Leslie Smith

These Homes Refuse To Be Boxed In

These Homes Refuse To Be Boxed In

Homes that break out of a boxy style are refreshing, and attention to details like form, angles and natural lighting make them even more interesting. From Giovanni D’Ambrosio, this uniquely shaped home in Mount Hotham, Australia is an entertaining architectural feat. Taking natural stone and blending it with wood and metal, the house is formed into an interesting angle. The use of materials correlates to the outside surroundings and gives it an organic feel, only with an unexpected edge. Preconstruction took the existing landscape into account, and the home was built around already present trees. Almost as if drawing inspiration from the rough… read more

Leading By Example

Leading By Example

Industry, though necessary in a modern world, has a big impact on the environment. It takes enormous energy to run places, and yet there are some organizations and workplaces making great efforts to reduce their impact. Great Britain is home to one extremely green hospital. Featured on Real Green TV, University Hospital of South Manchester is the first in the UK to install a large 4 megawatt biomass plant, which greatly decreases their carbon dioxide emissions. Implementing greener ways of doing things is a commitment reportedly taken seriously by staff. The goal is to become carbon neutral, and in addition to… read more

Terrace Living Offers An Outdoor Connection

Terrace Living Offers An Outdoor Connection

Homes that incorporate the outdoors into the design can open up the possibilities for living spaces. The following are a few houses that work terraces into the floor plan in attention grabbing ways. Architect Katrin Oggesen from Archibald Buero was the creative mind behind this geometric style lake house. The open home design is positioned to still offer privacy while remaining exposed to the forest and water nearby. The indoor floor plan is no-frills and allows a natural flow that is uncluttered and doesn’t detract from the gorgeous outdoor surroundings. Incorporating a strategically placed terrace upstairs makes the master suite… read more

Pretentious Packaging

Pretentious Packaging

Food packaging is sometimes an evil necessity. It is certainly helpful in keeping food and beverage items safe while traveling and free from contaminants until purchased. However, cardboard and plastic packaging in particular are responsible for tons of waste each year. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency reported that in 2008 in the U.S. alone there were 1,170 thousand tons of bags and sacks generated, with only 440 thousand tons of this recovered in recycling efforts. Milk cartons accounted for 490 thousand tons of packaging waste, with none recaptured. The total production numbers from this year for paper and paperboard containers… read more

The Crown Of Spring

The Crown Of Spring

Handmade floral headbands made with fresh or crafted flowers are a nod to spring and reawakening. These require few materials and can be made using items from around the house and flowers or other natural items from outdoors. Also, other choices for decorative materials, like recycled papers or fabrics can be used to make them. The crowns can be made in any size and can be tailored for children and adults. They also make great gifts, and little hands can learn how to craft them too. They make sweet gifts for birthdays, Mother’s Day and other special events. If making… read more

Try These All Natural DIY Potions To Ban Pests

Try These All Natural DIY Potions To Ban Pests

When the weather is nice outside, there is usually one thing that isn’t very pleasing – insects. They are annoying and can be worrisome. Keeping them out of your yard and off of your skin can be done without using ingredients that may be questionable. Keep outdoor pests away naturally with these DIY mixtures. Mosquitoes can sometimes be harmful and are definitely always irritating. Many over the counter chemical applications include the ingredient N,N-diethyl-meta-toluamide, or DEET. Though effective for keeping mosquitoes away and approved for use by the U.S. Envrionmental Protection Agency, there are specific application recommendations and it has many concerns when applied… read more

Houses Built with Reclaimed Materials

storybook house

In a world of mass-marketed mayhem, it isn’t necessary to succumb to consumerism, even during residential construction. That attitude is exactly what fuels some designers who have a keen eye for practicality and a clear conceptualization of reuse. By taking original ideas of recycling and tunneling them to the advantage of others, real differences can be made in helping obtain basic needs, like housing. Ingrid Vaca Diez has found architectural genius in a plastic bottle. Or actually, in many bottles. Able to find large quantities of plastic bottles in Bolivia where she resides, the practical idea surfaced to use them… read more

Art For Ransom In The Oceans

Art For Ransom In The Oceans

Recycled art from marine litter is an in your face reminder of manmade effluence. Ocean debris and water pollution are unacceptable proceedings of an unnaturally occupied culture. Artists who use the oceans’ trash as their bittersweet mediums help to spread the message of how large the consequences of careless disposal are. The nonprofit Washed Ashore Project is a conceptualization of the Artula Institute for Arts and Environmental Education. The project takes the issue into the forefront of the community through outreaches and volunteers. By utilizing the arts to communicate and educate the public about the devastating effects of plastics and… read more

No Shortage Of Views In These Glass Homes

No Shortage Of Views In These Glass Homes

Windows are a welcomed aspect of a room, letting natural light and fresh air in. The following 2 home designs make use of windows in an inventive way. Called the Flip House, this unique San Francisco, California family residence from Fougeron Architecture is a sunny, inviting escape from the average cookie-cutter home. This structure makes use of high spaces and gorgeous views with a vertical design. Though the shape is certainly a stand out design, it fulfills more than appearances. It was revamped to include the original window wall in order to make more use of the circulation possibilities in… read more

A Sparkly New Discovery In Western Australia

A Sparkly New Discovery In Western Australia

A mining expedition and a researcher in mineralogy have uncovered an interesting discovery. A completely new kind of mineral was found located in Lake Cowan in the Western portion of Australia. It has been named putnisite, and according to researchers from the University of Adelaide in South Australia, its chemical makeup and crystallography are unlike any other mineral currently known. Scientists are not sure yet what exactly to make of the mineral, or know yet if it has any useful properties. Most findings and examinations lead to classifying an item and learning more about it. As described on Phys.org, what… read more