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Ruminating on remnants: discards as design

Sustainability has become all the rage in design. However, rather than trying to incorporate or repurpose discarded materials in new projects, we want to share with you objects that are beautiful in and of themselves. Add color and texture to your home with granite fragments and geometric hunks of glass. Inexpensive and unusual, these pieces can easy be added to your life as functional or decorative home goods because they are so inherently exquisite.

First, let's look at granite and marble scraps. More often than not, these pieces are free; simply contact your local stone fabricator and ask to dig through their discard pile. We warn you, these bins of treasures are addictive! When cutting countertops and backsplashes, large in-tact pieces are resold as remnants but smaller broken bits are thrown away, and it's these angular shards that we want.

Find pieces with raw, uncut edges and glue felt pads or wooden feet on the bottom to create stunning trivets or cheese boards. Appearing in every color and texture, you'll be able to make one of a kind platters for only the cost of glue and padding and a little "dumpster" diving.

While they don't add utilitarian function, glass slags, cullets, and billets add unrivaled color and dramatic visual interest to windows and counters. Glass slags/cullets are angular chunks of glass discarded from industrial furnaces. Coming in a variety of hues, the irregularities on the surface of and within the glass rocks reflect light in stunningly prismatic ways.

We set them on coffee tables and bookshelves as oversized paperweights and outside on our porches and stone walls as luminous garden decorations.

Billets, on the other hand, are smooth rectangles of poured glass that are typically melted down by artists when creating cast glass pieces. We love their bold colors, slight ripples, and occasional bubbles and we lay these panes against windows for a chic alternative to stained glass and on glass coffee tables for unexpected pops color.

However you choose to utilize these pieces, be soulfully inspired by their beauty and take joy and pride in knowing you breathe new life and purpose into something that would have otherwise been forgotten.


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