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Green Design - Green Literary Chic

By Janet Ramin on October 08, 2010

Fabulous design. Cutting edge looks. Interesting twists in color, fabric, and texture. These are all elements inherent in design that's ecologically sound. Yes, your creativity can have free reign even as you make choices that help protect the planet. Increasingly, manufacturers are creating products that have minimal impact on the environment, whether because they're made from organically-grown cotton or because they're made with renewable resources. We think environmentally friendly design is so important that we recently added a Green Design lesson to the NYIAD Complete Course in Interior Design.

In our "Decorating Green" column we'll look at a sustainable, low-impact element of design in each issue of "Designer Monthly." We hope these articles will help us all help the planet and the many creatures that share it with us.

Green Literary Chic

What do you do with some of your old books or records? With mounting environmental concerns, you probably don’t want to add to the growing landfill. You can donate them to your local library or you can do something fun and functional: transform them into wearable chic! Enter Rebound Designs.

Rebound Designs is the home of book purses, all designed by Caitlin Phillips. As a young adult, Phillips had worked in a used bookstore and became concerned at the amount of books that were just thrown away. One day she had a brilliant idea and decided to keep the hardcovers of damaged books and changed them into the shells of a purse or handbag.

Rebound Designs
Rebound Designs

A favorite of young female readers is the Nancy Drew detective book series. Their stories evoke a simpler era and nostalgia for the innocent teenage years. Phillips converted two of the Nancy Drew The Secret of the Golden Pavilion and The Clue in the Diary – into clutch purses.

For the more literary of taste, Phillips also takes classics such as Austen’s Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility, adds a few personal touches, and again, another instant classic! For the male persuasion, Phillips also creates wallets from old paperbacks, such as this JRR Tolkien adventure, The Return of the King. The soft covers are protected with clear vinyl and edged with fabric tape.

Rebound Designs
Rebound Designs

For those who want a larger purse, maybe something more artistic, Cover to Cover takes art books, such as Masters of Impressionism, and breathes new life. The inside of the bag is lined with pictures of Impressionist paintings from the book. Cover to Cover also recycles the old 45 rpm records and gives them a new spin as handbags. They have favorites such as the Beatles, Aretha Franklin and Prince.

Cover to Cover
Cover to Cover

Both companies can create customized bags to fit anyone's taste. If you have your own favorite book or favorite vinyl record, you can send it to their designer and have it transformed into wearable art!


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