Hearth Cabinet Fireplaces

It’s a lovely thing to sit before the fireplace and watch the flames crackle.

I grew up with that luxury and then wound up spending close to twenty years as an apartment dweller, longing always for that childhood comfort – yet, in many cities, a fireplace in an apartment is either a near-impossible headache to install or, in the case of ventless fireplaces, downright illegal.

How nifty to find a solution to this little quandary!

Hearth Cabinet produces ventless fireplaces which require no flue, no electricity, and, instead of burning gas (which must be vented), uses a non-toxic isopropyl alcohol gel to fuel the flames.  They are the only ventless fireplaces legally approved for use in New York City. Read the rest of this entry »

One Month, One Room, $100 – The Conclusion

So, if you’ve been reading this blog for awhile, you might remember this

My office before

and this… and finally this.  That was back in March of last year.  I’m sorry I left you hanging.  Still, I thought you might like to see the final result. 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.

Read the rest of this entry »

Company Profile – Unearthed Paints

Go to the local – or chain – hardware store and take a stroll to the paint section, where rows upon rows and literally thousands of color choices may await customers. What’s in that paint?  In many cases, that information can be more than difficult to unearth.

In the vast majority of cases the base material is latex, supplemented by a witch’s brew of chemicals to achieve consistency, color, and so forth, produced with petro-chemical or synthetic ingredients.  The result, whatever the formula, is often toxic.  Who wants that?

Florian Speier and Jessica Pfohl are among those looking for something more.  Out of frustration at the “greenwashing and lack of ingredient transparency in the paint industry,” the husband and wife team founded Unearthed Paints with the determination to help change the industry.

Read the rest of this entry »

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?

Read the rest of this entry »

Care to Dance? – Exquisite Surfaces Reclaimed French Oak Flooring

As a young(er) woman, I often thought of someday running off to France to live in an old chateau for a year or so.  I’m not sure what I thought I would actually do once I was there – probably eat a lot of pain au chocolat – but I always dreamed of dancing around in a room amidst crumbling plaster and ancient wooden floors.

Ah, let the dancing commence!   This lustrous oak herringbone parquet, which might have been reclaimed from a Parisian apartment, country dwelling, or even – be still my heart – a creaky old chateau, is now available in the U.S.!

Imported by Exquisite Surfaces, this antique French oak flooring is not only beautiful and steeped in history, it is also FSC certified!

I love the juxtaposition of centuries old oak boards with sleek, modern walls.  Each element enhances the other so well, creating a harmonious whole, don’t you think?

Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find of the Week – Drop-Cut Side Table

All the world’s a stage,… and that means there is a LOT of scenery that needs to be built!

Unfortunately, with all that scenery construction comes a lot of leftover scrap wood.  Enter Etsy seller duolocal to the rescue – stage left.

Part of duolocal’s Load-Out series, the Drop-Cut side table is constructed entirely of leftover scrap lumber from theatrical productions.  Finished with no-VOC linseed oil, this table has a cleverly designed notch, just perfect for large books to rest in.

Read the rest of this entry »

So, Does It Work? – ECOS Paint

Today we are reviewing ECOS Paints, a product line that has been manufactured and sold in Britain since 1988, but only recently opened up manufacturing and distribution in the United States.  Available in a large variety of finishes and specialized application formulas, ECOS promotes itself as being solvent free, odorless, and free of all toxins.  In fact, it was invented by a paint chemist, Ian West, who discovered he was chemically sensitive after feeling ill for some time.  According to ECOS, their paints and varnishes are so pure you can actually eat them, although they warned they were still pretty nasty tasting, so I decided not to add that to the testing procedure!

Here are the results for what I did test – Read the rest of this entry »

Relaxed and Reclaimed – Martha’s Vineyard Furniture Co.

Apparently, Martha’s Vineyard isn’t just populated by tourists and summer vacation rentals.

It’s also home to the Martha’s Vineyard Furniture Company, whose specialty is making beautiful, sustainable pieces like the reclaimed barn board table above.  Read the rest of this entry »

AltBuild 2010 Wrap-up

I came, I saw, I…, only stayed for a couple of hours.  Yes, AltBuild, aka the Alternative Building Materials & Design Expo, was smaller this year.  In fact, I would say almost half the size it was at its zenith a couple of years ago, which I’m sure is just another indicator of how our economy has affected the building industry.

That being said, there were still a few cool things to look at, like the work of L.A. Box Collective

Read the rest of this entry »