We are covering this house on G Living not because its the greenest building on the planet or anything, but because it the design elements, could be green. So, the ideas behind the building are very green and just might give you some ideas to put into your own future green pad.
The Baltazar Residence by Public Architects, is a small one story bungalow sat on a substandard lot between two nondescript condominiums. Within that small house lived a growing family with a modern aesthetic who wanted to take advantage of the ocean views their site offered while adding square footage. The house has a concrete base that rises out of the ground with a minimal amount of openings until the second story, where it turns into a steel frame with a glass window wall that offers a panoramic view out to the Pacific Ocean.
The saying “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure” holds true on the other side of the Atlantic, too. The only difference is, we call it rubbish in the UK. Semantics aside, how do you transform household rubbish, especially hard-to-recycle plastic, into a new design aesthetic? Well, if you’re Brit designer Richard Liddle of Cohda Design, you invent a machine and demonstrate in front of a live audience.
Cohda Design’s innovative event took place from October 20 – 28 as part of the UK Design Council’s dot07.com festival. The public was invited to bring plastic waste items to be broken down in Cohda’s modified industrial machinery. The plastic was then re-heated, re-formed and recycled into one long spaghetti-like strand, which was then manipulated to create colorful chairs, tables and whatever else the imagination could dream up.
No city is ever going to be perfect. Certainly not Los Angeles, with its ridiculous traffic and high cost of living. But one thing the city has going for it is an excellent recycling program.
It wasn’t until perusing the official City of Los Angeles Bureau of Sanitation website that I became aware of the fact that you could now recycle Styrofoam®. Long thought of as the annoying and beyond redemption party crasher of the green living movement, the product officially known as polystyrene thermal insulation is actually part of the plastic family and has some sustainability. Who knew?
Here’s a rundown on what else can be placed into your city-issued blue recycling container. It breaks down into four categories: paper, metal, glass and plastic.
Paper must be clean and dry in order for the city to take it, but just about any paper will do, from the large (telephone books) to the small (Post-it® notes). This includes unwanted mail, newspapers, cardboard boxes (flattened down, of course), magazines, wrapping paper, toilet paper rolls and envelopes (even those with clear plastic windows).
Pasadena first entered my consciousness back in 2004 with the release of the Scissor Sisters’ song “Music is the Victim”. The verse opens thus: “I left my bag in Pasadena / Where all them girls was doin’…” The rest of the line spirals into drug references which probably aren’t appropriate here. Suffice it to say, apart from that song and the Rose Bowl flea markets, there isn’t whole lot going on in this North East pocket of Los Angeles. Residents of Pasadena can go ahead and send hate mail to me c/o G Living. But before you do, read on…
I think it’s official, the idea of green living has seeped into the collective brain of the mainstream consumer. Finally it seems we all understand non-toxic is better, fair trade, equal pay, respect for life, is just a better way to go. Why do I think Green Living is finally being fully excepted? Well for one, every time President Obama goes on TV he says something about a green economy and of course because West Elm (the furniture store) has a section devoted to just greenish products! If that isn’t a sign, I don’t know what is.
West Elm is the stylish but less expensive cousin of Pottery Barn. Both furniture stores are owned by parent company Williams Sonoma. West Elm gave younger shoppers a place to find cool modern clean edge home furnishings at a price they could afford. So, the furniture might not last a lifetime, but it does the job for now. Kind of like a better looking and higher quality IKEA.
Architect Michelle Kaufmannshows us what to do with all those wine bottle corks. Instead of tossing them, start saving them and some day in the distant future, you can make your very own cork door mat. This is a fun and simple project using about 200 corks. Yes, that sounds like a lot, but if you hit a few parties, I bet you will have enough in no time. If your really industrious, you can collect wine corks from your local restaurants. I bet they are definitely tossing them with the bottles.
Materials Needed: 200 wine cork stoppers, a piece of fabric or wood in the shape of the mat you want to make and some wood glue. Now glue the corks to the material. Once the glue has dried, cut away the extra material and you are done. That really is dirt simple. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
I’m starting to see bamboo everywhere now! I bought a pair of stylish black bamboo dress pants at Max Studio. I bought 100% bamboo sheets at Bed, Bath and Beyond which I love. Online I bought some bamboo and organic cotton towels (not the greatest), and even a bamboo sports bra. Now I see that West Elm not only has bamboo throws and blankets but 3 different sets and styles of bamboo serving bowls and trays, and they’re beautiful! We bought their white bamboo serving bowls and tray for the GreenChefs kitchen and they look so clean, natural and modern. They are slightly rustic, yet simple and subtle, and really let the food and colors stand out on them. Just something to make the kitchen a little more G!
How often do I go to a store and spot a high ticket item that I know would look fantastic in my home? Very. How often do I actually end up purchasing it? Not very.
It’s not that I’m cheap; for things I know I’ll keep, I don’t mind spending good money. But what usually runs through my head is: I can make one of these myself. And what happens then is I go home, add it to my list of projects and eventually figure out a way to make it. I’m pretty handy that way. What I usually lack is the idea. I need inspiration from outside sources. Which is why I like stumbling across things like the incredibly cool DIY lamp made from an old washing machine barrel. Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
These days it’s not enough to furnish your house with exquisite designer furniture. If you really want keep up with Joneses, it’s got to be ethical, too. Luckily, design companies are cottoning on to consumer demand. Take for example Copenhagen-based Mater Design, which launched at the Maison et Object show in Paris in ‘06.
Mater successfully combines “exclusive home accessories and corporate social responsibility,” according to their website. Mater founder and CEO Henrik Marstrand says “For every one of the millions of products we use to improve the quality of our lives, there are associated environmental, ethical and social consequences. While some products have a small environmental bearing, others consume finite resources in vast quantities and are produced under abusive labour conditions and cause environmental damage.” Continue Reading / Additional Photos / Videos
When asked to explore MIOculture, I must admit I was suspicious. I mean ME-culture I’m familiar with, but MIOculture? And why me — a person who’d (almost) prefer a DUI to DIY, a story for “Home and Garden”? Hmmm.
But then I realized I was already very familiar with MIOculture. It’s the company who created the fabulous 3D wallpaper that adorns the set in our G Living studio. I even helped install it. Well, kind of… Alright, we mocked it up — it’s television, people!
The holidays aren’t just about family squabbles, appalling television, overeating and getting drunk.There’s a lot more to it. How about deforestation, gas guzzling, waste and general excessiveness?
First, there’s the whole greeting card burden. I say burden because they’re as painful to send as they are to receive. How many cards are made from recycled paper? Worse yet, how many card and envelopes actually end up in the recycle bin after the holidays? Truth be told, no-one wants to see the annual photo of you and your loved ones in front of the fireplace in matching sweaters, so here’s an alternative: send a holiday e-mail. You can design a nice graphic or find one online. It saves paper and it’ll save you time.
Then there’s the Christmas tree. Since when has ripping a live evergreen from the ground and sticking it in your living room for a month been a good idea? Equally careless is buying a fake tree made of toxic PVC, guaranteed to be around for thousands of Christmases to come. Actor Josh Lucas has the answer, according to Ecorazzi: an organically recycled plastic tree. (I must confess to not knowing what that is exactly, but seems worth investigating.)
Hi All, It’s great to be a part of the G Living team. I’ve watched G Monkie grow G Living from a cyber-seedling last summer and it’s exciting to see how quickly G Living has grown.
A little about me: I’m a designer with Sander Architects, an award-winning firm specializing in contemporary green design and prefab architecture. I’ve always been something of a nature girl, having spent my childhood roaming through woods, hiking and camping with my family. Although nature is my sanctuary, I’ve always had a great love of fashion and good design. I am a card-carrying Project Runway addict and have dallied several times with the idea of starting a clothing line (although knowing how to sew, drape, and patternmake might be helpful).