Back to nature.
Let’s get serious ladies, none of us really want to live in a cookie-cutter straight-out-of-display-home-land house that looks and feels exactly like every other McMansion on the block. More and more, we want a home that feels like us, that makes us smile when we wonder out in search of that first caffeine hit of the day.
We want a little bit of us in the spaces we live in.
It’s the carefully thought out features that make all the difference, those design touches that show consideration of how you and the people you love live in that space. From earthy and raw, to show-stopping contrasts to smooth and subtle, there is just so much you can do with beautiful bamboo.
A self-generating natural material, bamboo isn’t just an everyday building product. Its fast rate of growth and self-renewal make it an incredibly sustainable timber when grown and harvested with a care for the environment, and bamboo has some absolutely incredible properties, it can be stripped into strands and woven, it can be cut into boards and engineered into timber sheeting that has a tensile strength similar to steel.
Bamboo is a vital for development in many of the world’s poorer nations. According to the Bamboo Thematic Network (approved and funded by the European Commission) over 600 million people rely on bamboo as a source of income, many of them women and children with no other means of generating an income, and hundreds of millions of people live in bamboo houses.
Using sustainably sourced, certified bamboo products doesn’t just mean you will have some stunning individual features in your home, it also means you are supporting an environmentally-sustainable industry that is helping some of the world’s most vulnerable communities to pay for secure housing, food and education.
It’s a pretty big deal, and it is no wonder that bamboo is soaring in popularity, but knowing where and how bamboo products are sourced, and how they have been manufactured is important for a whole range of reasons.
Becoming recognised as a self-renewing natural resource has meant that in some places natural bamboo forests are harvested without thought of the impact on the environment or the animals of the region. Orangutans, tigers and many other species are under threat because of deforestation.
And even sustainably sourced bamboo can have its problems, with boards and veneers that haven’t been cross-banded tending to warp and shift out of shape – hardly ideal in your gorgeous new kitchen, wardrobe, feature wall or furniture!
LETO bamboo furniture board and veneers are FSC accredited and LETO’s bamboo factory is ISO 9001: 2000 quality management certified. Incredibly versatile, the boards and veneers range in thickness from 0.3mm to 50mm thick and come in a variety of styles and colours.
That’s tradie-speak for bamboo can be used in just so many different ways. Think laser-cut timber decorative panels, glowing natural bench tops, finely textured cabinetry, silky timber drawers, interior timber cladding, feature shelving and storage, furniture and decorator pieces… just imagine the possibilities!
Going green is the one interior design trend that won’t come and go and it is now de rigueur for celebrity home designers to make sure their A-list clients can splash around their green credentials (skating deftly over the excesses of concrete, steel and power-sucking gadgets and straight to the sustainably-grown custom-designed bamboo watch cases). But seriously, it’s a thing! Touches of natural luxury have a timeless elegance. Like designer Diane Von Furstenberg, whose master suite features a linen-draped bamboo sleeping pavilion.
Bringing bamboo into your home doesn’t mean your resident bloke or handy babe just banging up a kitschy Balinese bungalow out the back. The new generation of bamboo products are engineered for longevity and have an extraordinary array of finishes.
Bamboo can do it all, from sleek and sexy bamboo kitchens, textural feature doors or furniture, to the kind of purpose-built shelving and cabinetry that will have you airily showing off: ‘Oh, you know, we just wanted something to fit the space’. Yeah, right! You wanted something gorgeous and seeing your friends sick with envy is rightful reward for that careful design time! After all, who doesn’t want their friends to loathe them, just a little bit, for all the right reasons?
Article as appeared in Ruby, the thinking women’s magazine, Autumn 2016