Amity Home

It’s been a while since we featured nursery items here, and one look at these gentle charmers from Amenity Home was proof enough that the time had come to do so again.

 

California mothers Nicole Chiala and Kristina de Corpo started Amenity back in 2004.  Their simple, nature-inspired designs were from the first part of an effort to bring the peaceful tranquility of their youth into the urban, adult homes.  Two years later the pair realized their goal of offering their designs exclusively on organic or sustainable materials, and from there the business has only grown.  Nursery items are only part of a wide-ranging selection from Amenity. Read the rest of this entry »

Trending – Foxes

Owls, deer, butterflies, songbirds of every sort,… even octopus!  All have become trends in graphics and interiors over the last few years, and for good reason.  Between the renewed interest in all things outdoors, and the surge in handcrafted artisan goods, it was inevitable that people would want to populate their homes with their own personal totem (or just animals they think are cool looking).

So, get ready to meet the “new” critter on the block…

Whether the Fantastic Mr. Fox, dapper in his regal orange coat, or the clever and magical Japanese kitsune, the big ears and clever ways of the fox capture our imagination.

So go ahead.  Get a little foxy with your home!

To see more images, inspiration, and sources for some of these great fox finds, check out my Trending – Foxes board on Pinterest.

Thanks for visiting!

Rachel

Etsy Find of the Week – St Patrick’s Day Edition

St Patrick’s Day holds a special place in my heart, ’cause, well, it’s my birthday day too.  So in celebration of all things green and Irish, here is a little St Patrick’s Day round-up, Etsy Style.

Looking for a little good luck?  How about this Lucky Horseshoe?

This recycled burlap pillow has (Irish) Whiskey stamped all over it.

Love this sweet little felt bunting made from a recycled wool sweater.

Read the rest of this entry »

Artisan Profile – Jan DiCintio of Daisy Janie Fabrics

I felt blue this morning, so opened up Jan DiCintio’s blog and within five minutes all that blah was washed away by her cheery, cheeky attitude and the philosophy surrounding red flowers.

 

An artist’s soul is inextricably wound up in their work, but this seems particularly true with Jan and Daisy Jane Fabrics.  While researching this profile I wandered onto her blog, and before I’d even touched my tea her infectiously sunny, positive, let’s-do-it voice had led me six pages deep.  That doesn’t happen often.  So let’s meet this wonderful lady and see what she’s all about.

The focus of Daisy Janie is the design of original patterns for use on organic cotton fabrics, with wholesale collections released twice a year, spring and autumn.  The product is produced with cotton that has been grown, harvested, processed, and woven according to the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS).  Both the low-impact pigments and pigments used in the printing & finishing stages are similarly in accordance.  And, in addition, the fabric is produced in a Fair Trade Certified facility.

That’s the dry version.

What it doesn’t capture is Jan’s enthusiasm, or her passion for pattern, line, texture, and form, or her “fiery personal philosophies for ecofriendly living”.  And, just as certifications and standards can’t express the personal depth of her business practices, so words can’t adequately express the spring-like joie-de-vivre of her designs.  Only pictures can do that. 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 »

Book Review – EcoChi

In the world of green design, everybody brings something to the table.  Some people arrive with a primary concern about chemicals and other pollutants in our homes and workplaces.  Others are motivated by a love of the natural world and a desire to preserve it.  Still others hope to find a spiritual and life changing aspect to sustainability, which is where the book “EcoChi: Designing the Human Experience” fits in.

Guided by changes in her own life, Debra Duneier has created a business – and now a book – around her idea of EcoChi, a marriage of sustainable design and Feng Shui principles.  Starting with how she found herself in business as a Feng Shui consultant, and began integrating aspects of an eco-friendly lifestyle in her design, Duneier then takes us through a series of illustrative examples of clients and how she arrived at beneficial solutions to their design problems, using her trademarked EcoChi system.  Chock full of information on things as varied as tips to make your hotel room feel more like home, and how to use EcoChi to improve your family and romantic relationships, this book attempts to illustrate the correlation between Feng Shui, sustainable living, and environmental psychology.

This slim, but information packed volume is the perfect fit for those looking to combine an interest in sustainable living with Feng Shui.  Although this book does not contain images of the design work described, I’ve heard there will be a follow-up book, and I’m hoping that they will be included there.  It would definitely be an added benefit to see a spacial representation of the solutions described in the text.

Since I am not a practitioner of Feng Shui, I can’t attest to the authenticity of the advice she gives, but she does make many good points about sustainable design that could prove useful.  I’ve had several clients over the years that have been concerned with finding a balance between their desire for a “good flow of energy” in their homes, and the wish for environmentally friendly design.  I wish I had had this book to loan them at the time.

Visit the EcoChi website to find out more about the book, including how to purchase either the hardcover version, or the eBook.

Etsy Find of the Week – Dinosaurs!

My son and I are going to check out the new Dinosaur Hall at the Natural History Museum in Los Angeles this week, so I have dinosaurs on the brain.  We’re excited because they have,…

not one,…

not two,…

but THREE T-rex skeletons on exhibit now!

Cool!!!

So in honor of the tyrannically good time we are going to have, I present you with some prehistoric fun from Etsy…

Reclaimed wood TRex skull by Recycled State

Read the rest of this entry »

Born in the U.S.A. (Spun and Milled Here Too!)

Wonderful!

Harmony Art Chili Pepper Flannel

The lovely folks at Near Sea Naturals, the already notable internet source for organic fabric, have taken things to a whole new level with their new venture, American Grown-Spun-Milled.  With an inventory consisting of nothing that isn’t organically grown and then spun and manufactured in the United States, they are fulfilling a growing need for more locally based materials.  They are also continuing a long tradition of cotton and wool production in North America, as well as providing work for mills whose workload might otherwise be shipped off to China or India for cheaper manufacture.

Says Tara Bloyd, president of NearSea Naturals -

“At a time when many textile jobs and businesses are going overseas, our customers are demanding domestic, sustainable fabrics. They understand the importance of supporting the US textile industry and want to keep their business supply chains local.”

So far, their inventory is small, but enticing.   I imagine as demand increases so will the number of choices.  For now, here are some of the lovelies they have:

Read the rest of this entry »

Etsy Find of the Week – Maps for Naps

Doesn’t every parent wants a give their child the whole world?

Well now you can – at least in pillow form – thanks to Etsy seller My Bearded Pigeon.   Who wouldn’t want to dream of great explorations while snuggled up on this pillow?

Since the adorable child is not included, here’s what the pillow looks like on its own…

This bright and cheerfully colored map, circa 1865, is printed onto a 100% organic cotton pillow cover, with a black organic cotton back and zipper closure (insert not included).

My Bearded Pigeon also has an amazing selection of decorative map pillows for grown-ups who dream of travel.

Maybe you’re dreaming of a tropical island paradise… Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Wrap-up – 4/8/11

I am so looking forward to this weekend!  Why you ask?  Because this is where I am going to be on Saturday…

I’m absolutely giddy about it, which I’m sure leaves some of you wondering about my sanity.  For those of you who share in my enthusiasm for all things “woady” I promise will give you all a full report next week.

And don’t forget!  We are giving away a great Adesso Reach LED desk lamp this week!  You have until Saturday at midnight to enter.

Meanwhile, here are some of the things that caught my eye this week:

1. This tutorial for recycling porch light fixtures into terrariums is so brilliant. I’m definitely adding this to my list of things to incorporate into my new office space. (design*sponge)

2. Here’s another great giveaway, this one for some lovely Amy Butler organic bedding. (Green Bag Lady)

3. We are all so used to the idea of flatpack furniture, what with IKEA and all, but when designer Kem Weber pioneered the idea with his Airline Chair, people thought it was weird and he only managed to sell about 200 of them. Man, what I wouldn’t do to own one of those amazing chairs. (Boing Boing)

4. And speaking of IKEA, they recently made a pledge to transition to 100% “better cotton”. It looks to be a step in the right direction, but is it really enough? (Inhabitat)

5. I’ve always liked cheery yellow in a traditional kitchen, but never figured it would look right in a modern one. Here is a super sleek, modern kitchen with bright glossy yellow cabinets, and I have to admit, it looks great! (Trendir)

6. Wood is becoming an increasingly popular element in many interiors. This lovely home takes that idea to the nth degree. (2Modern blog)

7. And now I’ll leave you with two fascinating videos. The first is an interview with a woman who lives in a 90 sf “apartment” in New York. She’s managed to make it quite livable, although I could never sleep in a bed like that!

The second video I’ve included just because it’s so darn peaceful, even if it is a commercial.

Wishing all of you a wonderful weekend!