We are proud to be a part of Midwest Home Magazine’s “Design Week” coming up on February 20th, 2014 for an open house cocktail hour and chat on how eco-friendly design can transform your home into a more beautiful interior. This is such a great event for both the public and those in the design world to see firsthand what exciting developments are happening with interior design in and around the Twin Cities.
Walking into the door at Omforme, you’d think it was just like any trendy boutique with various items from vintage furniture to modern designed home accessories and gifts all wrapped up in a pretty package, but there’s more than meets the eye in this shop.
The secret is something you’d never expect: everything in this trend filled boutique is recycled. Yes, recycled; Something most of us do with our aluminum cans and empty glass jars.
Spending over 15 years in the interior design industry, Carter Averbeck knew a thing or two about excess; Mostly that the industry was full of it with no signs of ending soon.
“I kept on wondering who needs 2000 sofas to choose from?”, says Averbeck as he chats about how the industry has been hard pressed towards becoming more eco friendly. “It’s almost like the white elephant in the room, people dancing around the subject of becoming eco-conscious. Some try to come up with solutions but the underlying problem still persists: How do you not run out of natural resources and still keep the consumer market interested in what you’re selling?” Substitutions have been put in place to help curtail the inevitable loss of once plentiful materials like certain species of woods or natural stone that is no longer quarried. Sure there’s products out on the market like bamboo to help with sustainable forestation and things made from medium density fiberboard (MDF), but this is only because consumer demand for “new” is outstripping our natural resources as it has been for decades. We’ve just learned to live with it. That doesn’t mean we’re headed for trouble yet, but we can be unless some innovative solutions are put into place and one of them, according to Averbeck, is the easiest to do: buy previously owned items that have been reconditioned to new again.
“There needs to be a paradigm shift in how we consume. Though at a snail’s pace, minds are beginning to wake up”
Inside Omforme is a realm of objects from restyled vintage furnishings to items made by select artisans. It’s done with a modern, up to date touch and it’s all locally sourced. It’s important to Averbeck that he keeps things as local as possible when working with vendors. “It’s the fastest way to grow a sustainable community where everyone can prosper.” says Carter. Tables made from reclaimed black walnut boast a modern organic touch by Nick Thompson while white ceramic cactus vessels are used for aromatic soy candles by local candle maker Cheryl Krejcarek of Idlewilde candles. There are blankets made from excess cashmere knitted fabric attained from the famed fashion house MISSONI, which sell for substantially lower prices than it’s new counterparts. “Buying recycled or reclaimed goods doesn’t have to mean you must resign and give up on luxury. You just have to be smarter in how to attain them” he states. The stigma of used furniture is slowly being lifted and Averbeck’s shop is a shining example of how it can be done.
Carter estimates he’s helped save close to 10,000 pounds of furniture from the landfill by restyling each piece for modern day interiors. True, these aren’t your everyday shabby chic transformations with many pieces boasting a more urban feel that doesn’t entirely eradicate vintage beginnings but enhances characteristics in a new format much like what a new hair style would do for an individual.
Reclaimed materials are utilized in innovative ways showcasing the beauty of what was originally intended for the scrap pile and yet at Omforme these materials take on a sophisticated appeal under the creative editing eye of Averbeck. Since opening the shop in it’s permanent location in August 2013, Carter has had a steady stream of customers coming in to experience the shop and even bring in their old heirlooms for an update to fit their current design style. “People are now excited to get that old chest or chair out of the basement and make something out of it that’s cool” says Carter, ” I’m thrilled that everyone from interior designers, architects and new customers are finding inspiration here and that it has become a go to place where the unique and possible can be obtained affordably.”
If you would like to know more; Omforme is open weekends and by appointment during the week. Please click on the “contact us” section for more information.
The fun begins with with hoppin’ music, specialty cocktails, wines and hors d;oeuvres at the ready as you mill about meeting your new bff’s. Take a gander throughout the store and you’ll score great finds on vintage and modern furnishings for the home, original art such as our popular Steampunk lamps by Bill Powers. Plus you’ll find a newly expanded set of offering with our lines of urban wrist watches and clever wallets for the chic set. Yep,..you can get a gift for yourself or,..yes, the man in your life!
Good girls go to Heaven but bad girls go everywhere! ~Mae West
You don’t have to come alone, you can bring all your girlfriends with you. Just note that if you bring an actual man, he may be subjected to wearing aprons and dancing on tabletops. Vintage tabletops of course! See you there.