Thursday, 4 April 2013

I heart Maria Westerberg

It's a couple of years since Swedish designer, Maria Westerberg, launched her brilliantly clever T-shirt chair – where recycled textiles are woven onto the frame, rag-rug style, that she designed especially for that purpose.

But this colourful version of it just popped up in the spring round-up from E-Side (an excellently stylish shop with impeccable green credentials, if you don't know it already): and it's a good excuse to revisit a brilliantly simple, beautiful design.




Maria's chair won the Green Furniture Award back in 2011, after she made her prototype using the old T-shirts donated by 40 of her friends, along with textiles including grandma's curtains and favourite old jeans.

Now you can buy the chair ready-woven, as seen above in the E-Side version, made by the manufacturer, Berhin Studios. It sticks to the same eco ethos, by using left-over fabric pieces from textile manufacturer Trevira. It will, however, set you back £850-£1200 (more expensive if you customise the colour).





But, rather brilliantly, you can also buy just the frame for £370 – which is still a lot of money, but not in the realm of large, slouchy chairs. And doing it that way, the chair becomes even more – personally – valuable too, as you get to create the upholstery by using your own well-loved old T-shirts, grandma's curtains, jeans and so on. Daunted? Don't be, the whole process looks pretty easy, you need to make sure you have at least 40 pieces of fabric, measuring around 40cm x 100cm, and then just follow Maria's popular YouTube instruction video...



The T-shirt Chair Rag Edition is available at E-Side.

It's lovely in the same way that the T-shirt lampshades I wrote about a few months back. And seeing the chair again also got me nosing around Maria's website, to see what other clever things she's been designing. I love her style – and the fact it's all created by re-using things just makes it even more brilliant.



Her Puffy, Tied and Tired giant floor cushion, above, is made from a large tyre and old silk ties. Genius.


I also love her wallpaper, top, made from the seven symbols of the Swedish political parties, and also the design she created for  a company who commissioned her to decorate their acoustic wall panels, bottom image above. It is called Old School, and if you look at the things making up this bright, graphic pattern, you can see why.

Find out more at Maria Westerberg's website.

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