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Upcycling - discarded objects reborn as light fixtures

I found this story posted by designers in New York, New York to be very interesting and also to spark my creative streak to start looking around my home for anything that I could recycle as a new accessory in my home. Many of us also have families that live up North or in other areas with lots of stuff gathering dust in their attics, basements or storage areas. According to the designers mentioned below, household objects, industrial castoffs and vintage farm tools — all these and more are being salvaged and upcycled into lighting fixtures that range from elegant to funky to pure wow. The trend is evident at eateries like Malai Marke, a stylish Indian restaurant in New York City's East Village, where light in the dining room glows from bulbs surrounded by green wine bottles arranged in a circle, empty but corked. It can be seen on websites like Pinterest, where the "Upcycled Lighting Obsession" board shows bulbs affixed to old skateboards, the metal innards of a box spring, bird cages, teacups and an upside-down colander. And it's become a career for Robert Nicholas in Asheville, North Carolina, whose dramatic showpiece chandeliers made from all kinds of vintage objects sell for up to $6,000. Nicholas' materials range from the wooden roof of an old gazebo to tobacco stakes, which were used to harvest and dry tobacco leaves and are part of North Carolina's agricultural history. The gazebo-turned-chandelier is going to be a showpiece for a local brewery; the tobacco-stakes fixture ended up in Miami. Apparently taking fixtures that at one time were more suited for a cabin in North Carolina are now being seeing in more modern homes as part of the urban-chic décor. Catering to the younger market requires a modern feel to what it being recycled, yet have a comfortable feel as well. That's similar to how Antonia Edwards, author of a book called "Upcyclist: Reclaimed and Remade Furniture, Lighting and Interiors" (Prestel), defines upcycling: "You take something that is considered redundant and has no value and you are basically transforming it to give it value again. In my case, I'm looking at aesthetic value. It doesn't have to have a certain style particularly; it's just got to have something interesting about it, then you put it in the right setting and it's amazing." As the trend for recycling grows I think you will see more people taking ideas from Pinterest and other Do-it-yourself websites and trying to create their own personalized look and to make a unique design statement without having the large designer price tag attached.

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