Posts Tagged ‘eco friendly home’

11 Ways to Go Green in your Kitchen and Bathroom

Thursday, May 31st, 2012

Follow these simple steps to an environmentally-conscious home:

BATHS


1. Fix a drip.
Drip, drop, drip, drop. That leak in the bathroom sink is not just annoying. It’s costing you loads of cash in water and energy bills and wasted gallons. Get it fixed ASAP, and if you can’t get the plumber scheduled right away, use this old trick: Tie a string on the faucet and allow the drops to dribble silently down into a cup or small bowl. Use the collected H2O to water your houseplants.

2. Get clean.
Avoid using harsh chemical cleaners in favor of natural cleansers (soap, water, vinegar, baking soda). You’ll do a favor for the environment and yourself.

3. Be water wise.
Low-flow toilets have come a long way. New models max out at 1.6 gallons of water per flush, but the very latest models can use even less.

4. Be water wise some more.
Tankless water heaters are a great energy saver. There’s no reason to keep a giant tank of heated water at your beck and call all day and night. Bonus tip: Go the extra mile when you turn on the shower by placing a bucket or other container under the showerhead. In the few moments it takes for the water to heat up, you can gather enough for the dog’s bowl and the houseplants. Don’t waste a drop!

5. Smell Sweet.
Cut down on harmful chemicals and gasses released into your home by using low- or no-VOC paints when giving the bath, or any other room, a fresh color.

KITCHENS


6. Be water smart.
A simple hardware store doo-dad called an aerator on your kitchen (or bath) faucet cuts down on water consumption, sacrificing very little if any water pressure. For less than $15, you can install one of these yourself and save up to 500 gallons per year.

7. Vent a little.
Proper ventilation in the cooktop hood of your kitchen keeps bills down and air quality up.

8. Think small.
The kitchen is the energy gobbler of the home. If you’re planning a remodel, building new, or just replacing an old appliance, remember that bigger isn’t always better. In addition to looking for energy-efficiency ratings on your new purchase, consider going for a smaller model that uses less energy to begin with. Bonus tip: New drawer-style dishwashers help cut back on water use for smaller loads.

9. Lighten Up.
Opening up a kitchen with skylights and windows that allow natural sunlight to stream in not only helps your mood stay perky, it is a natural, free way to light your space. No budget to add windows? At least let the light in by removing heavy, lightblocking window treatments.

10. Divide and Conquer.
Dedicate a little space for recycling bins or bags to make living green convenient for the whole family. You can purchase color-coded units with separate compartments and lids, or create your own recycling center with inexpensive bins from the home center or discount store.

11. Go, greens!

Try your hand at going green by growing herbs or salad greens in the kitchen. Bringing in a natural element adds some coziness to your home’s busiest room, and naturally cleans the air you breathe. (And of course, nothing beats adding your own fresh basil to that pasta at the dinner table.

Source: www.hgtv.com http://www.diynetwork.com/remodeling/11-ways-to-go-green-in-your-kitchen-and-bathroom/index.html

Written by: Suzanne Morrissey

By PointClickHome.com

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Coconut Tile

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2012

Coconut tile is modern interiors gone tropical, made from reclaimed coconut shells, low-VOC resins and sustainably harvested wood backer, coconut shell is a naturally anti- decomposition material containing natural resin. Coconut mosaic tile are handmade to high standard by skillful craftsmanship. It has excellent performance, durability and versatility. our newest family of eco-friendly design materials can be used as decorative tiles or panels both horizontally and vertically. Featuring multiple patterns and color combinations and available in light, dark and mixed textures.

Coco mosaic tiles are hand made using coconut shell which is an unutilized industry by product and requires no trees to be cut down, ensuring you are not contributing to the destruction of forests around the world.

This is a new generation of Architectural surface material. The innovation of this beautiful material combines the best of modern technology and nature, giving an opportunity to make a quality sustainable choice that has an E ZERO formaldehyde emissions rating.

Coco mosaic panels are beautiful, extremely durable and strong. So the applications are numerous, even in the most demanding of environments.

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Dark Grout in the bathroom….Pros & Cons!

Wednesday, May 16th, 2012

When choosing tiles for the bathroom, shape, color and texture decisions factor in immediately, but one aspect that can strongly impact the final look is often a mere afterthought. Choosing the right grout color can make all the difference, so it’s worth thinking about when planning the overall look of your bathroom.

Using a light colored grout, particularly in conjunction with white tiles, can produce a bright, clean look, but it is a very high maintenance choice. Even with consistent cleaning it is nearly impossible to protect it from staining and discoloration over time. Because of this, dark grout has gained in popularity.

Choosing a grout that is darker in color helps conceal dirt and is less likely to change in color as quickly as a light colored grout. It can also enhance the look of the bathroom, helping light tiles to look even lighter. Dark grout against a light tile can help the look from being too washed out and can help anchor the white and provide some substance to the look.

Dark grout is not without its own set of issues though. While it is not necessary to clean it with the same attention to detail as you would with white grout, it is necessary to wipe it off very regularly. Dark grout can lose its color when cleaned with products that are too harsh or with tools that are too abrasive. Once the color is impacted, it is difficult to bring it back to its original luster.

Using gentle cleaning products and adding a color seal to dark grout can help maintain the color longer.

Source: Apartment Therapyhttp://www.apartmenttherapy.com/in-the-bathroom-light-vs-dark-grout-171147

(Images: 1. Kim & George’s Brooklyn Heights Home Apartment Therapy House Tour 2. Carly & Chip’s Resourceful & Refined Home Apartment Therapy House Tour)

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diy project: sculptural paper orb lights

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I found this great diy project via Design Sponge. It is inexpensive, creative and the results are simply fabulous! I will be making my own this weekend, so excited! =)

Materials

  • 100–125  white standard-sized paper cupcake liners
  • 100–125  vertically striped petit fours papers
  • (1) 18–20″ white paper lantern
  • hot glue gun
  • 1 Hemma Cord from IKEA (for lighting) ($3.99)

Instructions

1. Assemble the lantern and place it top up in a wide, shallow bowl to act as a base.

2. Put a small dot of hot glue on the backside of a white cupcake liner. Starting about 1/2″ in from the wire ring at the top of the lantern, place the cupcake liner on the lantern and press until it is attached.

3. Continue around the ring, spacing the papers so that the circular bases are approximately 1″ apart, allowing the outer edges to merge and shape.

4. Apply the cupcake papers around the lantern in rings until you are 3/4 of the way down, and then flip the lantern over and gently place it back in the bowl, top side down.

5. Complete the underside, and fill in the bottom so that the papers cover the base opening.

6. Begin applying the petite fours papers, centering them inside each white paper. Three-quarters of the way up the lantern, flip it top side up. Complete the top side.

7. Go back through, gently manipulating the outer papers to the desired shape. I kept mine fairly organic.

8. Drop a light in, and voila!

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So are you dying to try a stencil?!

Thursday, April 26th, 2012

I came across this great post from our friends at I heart Nap Time about stenciling. If you haven’t heard of Royal Design Studio you have been missing out! They have fabulous stencils in an array of shapes and sizes that are so easy to use! I have been dying to try this at my own home! I heart Nap Time put the stencils to the test and the results are fabulous! Below you will find the process they followed to achieve this look:

Tools

I started out with the fabric damask stencil, roller foam brushes, painters tape (which I later replaced with duck tape), stencil adhesive and lots of paper towels.

Basically what you will do is spray your stencil with spray adhesive and then tape it to the wall (lining it up correctly). Then you’ll roll the brush in the paint. Make sure to roll some of the excess paint off onto the paper towels before rolling the brush onto the stencil to avoid bleeding.

I SO wish I had a picture of me and my husband trying to tape up the stencil the first time around. It was pretty hilarious. I was trying to hold the stencil standing on a little stool, as my husband tried to tape it up. We could not get that stencil to hold for the life of us. Our textured ceilings were making it very difficult. My neck and arms hurt so bad…. we gave up! The next night I gave it another try and decided to use duck tape. Our ceilings are so textured, that the painters tape just wasn’t cutting it. Once I got the stencil up with duck tape it really wasn’t too bad. So if you have textured wall use DUCK TAPE! ;)

Process

The hard part was trying to piece the patterns together.  I love this stencil because it gives you so many different marks to line up. It was a little difficult looking straight up trying to find the little marks…however, I’m sure it would have been A LOT easier if I was looking straight at it. Once I did a few stencils and got the hang of it, it really wasn’t that bad. I would paint one stencil, take a break for ten minutes while the paint dried and then move onto the next. I did this over two nights. I’m not going to lie… my arms and neck were hurting by the end of the night! LOL!

Final Result

However now that is is done I am in LOVE! It has already opened up that tiny space and added so much personality. Doesn’t it look so awesome?! I love how it turned out! I’m already dreaming up what to stencil next.

Final Result

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Lightweight Concrete Furniture!

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

Zachary A. Design‘s outdoor furniture looks like it was formed from solid concrete, but is light enough for anyone to carry! The furniture is actually made from a combo of fiberglass and coarse sand, so it’s light enough to move around your yard, but sturdy enough that it won’t blow away in a breeze. It is designed to withstand any weather, and it really does feel like concrete to the touch!

Faux Cement Furniture

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Eco Design Find!

Tuesday, March 27th, 2012

Im loving the new Stria Storage Collection from West Elm. It is made from reclaimed hardwood. With facades crafted from reclaimed saal wood, the Stria Storage Collection brings rustic charm to the bedroom. In a former life, the wood was used in Indian railway trestles. Today, it’s prized for its natural imperfections and character; no two pieces are exactly alike.

• Reclaimed solid saal wood drawer fronts.

• Frame made of mango wood, acacia and engineered wood.

• Drawers open on smooth metal glides.

• Wipe clean.

The best part? The price! West Elm is running a special $254.00 – $849.00

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Amazing Glass Homes!

Tuesday, March 20th, 2012

I found this interesting article by John Giuffo of FORBES about amazing glass homes throughout the world. Can you imagine living in one of these unique spaces? So cool!

Almost everything inside this Milan, Italy home is made of glass.
Photo: SantambrogioMilano

There are a few good rules of thumb to follow when owning and living in a house made of glass, and they don’t just involve throwing stones. Don’t play baseball in the front or backyard, don’t build a glass home near a golf course, and, most importantly, don’t forget to stock up on a supply of industrial-sized Windex—you’re going to need it.

Skyscraper architect Philip Johnson left a legacy of impressive buildings and skyscrapers, such as the Sony Building in Manhattan and Madrid’s improbably angled Puerta de Europa. But it’s his Glass House, in New Canaan, Connecticut, that is his most famous.

“Sure, it’s just a box of clear glass in the woods, but that simplicity makes this 1949-era house stand out as particularly beautiful,” says Rich Beattie, executive online editor at Travel + Leisure.

Some glass abodes enjoy their wooded nooks, as the surrounding foliage allows for privacy, a notion with which all glass houses play. Case Study House #22 (also known as The Stahl House) takes a different approach, and, due to its location atop the mountains surrounding Los Angeles, opens itself up to the city skyline below. The home, designed by Pierre Koenig, was a product of Arts and Architecture magazine’s 1945 project to inspire famous building designers to create modern and affordable homes for G.I.s returning from the war.

Ultimately, the project was abandoned, deemed a utopian idea that ultimately proved impractical. It did, however, leave behind some beautiful “experiments.” Visitors are allowed to view the privately owned home on weekends.

As Philip Johnson designed his glass home, Mies van der Rohe was contemporaneously at work on his glass-walled Farnsworth House, situated outside Chicago. His work reportedly greatly influenced Johnson’s final vision. The resulting home, the Farnsworth House, located in Plano, Illinois, is located nearly 55 miles outside of the Windy City.

The single-room window retreat, reminiscent of Johnson’s style, and has become so famous and influential that it was named a National Historic Landmark. Originally commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth, who worked with van der Rohe on the designed and approved the final plans, the home was eventually the subject of a lawsuit first brought by van der Rohe and later countered by Farnsworth. Rumor has it that it wasn’t the home that drew her litigious ire upon completion, but rather the souring of a relationship with van der Rohe.

Read on for more about the Farnsworth House and four other amazing glass homes:

Church Point Home
Location:
Pittwater, Australia

The Church Point Home, outside Sydney, resembles a tree house.
Photos: Utz Sanby

This hill-perched transparent home plays peek-a-boo through the trees, but for the most part, rocks and foliage nestle it in complete privacy. Located near the ocean in Pittwater, about 30 miles north of Sydney, the Church Point Home was designed by Sydney architectural firm Utz Sanby. The firm describes the home on its website as a tree house that offers “seclusion and sanctuary” to its residents.

Concrete pillars made to look like trees support the house on its hillside seat, much like limbs act as a tree house’s supports, and though the home can seem muted with a majority grey-and-white color schemes small bursts of red strategically assert themselves inside and out. Hardwood floors and a wooden kitchen table set help harmonize the home with its forest location.

Philip Johnson’s Glass House
Location:
New Canaan, Connecticut

Johnson’s home is surrounded by art that he and his partner collected.
Photos: Philip Johnson’s Glass House

Used as the famous architect’s “Glass House Retreat” (he died there in 2005), the building was originally designed as a home. Johnson preferred to use it for the 58 years he lived after building it. Johnson’s lifelong partner, David Whitney, helped design the surrounding landscape and was responsible for collecting the art that the couple amassed. Thirteen other modernist buildings occupy the land, adding to the famous couple’s art collection.

Glass Home By Santambrogio
Location:
Milano, Italy

The Milan glass home is being replicated in Paris.
Photos: SantambrogioMilano

If you have the funds, architect and glass designer Carlo Santambrogio will design for you almost any glass structure you can think of. But it is his Glass Concept Home, located in Milan, which is perhaps his most impressive architectural feat – one which is currently being replicated in Paris. A blue-tinged glass cube sits in the middle of a wooded clearing – a location private enough to reasonably place a home that is made almost entirely of 6 to 7 millimeter glass (the material can be specially heated during the winter).

“After the client requested it,” says Santambrogio, “I came up with the project idea.” Almost every feature or piece of furniture is made from glass as well, from the dining room table, to the stairs, to the bookcase. In fact, one of the few items not made of glass is the bed. Seems glass is just not comfortable to sleep on, even with a great comforter.

Case Study House #22 (The Stahl House)
Location:
Los Angeles, California

The Stahl home is the result of a post-World War II project.
Photo: 2012 Stahl House

Arts and Architecture magazine had an inspired idea in 1945: to commission a variety of homes from some of the best architects of the day as a way of designing efficient and modern homes for troops returning from WWII. From 1945 – 1966 (with some gaps in between) a total of 25 homes were built (11 projects were never completed) and Case Study House #22 remains one of the most impressive.

Built on a cliffside overlooking the city, the home designed by Pierre Koenig, was completed in 1959, and the Stahl family, which still owns the home, moved in. Views from any area of the house (except for one wall facing the road, which provides privacy) take in the expanse of the whole valley, and guided tours of the home, while possible during the day, are most stunning at night. Tours are available and admission varies.

Farnsworth House
Location:
Plano, Illinois

The Farnsworth House is a straight line of glass.
Photos: Farnsworth House

Modernist German architect Ludwig Mies van der Rohe has had more influence on the architectural identity of Chicago than any other architect. The Farnsworth House, located 55 miles southwest of Chicago, is a fine example of his penchant for straight lines, steel and glass materials.

It was commissioned by Dr. Edith Farnsworth in 1945, who wanted to use the one-room glass shelter as a weekend retreat. Designated a National Historical Landmark in 2006, the Farnsworth house is essentially one large series of floor-to-ceiling mirrors, with a steel roof and support beams holding it in place. Today, the house and its grounds are now a popular backdrop for wedding ceremonies.

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How to fix dents in wood floors & furniture!

Tuesday, February 28th, 2012

I was on Apartment Therapy’s Blog and ran into this useful article about fixing dents in wood, with an iron! So helpful, I would have never thought about this easy solution. Thank you for this great DIY fix Apartment Therapy!

Oak 1.jpg

Many years ago a teacher told me that you could steam out a dent in a piece of wood (one where the wood fibers had been compressed, not a where they had been removed) using a wet rag and an iron.

This technique was meant for unfinished wood, but unfortunately, most of the wood we deal with in our homes has some sort of finish on it. With some research I learned that this technique can work with finished wood but it depends greatly on the type of finish you are dealing with. So I decided to do a couple of tests to see the results for myself.

NOTE: BE CAREFUL! SOME FINISHES MIGHT TURN WHITE WHEN EXPOSED TO STEAM. PLEASE TRY THIS IN A HIDDEN AREA BEFORE DOING IT IN A VISIBLE PLACE.

The first test was a on a birch table from IKEA. Although this technique works better on new dents I decided to try to steam out a dent that had been there for quite a long time.

Here is what I did:

1. Wet the dent
2. Apply a wet cloth or paper towel
3. With the iron on High apply the iron to the wet paper towel or cloth and make a circular motion, don’t keep it in just one position as this might burn the surface of the towel. Make sure there is a lot of steam being generated. Do this for a few minutes and check your results. In my case I did this for about 3-5 minutes.

Birch 1.jpg

Birch 2.jpg

Birch 3.jpg

The dent came up almost completely and there was no damage to the finish!

My second test was on our hardwood floors. I found a dent that was pretty deep. I followed the same steps as above.

Oak 1.jpg

Oak 2.jpg

Oak 3.jpg

Although the dent came up, the surface of the finish had been broken and some dirt had gotten in side the cracks. If you know what type of finish you are dealing with you might want carefully sand the area and reapply the finish.

Oak 4.jpg

In the spirit of this experiment I tried sanding and got most of it out. Then I applied some Tung Oil that I had at home. It’s probably not the same as the original finish but the area certainly looks better than before. Here is my result:

Oak 5.jpg

Has anyone else given this method a try? Have any other fixes to recommend? Please share your smarts in the comments…

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7th Street Residence

Wednesday, February 15th, 2012

Located in the East Village, this contemporary duplex apartment was designed by Pulltab Design. The clients requested that the 2, 400 sq ft space be renovated with unique architectural additions. What the clients wanted to achieve was a warm, open environment with unique detailing throughout. Some of the finishes selected in the space include Steel, Bronze, Stained Concrete, American Black Walnut and high gloss lacquer surfaces. The Living Room / Dining Room area are the heart of the apartment, a stunning planted garden wall was designed to create a focal point between both spaces. This garden wall is accented by a shallow reflecting pool below, which is designed to serve as an irrigation system. Simply Stunning!

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

7th Street Residence

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