Sustainable design has many facets. Whether it's incorporating unique architecture that maximizes light exposure, furnishing with reclaimed materials, or reducing carbon emissions with green power, these houses showcase the best in innovative eco practices and stunning design. Many of them are also fittingly located in breathtaking environments, where farmlands, seashores, and jungles complement the sleek architectural frames of these modern homes. If you're looking to incorporate eco elements into your own home through a remodel or are simply curious about the diversity of sustainable design, you'll definitely want to peruse this impressive collection of homes!
Laurie Furber's pursuit of a stylishly sustainable lifestyle inspired her to launch Greenhouse Design Studio, a hybrid of an online shop, social networking site, and resource guide for green businesses. While curating a sustainable home takes time, Laurie believes in starting small. Her suggestion? Implement thoughtful details that make holiday entertaining easier and more eco-friendly — regardless of budget or aesthetic.
Laurie's entertaining style is decidedly casual and usually involves candlelight and a bountiful buffet, allowing guests to self serve and mingle freely. With the holidays approaching, she's sticking to simple guidelines and a few tricks to get her through the season.
Los Angeles-based prefab company Connect:Homes is launching a new line of affordable, sustainable modular homes, which are perfect for a backhouse, guesthouse, or office space. To celebrate the launch, Connect:Homes has teamed up with West Elm and designer Kishani Perera to outfit the first Connect 2.1 Modern Prefab Pop-Up. This beautifully decorated prefab was unveiled today at Dwell on Design, and you can check it out in person through June 24 at the Los Angeles Convention Center.
In case you can't make it to Dwell on Design, the Connect:Homes prefab showcase will be on view in Venice, CA, in July and August, where it will host a series of open houses and events, and can also be viewed by appointment. Keep clicking to take a peek!
Reclaimed or salvaged lumber has been all the rage for years now, but sometimes architects, designers, and homeowners are looking for an option that's a little more streamlined and easy to work with. That's where Timeline comes in. This brilliant option can be used for all sorts of home applications, from your floor to your ceiling and more, and offers the same color depth and texture that reclaimed wood does, but avoiding all the problems that are often associated with working with reclaimed lumber. And it's also a great eco option. How does Timeline do it all? Keep clicking to find out and get inspired.
Noted environmentalist and actor Adrian Grenier has just moved SHFT.com headquarters to the W Hollywood and The Residences. Grenier cofounded SHFT in 2009 with film producer Peter Glatzer as a way to inform and inspire others about environmentalism and sustainability. SHFT will use the new headquarters at the W Residences for hosting private events and screenings, conducting meetings, producing lifestyle and video content, and displaying SHFT-curated products.
"The Residences at W Hollywood is a fantastic property that marries sustainable luxury living and great innovation in the heart of Hollywood," Grenier said in a press statement. "It's an ideal partnership because the property is a reflection of what SHFT stands for, and we're excited to start producing art shows and music series, and in general to start bringing the creative SHFT community to our new home."
Keep clicking to tour the space, and to get inspired with some ideas on going eco chic at your home, too!
Photos courtesy of SHFT
Adrian Grenier photo courtesy of Getty
For travelers craving an adventure, Sweden's Treehotel is a must-book vacation destination. The two-year-old "hotel" is located an hour by car from Luleå airport, with five very unique structures already built and in operation. In total, 24 rooms are planned for this forested area around Harads. Of course, there's also a sauna as well — it wouldn't be a Scandinavian stay without one.
The treerooms are suspended off the ground and can be accessed by various methods depending on room, with ramps or bridges two of the ways to get to your room. These eco-friendly and absolutely adventurous spaces are a delight to the senses. Keep clicking to take a quick tour of Sweden's Treehotel.
Recently we attended a little party at friends house, and I just loved the way the hostess had used coffee sacks as accents in the garden. Such a simple and easy to realize idea, where the outcome is really great!
Picnic season is in full swing, and while convenience is crucial, you also want to be sure to avoid creating excess waste. If your idea of eco-friendly picnic fare conjures visions of tan hemp napkins and outdated designs, think again. You're going to be surprised by what's available these days. We've combed the web to pull together picnic products that are so cute, you might not even believe they're eco-friendly.
When it comes to buying cut flowers, sometimes it's hard to remember that behind those beautiful blooms sometimes lurks something more sinister — namely thousands of miles of shipping and herbicides and pesticides. That's why Deborah Prinzing, the author of the new book The 50 Mile Bouquet, recommends that you buy local and sustainable flowers for those you love (like your Mom this Mother's Day). Keep reading for Deborah's great tips on local and beautiful bouquets, and if you're in the San Francisco Bay Area, check out Deborah's event at Flora Grubb on Mother's Day.
As more florists and designers discover the negatives of that green foam block (also called florist's foam or Oasis), they are returning to some tried-and-true techniques for stabilizing stems in a vase. The problem with the foam is that it is a formaldehyde-based product that does not break down in landfills. Many designers I've interviewed express concern about breathing and/or exposing their skin to the material.
Alternatives to Floral Foam
- Vintage and new flower frogs. I started collecting these years ago and they're easy to find at tag sales and vintage flea markets for under $5 or $10. Use and reuse!
- Pebbles, glass beads, and marbles.
- Excelsior fibers. Also called wood aspen, you can find this packing material through craft stores or wine shops. Insert a tangle of the fibers in your vase and then you can stick stems through the fibers to stabilize. When you're finished with the arrangement , the excelsior fibers can go into the compost pile with other clippings.
- Chicken wire.I have a $15 roll of 15 inch by 5 foot-long poultry fencing that I use over and over again. Just use wire clippers to cut off a 12-inch section of the wire so you have an approximate square. Form it into a loose ball to fit the interior dimensions of your container . If the container is shallow, use sticky clay (available in the floral department at Michael's or other craft stores) to anchor the chicken wire in place.
- Twigs and branches. I learned this technique from several designers I interviewed for The 50 Mile Bouquet. As a first step. arrange a framework of decorative twigs inside your vase, placing each one at an angle that crosses over the next. This interior matrix is then perfect for inserting other floral branches and foliage — and the twigs become part of the design.
Keep reading for more eco floral design tips!
Sustainable decor should never compromise stylish design, and with so many amazing green brands on the market, it's easier to find a variety of looks to suit all types of aesthetics. In honor of Earth Day, we scoured the market to find eco-friendly textiles and rugs that are not only easy on the eyes and the earth, but also the wallet. If you're looking for beautiful sustainable decor to bring into your home this Spring, take a look at some of the pieces that are making our eco-shopping list!