If you never thought you’d want to buy second-hand furniture, you’ll likely change your mind once you see Zoe Murphy’s stunning upcycled pieces. The British designer breathes new life into salvaged midcentury modern furniture with bold and colorful designs inspired by her seaside hometown Margate, Kent. The whimsical and ‘50s-inspired retro prints promotes Murphy’s idea of “loving what belongs to you.”
Inhabitat spotted Murphy’s creative reuse of midcentury modern furniture pieces at the Tent London show for the 2015 London Design Festival. We instantly fell in love with her work, especially once we learned that her pieces offered more than just an eco-friendly alternative to today’s throwaway consumer culture. The vivid colors and patterns Murphy applies to the furniture reference the “unpolished potential” of her hometown Margate, a British seaside resort that had been popular in the 1950s as a tourist destination, but has since fallen in disrepair with many of the landmarks closed, burned down, or removed.
“It is a place and thing that with loving attention and good design can be brought back to be something beautiful, desired, and respected,” says Murphy on her website. The British designer’s unique and playful work ranges from re-veneered drawers to side tables, all with designs inspired by Formica clad seaside cafes. In addition to her Margate Collection, Murphy also offers Brilliant Print, a furniture series with the “same core ethics of her first collection” that looks “ever closer at the materials it uses in its products.” The Brilliant Print furniture and textiles include organic cottons, British waste wool, water-based inks and varnishes, English hard woods, and recycled timber.
Images via Charlene Lam for Inhabitat, Zoe Murphy