Style With A Conscience
After working on an eco-display project for their interior design firm MEI, Cris Bucknall and Paula Breckman realised that eco-friendly furnishings were hard to find. Taking matters into their own hands, they started EcoChic. “We decided we needed to offer a unique collection that would be easily available to people, and the web seemed like the perfect place to begin,” says Cris. A hit with Australia’s A-list, EcoChic offers stunning furniture and homewares with a conscience. Cris and Paula talk to Selina Gordevich about their popular label and favourite home-styling tips.
Three words to describe EcoChic?
Sexy, sustainable, stylish
Tell us about EcoChic?
It isn’t so much about products as it’s a means of putting together something distinctive and meaningful for the home, thus creating a unique and memorable space. We don’t sacrifice style; at EcoChic we simply sell furniture and furnishings that are eco-aware. Many of our ranges are completely handmade so there won’t be anything like them on the planet! Green furniture isn’t just tie-dyed and handmade quilts; when you buy eco-friendly furniture from us it’s a sensitive purchase, but sexy at the same time. It’s high time people were offered quality furniture that’s also responsible.
What inspires your ranges?
Design from around the world, an old movie, a fashion show, an evocative fragrance, a descriptive passage in a novel or things that have soul, history and personality.
Is there one project or range that you are particularly proud of?
The vintage range – it’s all about hunting items down in the most unglamorous of settings and seeing through their initial dowdiness to their inner style potential, then lovingly restoring them to something glamorous. We turn the ugly duckling into the swan.
What projects are you currently excited about?
We are developing a line of shaped headboards in seductively bright and overscaled patterned fabrics. They will be totally over the top in a gorgeous way!
Suzani fabric, shaped headboards, gelato colours on furniture, grass-cloth
wallpapers, velvet, eco-awareness and lemon meringue pie.
Sick of …
Minimalism, mass-produced furniture, baroque wallpapers, crystal chandeliers, climate-change sceptics and mosquitoes.
What trends are you seeing for 2010?
Craft, layers of pattern and textures, bright colours, ‘maximalism’ and things your nana loved.
What are your best home-styling tips?
Be eclectic but not random – make sure your mix harmonises. Never furnish an entire room in a weekend; if you buy things you love over time, they will all work together eventually. Have at least one thing in the room that’s really old. And, lastly, if everybody has it don’t buy it.
If you had one piece of advice for designers in your field who are just starting out, what would it be?
Get educated in business, marketing, accounting, public speaking and writing, and for goodness sake stay abreast of current events! It’s never enough to just have great style – you must be able to interact with everyone. Not everybody reads design mags.
For more information on EcoChic, call 1300 897 715 or visit their gorgeous online shop at www.ecochic.com.au