Showing posts with label sustainability. Show all posts
Showing posts with label sustainability. Show all posts

13 February 2015

Tips for making a kitchen renovation less stressful


Let’s face it – redoing the kitchen is not a fun job, and it can be so stressful in fact that many of us choose to put it off for years, and instead endure a kitchen we hate rather than putting up with the hassle.

However, if you take some steps you can make the task considerably easier and a lot more stress free. Here are some tips for doing just that.

Preparation is key

From things like setting a budget early on and having a time frame in mind, getting prepared will be really useful when it comes to keeping things organised (and keeping calm!). As well as thinking about these sorts of things, also get the actual room and the rest of your house prepared. This will include doing things like totally clearing out the existing kitchen of things you no longer want in there, and ensuring work people can have easy access to the space when it comes to things like bringing in your large, new appliances.

Consider your new appliances as wise investments

Renovating a kitchen is rarely a cheap venture, but it’s such a good idea to not skimp on your new appliances, as treating them more as an investment is a much better idea in terms of getting more for your money. If you go for cheaper options from the beginning, you may end up replacing them sooner than you’d wish which will end up costing you more anyway.

...and get rid of your old ones easily

Getting rid of your old, existing appliances to make room for your brand new ones can feel like a bit of a mammoth task. However, there are a number of options out there that will take away the hassle (literally). From companies taking away your old ones in return for discounted new ones, to companies offering to recycle them for you, there are lots of things to look into. You can check out this website - – for more info on the latter option.

Get your agreements in writing

Finding trusted trades people isn’t always easy, though when you do find someone, it’s recommended that you get all of your agreements in writing for the jobs that they’re going to do. That way, you’ve got written, physical proof of what you were expecting, should there be any issues that you need resolving along the way.

Install plenty of power points

This isn’t generally something that people forget, but it may be something that we rarely install enough of. Your kitchen will be one of the main rooms in your house when it comes to electrical usage, so it’s a really good idea to ensure you’ve got loads of plug sockets installed so that you have more than enough for when it comes to using your new kitchen.

Go green where possible

Being environmentally friendly is a goal that many of us want to achieve, and if you’re redoing your kitchen, you may want to look into ways in which your renovation can do this. Here are some tips for going green in the kitchen.

03 December 2013

This beautiful table is for sale

This is what I call craftsmanship.

That joinery is in the center of a table designed and built by my friend Kevin Fitzpatrick. Kevin's a master furniture maker by any measure and I'm regularly awed by the work that he does. However, this table stands out. It's also for sale.

This table's made from reclaimed barn timbers and floor boards. The wood was milled 200 years ago from old-growth Pennsylvania white pine. All of the old growth forest in this part of Pennsylvania is gone now and the last of it was cut down at around the time the boards used in this table were milled.

As a more or less rural Pennsylvanian now, I see old barns, mills and tobacco sheds so regularly it's easy not to notice them. I make it a point to keep an eye out for them though, and they tend to figure into my my photography when I'm documenting farm life and local agriculture.

Many of these old structures are still in use although some of them get torn down from time to time to make room for more modern agricultural operations. That's a somewhat sad turn of events, however none of the stone or timber used in those old buildings goes to waste. Lumber reclaimers stand in line to buy up whole barns that are slated for demolition.

That ancient wood gets reused as flooring, siding and in the case of my friend Kevin's table, furniture.

When Kevin built this table, he took an old barn's structural timbers and used them as the legs and supports. The table top is made from the floor boards of the same barn.

Though the finished surfaces have kept the rustic appearance of barnwood, the table's engineering is beyond precise. Through a combination of complex joinery and pegs, there are no nails, screws or glue holding the table together. It's all beautiful wood on wood locked in a precision embrace.

The top of the table is made from three floorboards and there's a quarter inch gap between each board. The rough hewn edges made a close fit impossible. Further, the gaps allowed Kevin to showcase the wear patterns and natural distressing already present in the wood. All told, the table top measures 60 inches wide by 35-1/2 inches deep. The table top is an inch and three quarters thick.

The table stands 34 inches tall and the legs are three inches thick. This is a substantial piece of furniture and I can see it used as a display table in a retail setting just as easily as I can imagine it in someone's home.

Kevin's asked me to broker the sale of this piece as a test to gauge what interest there is out there for his kind of wood working. He has other pieces completed and many more in the works. The cost for this table is $2500 plus the cost of shipping, so if you're interested, let me know.

Dealer inquiries are welcome too and I'm offering a designer discount. Tables of this vintage and quality can sell for upwards of $6000 and at $2500, this one won't last very long.

So again, if you're interested let me know. We're open to other offers too so don't let the price tag frighten you off.

13 May 2013

Water for People

It's no great secret that I have some pretty strong relationships with a number of manufacturers. In all of these cases, I get involved with brands that make exceptional products and that are staffed by some truly great people.

One of those great brands is Blanco. I sit on Blanco's Design Council and I count the members of their marketing department and the staff of their advertising agency to be friends as well as colleagues. Blanco makes amazing sinks and faucets and the quality of their products is enough to make me a fan. What cements my affection is Blanco's willingness to take on new initiatives and to support causes that make the world a better place.

One of their newest causes is a foundation called Water for People. Water for People advocates for and provides permanent, sustainable, potable water sources for impoverished people who'd otherwise lack access to clean water and sanitation.

As part of Blanco's ongoing support of Water for People's mission, Blanco is currently running a fundraiser via their new YouTube video, Faucet Innovations.

Each click on that video will earn Water for People a $1 donation to help them fulfill their mission. So click on that video and send the link to your friends.

I consider myself to be pretty water conscious. Yet I can't help but think that I spent the weekend spraying potable water on my newly planted vegetable garden. Gardening for me is a hobby and having so much clean water at my fingertips that I can spray it on my tomatoes with abandon is something I take for granted.

But for most of the world's population, finding clean water is not a given and growing food for a hobby isn't an option. Organizations like Water for People are out to change that. Blanco's ready to help you to make a difference and all you need to do is click on a video. Click it!

22 May 2012

Out, out damned termites

The exterminator just left.

Life in a century-old, wooden structure comes at a price. Namely, drywood termites. Drywoods are one of the three kinds of termites we have in Florida. Whatever their species, they're bad news.


There are termite species that live all over but they seem to particularly common in the sun belt. I never remember them when I lived in the Northeast. In Florida however, they are part of the scenery. Just like palmetto bugs, having termites isn't a reflection on someone's housekeeping. Even so, having them makes me feel dirty somehow.

When I first moved here, the only cure for them was to have the house tented and treated with Vikane. Vikane is sulfuryl flouride, a relatively inert gas. These days we spot treat with a product called Termidor and it promises to kill every termite in the area but at the same time be inert to me because I'm a mammal and have a spine, Termidor doesn't affect me. At least according the research Dow's done.

Back to Vikane for a sec however. Sulfuryl flouide is a greenhouse gas and its widespread use is a bad idea. In its place, spot treatments with Termidor are becoming the default mode for termites.

Part of me longs for a day when I could just eliminate everything but it makes sense to spot treat and not damage the atmosphere instead of the scorch and burn method I'd prefer.

The exterminator Steve told me that I shouldn't keep things so neat because he couldn't tell where the termites were. Pardon my hygiene. I'll start allowing dust buffaloes to form under my bed to make life easier for exterminators. Hah!

Does anybody out there have any experience with Termidor? Am I alone in living in an old structure and dealing with termites? I remember seeing termite nests in the trees in Costa Rica and Panama and being awed by them. However, seeing them in my kitchen is whole other matter. If they're in my kitchen, what are they doing to my floorboards and rafters? I need to quit thinking.

Out, out damned termites!

19 December 2011

Cotto d'Este rethinks what tile can do

One need look no further than newspaper headlines to see that utility deregulation has been a bust. As public utilities have been allowed to consolidate and behave more like private concerns, their dividends to shareholders may have increased but their rates have have gone up significantly at the same time. Similarly, a near obsession with reducing labor costs has left them with a power grid that's as prone to breakdown as any business that cuts itself off at the knees in order to maximize its quarterly earnings. With increased earnings, utilities are better able to lobby legislatures to advance their agendas. As so-called public utilities buy off legislators they're able to pass along more of their costs to their customers. The utility I deal with, Progress Energy (Soon to be Duke Energy), has managed to convince the Florida Legislature that it's a good idea to have their customers pay for a new nuclear plant before it's even built. My electrical rates will increase by nearly 50% over the next eight years to pay for this new plant. As Fukushima demonstrated so perfectly, is nuclear power capable of living up to its promise?

Clearly, a central supplier of electricity is a losing proposition. But how to get out from under unresponsive and increasingly expensive "public" utilities? This isn't a failure of government as it is a failure for government to behave like a profit-making business.

So what there is to do is to start to take responsibility for electrical power away from the utilities and to make it more local and more personal.

My travels to Europe in the last year have shown me that there are a lot of ways the US can improve on our business as usual. The technologies evident over there during trade shows do point to a way out.

The rage these days in Europe in architecture is to install ventilated facades. These facades are a way to remake a building and insulate it at the same time. But the Sassuolo-based Cotto d'Este takes the idea of a ventilated facade and turns it on its ear.

Cotto d'Este's ventilated facades make electricity.

While solar power and photovoltaic cells can't obviate the need to electrical utilities, it's an enormous leap forward. Since utilities don't feel any pressing need to actually provide the services they're tasked to do, why not set about making our own electricity?

Cotto d'Este has a ceramic product that carries a 25-year warranty and that you can walk on. That's amazing. I live in a part of the world where the sun shines for an average of 360 days per year. I look at my roof and my neighbors roofs and wonder why we're not putting them to use. Between the incredible sunshine we enjoy and the sea breezes we experience ever day, why aren't we harnessing those forms of energy? Why do we rely on a power plant that burns coal, degrades our air and dumps mercury into The Bay?

Why does burning fossil fuels hold the appeal that it does?

How did oil- and coal-based energy generation become the standard for what constitutes a prosperous society? Isn't it time to look for another answer?

01 October 2011

A Toronto Tweet Up presented by Caroma and Modenus


Greenbuild 2011 runs from 4 through 7 October and it's taking place in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre. I'll be in Toronto representing and we're working with Caroma to host a Tweet Up at Caroma's booth on Wednesday morning at 10:30. Here's the link to the press release that went out last week.

So come meet me for a cup of coffee on Wednesday morning and while you're at the booth, you can learn all about high-efficiency bath products. You can also register to win an iPad2 and a host of other electronic gadgets.

In the interest of disclosure, my travel costs are being covered by Modenus, a website with which I have more than a passing interest. I'm a regular contributor to that site and I say it's the web's best resource for interior design inspiration and product information.

The Caroma brand was launched in 1941 and has been an innovation leader ever since. Caroma products are distributed worldwide and you can learn more about Caroma on their website. Caroma products are beautiful and in looking over a Caroma bath, you'd never know that their fixtures and fittings are highly water efficient and sustainably produced.

Caroma's booth number is 2111N in the north building and if you're at the show or in Toronto this week, I look forward to meeting you on Wednesday.

27 July 2011

Do you take cream and sugar with your solid surface?

This is a coffee shop in Portugal. It looks like a modern-ish coffee house anywhere in the world, so it's not its location that makes it interesting. No, what's interesting here are the brown surfaces on the back wall and behind the white lattice work. That material is called Çurface and it's made from spent coffee grounds mixed with recycled waste electronics. When used in a coffee house it pretty much defines the idea of a closed system, don't you think?

Çurface is the brain child of London-based industrial design firm Re-worked. Now that they have their formula perfected, Çurface is being used to make furniture and counters.

Çurface is available for sale as sheets from Re-worked directly and you can find out more information from the Çurface website here.

As a side note, a Ç makes an S sound in French so Çurface is pronounced "surface." May thanks to my brilliant cousin Tim for bringing this stuff to my attention.

08 April 2011

Yet another defense of the residential urinal

Check out the Drop urinal from Hidra.

Hidra developed the Drop specifically for the residential market, they didn't adapt a commercial one for home use. That's how most residential urinals come to be by the way. A manufacturer takes something that's meant for heavy use and scales it back a little bit.

Hidra took another tack though, and the Drop never had an incarnation as a commercial product. To make it easier to fir into existing baths, the Drop has been made slimmer and taller. It's also a pretty attractive piece of porcelain.

For the life of me, I will never understand the widespread rejection of urinals for home use. Having half the population flush 1.6 gallons of fresh, potable water down the drain every time they need to dispose of about a pint of liquid is one of the more absurd practices of modern life. It's a terrible misuse of resources and people continue to do it because of a strange unease around urinals.

Sometimes that unease is warranted but not for the reasons you may think. I was in Spain with my great friend Bob Borson earlier this year and he had encounter with a urinal in Valencia that has to be read to be appreciated.

Anyhow, back to the business of urinals. Think of it this way, if there's a man or men in the house and there's a urinal present, toilet seats can be kept down. That alone would make the divorce rate plummet.

If you're contemplating a bathroom remodel and there are men who will be affected by the renovation, consider installing a urinal in your new bath. The men involved will be thrilled and you'll cut down your water use significantly. At this stage of the game, who wouldn't welcome a lower utility bill?

You can find the Drop and more cool bath stuff on Lazio-based Hidra's website.

14 November 2010

Autumn re-runs; Break a CFL? Don't panic.

This post ran originally on 23 April 2009. Few things irritate me more than panic spawned by ignorance and scientific illiteracy. A shocking amount of pseudo-scientific nonsense gets run as gospel by the Huffington Post, almost as much as the nonsense spewed out by Fox News. Ignorance and panic peddling know no politics.

Math and science are how human beings come to understand the world. For some reason that perspective's considered to be suspect by a lot of people. I will never understand that suspicion. The world's a dangerous place and removing all danger is impossible. Furthermore, everything is a potential toxin, everything. So much so that the term toxin is meaningless. Toxicity is dose. Period. Sure, drinking a cup of mercury will kill you, but so will drinking a gallon of water in a half an hour. Should we ban water because it's a toxin? Individual CFLs aren't a problem. A landfill full of them is. So use them, be sensible and recycle them once they're burned out.

The key to all of this is to understand what level of exposure to something is unlikely to cause harm. That's not information you're going to get from the Huffington Post, Fox News or anybody else who has an interest in you being scared. Science is your friend.

Lisa Sharkey had a piece in yesterday's Huffington Post where she described her panic over a broken compact fluorescent light bulb in her home. She then listed a series of clean up procedures that could only have been written by a personal injury attorney. Sheesh. Calm down already!

All fluorescent light bulbs contain elemental mercury. That includes the long, skinny ones in offices and schools. Elemental mercury is a naturally-occurring heavy metal that's also a neurotoxin in high enough doses. Elemental mercury is a liquid at room temperature and it evaporates into a gas easily. That gas glows when electricity passes through it. Hence its use in light bulbs. Mercury has a long list of practical uses and is found in everything from Mercurochrome to mascara. High concentrations of elemental mercury are more damaging as a gas than as a solid, so there are some sensible precautions you'll want to take should you break one of these bulbs.

But let's get a little perspective first and do some math.

Let's say you break a CFL containing five milligrams of mercury in your child’s bedroom. Further, let's say that bedroom has a volume of 25 cubic meters (that's a medium-sized bedroom). For the sake of illustration, let's assume that the entire five milligrams of mercury in the bulb vaporizes immediately. This would result in an airborn concentration of 0.2 milligrams per cubic meter. This concentration will decrease with time, as air in the room leaves and is replaced by air from outside or from a different room. So even if you do nothing, the concentrations of mercury in the room will likely approach zero after about an hour or so.

Under these relatively conservative assumptions, this level and duration of mercury exposure is not dangerous, since it's lower than the US Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) standard of 0.05 milligrams per cubic meter of metallic mercury vapor averaged over eight hours. 

To equate the level of exposure in our broken bulb scenario with OSHA's eight-hour standard Imagine the immediate level of mercury in the room immediately after the bulb broke to be 0.2 milligrams of mercury per cubic meter. If we assume the air in the room changes every hour, then the eight-hour average concentration would be .025 milligrams per cubic meter.

See? No need to panic. While I wouldn't call it harmless exactly, it's not something you need to call a Hazmat team over.

So, in the event that you break a CFL, open a window to speed up the dispersal of the mercury vapor. If it makes you feel better, leave the room for a half an hour. Then come back and clean up the broken glass. 

29 October 2010

Coverings' Project: Green is calling for entries for 2011

LS3P Architects' Center City Green; Charlotte, NC. 

Coverings is on the hunt again for outstanding tile and stone projects where sustainability was a chief mission.

Installations judged worthy of recognition will earn a spot in Project: Green at Coverings 2011 in Las Vegas. Project: Green is a joint program with Environmental Design + Construction magazine that's returning to Coverings in 2011. Projects selected for this distinction will enjoy exposure in a centerpiece display at the March 14-17th international trade show and conference at The Sands Expo and Convention Center in Las Vegas. An added benefit is subsequent feature in a 2011 issue of ED+C.  Entries for Project: Green are now being accepted with submissions due by Friday, January 14, 2011.

In 2010, Project: Green honored 12 entrants. They ranged from the USGBC’s own headquarters in Washington, DC; to a Whole Foods Market in Dedham, MA. Also among those recognized were a healthcare facility in Moderna Italy, and a residential project in British Columbia, Canada. In fact, Project: Green is open to both domestic and international projects. The key criteria are that they use tile and stone in a way that yields an aesthetically distinctive as well as environmentally responsible site, and qualify in one of the following categories:  Residential New, Residential Remodel, Commercial New, Commercial Remodel, Institutional New, Institutional Remodel.  Only projects completed between January 2009 and December 2010 will be considered.

The entry requirements include at least four photographic illustrations, along with two narrative essays. Essay #1 asks for detailed information on the tile and stone used in the project area, where it was applied and how much was installed; Essay #2 must describe how the project meets the judging criteria. There is no fee to enter, and it is open to architects, designers, builders, contractors, distributors, retailers, manufacturers and installers. Multiple entries are accepted. You can find all of the information you need on the Coverings 2011 Website.

To better get into the spirit of things, here are some highlights from last year's Project: Green. Since this is a blog about residential design (usually), I'm going to show the top picks on the residential side.

First up is a kitchen renovation by Harris Welker Architects in Rollingwood, Texas.

Why's it sustainable?

• Reutilization of existing space, no additional square footage added to kitchen area due
to large oak trees outside kitchen breakfast window

• Existing kitchen oak cabinets were deconstructed by Habitat for Humanity and resold/
reinstalled at another location; Cardell cabinets fabricated locally in San Antonio, TX

• Energy Star Kitchenaid appliances

• Vetrazzo recycled glass countertops

• T5 energy efficient cove lighting and LED undercounter lights

• Grohe Faucet and Kohler cast iron sink

• Sherwin WIlliams Harmony No-VOC paint

• Marazzi 13”x13” glazed porcelain floor tile

• Back-painted glass at cooking area backsplash; recycled glass “pool” tile
at wet area backsplash

• Waste management program

Next up is a new home in Winter Park, Florida. The architect and builder is Phil Kean. Phil's a friend I've known for a longer than either of us want to admit and it's a thrill to see him honored like this.

Why's it sustainable?

• Stone walls are pre-consumer recycled quartz panels from RealStone Systems
• Driveway pavers cut from salvaged terrazzo flooring
• Sherwin-Williams Duration Home low VOC paint
• Gammapar bamboo flooring
• Stained concrete floors
• Shaw Green Label Carpet and Triple Touch Green Carpet Pad
• Locally manufactured custom veneer cabinets using low formaldehyde plywood and
water-based stains
• Alternate Energy Technologies solar water heating panels from AllSolar
• NCFI Sealite Polyurethane Spray Foam insulation — organic based
• 95% recycled-content drywall
• Hurd, Low-E, double pane, aluminum-clad wood windows
• Versico reflective roof membrane (minimal heat gain, recycled-content and Energy Star-
• Carrier high-efficiency heat pump with 16.3 SEER
• Fresh-air intake; Infinity air purifier with a 15 MERV air filter; dehumidifier
• Dal-Tile ceramic and glass recycled-content tile
• Compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs) in 95% of lights
• Danze, Grohe & Hans Grohe high-efficiency plumbing fixtures
• Toto dual-flush toilets
• Thermador Energy Star appliances
• Bosch Axxis high-efficiency washer and dryer
• Drought-tolerant turf grass: Zoysia Grass
• EcoSmart fireplace

As if the house weren't enough, Phil won a separate award for the bathroom too. In addition to winning Best Bath for Project: Green, it was also named Orlando Bathroom of the Year in 2009. Bravo Phil! Check out the rest of his projects on his website.

Why's it sustainable?

• Dal-Tile ceramic recycled-content tile
• Danze, Grohe & Hans Grohe water-conserving and high-efficiency plumbing fixtures
• Toto dual-flush toilets
• Granite-remnant vanity countertops
• Locally manufactured custom veneer cabinets by Frank Bennett of Longwood
• Low-formaldehyde plywood
• Low-VOC stains and finishes
• Sherwin-Williams Duration Home low-VOC paint
• Stained concrete floors
• Alternate Energy Technologies solar water heating panels from AllSolar
• NCFI Sealite Polyurethane Spray Foam insulation — organic based
• Concrete blocks salvaged from previous projects
• Exterior wall concrete block cells filled with concrete
• Concrete made of fly ash, a power plant by-product that increases durability
• 100% recycled-content drywall
• Boracare for termite control
• Hurd, Low-E, double pane, aluminum-clad wood windows
• Versico reflective roof membrane (minimal heat gain, recycled-content and Energy Star-
• Carrier high-efficiency heat pump with 16.3 SEER and sized appropriately at 4 tons
(approximately 750 sf/ton)
• Fresh-air intake
• Infinity air purifier with a 15 MERV air filter
• Quiet and timed bath exhaust fans
• Dehumidifier
• Energy Star lighting package
• Compact fluorescent lighting (CFLs)
• Lutron sectional lighting control system

And finally, the best bath renovation from Project: Green 2010 wasn't designed and built by Phil Keane, it's by Sandra Khalil Interior Design in Surrey, British Columbia.

Why's it sustainable?

• Porcelain floor tile 23.5”x23.5”

• Glass wall tile 12”x22”

That may not sound like much but the tile used in that bathroom is is from Mirage in Italy. Mirage, like all Italian tile manufacturers, adhere to a standard of sustainability that's one of the most rigorous in the world. This floor tile , Black Lines from their Fabric collection, proves that sustainability can be breathtaking.

So, if you're a designer or an architect with a sustainable project you're dying to show the world, Project: Green is your golden opportunity. It's open to entries from anywhere int he world and you can enter as many projects for consideration as you'd like. Go to Coverings 2011's website for full details.

10 August 2010

Is living smaller the new living large?

A group of us are tackling this topic this morning in what's becoming a phenomenon of its own, the Twitter-generated blog off. At the end of the post, I'll link to everybody else who's writing on this subject today. In the meantime, here goes my two cents on living smaller.
We're living smaller -- financially, ecologically, consuming less... We're able to spend less time working to support the things in our life and more time just living.
Or so said Ann Holley in The New York Times in a Trendspotting article last January. Holley and her husband live in a 127 square foot living space. They are graduate students.

That such a quote would end up in a Trendspotting article is of a piece with another Census study that's been making the rounds all year. 2009's Characteristics of New Housing published by the US Census bureau found that the average new home in the US averaged 2438 square feet in 2009. That's down 100 square feet from the peak finding in 2007.

A little perspective. The difference between a 2538 square foot home and a 2438 sqare foot home is imperceptible. And in using that example, I'm falling into the same statistical trap that every trendspotter in the land made when they read it. Because this number is an average, it doesn't take into account anything other than a structure's status as new housing. The condominiums now languishing on the market might very well be the driver of that square foot drop. They might be, I don't know for sure. I don't think it matters here though.

The conventional wisdom is that Americans are indeed living smaller but I don't believe it. The majority of the people in the US live in suburbia. Suburbia that looks like this.

Despite all the claims to the contrary, this is what the American Dream looks like in 2010.

A new, disposable home in inhuman scale set in a car-dependent neighborhood, which is also at a scale that something less than human. It's also a version of the American Dream that's as unsustainable today as it was when it was conceived.

The American living room looks like this. No wonder Americans are so cranky. They could really use a remodel by a talented team like SHS Roofing to make that living room into a happier space.

Shopping and town square socializing looks like this.

The places where such things as socializing and shopping used to take place now look like this.

So long as American downtowns continue to be abandoned and neglected, so long as the overwhelming majority of Americans need a car to go about their day-to-day lives, so long as Wal-Mart continues to be the the US's largest private employer and grocery retailer, I won't believe that Americans are living smaller.

Sorry to be such a party pooper. The rest of the gang'll be writing about the joys of smaller scale living but I feel like a voice in the wilderness with this stuff. So to answer the group question this morning, Is living smaller the new living large? I say the answer is no.

To read more ideas on this theme, check out:

Veronica Miller at Modenus, A Small Life is Good, but Slow Down to enjoy it! 

Richard Holdschuh at Concrete Detail, Small is Beautiful but Relativity Rules

Nick Lovelady at Cupboards Kitchen and Bath, Is Small Really Realistic?

Rufus the dog at Dog Walk Blog, How Much Does it Cost You To Exist for One Hour? Size Matters

Becky Shankle from Eco Modernism, Is Living Smaller the New Living Large?

Saxon Henry's Chair Chick, Living Small (and Getting Shagged!)

Sean Lintow's The Homeowner's Resource Center, Building Smaller, Is it the Next Big Thing?

Cindy Fruen-Wuellner as Urban Verse and her Posterous, Living Large and Small: Trading Hummers for Pumas Ain't the Whole Story 

08 August 2010

Regenesi recycles with grace and style

About a month ago, my good friend Saxon Henry wrote an article for her great design site, Roaming by Design. Her article was an interview with Silvia Pazzi and an overview of the products being offered by her company Regenesi.

Regenesi is a producer of designed products for the home and elsewhere and it was founded two years ago in Bologna. Regenesi has launched in the US recently and it was this lamp that hooked me.

The Lamp is part of the O-Re-Gami collection designed by Matali Crasset and it's made from regenerated leather. Like all of the raw materials used to make Regenesi's products, O-Re-Gami's regenerated leather is 100% recycled and 100% recyclable.

The O-Re-Gami collection also consists of a waste can and a cup, both made from the same material.

Regenesi's two guiding principles are that everything they make be beautiful and sustainable, and without exception, their offerings are so beautiful you'd never imagine them to be green products. Say goodbye to the hair shirts, Regenesi's rewriting the rules.

Take a look through their website, you find that everything adheres to their motto, Il bello é sostenibile. On that site, you'll find everything from the O-Re-Gami collection above to jewelry and all of it's recycled, recyclable and most importantly, sustainable. Italian grace and style have a new voice in Regenesi.