Buller and Rice salon and shop is a showcase of plant-based materials

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East London hair salon Buller and Rice has opened a new venue with an interior design palette that includes seaweed, algae, cork and mushroom leather.

Buller and Rice Wanstead is a salon that doubles as a lifestyle store, selling products ranging from homeware to wine.

Company founders Anita Rice and Stephen Buller designed the interior themselves, filling it with bespoke creations from designers and makers including Natural Material Studio‘s Bonnie Hvillum and Copenhagen-based Jonas Edvard.

Buller and Rice Wanstead is a hair salon and lifestyle store

Rice told Dezeen their ambition was to use as many plant-based materials as possible.

“We wanted to deep dive into what could happen with plant matter,” she explained.

The collaboration with Hvillum – who won the inaugural Bentley Lighthouse Award at Dezeen Awards 2023 – resulted in latex-like curtains made from a yellow algae-based material.

The yellow-toned interior includes paper and seaweed lamps by Jonas Edvard

Edvard’s contribution is a series of yellow pendant lamps made from recycled paper and seaweed, similar to those he previously made for Copenhagen burger joint, POPL.

Rice said she spotted them by chance while enjoying a burger there. “When it turned out they were made from seaweed, I knew they were perfect,” she explained.

Latex-like curtains by Natural Material Studio are made from algae

Other plant-based details include a cork wall and seat pads made from algae-based foam, while cushions made from mushroom leather will be added in early 2024.

The space is also filled with plants, with many installed behind the front windows.

Seat pads in the waiting area are made from algae foam

Buller and Rice Wanstead is the third venue that the company has opened in east London, following salons in Hackney and Walthamstow.

Rice said the project represents the latest step in a journey of exploration into eco-friendly materials.


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Initially, they focused on simple natural materials like wood and cork. They then started experimenting with materials made from recycled waste products, including a sheet plastic made from yoghurt pots.

“Our primary interest is in finding innovative and sustainable building materials that we can work into an aesthetically pleasing approach,” Rice said.

Yellow tiles feature throughout the interior

The renovation involved a complete refit of a former Chinese restaurant that had been shut down for years.

A yellow colour scheme features throughout, marking a departure from the pink hues of the two other Buller and Rice salons.

This shade can be found on bespoke concrete pieces created by London-based maker Smith & Goat, including an orthogonal reception desk, a wall-hung washbasin and the column-like legs of two styling stations.

Plants can also be found throughout the space

Stainless steel features on both walls and surfaces, offering a utilitarian feel that contrasts the warmth of the yellow. “Practicality had a hand in that decision,” Rice admitted.

The space is completed by custom-made barber chairs, frameless arch mirrors, yellow tiles surfaces and speckled vinyl flooring from manufacturer Tarkett.

The photography is by Megan Taylor.

The post Buller and Rice salon and shop is a showcase of plant-based materials appeared first on Dezeen.

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