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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Corque Design

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.

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Working Wednesday – Kitchen Before & After

Although I no longer provide full service residential design, I do consult on projects for several general contractors and architects.   One such contractor I LOVE to work with is Wes Harding of Harding Construction and Sustainable Solutions.  His clients love him too, hence him and his team (including moi) being invited to a client’s house for dinner to celebrate a recently completed kitchen remodel.  And celebrate they should, because look where this project started…

This is before.  Isn’t that a weird location for the sink?  Not to mention the majorly blah nature of that white and beige scheme!

So look what we did….

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Here U.M.O., Here Boy…

Is it a table? Is it a bench? Is it a dog?

Photography: Francis Dzikowksi/ Esto


Well, while it might not be a dog, the U.M.O. is both a table and a bench, and it still just might become your child’s best friend.

Designed by the UM Project (also known as Users and Makers), it has a solid cork body and a powder coated aluminum insert. Even though it’s designed for children, I think it would add a wonderful bit of whimsy to anyone’s decor. Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Penny Tile

Usually when I post about a design element I believe is trending it’s because I’m seeing it more and more in magazines and other design forums. However, in this case I decided to write about one of my favorite looks more because I’m seeing an increased interest in it from my clients.

Penny rounds, and their design sibling “hex tile”, have been around for over a century, as anyone who has been in the lobby of the old apartment building, or the bathroom in an older home would know. Recently there has been a revival in interest for penny rounds, whether for reasons of nostalgia or the fact that just so darn cheerful looking. The great thing is, they can also be very sustainable. Here are some of my favorite looks:

image via Apartment Therapy


I’ll start out with, Savoy, a pretty ceramic version with over 20% recycled content from Ann Sacks. Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find of the Week – Cork Chair & Stool

I’ve seen a lot of products made from wine corks, but this is the first time I have seen anything made with the cork centers of aluminum baseball bats!  Etsy seller Quartertwenty has taken these factory discards and woven them onto aluminum rods to construct this really interesting chair.

I’m fascinated by how much texture the “weaving” of the cork disks gives the chair, even though the actual form is relatively simple.

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Friday Wrap-up – 1/21/11

It’s Friday!!!  And we are in the middle of the nominating process for Apartment Therapy’s The Homies 2011!  Want to help us reach the final cut?  Click here, and then leave the following comment:

Name: theinteriorevolution

We’d love to be in the final 6 blogs for voting.  It’s a great way to reach new readers, so we can keep getting the word out that green interiors are the way to go!

OK, now that that little bit of business is taken care of, on to some of the fun stuff I’ve been clicking on this week:

1.  Non-toxic dyes from agricultural waste seem to be the next new thing.  Here is a program developing in Argentina.  (Treehugger)

2.  Inhabitat is launching a Green Home Expert series.  Sigh.  They didn’t ask me… (LOL)  However, they do seem to have a roster of amazing talented people!  Definitely something to watch.  (Inhabitat)

3.  I love the concept behind this uber modular shelving.  Constantly convertible, and a lovely organic form as well. (Yanko Design)

4.  This tiny house built of pallets is so charming!  And only costs about $500 to build. (Lloyd’s Blog)

5.  I die for this beautiful upcycled doily lamp.  Seriously, you have to look at this thing.  Makes me want to run out and invest in doilies (did I just type that???) (reMade USA)

6.  These gorgeous, modern glass and cork vases and lamps are reason #1,378,632 for why I wish I could attend Maison&Objet in Paris right now. (Dezeen)

7.  These adorable, organic cotton pillows are, well,… adorable.  They remind me of the Richard Scarry books I had as a child.  So sweet.  (Green Your Decor)

Well, that’s it for now.  Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

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 »

Not To Wine, but…

Wine is a wonderful thing.  I should know, because my husband works in the business.  Yeah, it’s tough being married to somebody who has to bring home bottle after bottle of delicious wine to taste.  I know, I know.  Your heart bleeds for me.

Anyway, wine is a multi-billion dollar, global industry, and anything that big generates a LOT of waste.  So I thought I would share some of my favorite sustainable goods made from the remnants of the wine making process…

Elegant curves define this beautiful folding chair from Whit McLeod.  Made from used oak wine barrels – many of them decades old – this chair is surprisingly comfortable and very chic. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Wrap-up – 7/2/10

Happy (almost) 4th of July weekend everyone!  Here are a few things I thought you might want to check out in the downtime between stuffing your face with hot dogs, and stuffing your fingers in your ears to watch the fireworks.  And if you’re not here in the States, stuff your faces with something good to eat and join in the fun.  Every day is a holiday somewhere!

Image via Design*Sponge

Here is a great corkboard craft for those wanting to keep track of where they’ve been, or where they plan to go.  (Design*Sponge)

I really, REALLY wish I could visit this amazing Medieval castle being built in Burgundy, France.  They are building it using the technology of the time, sans the harsh labor conditions I’m sure. (Craftzine)

Here is a must read for anyone in the design community – “Is Design Ready for a Re-think?”.  (re-nest)

I can’t be the only one who thought “Is that a pagoda?” when I saw this rendering of Nationwide Homes new Eco-Cottages. (Inhabitat)

Love these beautiful prints for Paper Cloud’s organic cotton placemat and napkin sets. (Green Your Decor)

And finally, a good review of the best of Dwell on Design 2010.  Sadly, not from me. (Inhabitat)