Have you ever wondered what happens to the wood used in scaffolding once it's reached the end of its life? For Manchester-based interior design consultancy and furniture maker Inspirit, old planks and old pipes are the raw materials for creating sleek, industrial style furnishings that are both eco-friendly and chic.
Carla Muncaster is the interior designer who owns and operates Inspirit, who started by offering "re-design" services for clients looking to change their interiors or sell their homes. But Inspirit also makes customized furniture for both town and country types.
It began in 2011, when Muncaster had to buy a whole set of Art Deco furniture to get one dresser that the client was looking for. She refurbished the dresser and the rest of the collection, the remainder of which she quickly sold online to other customers. Muncaster then converted her backyard garage into a workshop and storage place for her repurposed vintage pieces. Later on, she found herself turning to recycled wood and steel piping to make bespoke furniture for yet another client, who was seeking an industrial aesthetic. Encouraged by the result, she began to make more gritty urban furniture, which she now sells online and off.
All of the furniture components are found locally and made by Muncaster and her team of craftspeople, in a workshop operating out of a converted hat factory in the southern part of Manchester. Many of the wooden boards have a long history to them, having been used under rough conditions on a construction site, and are pocked with nail holes, metal bracing, biscuit joints and more; but instead of being detrimental, these marks give the pieces a tough yet authentic character. The way that the furniture is put together reflects this tough quality: steel nuts-and-bolts fasteners, brushed metal angles and so on -- many of them re-configured in unexpected ways.
Inspirit's pieces are an interesting exercise in contrasts -- between well-worn wood and galvanized steel, or between organic and metallic, or suburban and urban. In any case, this minimalist furniture is befitting for bringing a bit of what Inspirit calls the "industrial revolution renaissance" into the home. More over at Inspirit's website and Etsy store.