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Furniture maker places reclaimed materials centre stage  

One of the recycled desks made using old gym parquet flooring. Image: Halo

Craft furniture maker Halo uses strips of maple wood, collected from old British school gym halls, in its Old School Gym collection. Years of use lend the wood a unique, aged finish. 

Halo, which sells to 66 countries worldwide, was founded as an antique shop in 1976 in Hale, Cheshire by Major Philip Oulton. By 1989, his sons Tim and Charlie had brought their design and business expertise to the company. They developed the business, using their antiques trade connections to start making their own replica cabinetry and leather upholstery. 

Now Halo focuses on “classic, in-house designs”, furniture all made by hand, using traditional construction and materials. With their roots in the antiques business, Halo have a tradition of sourcing and re-crafting unique reclaimed materials. In 2013 they a collection which featured tables and room dividers made using Sassafras wood reclaimed from Chinese junk ships – and say their new Dancefloor and Old School Gym collections is a natural next step.

As well as repurposed gym floors, Halo has sourced parquet blocks of oak and mahogany from old British dance floors and country estates. Over the years, leather soled dance shoes have worn the hardwood down for a smooth, polished finish. 

The blocks are carefully prized from the old floors to avoid damaging the surface before being sorted, fixed on to frames and mitered and chamfered to “preserve the strong architectural lines”. The collection features dining and coffee tables, consoles and a desk.

Ryan McNeish, head of design at Halo, explained why the company has turned to reclaimed wood. He said: “Robust, classic and warm, wood has beautiful natural characteristics that no other material can match. Each solid piece of wood has its own distinctive natural qualities meaning that every single piece of wooden furniture is a one-off.”


By Lucy Purdylucy.purdy@recycleopedia.com


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