Posted May 14th, 2012 by Emerald
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
Posted May 9th, 2012 by Emerald
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
Posted March 28th, 2012 by Emerald
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
Posted March 12th, 2012 by Emerald
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
Posted February 23rd, 2012 by Emerald
A hundred years or more ago logging teams all over the American Southeast harvested Cypress trees, binding the logs into rafts to be floated downriver to the waiting wood mills. Sometimes the rafts would break up, and the ancient logs would sink to the bottom of the river, there to sit, inviolate and perfectly preserved, for decades.
Ironically enough, as recovery teams reclaim those logs for use, that beautiful old-growth Cypress helps rescue forests from logging today.
In crafting what the company calls its “Handmade Modern” furniture, Edwin Blue is one of several companies making use of this half-forgotten treasure. Read the rest of this entry
Posted February 3rd, 2012 by Rachel
Valentine’s Day is on its way folks, so i’ve put together a little selection of fun, sustainable gifts you can still snag in time for the holiday,… if you act fast!
Metal wall art, made from recycled aluminum cans by Transcendant Treasure. These pin up onto the wall in any configuration you want.
Love Pillow sewn from recycled plastic bottle felt by Personal Pillow. The heart is a pocket you can hide a little note or treat in.
Light a torch in your loved one’s heart with this red current scented, 100% soy wax candle from Torch Illumination.
Read the rest of this entry
Posted January 17th, 2012 by Emerald
Usefulness, like beauty, is in the eye of the beholder.
Jacob Ruch has a knack for bringing out both characteristics in his work. Curbside cast-offs, salvage yard finds, construction refuse – all find a place at Reason Furniture Design, where the proverbial sow’s ear is transformed into… you know.
The company is named for Jacob’s great-uncle, Reason Ruch, who was, according to the artist, “extremely independent and self-sufficient, an excellent craftsman who could make wonderful things with very limited resources.” Jacob strives to make his business emulate those qualities. Read the rest of this entry
Posted January 6th, 2012 by Rachel
While the name and the concept seem pure ’70s (if this bed’s a rockin’…),
the execution is most definitely not! This is the Mood Rocking Bed by Shiner International, and it has style!
I just have to say, I don’t know whether it’s the pastoral setting, the pretty draping of the netting above, or simply that I need a nap, but that bed looks awfully tempting, don’t you think?
Read the rest of this entry
Posted December 19th, 2011 by Rachel
Todays’ post is brought to you by the letter h.
Kidding. It’s a chair. Shocking for a design blog to write about a chair, right?
But this isn’t just any chair. It’s the Katra Chair by Aparte Studio of France, and it is made from a very interesting material. Read the rest of this entry
Posted December 9th, 2011 by Emerald
Funky. Crazy. Creative.
The work of Corque Design is all of these and more.
This Portuguese company offers an interesting range of furniture & accessories, all crafted with cork taken from the Sobreiro (cork oak indigenous to the southern regions of Portugal). Unlike wood, the harvesting of cork does not involve felling but merely the periodic gleaning of bark from the trees, which are left to continue growing in good health. In addition to being a renewable resource, cork is recyclable, non-toxic and durable. The bark is extracted manually, which involves no damage to the living tree, while the proceeding manufacturing process involves little waste and a low usage of resources.
But what really sets Corque Design apart from many environmentally-conscious companies is the sheer whimsy and versatility of its product line. Designers have lots of room to play.
Read the rest of this entry