It was time for another visit to my favorite local interior design gallery, The Academy of Interior Design. I heard there was an inspiring new exhibit, curated by a burgeoning interior designer with no formal experience. She goes by the name of Chloe Pivil and her story is quite sad. Her husband was an athlete, a cyclist to be exact, who got diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009. It was quite a shock to the family, as he was extremely active and healthy. A mere six months after his diagnosis, he passed away. Before he passed, he raised hundreds of dollars cycling for various causes, because he loved to race. After his death, Chloe wanted to find an outlet that would help raise money for prostate cancer research, so she decided to channel her grief into a hobby she had always wanted to get into, but never thought she had the talent for; interior design.
Turns out, Chloe was actually extremely talented and had a wonderful eye for surreal design. Her husband owned 6 different bikes, ranging from spin bikes, to mountain bikes, to BMX bikes, to road bikes. She began to repurpose these bikes into everyday decorative house hold items, such as using bike lights in light fixtures, tables, photo frames and coat racks. She stated that the projects were cathartic and she has memories of him all over her house instead of his bikes cooped up in storage.
Eventually, Chloe began to reach out online to see if anyone would donate spin bikes to her so she could continue to make her art. She found that out of all the bikes, spin bikes were the most fun to work with because they had the most parts. Interestingly enough, she found through bikecompanion.com that there were a bunch of people who were ready and willing to get rid of their spin bikes and all Chloe had to do was pay to have them shipped to her. Eventually, that wound up paying off because her masterpieces were selling at a much higher price point than the shipping and handling of the spin bikes. Chloe has in the past and still continues to donate 50% of her profit to prostate cancer research.
The Academy of Interior Design is celebrating Chloe and her story, by showcasing 8 unique pieces that Chloe has never sold. Each piece is completely original from anything else she has ever made, making all the pieces showcased extremely valuable. Chloe herself will even be stopping by at the exhibit’s completion to do an autobiographical talk about her craftsmanship and work process.
When I went to see the exhibit myself, I was blown away by the creativity of each piece. Who would have thought that recycled spin bikes could make for such amazing interior design? However, I was not a fan of the size of the pieces and couldn’t really see them inside of my own house. Different strokes for different folks, I suppose. My favorite piece was probably the alcohol cart. It was very chic and tasteful, and I guarantee it will sell for upwards of a thousand dollars. Not bad for recycled material and for charitable donations.