Slow Furniture: Relax, You’re Home

“I wonder if I can grow a chair.” It is with the most strange, fantastic thoughts that the most incredible art is born. Peter Cook – or Pook, as he is called – has always loved nature and gardening, and this stray thought took root in his mind. Instead of carving furniture from wood, Pook wanted to grow it from the ground. Through years of trial and error, he and his partner, Becky Northey discovered that by using plum trees from shoots, they could indeed grow furniture. Strange, fantastic, and the ultimate in “green” furniture,” these artists have created truly remarkable pieces.

It is hard to resist instant gratification; we can have anything we want virtually instantly. We have on-demand television, streaming movies online, we can upgrade to overnight shipping for our products. Pooktre, as Cook and Northey are known, purposely create “slow” furniture. You are not waiting weeks for a piece to arrive; you are waiting years for it to grow. In a blog post in the New York Times, Andrew C. Revkin writes that in projects like these “time and efficiency are secondary to peace of mind and a sense of making something out of something less.” You can see other stunning examples of living furniture at the Mother Nature Network.

The simplest materials yield the best results. This is the premise by which Natura and other organic mattress makers operate. While they don’t grow the mattresses right from the ground, they do the next best thing. The Natura Prima mattress, for instance, features plant-based foam (instead of typical petroleum-based foam), organic Pure NaturaWool, and all-natural cotton. This greatly reduces the amount of chemicals and other non-renewable resources that go into traditional mattresses. And when the lifetime of the mattress has expired, it is recyclable and biodegradable.

You might be willing to wait a decade or two to grow a bed frame; but don’t sacrifice your muscles, joints, and mood to one more night on a poor mattress.

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