Leslie Smith

On The Menu: Genetically Modified Organisms

GMO's

66% of those who participated in a poll in the U.S. showed a preference for manufacturer’s food labels to reveal what products contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs). Since over 90% of U.S. corn crops are genetically modified, it is no wonder more insightful consumers are in support of transparent food labeling. Genetically modified foods are among us and have been for some time, and you might not even know you are ingesting the experimental fares. In primary school you may have learned that by putting a seed in a cup, providing good dirt, water and sunlight you would soon have… read more

What Comes Around Goes Around At Thilafushi

What Comes Around Goes Around At Thilafushi

Manmade garbage islands are the epitome of a wasteful society, and one is an ever growing reminder of the tossed out and seemingly forgotten. A former inlet west of Malé called Thilafushi, a water haven with white sand beaches, became a growing lure for tourists. This created another growing problem, waste. Garbage became an overwhelming issue in the area, and  it received an altering transformation in 1992. The idea was concocted to dig into the watery earth of the cove and use the depth to conceal the ever-piling trash. Far from a sensible approach to waste management, excess trash soon began stemming… read more

Leftover Lace Makes Versatile Designs

upcycledtreasures.com

Adding a little lace can give a design an instant lift. Whether seeking a style that’s a little edgy, sweet or a kickback to a couple decades ago – lace can make it happen. No-sew projects with doilies, remnants or upcycled materials can turn a plain item into an original statement piece, for a fraction of the price of a store bought item. Too tight, too short or too boring shirts can be made bigger and more fashionable by adding a lace extender. Sew a lace panel into the side seam or around the bottom edge of a T-shirt or… read more

Sculpture And Movement At Sea

Sculpture And Movement At Sea

Art centered around the world’s oceans can make a strong statement. Zhan Wang is an internationally known artist who has been creating for several decades. One of his more famous works titled the Floating Mountain of Immortals is created from steel formed over natural rock, which is later extracted. The exhibit has shown worldwide, including a stay off the Belgian coast in the North Sea. From far away the formed together objects look like a shiny island. A closer look reveals it is actually a manmade rock that houses many everyday items, fused together for display. The steel island incorporates forms like mythological… read more

Design Ideas Made With Ice

Design Ideas Made With Ice

Decorating for parties, holidays and guests can be time consuming and an added expense. The following designs are simple to make and do not require a ton of supplies. They are also budget friendly and most can be made using things around the house, and the finished products add an extra welcoming touch. Ice Luminaries Ice Luminaries and hurricanes are super easy to make, and require only a freezable container to hold water and desired inserts. [paidcontent] This idea uses fragrant, fresh evergreen branches embedded in ice. Other items like citrus fruits, seasonal berries, flowers or pine cones can also be used…. read more

The Balanced Home

The Balanced Home

Probably whether we realize it or not, we are actively seeking balance in our surroundings. Our work environments and living spaces can evoke emotional responses, such as anxiety or relaxation. Quality design professionals understand this and also take into consideration their clients’ personalities and needs in the space. Achieving balance in a room is one of the keys to rousing the preferred emotions and can even inspire certain behaviors. Whether an area needs to be functioning and work friendly, calm and restorative or energetic and social, thinking about how all of the elements can come together to obtain an intended goal… read more

Have A Tapas Dinner Party

Have A Tapas Dinner Party

Gathering around good food with family or great friends always makes everything better. Having a tapas style dinner is a perfect way to share the everyday or the special, and just as important as the food that is served is that it is shared. Thought to originate in Spain, this style of eating allows guests to select favorites or try out different foods with no main course to dictate what or how much to enjoy. Traditionally, tapas is served when people gather, socialize and graze on snacks consisting of a variety of foods in snack sized portions and appetizer presentations served in… read more

The Wabi House Just Might Make You Smarter

The Wabi House Just Might Make You Smarter

Located in Carlsbad, California, the Wabi House is a thoughtful build centered around nature and purpose. Sebastian Mariscal Studio headed the project, which was a renovation that updated the former ranch style home. The exterior is mostly concrete and charred cedar, a Shou Sugi Ban technique which provides durability and minimal upkeep. Nestled behind a forest-like canopy, the landscape features no maintenance plant selections and the rooftop deck and garden offers a view from above. The home has gorgeous Japanese style entryways and windows that provide openness and optimal cross ventilation. Wall length glass doors that are positioned across the living quarters… read more

What Is The Living Building Challenge?

What Is The Living Building Challenge?

Projects that are able to meet the Living Building Challenge (LBC) standards are considered exemplary models of green construction and have received the highest level of environmental attention. Started by Jason F. McLennan, Bob Berkebile and the Cascadia Green Building Council the LBC is a program that encourages construction focused on sustainable energies, water and materials. Requirements are made up of different performance categories, or Petals, which are sectioned into Imperatives. These include: Place, Water, Energy, Health and Happiness, Materials, Equity and Beauty. Additionally, projects have to recognize their Living Transect, which concentrates on the actual site chosen for development…. read more

Hello Neighbors

Hello Neighbors

This passive house design has both a solid, yet meet-and-greet style and lively green doors and windows that say welcome. The Leeuw House, designed by NU Architectuuratelier is an interesting construction, to say the least. Situated in scenic Sint-Pieters-Leeuw, Belgium, this home is not only unique looking it is also a model of energy efficiency. Its bold form does follow the volume of the adjacent structures, but its design was selected to best capture heat. Though it does boldly stand out among its countryside neighbors, the interesting exterior façade is completely refreshing. The darker finish helps to absorb warmth and strategic… read more