People come up with all kinds of ways to decorate their homes in order to add their personal sense of style and beauty to a space and make it their own. They may choose to hang art and add architectural pieces that speak to their penchant for world travel. Or they might feature the many art and craft projects their children create. Some will design their rooms to emulate the sleek photos seen in interior decorating magazines. And others will surround themselves with an eclectic array of antiques handed down through generations of their family. In short, we all have our own idea of the type of décor that turns a house into a home. And one woman has apparently decided that recycled bottle caps provide the best bet for home beautification.
Olga Kostina may not be well known outside her hometown of Kamarchaga, a remote Russian village nestled in the taiga forests near the Siberian border, but her artistic and eco-friendly endeavors are putting her in the international spotlight. The retired Kostina has decided to spend her twilight years not tending her grandchildren, sitting by the fire and reading, or traveling the globe as other senior citizens do. Rather, she has opted to turn her home into a massive art project by using recycled plastic bottle caps to create colorful mosaics and nature scenes on the exterior of her wooden home.
From the ground all the way up to the eaves, passersby can get a gander at entire outdoor walls covered with plastic bottle caps painstakingly nailed, one by one, into complex macramé patterns consisting of an entire palette worth of colors. And if that weren’t enough, she has also created wall-sized murals depicting wildlife, like one scene that shows a ram pausing to stare out at visitors under a starry night sky, as well as domesticated animals, such as a wide-eyed kitten looking thoughtful beneath a smiling sun. Each wall features thousands of bottle caps that she has collected over the years and according to the amateur artist, she plans to keep going until she has covered every building on her property. In the meantime, her home has become rather popular with the locals, and even some tourists have journeyed to the area to get an eyeful.
Kostina’s unique home is certainly an interesting example of the potential to use recycled goods around the house, but hers isn’t the only story of success to hit the headlines of late. Olga Queen, a fellow Russian woman from Novoshakhtinsk, collected 5,000 glass bottles to place between the walls of her home for insulating purposes while residents of Yelwa, a village in northern Nigeria, built an entire living structure from nearly 8,000 plastic bottles held together by mud. Bizarrely, the home is not only stable, but it is also earthquake safe and apparently even bulletproof. And there are many more stories like these of people using innovation and ingenuity to create an eco-friendly building site by utilizing recycled products in strange and interesting ways. It just goes to show that the possibilities for reusing products that might otherwise go to the landfill are only limited by our imagination.