Short-Circuit

Sometimes life is all about a fresh start.  Sometimes all one needs for a new perspective is the inspiration of another person’s actions.

One glance at Gaspard Tiné-Berès’ design work caught my attention, but it was as I learned more about his Short-Circuit trio of appliances and the affirmative business plan behind them that inspiration came.

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California Redwood Company

California Redwood Planters

The oldest known redwood, found in Humboldt Redwoods State Park in California, is believed to be 2,700 years old. Redwoods are known for their longevity, so perhaps it’s no coincidence that the logo for the California Redwood Company features a stylized infinity loop supporting a seedling redwood.  It’s a fitting symbol, for, where many companies committed to a sustainable ethic may have been in operation for only a few years or a few decades, TCRC can boast a continuous history stretching back to 1890. Read the rest of this entry »

Amity Home

It’s been a while since we featured nursery items here, and one look at these gentle charmers from Amenity Home was proof enough that the time had come to do so again.

 

California mothers Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo started Amenity back in 2004.  Their simple, nature-inspired designs were from the first part of an effort to bring the peaceful tranquility of their youth into the urban, adult homes.  Two years later the pair realized their goal of offering their designs exclusively on organic or sustainable materials, and from there the business has only grown.  Nursery items are only part of a wide-ranging selection from Amenity. Read the rest of this entry »

Shipwreck Furniture

We lived near the ocean back in the day.  My family went to the beach often and I remember exploring the shoreline as a child, enjoying the crash of the waves, the briny smell of the water, the little joy of discovering shells.

I remember being fascinated by the wet, weathered textures and mysterious origins of the driftwood washed up on shore.  Where did it come from?  It was easy to imagine all sorts of stories: a wharf damaged by storms, or a pirate ship sunk with its treasure at the bottom of the sea…

Of course, there were never pirates off the coast of Los Angeles, were there?  But one can dream.

And one can have the romance of that dream in one’s living room, kitchen, bedroom… anywhere in the residence, really, with these cool creations by Shipwreck Furniture. Read the rest of this entry »

Company Profile – Viola Park

Seattle, WA may be a Mecca for coffee lovers, but there’s so much more to the city than that.  It’s also a hotbed for sustainable business ethics and the development of a low-impact lifestyle, both of which mesh nicely with this week’s featured company, Viola Park.

But to tell their story it’s necessary to back up a bit. Read the rest of this entry »

ABYU Lighting

Meet Jerry the pig.

Jerry used to be a detergent bottle but now he’s gained new life as a kid’s nightlight… or, perhaps, as a whimsical conversation piece owned by an adult who hasn’t forgotten how to be a kid.  Isn’t he great?

Steven Wine created Jerry and his menagerie of companions as a diversion from his regular work as lighting designer for ABYU (And Bob’s Your Uncle) and its partner company, BNO Design.

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Stella Bleu Designs

William Morris once said, “Have nothing in your house that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”

 And 19th-century architect Louis Sullivan proclaimed that “form ever follows function,” an idea that vastly influenced the modernist movement in design.

One can find much to uphold both maxims in the work of Stella Bleu Designs, where the creations of Mississippi-born designer Katie Katzenmeyer are both functional and aesthetically pleasing, elegant and sturdy.  In a word, useful.

On view at her website (along with her Etsy shop, here) are shelves and garment racks made from industrial steel pipe, reclaimed wood, and other salvage materials gleaned from local, family-owned salvage yards and demolition sites.  Everything is made from scratch in house. Read the rest of this entry »

Merida Meridian

In interior design furniture, textiles, and light fixtures tend to steal the show but flooring – alas, often of less glamour – is equally essential. When one gets up in the morning and paddles through the house, it’s good to know that the comfortable carpet underfoot matches one’s ethics as well as it matches one’s furniture.

The idea of low- or no-VOC paint or finishes seem to have seeped into the public consciousness enough that the former are commonly found at big box home improvement stores.

Low-VOC carpet? Not so much.

So it was pleasant to discover these flooring options by Merida Meridian: carpet patterns which can not only contribute to LEED points but which are, according to the company, “Green-Label Plus certified”.

So what does that mean? Read the rest of this entry »

Ariele Alasko of Brooklyn to West

The ear-jarring purr of a chop saw… the unmistakable scent of freshly cut wood and sawdust…  Oh, yeah.  Bring it on.


There are special properties to wood that remain hidden unless one physically works with it, gets one’s hands dirty, breathes that dust, learns that grain, that temperament, that joy…

Ariele Alasko, of Brooklyn to West, understands.  This New York City-based artist – furniture maker, photographer, sculptress, blogger, cook – takes salvaged wood & reclaimed “junk” into her Brooklyn home and out of those castaways makes this delightful stuff.  Her work is a living example of why home furnishings should be hand made. Read the rest of this entry »

Arts and Crafts with OTRA

Teacher: “Alright children, it’s time for arts and crafts.”

Kids: “Yay!”

Remember that moment?  The anticipation of color, creativity, and mess in quest of art?

That feeling came alive the moment I spotted these snazzy puzzle lampshades from fledgling company OTRA.  As part of a burgeoning upcycling movement in Montreal, designers Julie Ferrero and Guillaume Darnajou put their creativity to work and founded OTRA (On The Road Again) in February of 2011.

The workshop came to life through their shared passion to work towards sustainable development.  It is Julie & Guillaume’s belief that creative design offers “a new path” towards solving the environmental problems our over-consumptive society.

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