Bio-glass by Coverings Etc

The glass panels are clean, contemplative, luminous… and evocative of spring?

Well, yes, all that.  There are a many sustainable glass products out there, but this creation by Coverings Etc. is impressive in a quiet, well-grounded, Zen kind of way.

Seen close up, Bio-glass evokes carpets of emerald moss, the dark, bare beauty of trees after an autumn rain, the shimmer of ice and snow.  As part of a project, it’s sumptuous, striking, and restful all at the same time.  Take a look here. Read the rest of this entry »

Company Profile – Kirei USA

“Demolish another building, it just gives us more to work with!”

John Stein is into demolitions, but not in the way one might think.  The founder and president of California-based Kirei USA has a knack for finding the possibilities inherent in the unwanted.

This vision shows clearly in every Kirei product, including the newest line, Windfall.  These engineered panels are produced in partnership with Windfall Lumber, which takes Douglas & Hemlock Fir from deconstructed buildings in the Pacific Northwest and brings the reclaimed wood to fresh, new life.

“It’s great to reuse demolition material that would otherwise take up space in the landfill,” says Mr. Stein.  “Having it become beautiful wood panels is even better.  This is old-growth wood that just can’t be found any more, and we get to bring it to designers.”

Windfall is manufactured in the United States using low-VOC adhesives.  The reclaimed wood is milled into strips of differing width, which are then randomly stacked to form the panels and cut to size.  Panels are available either solid or 3-ply with a NUAF/FSC-certified core.  They may come unfinished, with a clear coat that shows off the natural grain, or stained and prefinished in Anthracite, Mocha, Ivory, and Leather colors.  The result adds to any interior.

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Pietre Preziose by Okite

luminous  adj.  1. radiating or emitting light.  2. reflecting or  diffusing light.  3. intellectually brilliant

Sometimes an object is so stunning it can’t be properly caught on camera, and that is surely the case with Pietre Preziose, the latest surfacing material produced by the family-owned Italian firm, OKITE.  Pictures just don’t it justice.  As it is composed of natural quartz and resin, the translucent Pietre Preziose fills with ambient light from its environment and becomes truly luminous.  How brilliant is that?

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Working Wednesday – Cambria Countertop Test

Although being an interior designer isn’t nearly as glamorous as many people seem to think, it is at least always interesting.  Sometimes it is downright fun.  Case in point…

my mad science experiment!  Here’s the story…

I had recommended using composite stone countertops for a project I’m working on, and the client said “Great, but we want to make sure it is extra durable”.  “No problem”, I assured them, “composite stone is much more durable and environmentally friendly than granite or other types of stone surfaces”.  “Terrific!”, they said.

I beamed.

“Oh,” the client added, “and please make sure it is made in the U.S.”.

I groaned.

You see, most composite countertops are made in places like Italy, Spain and Israel.  This doesn’t bother me as much as it might, because most of the technology and raw material is based there anyway.  However, I also understood the clients desire for a “made in America” product, as I try to keep my dollars closer to home too.

My actual problem was that the only large scale composite stone countertop manufacturer based in the U.S. was Cambria, and I had never used their product on a project.  I had no idea how durable it would be.  There will be a lot of countertop on this project, so I couldn’t afford for the material to be anything less than flawless.

That’s where the fun began…

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Real Wood from Fake Neighborhood

Can you see the 1.7 million square foot building in this picture?

How about if I pan out a little bit?

See it?  Next to the bridge?  No?  Well, see that big neighborhood right in the middle of the shot?  OK, now look underneath it… Read the rest of this entry »

ModCraft Tile

Color is a funny thing. While individual colors are often associated with particular time periods or styles, those colors really only appear dated in context of the colors that surround them. Take for instance the color “avocado green”. Put it in a room full of “harvest gold”, orange, and rust, and you’ve gone back to 1972. But pair that same color with baby blue and white, and you’re right on trend.

These beautiful Valley tiles by ModCraft are a perfect example of an old color looking new again. Although brown glazed tile was ubiquitous back to the 70s, paired with today’s crisp white fixtures it feels completely fresh and exciting again.  Doesn’t the luminous quality of this particular glaze highlight the dimensionality of the tile perfectly?  Gorgeous! Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Wood Countertops

Granite countertops are SO last decade. So what’s taking their place? Good old-fashioned wood.



It’s always seemed strange to me that in the society where we remodel our kitchens every 10 to 20 years, we like to put in stone countertops that will last for centuries. Doesn’t it make more sense to use a material that, while long-lasting, is also biodegradable at the end of its use? Besides, wood countertops are not only better for the environment, but they have a warmth and beauty that can’t be beat.

There are plenty of sustainable options, including FSC certified wood, bamboo, and reclaimed wood. Take a look at some pretty examples and then take our poll:

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A Slick, Stylish (and Cementitious) Countertop

While I was at AltBuid in Santa Monica last Friday, I ran across some great looking cement countertops by Rob Bausch.

Shinier and lighter in weight than concrete countertops, cement countertops are fabricated on site, so there are no seams.  All materials are locally sourced, and an effort is made to use reclaimed construction materials to save resources. Read the rest of this entry »

6 Beautiful Reasons to Use Recycled Glass TIle

Remodeling your kitchen?  Designing a fancy new restaurant?  Just looking for something amazing and sustainable?  Here are 6 reasons you should consider recycled glass tile…

Mosaic “wallpaper” by Trend USA

1.  Recycled glass takes only 50% of the energy to produce that virgin glass does.

Oceanside Glasstile

2.  Recycled glass  can be made into any form, color, or shape you can imagine. Read the rest of this entry »

Meet the Future – Ecor

What if you could have a 100% recycled, non-toxic, formaldehyde free material you could use for almost anything kind of interior application you can think of?   And what if that material was 3 times stronger than particleboard?  And it could be made in any shape you could dream up?  Think I’m the one who is dreaming?

That’s because you don’t know about Ecor yet… Read the rest of this entry »