Ba m b o o has now become popular in many homes. Because of its sustainability it is a great substitute for items made from less renewable resources like hardwood.
Bamboo is a grass which renews itself within a five-to seven-year span, compared to hardwoods which take up to 60 years. It is a very hard material which makes it a great source for construction materials, furniture and flooring. It also has some anti-bacterial qualities which make it a good choice for use in textiles for the home.
The “green” factor of bamboo is making it a popular option for home renovations and home décor. There are a wide range of products available made either with or from bamboo for your home and new products are coming out all the time.
Bamboo flooring is eco-friendly, durable and affordable (compared to exotic hardwoods). Like laminate flooring, bamboo flooring is usually manufactured in planks which makes it a fairly easy DIY project. If considering bamboo flooring, do your homework. Inferior flooring can warp, dent and delaminate if the bamboo used is not properly harvested (to full maturity) and/or inferior milling processes are used. Look for items made with mature Moso bamboo that has been kiln dried and made using eco-friendly adhesives. Most reputable flooring sites will provide information about the kind of bamboo their products are made from.
WALLS AND MORE
Bamboo is used in everything from kitchen cabinets to furniture. Countertops and backsplashes are another area where bamboo is becoming popular. Even interior doors are being made from bamboo. Its natural honey tones and grain make it a warm, earthy choice for use in these applications.
Bamboo panelling is an affordable product to use to finish walls and ceilings. Decorative bamboo slats can be used to create finishes on ceiling and walls. These slats are actually slices of natural dried bamboo that are about one to two inches wide and six feet long that can be configured to just about any design you can think of. With these slats you could make a headboard, cover the front of a bar, reface kitchen cabinets, create a wainscotting effect and so on. Check out the photographs and ideas at www.calibamboo.com.
HOUSEWARES, ACCESSORIES AND TEXTILES
Many new bamboo houseware products are available as well, such as serving dishes, cutting boards, disposable, biodegradable picnicware, utensils and baskets. Look for items with organically grown bamboo which uses less pesticide.
Decorative items like photo frames, shelving, plant stands, mats, wastebaskets, bathroom sets, mirrors and spice racks can also be found.
Bamboo fabric is another great alternative for the home. Made from the pulp of bamboo grass, bamboo fibres are strong, sustainable, have wicking properties and anti-bacterial properties. It is an expensive alternative but hopefully will come down in price as its popularity grows. Again, look for organically grown bamboo when considering bamboo textiles.
Because it can be used in place of most wood products it’s a natural choice for furniture manufacturers. Everything from bedroom suites to dining sets can be found in bamboo-based products. Computer desks, coffee tables, bedroom suites and more are now being made.
Bamboo can be an attractive, greener choice for your home.
– Connie Oliver is an interior designer from Winnipeg
CONNIE OLIVERAround theHouse