Reuse. Repurpose. Recycle. Reimagine. You know these words and their common use. We’re all serious about sustainability, because we should be. It’s a worthy pursuit and the subject of much discussion, but that’s just it. It’s sometimes a little too serious. I’ve always had a philosophy about elements of design, which I use in many, if not most, jobs: Use what you have, any way you can, and the result can be both fun and powerful. I call it Jhemajang. You pronounce it the way it looks; ‘hema-jang.’ As in, ‘Just jhemajang that [combination] together, and it’ll look great.’ It’s nothing more than repurposing something laying around, already bought, and maybe even still in use.
You could go to your favorite source for outdoor furniture and plunk down a lot of money for serious seating, or you can do it like this. These pieces are from my custom line. Recycled treated wood cut and sized for any space. And check out the table and pots. You can create something in any size and configuration, then paint it all in thrilling combinations. Don’t try to treat these pieces with great dignity; treat them like the fun, unusual elements they are. And they’re easy to move around, even going indoors for extra seating at parties.
Since these pieces were designed to go poolside, we incorporated planter boxes on the backs of the chairs. Once again, custom sized, so you can drop in specimens you pick up at the nursery. Looks like they’ve been leading an enjoyable life, huh?
How about carrying out that idea even further? We attached an entire planter box—contrasting color, natch—to the back of this longer piece. Because these are recycled boards, they’re light weight, so a planter box on the back is not a big deal, even full of plants. The seat can be moved with ease.
And check out how the color pops when you do nothing more than place three different bromeliads in them. Not only does this furniture need little maintenance, bromeliads are real workhorses, too, that require very little care.
Not only are these stripes pretty cool, the color combination is nice and cooling as well. And all plants look good with bright, colorful pieces surrounding them. Another truism. Check out the nice square table. See how the plant in the center seems to be peeking at you? It is. Because we created a recessed pocket in the table center, in which it sits. If you don’t use the compartment for a plant, you could always use it for an ice bucket, or even to hold bottles or cans. When more table surface is needed, just put the lid over the pocket. Multi-functionality is another advantage these pieces have.
If you’re not a fan of fan backs, you should be. Just stripe them up in contrasting colors and see how they pop. What’s so great about this recycled wood is that it can be used in many ways.
If you want to add pop to your patio—or any indoor room—these customized pieces will do the trick. Remember, landscape is not just about growing elements; it incorporates what makes you feel good, too. Don’t be afraid to be adventurous, and also remember to use what’s already available when you can. And create unexpected combinations, because that’s the Jhemajang way. We built these pieces with recycled treated wood simply because they’ll add life to any area. Create fun spaces, use unexpected color combinations, and, above all, enjoy what you have.
Live Life to the Fullest,
Chris H. Olsen