Are you recently viewing more and more pieces built with bamboo in the last years? You're not alone, we see it too!. Bamboo is highly trending as a material for both interior design, and our everyday products. This is because of its amazing properties, and sustainable production. Learn in this article why bamboo is an excellent material for decor and building, how it compares to other wooden materials, how good it is for the environment, and finally some great ideas to decor with bamboo.
Our world's bamboo, a sustainable wood and renewable resource, is being used more and more in interior design as a replacement for cedar, mahogany, and other popular hardwood lumbers. Not only is this multifaceted plant used for furniture, but it is also used structurally for buildings, textiles, and as a food source. Bamboo has been used as construction material for a long time in the east, its strength and durability put to good use in the earliest suspension bridges and various architectures. Inherently strong and aesthetically pleasing, different parts of the globe are catching on to bamboo as a sustainable resource. Keep reading to find out:
- What are bamboo's properties?
- Why is bamboo good for the environment?
- Why is bamboo used in interior design?
- Bamboo Decor Ideas
- Why is bamboo a good building material?
- How is bamboo grown in the world?
- Find inspiration with bamboo products
1. What are bamboo's properties?
So what is all this fuss about bamboo in the recent years? what's to like about this wood? It turns out bamboo not only has a tremendous appeal and smoothness to it, it is also very durable, practical and adaptable to work with. This is what makes it so fashionable and hip. Additionally, bamboo is environmentally friendly, easily renewable, and fits into our lives to adopt a more sustainable lifestyle.
You would think all this good comes at price? That's not the case of bamboo, this wood is readily available at all cost points, offering a great versatility that fits any decor and lifestyle. Simply put, bamboo is one of the ultimate to go to material to use in our every day lives.
2. Why is bamboo good for the environment?
Bamboo plays an important role in the environment of our planet. Here are some of the reasons why bamboo is great for the environment that you may not know about yet:
- Bamboo crops help lower the light intensity and protect our planet against sun's ultraviolet rays.
- Bamboo reduces deforestation rates, with the trees chop down year in year out, this will however decrease the rate of timber consumption.
- Bamboo development reduces pollution; its plants reduce up to 35% carbon dioxide in the climate and deliver more oxygen.
- Bamboo roots help control erosion as it makes a water barrier; developed countries use bamboo as a defensive component for their crops and villages from washing ceaselessly.
- Bamboo devours high amounts of nitrogen and this helps decrease water pollution.
- Bamboo can be harvested and replenished without destroying the natural forest
- Bamboo plant is 100 per cent biodegradable and can be harvested within 3–5 years unlike most softwood 10–20 years, and also they have biomass of 2–5% unlike wood 10–30%
- The efficient production capacity of bamboo add to its easy cultivation, producing, harvesting, transporting and handling makes the bamboo an interesting material for so many sectors: health, food, interior design, textile, construction sectors, and many more.
Find out more in this article by Wood Right.
3. Why is bamboo used in interior design?
Practical and durable, bamboo is resistant to shrinking and swelling. Because it can withstand extreme changes in humidity and temperature, bamboo is a great choice for bathroom and kitchen decorating. While being strong and damage resistant, bamboo can also be inviting and comforting.
This wood can be used in its natural state showing its fine grains or you can purchase it in a variety of styles, colours, finishes, or stains.
Most anything can be made from bamboo in interior design. For example:
- Bamboo flooring
- Storage & organisation,
- Wall panels
- Home accessories
- Fabrics & textiles
Bamboo can fit most any decor. From the very traditional to the ultra modern, there is a place for bamboo. Pieces can be purchased which look like bamboo. Other pieces though can be bought where you would never know the material from which it derived.
While bamboo can be used and included in most any part of the home, if you are unsure where to start, begin with accessories. Add a bamboo lamp, or a small bedside table, or a couple of throw pillows to your sofa. You could even make some bamboo accessories yourself if you prefer. The key is just to start.
For the more adventuresome, consider a bamboo kitchen table, bookshelves, rugs, or shades. And, for those who are most confident in his or her decorating abilities and style, bamboo is excellent for flooring, cabinetry or wall paneling. Of course, you want to be 100% sure before you make any of these changes.
When decorating with bamboo, you really cannot go wrong. It is an excellent material and is environmentally friendly. Keep reading for great ideas to decor with bamboo.
Why Bamboo is great for restaurants, kitchens and bathrooms?
As described before, bamboos are highly resistant to swelling and shrinking, because of their high water resistance, which make them great materials for the kitchen and bathroom.
Additionally, one of the unique things about bamboo is its abnormally high content of silicate that makes it flame resistant. Using bamboos inside the kitchen will make it less hazardous inside a home or even a food establishment.
In photo: Lotus Floor Lamp
4. Bamboo Decor Ideas
As we've seen here, bamboo is definitely more sustainable choice for your decor than plastic, cotton or wood. Because of its eco-friendly nature and beautiful aesthetic, bamboo is now appearing in many home decor products. Here are some ideas on how you can integrate bamboo into your home decor.
1. Bamboo Table & Floor Lamps
Lamps are used to let light shine in our homes during the night time but this should not compromise how the exterior should also shine even in daylight. Let guests marvel at the intricate design of lamps made of bamboo.
In photo: Lotus Bamboo Table Lamp
2. Bamboo Hanging Lights
Orchids are not the only hanging plants anymore! Feel the tropical vibe even in the city by just looking at the bamboo hanging lights.
In this photo: Saanvi Hanging Lights
3. Bamboo Stools & Chairs
You will not believe that this stool made of bamboo. This delicately made bamboo stool will not make you feel like it came from a thin bamboo shoot.
In Photo: Baar Small Bamboo Stool
4. Bamboo Wall Clocks
They say, when you are surrounded by nature, you forget everything in the world including what time it is. But with the bamboo wall clock, you can get the best of both worlds.
5. Bamboo Tables
Dine with your family as you are surrounded by furniture made from high quality bamboo.
6. Bamboo Storage for Kitchen, Office of Bathroom
Bamboos are known for how sturdy they are. Protect your valuable items with a bamboo container.
7. Bamboo Storage & Organisation
Being practical and aesthetically pleasing can go hand in hand. Minimize the clutter in your rooms with stackable bamboo storage baskets and have this iconic design at the same time.
Don't let edges of hangers form on your tops. With the ergonomic design of bamboo hangers, you won't have to deal with your clothes' sleeve wrinkling.
8. Bamboo Mirrors
Add a statement mirror in your home with a beautiful soft edged bamboo frame.
In photo: Mira Tall Bamboo Mirror
9. Bamboo Plants
A study was made that mentioned that visual stimulation with bamboo plants induced psychophysiological relaxation effects on adults.
5. Why is bamboo a good building material?
When designing a new project, we should think about using environmentally friendly raw materials that reduce environmental and social impacts during construction, renovation or demolition. At the same time, we should think about reducing the environmental impacts of the use of the building, contributing to a healthy environment for its inhabitants. This is why we choose bamboo as a building material, as it covers all these characteristics.
Bamboo is one of the most sustainable materials that can be used for construction. With so many things to love, we list a few reasons why bamboo is an excellent building material:
- The great production capacity of bamboo add to its easy cultivation, producing, harvesting, transporting and handling makes the bamboo an interesting material for the construction sector.
- Bamboo naturally has a waxy surface which does not oblige paint and this makes it free from health hazards brought about by paints.
- Bamboo wood is also strong and flexible that it is the best material to use in building in places that gets hit by earthquakes frequently. Because of its strength, studies have demonstrated that bamboo can be utilised as reinforcement for concrete, and these will diminish the pollution waste of steel factories.
- In contrast to its strength, it is quite lightweight which makes it easier to move it around during transport.
- For many years, bamboo has been chosen to be used as the most practical raw material to use due to its environment-friendly attributes. Aside from being environment-friendly, bamboo is also, budget friendly as it is less expensive compared to rare woods.
- Bamboo is a highly-yield renewable resource: bamboo chipboard, agro-based medium density fibreboards and flake board used in engineering and construction; ply bamboo used for wall paneling, floor tile, bamboo pulp for paper making, briquettes for fuel, bamboo fibres used for making composite thermoplastic reinforcement which are used to make roofs, etc. These diversities make bamboo environmental friendly and easily adaptable.
- The use of bamboo reduces the consumption of hardwood and it helps prevent deforestation. Hardwood that is used to make floors take up to 100 years to fully mature in contrast, bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world as it can grow 910 mm in a day. It does not take long before they are ready to be harvested and made into materials.
- When used as roofs, Bamboo can also help reduce the intensity of light that comes in homes and further helps protect against UV rays of the sun. As the use of Bamboo continues its popularity, more industries are developing their own bamboo forest.
However, with all these environmental benefits bamboo has on construction, bamboo is sliced into pieces and glued together while working with. A serious health and safety issue surrounds the handling and the application of gluing them together. Presently no specific standard is stated for its construction or gluing together, and glue contains formaldehyde which can be harmful to the environment.
The importance of bamboo for solving global housing problems
In its production and handling, bamboo allows its users an easy and simple process from cultivation to construction. Thus, bamboo is seen as a consolidated raw material for engaging social inclusion projects and manpower qualification in bamboo construction.
In a universe where the species grows naturally, the cost for building with bamboo represents values up to 45% lower than those of conventional construction, representing an interesting alternative to the serious housing shortage problems affecting different countries in the world. Read more about this research here.
It is necessary to develop bamboo construction technologies and to disseminate appropriate technologies, training and enabling building manpower and organising community production systems. Simplifying and universalising the use of bamboo materials as a quality construction element, natural, renewable and rapid growth, it can be consolidated as an important alternative to the multiple demands of the construction, including housing public policies.
Green technology can introduce important social aspects that must be considered when regarding the sustainability issues. In this field, bamboo can represent an unconventional technology with a large contribution initiative from the social development perspective.
6. How is bamboo grown in the world?
Bamboo is the fastest growing plant in the world! It can grow more than three feet in a single day. This plant releases 35% more oxygen than similar plants, is very easy to grow, and thrives without pesticides. Basically, impossible to kill, bamboo regenerates itself at a rapid pace.
Bamboo cultivation in South, South East Asia and East Asia stretches back thousands of years. Today, bamboos grow in the tropical and subtropical regions of Asia, Africa and Latin America, extending as far north as the southern United States or central China, and as far south as Patagonia. They also grow in northern Australia.
In the recent decades, bamboo industry has significantly grown in part because of the high sustainability of bamboo as compared to other biomass cultivation strategies, such as traditional timber forestry. This is because, while crop, the bamboo culture has significant advantages. It is a perennial and highly renewable and well adapted to most developing countries.
Moreover, because bamboo can grow on otherwise marginal land, bamboo can be profitably cultivated in many degraded lands.
Because of the rapid growth bamboo is an effective climate change mitigation and carbon sequestration crop, absorbing between 100 and 400 tonnes of carbon per hectare. Therefore, its production has had an important role as environmental protector, alleviating timber exploitation, recovering forests, containing soils and preventing erosion.
Different types of Bamboo
The bamboo professionals say that there are approximately 1000 species of bamboo, while others say there are more than 1600 species on the planet growing naturally. However, generally, Bamboos can be categorised into two general types: clumping and running.
- Clumping bamboo is the “well-behaved” type of bamboo. Like how it is called clumping, the bamboo grows clumped together and stays in one place. This type does not need that much maintenance compared to the other type.
- Running bamboo is the “wild” type of bamboo. Again, just like how it is called, it disperses when not maintained properly because of rhizomes. Rhizomes are underground runners that sends new shoots to different places that is why running bamboos tend to spread out if not contained.
7. Find inspiration with bamboo products
At Forest Homes, we gather a range of socially and environmental responsible products with innovative and beautiful design. Find here our different products built with bamboo.