Design is not all about buying the latest super modern trendy furniture or objects to decorate a space. Of course those pieces are extremely well done and very attractive to our eyes but there are many other ways to make a space look cool without breaking the bank (these design pieces usually don’t come cheap). For instance you can use – or I should I say reuse – existing materials and objects and adapt them to your needs.
Creating design from recycled materials can turn out very well for many reasons, in fact it’s not only extremely beneficial for the environment, but it can also have the bonus of saving expenses and can switch on the creativeness in any of us.
“Why not try something a bit different and out of the ordinary that can also be good for the environment?“
It’s exactly what happened to Jean Paul Stanisci – a resident of my home town of Alberobello – when he started to work on his project of opening a B&B. He wanted to create something different from what the local and surrounding areas offered, something that still had something traditional but presented in a ‘revisited’ way.
His project gave birth to a five room boutique bed & breakfast, each room with a different theme and created with the help of a number of different local artists.
When I heard about it I was very curious to see it with my eyes, in fact I was very surprised somebody had the gut to create something completely different from the other accommodations available in my hometown. Not that I have anything against the traditional ‘trulli’ stays, but I like the idea of having the option to stay in a more arty and different kind of place.
Existing objects (some old, some not) have been reused and adapted. Some have been found and ‘rescued’ from the garbage, others have been simply bought from secondhand shops.
It’s by using their imaginations that the artists and the owner created tables with pieces of wood usually used to bundle together long lengths of cable, making wonderful plant pots filled with colorful plants in old tires, a wardrobe by putting together scrapped pieces of wood and a bookshelf by hanging together drawers and other wooden boxes to name just a few.
While some of these pieces can be seen as kitsch some of them are not only very functional but also quite aesthetically pleasing.
My favourite room is by far the one named Kunst Haus which is inspired by Friedensreich Undertwasser an Austrian artist known for its controversial art.
Here old tiles have been reused to decorate the walls and the bathroom mirror after having been randomly smashed into several pieces. Unused stools and a wardrobe have been covered with resin using a particular technique to adapt them to the room design.
The best piece in this room in my opinion is the ceiling light created with silicone laces normally used to tie together the vineyard plants, quite inexpensive to realize but with an exceptional end result.
I loved watching the shadows from the laces dance as a slight breeze blew through the open door to the room.
Good design is not only about the trends or different styles, but also about thinking of the social context, the impact and how an object relates with the surrounding ambience.
Don’t get me wrong, we are the first to love an ultra-sleek piece of modern hipster furniture, but there is something ingenious in using recycled materials in a beautiful and useful way.
As we are always looking for design while traveling, we snatched this chance to explore this different kind of design from those that we are used to.
It kind of opened my eyes to what can be done with so many things we easily bin everyday.
When we have an house – one day… maybe – I’ll get creative 🙂