Bikes can make your home look wheely cool The Bicycle Collection was created by upcycling discarded bicycle rims, pedals and frames (AP photos)
Bikes can make your home look wheely cool
Lexile

Bicycles have become part of hipster culture. There are bicycle-themed dining, drinking and shopping establishments from Portland, Oregon, to Brooklyn, New York, and dozens of bike-friendly burgs in between.

While the rides themselves are often tricked out with colored tires, swanky seats and vintage baskets, there are also those who see more than the sum of two wheels, a frame and a seat. Designers and artists are creating furnishings and art that give bicycles a whole new way to roll down Cool Street.

Canadian cyclist and metal artisan Gilbert VandenHeuvel turns out all sorts of reworked bicycle art and accessories from his studio in Goderich, Ontario.

"The sexy sprockets, curvy rims, flexible rubber and sturdy frame make for endless design possibilities," he says. Bikes are "almost begging to be reborn, reshaped into something surprising and beautiful."

His online shop is www.therecycler.ca. It offers wall hooks crafted from gear sprockets and mirrors made from spoked wheels. Clocks are crafted from drive trains and chain rings, and sleek chrome "urban antlers," with the bike seat as the "skull' and the handlebars as the antlers.

Designer Hilary Nagler of Santa Barbara, California, plays with a similar idea. She makes "bicycle taxidermy" by mounting handlebar "horns" on a basswood plaque. Ebonizing the handlebars gives them a rustic patina and vintage aesthetic. Nagler says the pieces are a "sentimental nod to my beloved childhood Schwinn," while also tipping an artsy hat to Picasso's bull's-head motif. (www.fleamarketrx.com)

In Marquette, Michigan, designer and former bike mechanic Andy Gregg has combined his skills to make high-style furniture. There's a chair made out of wheels, with soft rubber tires as arm rests and handlebars as the feet. Seats and backs are padded in black or paint-box-bright yellow, red or blue vinyl. Some versions are outdoor-friendly, great seating for a beachside cottage or city balcony.

A stylized table is comprised of swirls of aluminum and steel rims, with the radiating spokes covered with glass. The collection's got a mix of Deco, midcentury and contemporary vibes, which make the pieces versatile. (www.bikefurniture.com)

Solo Home Design in Chicago has an oversize cotton throw pillow trimmed in inner-tube fringe. Inner tubes form a great outdoor mat, and are also woven into coasters. Here too is a wooden cutting board fashioned out of a slab of wood and a bike rim. Spokes are reworked into a neat trivet.

"With cycling being a major part of Chicagoans' lives, including ours, we feel it's our duty to help with some of the waste that comes from it," says Meg Leese, co-owner and designer at Solo (www.solohomedesign.com). "We've been collecting scrap from The Bike Lane, a local bike shop, for a couple of years now and we'll be adding a second bike shop in the new year.

Critical thinking challenge: Bike parts have seemingly endless design possibilities. Name three materials used in making bikes that makes these designs possible.

Assigned 16 times


COMMENTS (13)
  • TF00Music
    1/29/2015 - 08:39 a.m.

    It needs to have a "sturdy frame, flexible rubber and curvy rims" to make to design possible. It says in paragraph four. It really wouldn't need anything else in order to make the design.

  • nicholas.jones07
    1/29/2015 - 12:48 p.m.

    I believe that the bicycles are a new and cool way to recycle. I believe that this will help the environment and will also help us make our houses more unique. I believe this will become another fashion fad.

  • pabloc-DiB
    1/29/2015 - 01:49 p.m.

    I think only classic or a very expensive bikecycle should be collected, because it has ether a history or very expensive that it would look good in a nice house and it depends on the bike,color and shape.

  • christinab-Lam
    1/29/2015 - 05:29 p.m.

    It's really cool how someone can make home furniture and decorations out of bike parts. It is a very unique idea, and it sounds fun!

  • elizabethh-Weh
    1/30/2015 - 09:22 a.m.

    I Think it's is a good idea to open another bike shop from the scraps of the other bike shop. It will be not as wasteful. The shop will help not to be so wastful.

  • samm-Pen
    1/30/2015 - 11:42 a.m.

    I think its so cool to have bike parts in my home. Now I not saying that i would but that's just so cool. While the rides themselves are often tricked out with colored tires, swanky seats and vintage baskets, there are also those who see more than the sum of two wheels, a frame and a seat. Designers and artists are creating furnishings and art that give bicycles a whole new way to roll down Cool Street. And this is whats makes them so cool.

  • Aw2001soccer
    1/30/2015 - 01:00 p.m.

    the metal and the middle of the wheel and also the strings in the middle make the designs you could make endless designs the metal could be used for many things

  • MikaylaStazewski-Ste
    1/30/2015 - 01:02 p.m.

    This does not surprise me because people are always so creative and crafty. Also, the article title was very clever, so I just had to click on it.

  • EW2001blue
    1/30/2015 - 01:03 p.m.

    Three materials from bikes to make the designs possible are, the sprockets, the rims, and the rubber and sturdy frame of the bike. Those are the materials used to make those designs possible.

  • GDesiree-Cas
    1/30/2015 - 08:09 p.m.

    I think that it's very cool how people are using bike parts to create different things. I love the fact that they are now creating "bicycle-themed" dining,drinking and shopping establishments. Three materials used in making bikes that make these designs possible are a sturdy frame, flexible rubber and curvy rims. I would like to see a bicycle-themed establishment in my area, they seem very interesting.

Take the Quiz Leave a comment
ADVERTISEMENT