Happily, there are plenty of designers opting for natural materials. Picture: Max Pixel

London - The tide seems to be turning against plastic and we’re all thinking how we can be less throwaway at home.

Happily, there are plenty of designers opting for natural materials, so we can furnish our interiors with beautiful, lasting pieces. Here are some useful suggestions.

SWITCHED-ON LIGHTING

The new Cupola lighting range at Tamasine Osher Design features wooden shades turned by hand from a single trunk of fallen and spalted English beech.

Spalting is the process by which certain fungi grow on dead or fallen trees, leaving a pattern. Designers collect trees that have fallen and catch them at the optimum time to start cutting.

Each piece is unique as it’s impossible to tell what will appear in grain, knots, spalting and holes. Every lampshade has its own pattern and history.


BAMBOO BEAUTIES

A new bedroom collection by designer Matthew Long is based around sustainable rattan, and lighting designs using rattan and bamboo. The pieces are handmade in Indonesia where rattan is steamed and bent around moulds to make frames for each piece.

After these have cooled and the moulds have been removed, skilled artisans weave around the frame to create the finished woven surface. This can take up to five hours per piece. 


AWESOME OFFCUTS

Sebastian Cox designs furniture made from British wood: harvested, coppiced hazel, offcuts and wood from felled trees destined for the chipper.

A furniture and lighting range in a lightweight suede-like material, made from a fungus called mushroom mycelium, will be launched this spring.

At the London Design Fair in September, he showed prototype lampshades which are in the final stages of testing.


ARTS AND CRAFTS

Interiors company Nkuku works with creative types throughout the world, combining traditional skills with natural materials including recycled metal, mango wood, rattan, hemp, jute and stone.

Its vast collection ranges from hemp storage baskets to metal cabinets, and reclaimed wooden tables to leather chairs.

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NON-TOXIC PAINTS

Interior designer and architect Edward Bulmer has been working with paint manufacturers for ten years to develop non-toxic paints. They are produced from raw materials such as plant extracts, chalk, earth minerals and linseed.

The interior design service at Oka now uses  Edward Bulmer Natural Paint as its preferred choice.


SUSTAINABLE STYLE

London-based designer Leonid Davydov creates furniture aimed at saving space around the home.

His brand only uses wood that has been sustainably sourced and treated to ensure that it retains its natural lustre. Each design is modular, so it’s possible to add sections to create unique designs to fit your home.

Davydov’s award-winning shelving systems can be modified to fit any purpose in any room in the house. A dining table, bench and stool is to be added to the collection soon.