Artisan Profile – Natalie Chanin of Alabama Chanin

The fourth in a series of artisan profiles by contributing writer Emerald Atkins.

“Life is in the details”  proclaims a sign at the offices of Alabama Chanin

Day by day the work goes – in baby steps – business and lifestyle stitched together by patience, love, and labor into a sustaining, sustainable whole.

Natalie Chanin’s business model is organic in the sense that it grew into its present form, instead of being the product of intentional design.  From her hometown of Florence, AL, to a degree in Environmental Design at North Carolina State University, to Vienna, to New York, and home again, Natalie has traveled far – and traveled full circle – blending the sewing lore of her grandmother into a business practice which well may be the legacy of her own grandchildren. Read the rest of this entry »

Stylish and Sustainable – Redefine Home’s Furniture

One of the great things about the current trend for natural textures and surfaces is how beautifully it meshes with the materials used in sustainable design.

Case in point are the beautiful, reclaimed wood furniture pieces available through Redefine Home.  By utilizing a greywashed finish on the aged wood, the Emma Dresser (above) manages to be very on trend, in an environmentally friendly manner.

Read the rest of this entry »

Leather and Lampshades – Regenesi

So last week, after a whirlwind trip to New York, I came back and promised you a more rock ‘n roll attitude towards sustainable design.  Well, it doesn’t get much more rock ‘n roll than leather…

However, although leather and lampshades may sound like the aftermath of a wild party, put the two together and you get something far more elegant – the o-Re-gami Lampshade by Regenesi. Read the rest of this entry »

What Michael Kors Taught Me About Green Design

So I was in New York for the last three days, and silly me, I thought I would be able to blog while I was there.  As you can tell from the crickets that have been chirping on my site all week, I was wrong.  Lesson learned.

Another lesson learned?  We in the sustainable design community need to stop promoting what we do like it was orthopedic shoes.  You know what I mean.  “This product is so much better for you”.  “If you don’t want to be hobbling around in 20 years, you need to do what we say.”  “Yes, it may be a bit more expensive, and not very stylish, but it’s the right thing to do”.   I say phooey…

and it’s thanks to Michael Kors, and this pair of kick-ass, black gladiator sandals. Read the rest of this entry »

“Start Spreading the News….”

“…I’m leaving today.  I want to be a part of it: New York, New York”

Well, actually, I’m not leaving till next Tuesday, but I just couldn’t wait to tell you that I will be in New York next week!

I’ll be at the Cliff Young showroom at the NYDC, representing Homeportfolio.com, for what should be a lively and informative discussion on green design.  Personally, I can’t wait to see Cliff Young’s Machinist Table in its new, greener version!

So if you are a designer (or design enthusiast) in New York City, please stop by the Cliff Young showroom at the NYDC, on Wednesday, September 22nd, at 7:30 PM.  And if you’re there, be sure to say “hi”.  I’d love to meet you!

Upcoming Classes at CSULB

I wanted to let those of you in Southern California know about a couple of classes I have coming up next month at California State University Long Beach.  Both are taught through their Department of Continuing Education, which means anyone can register for them.

Here is the information for those of you interested:

Read the rest of this entry »

Where’s a Witch When You Need One? – Steeltree Fireplace

If Martha Stewart was a modernist, this fireplace would be front and center in her annual Halloween issue.

Although I have to wonder a bit at the idea of styling a fireplace to look like a woodland conflagration, I gotta admit, Steeltree, by talented Italian designer Paolo Grasselli, is very cool.  Or maybe I should say “hot”?  Either way, it does appeal in a wicked witch sort of way, don’t you think? Read the rest of this entry »

Rockin’ It Right – Kalon’s Hut-Hut

Kids have an amazing ability to find the true joy in simplicity.  For instance, have you ever known a kid who got one of those flashy, noisy, button laden toys for a gift, only to toss it aside after a few minutes play and then spend hours turning the box it came in into a vehicle for a favorite doll or stuffed animal?  So why spend the money on all those expensive, battery laden toys when you could get something great like this?

The Hut-Hut Kids is the old fashioned rocking horse taken modern, sustainable, and sleek.  Designed and produced by Kalon Studios, and available in five FSC certified woods such as black walnut (shown above), bamboo, and even cork, this seat’s simple styling gives a kid’s imagination room to grow.  So whether they want to say “hut hut” (giddy-up to camels) to a trusty steed with one hump or two (or maybe a horse, pony, elephant or tiger), they can create their own adventure as they wish.

So what about those of us who have already grown-up? Read the rest of this entry »

Back to School = Back to Work!

I usually try not to write the “sorry, but I’m not writing a post today” posts, but today I thought I would make a little exception because I’ve been largely silent for the last two weeks and I didn’t want you to think I had fallen down a black hole!

My son returned to school today after a LONG summer vacation, and just in time too, as work is starting to pile up to the point of avalanche on my desk.  Where is a St Bernard when you need one?  And preferably one who can type!  In any case, there is a little more digging out to do yet.

There are a lot of exciting things happening here to tell you about over the next several weeks, not to mention all the catching up to do on new green design products, so stay tuned as we return to your regularly scheduled interioREvolution tomorrow!