Need some cottage furniture that really reflects your love of nature? How about a chair that literally grew on a tree? Full Grown is a furniture company in the UK that specializes not in building furniture, but in farming it.
How does one farm a chair or a table? It’s actually a pretty simple concept. First, you plant a tree. Then you graft the young plant into shape around a frame and wait for the wood to thicken. Once it’s the appropriate size and strength, you can “harvest” the fully grown piece of furniture. After that, all that’s left to do is planing and finishing the wood.
The idea comes from furniture designer Gavin Munro, who, as a child, saw a bonsai tree that looked like a chair—an image that stuck with him. The idea further took shape when Munro had to undergo a series of operations to straighten his spine. After the operations, he had to wear a frame that held his bones in place as they grafted back together. Having experienced firsthand what it’s like to be shaped, Munro later thought the idea could be applied to furniture.
Growing a complete chair takes four to eight years, so these pieces of furniture will never proliferate IKEA-style. Instead, they are intended for collectors who want their furniture to also be a unique piece of art. As well as chairs, Munro also grows lampshades, mirror frames, and tables. He’s currently growing a crop of approximately 400 pieces, which should be harvested at the end of 2016, though he plans to scale up the operation in years to come, making more furniture available at lower prices.