In case you missed my article on DECORATI about how antiques are a great way to recycle and do your bit for the planet, here it is:
I know what you're thinking: if Buzz thinks "going green" means buying this green pair of 19th century Russian malachite urns, he ain't the brightest bulb in the chandelier. By a long shot.
He probably also thinks that buying this antique malachite ecritoire (pronounced "ay cree TWAHR" and meaning an ink stand) is another way to "go green". Is the man clueless or what?
Well, actually you're right. Not about me being clueless but I do believe that buying these antiques is good for the environment and a great way to "go green". But not because they're green in color. It's because purchasing these or any other antique is an excellent form of recycling. Antiques were and are the original eco-chic.
Think about it.
As one of the largest wholesalers of high end antiques, every time we make a sale, we're doing our part to protect the environment. There's zero pollution when you buy, use and/or resell this 18th c. French Regence bureau plat:
In fact, I like to think of C. MARIANI ANTIQUES, RESTORATION & CUSTOM as the world's fanciest recycling bin.
After all, each of our 250 year old antiques has served no less than six generations of families who have used them, abused them, moved them, heaved on them, restored them and stored them. And yet since they were created they haven't used any more fossil fuel or otherwise harmed the planet one bit. If that isn't eco-friendly I don't know what is.
Here's a pair of 18th century "recycled" antique appliqués. The detail on them is amazing plus you don't cut down one tree or mine one more ounce of gold if you buy them:
So collecting antiques is the perfect way to furnish your home without doing an iota of harm to Mother Earth. Ok, so now we know that one way to Save the Planet, is to buy lots and lots of antiques like this $400,000 18th century silvered and walnut secretaire:
But what if you're a bit short on cash this month and don't have $400k to spend, even in the name of eco-chic? Not a problem.
If you can't afford an antique, then the next best thing is to have a custom shop like C. Mariani make you a reproduction antique using renewable materials like plyboo or else old growth repurposed wood that doesn't endanger our environment.
Our workshop turns out hundreds of hand-made custom pieces every year and we always try to be as ecologically responsible as we can. One way we do this is by using old growth and previously used 200 year old European walnut. This wood is not harvested-it's collected from collapsed churches, raised buildings, and from blow downs (these are old growth trees that have been blown down in storms). Here, a C. Mariani custom workshop reproduction side table in reused old growth walnut:
We actually have a "spotter" in Europe who identifies these toppled trees the moment they're "down". And then we buy the wood and ship it here for our furniture reproductions and restorations. C. Mariani has one of the largest inventories of old growth hardwoods in the country and we trade it like a commodity. And it's a commodity that doesn't harm the environment.
Custom pieces can also be eco-friendly if they are made of new but sustainable materials (i.e., wood or wood-like materials that can be regrown quickly). There are many stylish products on the market. Take plyboo for example (bamboo veneered onto bamboo-composite plywood). It looks very similar to precious macassar (pronounced "muh KASS er") ebony which is both prohibitively expensive and not eco-friendly.
It's beautiful, right? And yet it's very earth-friendly. This bamboo replenishes itself every 6 years, so it's a sustainable and responsible building material for custom furniture.
The moral to this story is that antiques and even custom furniture (using sustainable products) are stylish ways to beautify your interiors while at the same time being ecologically responsible.