We chat to the husband and wife team behind the “future friendly” Hey Bulldog! Design…
Upcycling enthusiasts will likely have heard of Mismatched Design, the Maynooth-based duo with a penchant for transforming unloved furniture into surprising new shapes. Old bedsprings or cutlery become a lampstand; scrap wood and metal is lovingly re-crafted into a coffee table, embellished with reclaimed bolts. Now the brand itself has morphed into Hey Bulldog! – a bolder design identity devised to make you sit up and take notice. As husband and wife team Amanda Vencatasamy and Joe Hayden prepare to launch their “future friendly” new website, we catch up with Amanda to get the inside scoop on their latest venture.
How did you get started with upcycling?
I did a degree in fine art at NCAD. Joe has an engineering degree and later did an MA in sustainable development. We both always had an interest in transforming things – but I suppose it really started when we made a bath chair and standing lamp as wedding presents for friends. They had embarked on an amazing adventure around the world and, as one of them is a plumber, we used materials that he would be familiar with like a bath and copper piping, with a world map to reflect places they had been.
We set up Mismatched Design in 2010 off the back of our wedding as we had collected a huge range of vintage china to use for our reception. Back then there wasn’t a vintage china rental company in Ireland… so Mismatched Design was born.
From the vintage china, Mismatched Design moved on to painting unloved furniture and using retro prints to change the styling of existing furniture. As we grew more confident, we started to create our own designs made from reclaimed materials. We felt it was time for a fresh start and evolved into Hey Bulldog! Design.
What is your ethos?
Future friendly, playful, unique, sustainable. We like to transform things. We’re constantly sourcing different materials for our different designs, so it’s exciting to find out what we can do with stripped-down materials… we’re still discovering! Our new site offers a look into what we’re about and is an easy way to view all our current designs, as well as some oldies.
What’s next for Hey Bulldog! Design?
We’re far from experts, but we feel that we all need to be more aware of how things are made, the materials we use, and the knock-on effect towards the environment. We’re still learning. Some exciting projects we have coming up are: a commissioned bolt and hairpin dining-room table, a bench made with radiator legs, a “cloud” lightshade from bedsprings, Moroccan-style fire extinguisher lamp… and much more!
Inspired by all this upcycling? Browse our pick of ten of the best ways to customise your Ikea furniture.
Sharon Miney for @image_interiors