Archive for the ‘Design’ Category

Our recent post about Fridge Couch generated lots of interest so we thought we’d follow up with another reclaimed curiosity: a minimalist rocking bed made from industrial waste…

Mood Rocking Bed



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Well, we’ve all seen it: a scrubby little garden at the front of an empty house.

The weeds are rampant, there’s an old fridge in the corner, and maybe a broken down car seat in the middle of what used to be the lawn.

But how many of us have thought … hmmm, that fridge and that car seat, you could put them together and make a really cool sofa.

Fridge Couch

No, me neither. But Adrian Johnson, a self-styled recycled furniture artist, did think this, and then he set about making it.

He’s not completely daft though: he did source  solid retro fridges (not yer flimsy modern jobbies), and the car seats, weathered leather from vintage BMWs, wouldn’t look out of place in  the Garrick Club.

The end result:  Fridge Couch. Love it, want one … the perfect place to chill out of an evening.

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And while we’re here, this funny little film won  an award at the MOFILM Pepsi Short Film Competition at the Shanghai International Film Festival:

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High-tech and bungalow: two words you don’t normally expect to see in the same sentence.

But in this episode of Grand Designs (8/12) septuagenarian couple Bill and Jean Letley decided they weren’t interested in the traditional single storey houses on offer, so they commissioned an acclaimed architect, the late Richard Paxton, to come up with something different.


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It was 1999, and the first series of a new show about self-builders was running on Channel 4.

A lanky chap called Kevin McCloud was wandering round a Suffolk field following the trials and tribulations of a young couple sweating over something called an eco house.

Grand Designs Suffolk eco house

The heroically named Rob Roy (a tax inspector) and his partner Aleda Saunders were not just building a home,  McCloud explained,  they were also determined to change their whole way of life.

“We’re not fanatics” a slightly prim Aleda was careful to point out. “I think what we’d like to prove in moving to this house is that you don’t have to be hairy hippies … you can be normal people living normal lives but still be very environmentally aware.”

In time-honoured fashion the sold their nice four-bed house, bunked down in a caravan and went half mad in a nicely normal way getting to grips with reed beds, composting loos, planning regulations, budgets, and Rob’s hairy hippy mates helping on the build.

In the end they succeeded and Kev, in his now famous finale, delivered this verdict to the camera:

Rob has pushed himself to the limit on this build. He’s self-built, he’s self-financed and he’s self-managed this project and on top of that he’s done it all according to a set of ideals.

He and Aleda have put all they have on the line, even their relationship, in order to build a home that embodies everything they believe in. I’m not sure I could make all the sacrifices they have. After all they’ve been through, they deserve to be happy here.

The charming larch-clad house references English barns and clapboard cottages, has oodles of eco-features (insulation, triple glazing, rain water harvesting, reed beds) and is still as crisp and earthy as an organic carrot.

Back in 1999 it cost £199,000 to build. It’s now on the market for half a million.

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News reaches us that former Man United defender Gary Neville has been given the go ahead to build his radical eco-friendly house on the moors above Bolton.

Nicknamed the Tellytubby house, the plans for the vast (8,000 sq ft) underground house in the shape of a flower were first unveiled last January but a storm of local protest – mainly focussing on the proposed 128 ft wind turbine – forced Bolton Council to turn it down.

Gary Neville, Teletubby house

Neville and his architects Make went back to the drawing board, resubmitted with a smaller turbine and have been given the all clear to build after secretary of state Eric Pickles decided against calling it in.

The petal shaped home (£6m) will have zones radiating from a central kitchen which  are designated eat, relax, entertain, work and play.

According to Make Architects, the underground design “enables the surrounding moorland to seamlessly flow across the roof”.

They say it takes its inspiration from the neolithic Skara Brae site in Scotland.

Gary Neville house

Neville house

Skara Brae

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Ok folks, it’s time for our weekly conversion drool fest … and this is a good one.

What you’re looking at is a penthouse laid out over the top three floors of a converted BBC television studio in Hammersmith.

Highlights? Great staircase, mad bath, and a humongous roof terrace.

£1,975,000, Unique Property Co



Woodstock Studios

Woodstock Studios

Woodstock Studios

Woodstock Studios

Woodstock Studios



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