The Depave Movement Battles Concrete Landscapes

Depave is a movement with a mission. The drive to replace excess concrete to green up city spaces has inspired and fueled their crusade. Located in Portland, Oregon, the nonprofit organization attempts to enrich existing dull pavement plots and to promote more aesthetically pleasing spaces. Their idea is that living in the city does not have to mean giving up green areas. It is against human nature to be constantly disconnected with outdoor surroundings, and bringing life back into urban spaces that are overabundant with concrete backdrops is a valuable way to put unused, stark sections of land to work. With… read more

Recycled War Relics Turned Into Art

Recycled War Relics Turned Into Art

Strong emotions can come from just looking at a war artifact. Recycled war remnants can turn fragments of historic events into strong statement pieces. Mati Karmin, an artist who uses a distinct material for his works, generates solid furniture pieces using discarded metal husks that were left behind from Russia’s withdraw from Estonia in the 90’s. He has created a series titled MARINEMINE: The Mine Furniture. Chairs, cabinets, beds, bathtubs, swings and grill ovens are just a few of the solid productions. Recycling these colossal naval bomb shells into furniture is definitely an original and conversational concept. Ezri Tarazi has… read more

Cool Roofing Designs Save Energy

Cool Roofing Designs Save Energy

As temperatures begin to rise, many assess what can be done to reduce energy costs. In looking for potential sources of energy waste, the rooftop may often be a forgotten about structure. As long as roofs are leak free and stable, sometimes not much more thought may be put into them. There are, however, modifications that can be made to roofs to make them more energy efficient. Darker roofing can clearly attract more heat, thus reducing energy savings. Cool roof designs use roofing materials that reflect light, therefore lessening heat absorption. A lighter colored covering or a white roof can… read more

Tips on Efficient House Preparations for Summer

Artist's Image

There are proper ways to get your home in shape for the summer, and then there’s the way most everyone else does it. We’d like to share some important tips and techniques to help you best ready for the summer heat waves. Some of our suggestions may seem like no-brainers, but they can often become neglected. The first is to use your air conditioning unit conservatively. This can be done in several ways. You can make sure to insulate your home so that no cool air escapes (this is also useful in the wintertime), purchase some oscillating floor fans to… read more

Sustainable Fencing Options

Fencing materials can be expensive and often not so naturally produced. A lot of fencing has been treated with chemicals and may come from overly harvested sources. Sustainable products and recycled resources can be used to make spectacular fencing. Some materials that make durable, eco friendly fences include bamboo, however ensure that it is purchased from a reputable source as some on the market may not be sustainably gathered. The Forest Stewardship Council certifies woods that are ecologically manufactured. Old wood that has been salvaged can be a good option to purchasing new wood for fencing. Reclaimed wood fences will… read more

Make a Rug Out of Recycled Materials

Felt Chevron Rug from Ready Made

Tons of functional designs can be made from recycled and surplus supplies. Rugs are one example of useful items that can be made from resources that are already on hand, or readily available ones that can be saved up for a project. Plastic bags make sturdy, lasting rugs that are perfect for outdoor weather. Their colors can be incorporated into patterns and assembled into any size. Also, their constant free supply makes them an ideal material. Homestead Weaving Studio makes “bag-in-a-tree rugs” which were inspired by driving through rural Indiana and Southern Illinois in the U.S. and observing the many… read more

Aromatic Design

Aromatic Design

The use of scent can have a profound effect on the impression of a space. While quality design tries to evoke the senses, one element that may seemingly get lost as important in the process is the incorporation of natural aromatics. Spaces are often more than just what is seen. There is also an invisible mood often which can be attributed to, among other things, fragrances in the air. Sensory experiences, especially odors, can bring back memories associated with a particular smell or group of smells. Research on the importance of smell has been conducted in numerous studies. Chemesthesis, or… read more

Wooden Pallets Turned Into Functional Designs

Wooden Pallets Turned Into Functional Designs

Seemingly uninspiring items can often be repurposed into practical pieces. Wooden Pallets are an example of an object that can be used in endless ways. Their fairly sturdy structure and versatility make them an ideal starter base for projects. They can be painted, stained, decorated, stacked, drilled and nailed into creative, usable items. For example, wooden pallets can be turned into the perfect desks. With only a few materials, tools and securely attached table legs you can create an instant work space. The pallets open middle allows necessities to be easily accessible. In addition to a desk, this design can… read more

Living Buildings: Responsible Design

Living Buildings: Responsible Design

The construction industry has progressed a great deal in environmentally conscious building efforts. Taking green structures to a higher level with heightened expectations of what a building can do though, are living buildings. Living buildings are exactly that – buildings that have whole systems implanted to practically run themselves. Buildings are considered living if they are able to efficiently create and sustain their own necessities, like energy and water. Renewable resources and on-site conservation techniques are employed to allow the building to function without an excess of energy consumption. One example of an inclusive living building is the Bullitt Center in… read more

Landscaping With Solar Lighting

Landscaping With Solar Lighting

Though outdoor lighting provides visibility and security, traditional landscape lighting can use up a lot of energy. Using outdoor solar lights can provide decorative illumination without using electricity. Designing with solar lighting can be much simpler than wired lights, as they can be easily integrated where needed. They can be placed along walkways, sidewalks, patios and entryways to provide efficient, year-round lighting. In addition to the energy conserving benefits of using outdoor solar lighting, maintenance is also low, and usually requires only periodic light cleaning and a back-up battery recharge, if necessary. Also, just like their energy consuming counterparts, solar… read more