If you only made a dollar a day, what kind of furniture would you buy? Maybe some cardboard furniture will do the trick for you. Yes, the billions of mud hut dwellers and college students alike, can find something to love about COMPACt, the cardboard furniture inside a pizza box.
COMPACT is totally sustainable furniture design made from cardboard and recycled polypropylene. The modular solution comes in 5 flat boards which make for easy transport. Assembly should be a cinch if you’re used to IKEA and it’s all held together by interlocking areas that are sealed with wood glue. Configurations are endless, everything from storage, to a work area complete with lighting.
It isn’t easy coming up with a new idea, but that’s just what Thomas Bina has done. While traveling through Brazil with a friend, Bina came upon what would become his design muse — a perfectly weathered piece of Peroba wood. That one piece of wood, and the natural process that created it, has ushered in Environment Furniture and the Peroba Collection.
Imagine an old shed or a dilapidated barn, leaning and nearly collapsed. I’ve just described the birthplace of Bina’s designs. EF dismantles these structures and uses the wood for new and exciting furniture. For me, the appeal is not just the clean modern aesthetic or the “rawness” of the Peroba wood that speaks to me; personally, I’m a sucker for history and a good story. These pieces of art are not just preserving the planet, they’re also preserving a piece of history. I like to imagine where some of this wood came from, and who may have lived with it before me…
While most people go into hibernation mode during winter, wanting nothing more than to curl up around a fire with hot coco, there are those of us who start going slightly delirious at the thought of being caged in for the next few months. However, unless you’re in the Arctic, there’s no reason why you have to induce self imprisonment during the season. With a mix of both creative and practical thinking, you can have just as much of a ball during winter as you have during summers by bringing the outdoors in.
And even though we’re penny pinching these days, we can still have a fabulous get together – and with the slightest bit of effort and inventive spirit, we can host a splendid evening boasts of eco-chic brilliance. When thinking of winter, my first thoughts escape straight to a “Winter Wonderland” theme and with a slight obsession for eco-friendly entertaining, I’ve been able to source some charming ideas.
One of the great things about winter is that you can get really creative and free-spirited with the décor. (During what other season would you get away with bringing trees indoors and the decking them with magpie-envying pieces?) When you think of “wonderland”, think odd, magical and strange. Think Alice in Wonderland meets the Snow Queen, where everything is just slightly off the wall, creative and wonderfully mad – with a rich frosty touch. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
Ever fancied yourself as an amateur interior designer? Been dying to create some pretty amazing lighting effects that also double as a conversation piece?
You might want to check out the shattered light lamp, so called because it’s made from shattered glass, coated with a silicone and lined with white LED lights. The silicone gives it flexibility for you to bend and shape as you please – some have likened it to Play-Doh in terms of its pliability – while the shattered glass makes for some pretty interesting light effects.
A beautiful California house designed by McGlashan Architecture, which is designed to fade into the natural landscape. Look at the intense living roofs, which mirror the surrounding vegetation on the hills. Forms and color palettes are inspired by the hillside landscape. Living roofs shelter three levels of living space while preserving a thriving habitat. Skylights brighten and ventilate rooms below.
Think LEDs are just for your TV, remote control or cell phone? Guess again. Once the tireless workhorse of the electronics industry, LEDs have become the darling of the design world — making inspired appearances in modern day chandeliers, textiles, furniture, and multimedia art. And guess what? Some modern offerings are actually affordable — like this cluster of blow-me-away Balloon Lamps by Japanese design studio Kyouei Ltd.
Did I say affordable? These mood setting lanterns are available for $30 each at Charles & Marie. The lamp arrives flat, ready for you to give it some life. Snap the balloon on to the fixture, and blow into the valve until the lamp has reach your desired dimensions. Suspend them individually, or in a constellation designed by — why, you.
What is a new green mom to do? Before the new g/baby popped out, she could jump on her bike and head on down to the farmers market carefree. But now that the bundle of joy has arrive, she has to think of safety first. That is what the Angelino Assista electric bike is all about. In Japan, this bike is taking off because of the integrated child child seat and safety systems. It’s like the Volvo of electric bikes.
Here are a few of the cool features on this very affordable (only $1312.00) electric bike:
The Neal Creek residence treads lightly upon its surroundings, maximizing valley and water views with minimal impact to the natural environment. The owners – windsurfing and snowboarding enthusiasts – were interested in a modest weekend retreat that would be highly efficient and ecologically minded. Their wooded two-acre parcel of land presented many unique challenges including wetlands, creek protection setbacks, and floodplain restrictions.
The design solution for the two-bedroom house addresses these issues by elevating the habitable space one full floor above grade. Views to the creek are enhanced from this position and the living spaces float within the tree tops. Lifting the main space protects the house from potential flooding and brush fire damage while making way for a covered outdoor patio and much needed gear storage below. At the uppermost level, the roof has been sized and detailed to allow for a future planted roof that will replace the landscape lost to the building footprint and reduce heat gain to the interior spaces.
As we get closer to summer, I start thinking about spending more time in the backyard. I think this every year, but this time I mean business. And as a means of being proactive, I recently went to an enormous home improvement chain to look at outdoor furniture. And to my horror, all I saw was metal and wicker.
Metal furniture, while durable, lacks the warm, cozy feeling I associate with outdoor living. It’s too industrial for my taste. Plus, what happens to all that furniture when it’s disposed of? While metal is certainly recyclable, a big chair doesn’t easily fit into your blue curbside bin, so I bet most people just trash it. As for wicker, I simply hate it. It looks cheap and it’s uncomfortable. Who knew buying outdoor furniture could be so complicated?
Looking for an alternative, I stumbled across Minnesota-based Loll. Their outdoor furniture is contemporary, durable and sustainable.
Los Angeles is really a playground for modern architecture. Architects like Whitney Sander and firms such as Lean Arch are free to live out their wildest architectural dreams, in this landscape of cracker shacks and mansions. The city has no defined architectural voice, so almost anything goes. Which in a city like L.A. with its plentiful deep pocket and creative home owners, can be a good thing.
The project: A counter-attack on the developer supplied housing stock where the norm for a single family residence is driven by the mentality that “bigger is better”, Kuhlhaus 01 redefines the prototype for housing in the Manhattan Beach area. Located on a half lot with a floor area of under 1800 SF, the three bedroom, three bath residence incorporates an open design with flexible living spaces to mitigate the smaller floor plates. Expanses of floor to ceiling glass provide breathtaking 270-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. The project also integrates a 2 KW array of photovoltaic modules that will supply 100% of the required electricity for the home.
If your feeling a bit handy and are lucky enough to have a large body of water near you. You might want to tackle building your very own modern green houseboat after seeing the German designed Schwimmhaus.
A young design co-op founded by Flo Florian and Sascha Akkerman, designed and built the Schwimmhaus using salvaged wood from a farm house and other sustainable materials. The clean modern lines and the grass roof, make this a one of a kind house boat.
Checkout these amazing photos of this little modern floating dream cabin.