Even though they are plentiful and free, leftover carpet and wallpaper samples rarely find a purposeful second life. However, there is hope to “rethink, reuse and upcycle” the ever growing pile of pre-consumer carpet waste. Design students and professionals can compete annually to come up with great ideas to reuse carpet samples in the Ample Sample design contest. Meeting the challenge to make good use of the some 700,000 carpet samples shipped annually, past years’ winners included everything from recliners, benches, bags, and wine carriers. The winner that caught our eye from this year’s Ample Sample competition is the GreenScreen.

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The GreenScreen, constructed from only floor samples and press fit rivets, would be a very fun DIY project, assuming you could get your hands on a lot of cool carpet samples. The screen is flexible and could be built to accommodate any size room. The GreenScreen also has the added bonus of being a sound dampener, making it a perfect divider between living and sleeping quarters.

The Ample Sample competition started last year in 2007 in response to the shocking number of carpet samples created, used and thrown away every year. Who knew that 700,000 carpet samples are made each year just so we can decide if it matches our paint color? The winning designs of the competition were then showcased at the recent NeoCon World’s Trade Fair 2008 in Chicago. The winning designs will also be featured in Floor Focus Magazine, and you can even download the blueprints of the winning designs for free.

The Ample Sample competition is sponsored each year by Floor Focus, a trade magazine for the flooring industry, Bentley Prince Street, a leading manufacturer for commercial carpet, and Tricycle, a simulation tool for interior designers. You can check out all the winning designs as well as all the entries at the Ample Sample website.

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