Ben Russell will appeal. Heâ€™s immortalised his favourte plant, the cactus, in cool and very unprickly marble and other stones
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ben russell sculpture
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‘My work is largely inspired by nature and the beautiful organic forms she creates. Using the age old methods of carving with a hammer and chisel I try to peel away the layers to unearth what is hidden within. ‘Through my natural stone sculptures I strive to capture an essence of the outside world and bring it indoors to be enjoyed and adored. Many of us spend far too little time among greenery so by capturing these forms in a natural material formed millions of years ago, I pay homage to all that is healthy and growing in an attempt to give the natural world the respect it deserves.’ Ben Russell Left and above: Ben Russell recently exhibited his stone cacti at the Hignell Gallery in London. www.benrussell. co.uk
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Lüks Linen: ethical,
natural, affordable luxury Thick fluffy towels are delicious but there are disadvantages to them, the obvious ones being their weight and the time they take to dry. Which is part of the reason why Rachel Ward, founder of Lüks Linen, fell in love with Turkish peshtemal towels. She loved their long history and their practicality: they were woven for use in the hammams and so don’t weigh much and dry very quickly. For frequent travellers, they take up very little space in a suitcase and they can have many identities - they can be towels, throws, blankets, scarves, baby wraps and picnic blankets, while Ward is also offering cushion covers made from peshtemals. Peshtemals have been woven on hand-looms in communities throughout Turkey for generations, explains Ward, using locally-grown cotton. While this cotton hasn’t been certified organic, it is mountain-grown in parts of the country. Lüks Linen works with small family weavers to high ethical
Above: Lüks Linen cotton peshtemals come in a wide range of colours, sizes and weaves
and fair trade standards. Prices for peshtemal products start at £22 for a towel. Look out for the distinctive traditional diamond weave and choose from a variety of colours from subtle neutrals to stunning jewel brights. www.lukslinen.com
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Switch to LEDs and cut your energy bills Summer is a good time of year to revamp your home and garden lighting. So if you've not switched to LEDs, well you're more than missing a trick...
Above: You can find LED bulbs to fit most types of fixture, from pendant lights to desk lamps. But even though the price of LEDs has come down massively, lots of us have still to switch to them - which is costing us dear. Find LEDS at www.lighting-direct.co.uk
LED bulbs are a fantastic way to upgrade your lighting while drastically reducing your energy consumption. There was a time when LEDs came only in a limited range of styles - and with eye-watering price tags. Thankfully technology has come on hugely over the past few years and LEDs are now an affordable and viable option for any home. Cut energy consumption by up to 70 per cent It’s estimated that 15 to 20 per cent of the world’s electricity supply is used for lighting, so if steps can be taken to reduce reliance on traditional solutions it could have a wide-reaching impact on global energy resources.
LED bulbs are extremely energy efficient compared to traditional lighting solutions, with up to a 90 per cent reduction in energy consumption vs. incandescent or halogen bulbs, and up to 60 per cent when compared to fluorescent bulbs. Lighting for the home When looking to install LED lighting you’ll be amazed at the variety of options available. Due to their versatility LED bulbs they can be used in almost any fitting, from bedside table lamps through to recessed spot lights and even ‘knockout’ feature lights. And don’t forget the LED strips that can be used under kitchen cupboards to
provide task lighting and mood lighting. The popularity of smart LED technology has also skyrocketed. LED light bulbs are now available with built-in Bluetooth speakers, colour-changing technology and even the ability to release a fragrance - all controlled via a smartphone. For those who like to have full control over the lighting in their home, with the ability change the mood at the touch of a button, smart LED lighting is a great option. LED lighting for the garden Gardens are often missed opportunities when it comes to lighting, but a few simple additions can transform an
otherwise bland space into something truly magical. Festoon and fairy string lights help create a relaxed retro feel and work well woven through tree branches and around pergolas. And decorative feature lights such as oversized floor lamps, hanging lanterns and light-up planters make for great focal points and add an element of fun to any outdoor space. Embrace solar power Installing solar lighting lets you to make the most of the sun’s natural energy, which benefits both the environment and your wallet. Furthermore you don’t have to worry about wiring the lights to the mains or using batteries.
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Be a more eco traveller
We should all holiday close to home if we’re to save the planet... but that’s just not going to happen any time soon. So let’s all do our bit to lessen the impact of our wanderlust on the environment, says German sustainable travel experts Green Pearls
Above: the oceans are full of plastic and we holidaymakers should at the very least ensure we don’t add to it. One of the best things we can do is not buy bottles of water at the beach but take our own re-useable bottles with us.
It’s inate in us to travel and over the past 40 years more of us have done so, thanks in no small part to the 737 and the 747. Last year more than 1.2 billion tourists worldwide traveled to foreign countries, which according to the UN World Tourism Organisation (UNWTO) was an increase of 3.9 per cent, or 46 million more travellers, on 2015. We should all certainly think long and hard about where we go and how we get there - take the train to Beijing or hitch a ride on a sail yacht to Bombay if we can spare the time. And leave Everest in peace for a while. And we can all do something about the industries that make all the gear that makes travelling pleasant - the bags, the suitcases, the towels, the swimwear, the footwear, the sun screens. Because
by choosing the more eco friendly, sustainable products, so manufacturers will come under pressure to raise their standards and put more effort into using non-fossil fuel derived materials or using post-consumer recycled content in their products. Take swimwear - no one wants a wool bikini because it’ll fall down under the weight of the water it’ll absorb when you take a dip. But nylon and polyester are oil-derived fibres so the direction of travel should be to use recycled synthetic fibres. UK clothing brand Finisterre has swimwear made from Econyl, a fibre made from recycled nylon, with sources including discarded fishing nets. Speedo is another brand using recycled plastic fibres in its prodcuts - the Powerflex Eco one-piece swimsuit,
for example. Luggage If you’re think about buying a sustainable suitcase or travel bag there are plenty of eco-friendly alternatives. German maker Milchmeer Ecobags offers waterresistant travel bags made from used cement bags and fish food sacks. They’re fair trade, being sewn in Cambodia by women in co-operatives who are are fairly remunerated. Well known Italian manufacturer Roncato produces some eco-friendly suitcases: its Green collection ‘box’ is made from 100 per cent Polypropylen (PP), a fully recyclable plastic. And Patagonia, of course, has long championed the use of recycled nylon and many of its rucksacks are made from it. Eco-friendly beach bags
are fairly easy to find these days, made from jute, cork, organic cotton etc. And Dutch company VanDeBord offers fun bags made from waste materials from aircraft, such as the flotation jackets stored under seats which we all hope we’ll never have to use! Melawear offers great rucksacks made from organic cotton, vegetable dyed leather and chrome/nickel-free buckles. A natural wax coating makes the fabric waterproof. Towels - look for organic cotton products or thin linen or hemp towels which are perfect for travelling. As are Turkish hammam towels. Sunglasses - wood is increasingly being used for frames instead of plastic. Germany brand Kerbholz has some very stylish pairs as does LA-based SPOJi,
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which offers frames made from sustainable bamboo, recycled skateboards and other hardwoods. Water Get into the habit of carrying your own water so you need never have to buy an evil plastic bottle of water again when thirst strikes.. A Chilly’s bottle is perfect. Made from high grade stainless steel, it’s been designed to keep water ice cold for 24 hours or hot for 12 hours. Lots of colours, from £15. Or see Emil die Flasche which offers a glass bottle with colourful fabric covers and a wrist strap. Images, from top right: Chilly’s bottle in a new pastel green; recycled skateboard wood sunglasses by US brand Spoji.com; Finisterre econyl swimwear; wood sunglasses by DaWanda. com; waxed canvas and leather rucksack handmade in the Ukraine by InnesBags, £143, available on Etsy
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Upcycle the future
Woven Image’s EchoPanel is a brilliant material made from waste PET plastic. Lightweight, eco friendly, it has myriad uses and comes in stunning colours and patterns - and it’s got great acoustic properties too. Text: Abby Trow Woven Image is an award-winning environmentally responsible surface coverings manufacturer based in Sydney. One of its key products that Australians have deligthed in using for many years is its soundabsorbing EchoPanel; and at long last those of us on the other side of the world can now get creative with it. Sharing an office but long for a bit of privacy? Living in a flat with noisy people above you? Perhaps your children are sharing a bedroom and want to mark out clearly which is THEIR side of the room? Or maybe you’re living or working in a place that’s full of hard surfaces and the acoustics leave a lot to be desired? These are all situations, says Woven Image’s Kate Ingram, where EchoPanel can help, whether you use it in panel, screen, peel-n-stick tile or ultra thin Mura ‘wallpaper’ form. Woven Image ready-made screens (Paling, Platoon, Wrap) for example, are super lightweight and easy to fold up when you don’t need them. They’re useful in so many situations: to divide a bedroom into ‘my side’ and ‘your side’ in the case of warring siblings; while an open-plan kitchen/diner/siting room will benefit from delineating the zones. Or use the panels in offices where you can’t hear yourself think, because walls can be clad with EchoPanel, or it can be used as desk dividers which not only look good but will absorb sound. As do EchoPanel tiles, which can
be used on ceilings as well as walls. EchoPanel sells in huge quantities in Australia and this family-owned company is on a mission to introduce it to Brits and our fellow Europeans as a verstile, fun practical and highly eco-friendly contemporary material for home and office use. Eco credentials For the growing number of us whose first question is ‘what’s it made from?’, one of EchoPanel’s many appealing qualities is that fact that it’s made from 60 per cent recycled PET plastic and 40 per cent virgin PET, and is 100 per cent recyclable. (And in case you’re wondering why it’s not made from 100 per cent recycled plastic, the answer is it needs the virgin plastic element for stability and durability.) ‘There is growing universal pressure to work sustainably and to meet stringent quality standards at the same time,’ says Ingram. ‘EchoPanel was developed in direct response to this and it represents eco-innovation in the truest sense.’ In other words what Woven Image has done is take a waste material and make a superior product from it - upcycling at its best. ‘We’re very proud to be keeping plastic out of landfill,’ says Ingram. ‘I mean, in 2015 we saved more than 283 tonnes of PET plastic from going to landfill, which equates to 10 million 1L bottles and this year we’ll exceed those numbers.’
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This image: so easy to put up, the peel n stick EchoPanel tiles can be configured as you want. Use them in echoey rooms to absorb sound while acting as modern wall art
‘EchoPanel represents eco innovation in the truest sense’ A term you may not be familiar with is ‘dematerialisation’ but EchoPanel, which was launched back in 2004, is a dematerialised product. Which means it doesn’t need other materials to make it work. So it’s made from compressed PET plastic fibres which are coloured with non-toxic eco friendly inks and it’s ready to go - it doesn’t need painting, priming, weather-proofing or stain guarding, nor do you
need to pad it or clad it. (And another huge advantage to it, too is that it’s pinnable so pin your memos, invitations, kids’ drawings, postcards to it wherever it is and you won’t damage it.) In Australia Woven Image runs a take-back scheme because after ‘about 15 years, the panels might be showing a bit of wear and tear and need replacing,’ says Ingram. ‘We collect and reprocess them, and we will run a
take-back scheme in the UK/ Europe when sales quantities make it viable to do that.’ Acoustics Ingram says EchoPanel’s acoustic properties are its other USP - as well as its good looks (it looks and feels like a textile), affordability and versatility when it comes to applications. Acoustics is a complex topic but WI has developed the material to achieve NRC - Noise
Reduction Coefficient ratings, which do obviously differ according to thickness. Panels are made in 7,12 and 24mm thicknesses and they allow you to what you might call improve the acoustic comfort of a space. Ingram explains that it’s unwanted sounds that make a place acoustically uncomfortable and we notice when a room’s acoustics are weak because sounds
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reverberate and it can be hard to hold a conversation. Or in spaces that are full of hard surfaces - tiles, metal, glass sound pings around because there’s nothing to absorb it and the sound you get can be echoey or shrill. ‘ ‘So architects and interior designers do need to think about acoustics at the outset of a project,’ says Ingram, who adds that while EchoPanel won’t soundproof a room, if you’re in a block of flats with noisy people above you, it can help: ‘You can use it to clad a ceiling and it will reduce the noise coming down into your space.’ Ingram says EchoPanel has undergone many forms of industry standard testing and complies with some of the world’s highest mandatory standards. The material has been tested to prove it can stand up to heavy wear and tear, while the density of its composition has been designed to make it inherently fire retardant without the use of brominated FRs. ‘We do stress that EchoPanel is a product dedicated to the environment,’ says Ingram. ‘At the core of its ethos is not only dematerialisation but recycling.’ And EchoPanel has been evaluated under the Life Cycle Assessment test, demonstrating it minimises waste at every stage of the production process. So for every 1,000 sheets manufactured, 4.2 tonnes of post consumer PET waste plastic waste is diverted from landfill, while it takes 84 per cent less energy to recycle the plastic into pellets needed to make EchoPanel than it does to make virgin PET plastic.
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range of hard-wearing water repellent fabrics in glorious colours and patterns. Made from polyester, a recyclable man-made fibre, ranges include Focus, Spin, Urban and Mix HP. Give it a try Kate Ingram is confident Brits and the wider European market will embrace EchoPanel because of its unique combination of eco-friendliness, cutting-edge design, ease of use and the acoustic benefits it brings to a project. ‘I obviously want people to love it as much as we do. The possibilities it offers are endless.’ Woven Image products are available in the UK through The Collective Agency
Platoon acoustic EchoPanel screen - 12mm thick
Fabrics Woven Image offers a
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EchoPanel suspended space divider kits help efficiently to organise a space while improving the acoustics. Woven Image products are available to buy in the UK from The Collective. Pricing guide - 1.2 x 2.4m panel costs around ÂŁ150.
Top right: Mura acoustic wall covering is applied like normal wallpaper andhas the feel of a fabric Above: EchoPanel is easy to cut and is good to attach to desks as its pinnable Left: EchoPanel comes in lots of colours, designs and thicknesses. Above left: Mura wallpaper comes in vibrant designs as well as more muted tones
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Photographer Caroline Gavazzi has produced a series of ethereally beautiful images of plants behind glass and they’re on show at the Brick Lane Gallery in London
Above and facing page : Caroline Gavazzi’s exhibition of her Tropical Sighs series runs at the Brick Lane Gallery in east London from 4-10 July. Limited edition prints of the photographs are available, priced from £1,500. www.carolinegavazzi.com
Caroline Gavazzi was inspired to produce a series of impressionistic photographs of plants by the English polymath and inventor Henry Fox Talbot. As students of the history of photography will know, in 1844 he took a leaf and placed it on a sheet of paper treated with silver, covered it with a glass sheet and exposed it to light. The result? its impression was left on the paper and the image was included in Talbot’s book The Pencil of Nature, the first-ever photography book. Gavazzi felt she wanted to turn her lens on the plant world but didn’t want to go down the still life route. Instead she was beguiled by the way tropical plants can look when seen through greehouse glass when it’s all misted up on the inside, with condensation dripping down the panes. She selected a number of plants cultivated in a glasshouse and says she spent a lot of time observing them before photographing them. She says the colours and indefiniteness of the shapes of the leaves and petals you see looking from the outside in have an impressionistic quality - impressionism being her favourite art genre. These beautiful and intriguing images focus on the droplets of condensation that create unexpected colour effects. And Gavazzi says she loves the sense of vitality contained in the plants and their inate ability to seek out the light.
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chelsea flower show
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City living Kate Gould won Gold and Best Fresh Garden awards at this year’s Chelsea Flower Show for her City Living garden that brings nature to urban apartment blocks
a huge draw at the show because of its scale, complexity and the way it married hard landscaping with plentiful planting. And it was an inspiring design that showed how relatively straightforward it can be to make apartment blocks places of greenery particulary using green walls and large planters for trees and big foliage. Congratulations to Kate Gould on her triumph at the 2017 Chelsea Flower Show. Her lush City Living show garden on a 12 x 6m plot was a star attraction, showing how urban apartment blocks can be ‘greened’ to make life more beautiful, healthy and tranquil for residents - green walls being a particularly good idea that we’d all like to see more of.
Top left: the garden made flesh, so to speak, was very impressive. Above and top right: drawings for City Living that show how apartment blocks can be made far more pleasant with abundant planting. www.kategouldgardens.com
And having seen the drawings of Gould’s Chelsea garden, many visitors were astonished to see how accurate the real thing was. The City Living garden was
Gould says it was the most ambitious garden she’s designed for Chelsea and she praised her colleagues who worked to bring it to life: ‘Without the determination, skill and sheer hard work of the most amazing team we would never have made it. There were moments when I thought we wouldn’t but I shouldn’t have doubted the guys. ‘They are epic and have realised my creation on paper into the most wondrous of creations of which I am so, so proud. It looked if anything far better than it did in my head. ‘Hats off and huge thanks to everyone involved.’
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Masterful craftsman John Makepeace, brilliant and renowned cabinetmaker, has a new book looking at his work over the 40 years since he launched Parnham College
This September marks 40 years since John Makepeace OBE founded Parnham College - the design school that inspired a generation of designers and furniture makers including David Linley, Sean Sutclifee, Konstantin Grcic, Sarah Kay and Nina Moeller. Over the course of his illustrious career Makepeace has been recognised for achievements in design and furniture making; and even though he sold Parnham College in 2001 (and which suffered a severe fire earlier this year) he’s continued to work and focus attention on promoting craftsmanship. Makepeace’s iconic work is represented in numerous collections including the V&A Museum in London, the Fitzwilliam Museum in Cambridge, the Museum fur Kunstandwerk in Frankfurt and the Arts Institute of Chicago. He now works to commission, undertaking exclusive projects each year. His unconventional
approach to making furniture has been a constant: ‘I have a strong rebellious streak - as an artist, designer and maker. I’m constantly searching for more eloquent concepts for furniture. My objective is to achieve freer, lighter, stronger and more sculptural forms expressed through each commission.’ His extraordinary work represents a meeting of classic and modern, embodying superlative craftsmanship. Each piece, is fascinatingly original - and quintessentially English. Born in 1939, Makepeace says he became enchanted with wood at an early age. Curiosity about how things were made meant he was constantly taking things apart or whittling away at wood scraps. He began carpentry classes aged just six and became fascinated with a nearby cricket bat factory he frequently visited. Aged 11 he went to a furniture workshop with his mother that decided him on his career.
Top left: Chatsworth desk Top right: Flow chest of drawers This image: Undulate table
While an apprentice he was told not to expect to make a living out of furniture making. This ignited his selfconfessed rebellious streak and he promptly set-up his own workshop; and it wasn’t long before the big London stores including Heal’s and Liberty were buying from him. The 1970s saw him become a founder trustee of the Crafts Council. Its aim was to support and promote the work of artist-craftsmen, but
Makepeace became keenly aware of the inadequacies in training and wanted to develop an educational model that would combine design and making skills with those needed to run a profitable business. So in 1976, he bought Parnham House in Dorset, a magnificent 80-roomed Tudor manor house. His ambitious project was to provide larger studios for the growing team he employed,
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to establish separate residential, workshop and teaching facilities for aspiring furniture makers, and to open the historic house to the public with exhibitions of contemporary art and design. The creation of Parnham College was one of those rare educational wonders where a first class vocational education was on offer: advanced design and craftsmanship skills taught by experts in a remarkably beautiful environment. In the summer of 1976, Makepeace’s studio and workshops were operational and in September 1977 the first students arrived. The college prospectus contained both a warning and a promise. ‘While you are at Parnham you will be required to work hard. The minimum amount you can anticipate being in the workshop is 8am until 5.30pm. The day is extended until 9pm three evenings per week with the addition of a forum on Monday, drawing class on Tuesday and computer class on Wednesday. Fridays are spent in the classroom
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alternating between Wood Science and Design Culture sessions. One full day per month concentrates on business analysis and understanding what is involved in running a business.’ Through the ‘80s and ‘90s, while running Parnham, Makepeace also addressed the environmental issues around forestry. He brought together foresters, chemists, material scientists, structural engineers and designers to research and develop sustainable new technologies and building systems. They used forest ‘thinnings’: low value trees of small diameter removed to enable the better specimens to develop. John Makepeace has always fought against the drive to make things as cheaply as possible: ‘The history of British design in the 20th century has largely been shaped by the drive to reduce costs. This has resulted in an impoverishment of furniture as an expressive medium.’ ‘All meaningful design starts from the human form whether it is a cabinet, table or chair. Furniture can fulfil a
‘All meaningful design starts from the human form, whether it’s a cabinet, table or chair.’John Makepeace
Above and right: Wings tall cabinet Top right: Fitzwilliam chairs Below right: Knot chair Facing page, centre: Ripples desk with red leather writing pad Top left: Mulberry chair Top right: Wimbledon green leather bench and armchairs Bottom right: Liberty table and chairs
Beyond Parnham is launching on 5 September at the Design Museum in London
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variety of needs, but more than anything it is an indication of contemporary culture and our participation in it.â€™ And he says that in a world where so much attention is given to the short-term and superficial, our relationship with design and fine craftsmanship is more important than ever: â€˜Beautifully made and designed pieces that will endure and become signals of our time to future generations and are a necessary antidote to the easily discarded culture that permeates our existence.â€™ Makepeace may be in his late 70s, but he continues to create fascinating work. In 2016 he completed a set of seven ceremonial chairs for Plymouth University as well as exclusive commissions for private collectors and businesses.
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Simplicité à la Provence This charming house in the Luberon region was until recently a ruin. But it’s been restored in a style you could call rustic sophistication, using traditional building techniques and plenty of brocante-sourced furniture and objets. Photography and text by Ivan Lainville
This house will make even the most hardened city dweller want to spend at least a year in Provence...It’s owned by a family with seven children and was a ruin when they bought it. But Australian architect Andrew Corpe, who’s settled in the Luberon, has skilfully brought it back to life. The owners says they felt a surge of excitement when they came across what was just stone ruins of a house in a hamlet in the Natural Park of Luberon. Made up of three interlinked buildings, and dating back to the 1700s, the house was utterly derelict yet it retained a charm and the family could envisage it once renovated: it would be a wonderful, relaxing place to wile away hot summers. Andrew Corpe, a Australian architect based in the region,
was very happy to take on the restoration project, and he wanted the house to retain its original rambling country house look; he didn’t ever consider glass box extensions or sliding bi-fold doors. It was a fairly major refurbishment because only the outer walls remained, so they needed to be repaired, a new roof was needed and the interior needed floors and walls. The main building has some 200m2 of living space and it’s fairly open plan, so the different areas flow into each other. The whole house is unified by the lime plastered walls which have soft colour washes in Mediterranean colours of pinks and ochres. Corpe wanted to use traditional building materials and a great advantage of lime plaster is its breathability,
so it regulates temperature. He made use of the cedar wood beams from the old roof that needed to be replaced with new stronger beams. The old wood was used to make the interior doors and some of the storage units in the house such as bookcases and shelving. A lot of the storage is integrated into fabric of the house, for example planks for wood inserted into the masonry become capacious book shelves. . The beauty of this house lies in the authenticity of its restoration: the lime plaster walls that would have been found in the house when it was built; the use of locally sourced wood to make rustic shelving and cupboards. In short it’s striking in its complete lack of sleek modern materials - you don’t find granite worktops,
engineered wood floorboards, highly polished glass, nor solid surface materials such as Corian and no haute couture curtains. It’s true to its origins and that’s also reflected in the way the owners have furnished it. They have used antiques, pieces found in architectural salvage yards and bits and
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Lime plaster walls are washed in soft muted Mediterranean pinks and ochres
pieces theyâ€™ve collected over the years such as terracotta pots, dried flowers and coils of thread and wire. Theyâ€™ve all been put to decorative use to achieve a house with a warm charm and a true Mediterranean spirit.
The house has been furnished largely from brocante shops and salvage yards for a homely rustic feel. Architect: www.andrew corpe.com
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Deco is a vibrant design magazine with an eco heart. We look at all things home and garden and we love furniture, fabric, art, decorative ac...
Published on Jun 12, 2017
Deco is a vibrant design magazine with an eco heart. We look at all things home and garden and we love furniture, fabric, art, decorative ac...