Tristan Titeux Furniture Guru: Eco Friendly Kids Bedroom for Marco
IntroducingTristan Titeux, the founder and head of design at Empatika, the sustainable contemporary fitted furniture business he established in London in 2003. He is the author and publisher of “Furniture for the Future: How what you buy can change the world.”
A trailblazer in contemporary furniture, Tristan works with sustainable materials and talented artisans to create stylish, purpose-built furniture that transforms spaces and eliminates clutter. Tristan and his team design and construct timeless pieces such as fitted cupboards, built in libraries and cabinets, tailored to each client’s needs, dreams and aspirations.
Designing a Safe, Eco Friendly Kid’s Bedroom
Do you ever wonder what sort of world we’ll leave our children, their children and their grand-children?
We live in interesting times. We have access to so much information and so many good products, yet too often we choose products for the wrong reasons – because they’re cheap or in fashion. To make informed choices, we should ask ourselves:
Creating Happy, Safe Children’s Bedroom, Free of Allergies
I want our children to grow healthily and to have a great future. That’s why, since 2010, I’ve offered a sustainble, eco-friendly option for children’s fitted furniture. Children spend nearly half their time sleeping in their bedrooms. When we make informed choices, we can protect our children, and ensure they don’t inhale volatile organic compounds (VOCs) commonly present in bedding, curtains, carpets, toys, paints and furniture. Indoor air is many times more polluted than outdoor air and sadly, cancer, asthma and other breathing illnesses and allergies are increasingly common in children.
Handmade British Craftsmanship
We can choose great design, and make a difference, and create bedrooms our kids will love to sleep in, thrive and go up to be strong and healthy. Empatika designs natural fitted furniture and provides other sustainable natural materials for your children’s bedrooms. We specialise in formaldehyde-free fitted furniture, hand-made by British craftsmen who use:
Child-friendly, Non Toxic Materials
This is why we embarked on the Marco project, which aims to ensure all materials and paints used in furniture are safe for children.
For the project, we used a hollow core board with cardboard on the inside in a honeycomb pattern for strength. Made from recycled paper, the board uses less glue to hold the wood fibres together than solid MDF. This minimises the use of petrochemical-derived glues.
To stop formaldehyde escaping from the glue, we used a flexible filler to seal it to the wall. This also gives a neat finish to the end product. Then, to avoid formaldehyde off-gassing from MDF or chipboard, we used a product called an MDF pacifier to seal the shelves. Finally, we painted them with VOC-free eco paints.
All Things Bright and Beautiful
White or bright colours are fantastic for children’s furniture and rooms because they can make spaces seem bigger and brighter and put minds at ease. Because they reflect light, they also save electricity.
How To Make a Room Look Taller and Brighter
I designed a wardrobe with floor to ceiling doors that make a room look taller. I used a special MDF wood called Medite Ecologique. This contains no formaldehyde and is made from MDI glue, which is inert. Unfortunately, it’s derived from fossil fuel, but it’s currently the best option we have.
The design of the wardrobe is completely flexible. The shelves are adjustable and the hanging rails can be adapted easily to suit a growing child’s needs. It is put together using no glue and all screws are hidden yet accessible to allow for easy dismantling.
Auro Natural Paint
We painted the inside of the wardrobe with AURO paint, which is made from natural materials. This can yellow slightly, so we used a water-based paint that stays perfectly white on the outside.
Clean Air Kids
With eco-friendly furniture, you can rest assured that your child will be breathing in clean air. You’ll also be supporting ethical products made with healthy people and a healthy planet in mind. Plus, you’ll be supporting local craftsmen and women and therefore the local economy, which is so often bypassed for cheaper labour abroad.
We have a choice when we spend money. Let’s use that choice to make a difference to the planet we’ll pass on to our children.
Tristan Titeux is the founder and head of design at Empatika, the sustainable contemporary fitted furniture business he established in London in 2003. He is also the author and publisher of “Furniture for the Future: How what you buy can change the world.”
A pioneer in contemporary furniture, Tristan works with sustainable materials and talented artisans to create stylish, purpose-built furniture. He and his team design and construct timeless pieces such as fitted cupboards and cabinets, tailored to every client’s needs and aspirations.