Ecuador is known for its warm weather and plethora of natural resources like rainforests, mountains and proximity to the ocean. Recycling, on the other-hand, not so much. In a country with so many building materials at everyone’s fingertips, Marcel Nourha’s conscious effort to use recycled products during the furnishing of his new business was quite the unique choice. “I wanted to use a brand new way to furnish,” says Nourha, who started his boutique marketing agency, MaNo Plannicidad, three years ago. His passion for recycling materials and his willingness to always take on a challenge were the driving forces behind the project. “I believe in reusing and refurbishing materials. Avoiding the use of new materials provides an opportunity to create new elements.”
The process of transforming the formerly stark space into the stylish, playful gem it is now wasn’t easy. Located in Ecuador’s business district of Guayaquil, one of the main business hubs of Ecuador, Marcel’s vision was a big open loft space. The space was intentionally painted white to represent “shine, brightness and joy.” He chose to complement the bright space with primary color accents and dynamic graphics to give the contemporary space a well needed jolt of color.
Paint was a great ally in conquering this blank canvas. Nourha went around to abandoned houses, took whatever goodies he could find and jazzed them up with a couple coats of the colored stuff. “I love restoring old materials and making them shine again. The old red stair in our office is the one that workers originally used to paint the office. The blue telephone is from my grandma’s house, the clock is an old alarm. Oh, and all the paintings are made by the designers that work in the office.” His office desk is an old foosball table covered with a glass top, and he constructed walls (which he cleverly painted an energizing green) to define each worker’s space. All these quirky elements add up to a dynamic space furnished exclusively with refurbished pieces.
Nourha has advice for others looking to reduce waste and furnish secondhand. “Do not be afraid of using old furniture and old materials to do something very special. Your office will have a different look than other’s offices, and your clients will be so happy to visit a different place. Reuse, refurbish and restore old things. You can make the world a better place by not using new pieces. Always recycle!” We couldn’t have said that better ourselves.
View Marcel’s journey from beginning to end in the gallery below. If you have a story to share, give us a shout at firstname.lastname@example.org.