Scraps of textiles used to make furniture are often cast off as waste, but Camilla Halvorsen covered an inner tube with the material to make this fun and playful chair. Incredibly versatile, it can be tilted to the desired position and the legs can be removed to double as a pouf.
Drop chair by Camilla Halvorsen;
Who knew egg cartons could turn into something so beautiful? By linking several cartons together and punching holes through the bottom of each egg holder, the once-familiar shape becomes a striking circular pendant lamp that casts an unusual pattern across the room.
Origen Lamp by Otero Design Studio;
Crafted from reclaimed strand board (a cheap material used for wall and roof sheathing), plastic waste, and discarded foam pads, this desk is a montage of unwanted materials. Though the materials aren’t the finest, the clean lines and the puzzlelike effect of the scraps make this writing desk surprisingly pleasing to the eye.
Writing Desk by Chris Rucker;
You can feel good about giving out these lovely rose designs for two reasons: Not only do they make use of discarded newspapers, they’re handmade by members of the Lower East Side Girls Club, an organization committed to providing social services to girls and young women of the inner-city New York neighborhood. And besides being super chic, they won’t ever wilt.
Recycled Newspaper Roses, $3 each;
This chair, which uses an entire Oriental rug cut into pieces, gives dated decor fresh and inspiring new life. We love the way the cuts go along the pattern of the rug, making a once flat design truly sculptural. Sure the edges are rough, but the effect is pretty impressive.
Carpet Chair by Anneke Jakobs;
Made from salvaged pieces of corrugated cardboard found on the streets around the Graypants studio, these lamps are textural and unique. The designers cut concentric circles out of the boxes and stacked them together, creating a shade made from the textures of the corrugation itself. Due to variations in the cardboard, the lamps cast soft and intricate shadows around a room.
Scrap Lights by Graypants, starting at $229;
Pleated paper is used in bulk during the process of making pleated fabric and then tossed aside as an unwanted by-product. The solution? Turn a roll of the unusual material into a sophisticated seat. The chair is made by slicing the roll halfway down the middle and peeling back the papers piece by piece. Resins added during the production process make it sturdy, but it’s the organic flowerlike form that really wins us over.
Cabbage Chair by Nendo;
Premiering at this year’s Milan Design Week, this bench by Dutch designer Nic Roex bends and reinforces spades to make a quirky outdoor eight-seater. In shiny leaf green, we think it’s perfect for a garden or a city park.
Batsenmeubel by Nic Roex;
Plastic hangers have never looked so good. Instead of being relegated to the closet or tossed to the curb, these hangers are arranged en masse around two metal bike rims, creating an extraordinary shade and filter for a modern space.
Made of high recycled-content corrugated cardboard and nontoxic glues and sealers, this table turns a cheap material into a captivating piece. In the iconic shape of a dialogue bubble, your guests won’t be able to help commenting on this comical but chic design.
Conversation Table by Leo Kempf; available for purchase from
By incorporating toothpicks in a completely new way, this lamp turns the familiar sticks into the medium for an appealing floral sculpture. Though we don’t exactly have the 12,500 toothpicks used to create the spectacular lamp on hand, this lamp helps us look at common materials in a completely new light.
Stamen Lamp by Daisuke Hiraiwa;