It’s always fun to see yourself through the lens of another… this time it was through journalist Johan Brink who writes for the Göteborgs-Posten weekend newspaper supplement Två Dagar. Thanks, Johan! We try to send good things out into the world, and it’s nice to be noticed.
The article is in Swedish… but if you are interested in reading an English version, leave us a comment below and we’ll get a translation up for you.
EDIT: We have translated the article and you can now read it below.
It’s a good start – that’s our redesigned lamp on the front page of the magazine (circled in green)!
And the article itself.
Last year Micki went au naturel and let her inherited silver hair grow out (most people have to pay big money for that), so we figure it might be time to update some press photos of us. Doesn’t she look fab?
Don’t forget to leave a comment if you want us to translate the article to English. Of course you are already here on our website and you can read more about our sustainable reuse interiors on our English portfolio page.
EDIT: Here’s the translation, courtesy of our 8th-grade intern, Mia Helander.
Do we really need to buy new furniture and decor all the time? Mike and Micki from reCreate Design Company don’t think so. Instead, they guide companies and authorities to create a new interior design by reusing the old.
reCreate Design Company delivers sustainable reuse interior designs. Instead of buying completely new furnishings for an office, for example, they would create an interior concept that – to the greatest extent possible – reuses the client’s own furniture that can be upcycled. How can one make the most out of existing spaces and furnishings? How can a storage room become a cozy meeting space?
“It’s possible to create amazing, functional interiors with existing inventory,” says Michael “Mike” Helander, one of the company’s co-founders. “Still, public organizations spend a lot of money on buying new furniture every year. Is that really what’s necessary? We want to tell the company’s own stories with their own material.”
reCreate’s studio is located on Ringön and is a combination between an office, a warehouse and a workshop. It’s a creative dream for the do-it-yourself kinds of people, the nostalgic, collectors and craftsmen. A lamp made from used spray paint cans lights up the ceiling, a mirror frame redesigned from skateboard ‘tiles’ they sawed, and bowling pins in the corner that await their destiny as table legs. There are things to discover in every corner, thousands of objects that are going to become something different than what they were before. Mike and Micki clearly see something other than the ordinary when they see a chair, a clothing rack or a few meters of rusty barbed wire.
They started the business five years ago. They work with existing materials and new ways for reuse. A kind of backwards, free-thinking work.
“When you work as we do, we believe it is an advantage not to be trained. We have a background in traditional marketing and business, and neither of us think or work like traditional designers,” says Michaela “Micki” Holmdahl.
“Honestly, our way of working is very time consuming and physical,” Mike adds. “We begin by analyzing what material exists, and then build a concept around that. We evaluate what can be kept and reused as it is. Next we consider the redesign and upcycle of other pieces from the client’s existing furniture. Sometimes furniture is sold to the secondhand market. and the profit returns to the overall project budget as a savings for the company. Other furniture is donated to schools and non-profits, and in the end some of it may end up incinerated for energy. We provide our clients with a project report that clearly outlines all of the sustainable and reuse components from their project.
Mike and Micki have no problem being motivated to make changes.
“It only takes one look at our consumption-based society to motivate me,” Mike says. “We like to challenge the industry. They often don’t think outside the box.”
Micki and Mike recently submitted an idea to a customer to build a large, reclaimed wood conference table from a 170 year-old church floor a few kilometers away.
Another of their projects can be found at the Annedalsseminariet building at the University of Gothenburg. A student kitchen/dining space in the building’s high-ceiling attic received a makeover including their existing and new-but-used furniture, ‘previous collection’ end-of-bolt fabrics, thriftshop wooden bowls redesigned as lamps, and the repainting of walls and kitchen cabinets.
According to Micki, “The best thing one can do for the environment is to use and take care of your possessions longer. If things break, fix them or borrow from others. If you want a change, you don’t have to buy something completely new. You can barter, shop at thriftshops, or upcycle and redesign. Every little bit leads to a system change.”
Before: The lunch room at Annedalsseminariet before the redesign.
After: The university’s own kitchen tables and desktops were redesigned into a unique table to use for both dining and meeting. Pendant lamps were made from old wooden bowls, candlesticks and diverse items. The bench sofa was covered in ‘last season’ end-of-bold mixed and matched fabrics from a sofa manufacturer. Walls and kitchen cabinets painted. reCreate complemented the interior with new-but-used chairs and café tables.
The right column:
For more info about Mike and Micki, visit their website and read their stories.