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TrashKEA home design: trash + IKEA + design = eco-cheap chic

Most designers begin a remodel by choosing what to trash. Petz Scholtus chose what to collect from the trash to be upcycled (recycled for a higher use).

When Scholtus bought her Barcelona apartment in 2006 it had no plumbing nor electricity, though it had some choice trash, like the long piece of glass she stopped her construction crew from throwing away. With two sawhorses (recovered from the street) for legs, it became her dining room table.

Other furniture was scavenged directly from the street, like a chair she later covered with old newspapers (mostly from Scholtus’ native Luxembourg) and her ubiquitous Bidon lamps made from used jerry cans and CFL lightbulbs.

She’s a trained eco-designer, but she’s not above simply shopping at IKEA. Much of the kitchen furniture- the shelves, island and FSC-certified countertop- were bought from IKEA, though the room’s style-making piece are the cabinets constructed from wooden wine boxes (some of which Scholtus and her partner drank themselves).

Scholtus, who teaches eco-design and blogs for treehugger.com, wanted to prove with her remodel that green design could be affordable and stylish. She also wanted it to be replicable so she started a blog outlining everything she bought, found or created, including her cork flooring, OSB closet, low-H2O radiators, Stop Flush toiletlean-material sink, low-flow faucet aerators, C2C Think office chair, urban vegetable garden, Can-O-Worms compost bin, and solar dryer (clothesline).

In this video we take a tour of her Gothic Quarter (Barrio Gótico) apartment which at 58 square meters (624 square feet) feels surprisingly spacious, and includes not just bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, living room, but a home-office as well.