Wednesday, April 22, 2009

How to Enjoy a White Sofa- Even if You Have Kids

Have you ever lusted after a pure white sofa, but had to deny yourself because it just wasn't practical? White looks so crisp and beautiful in the showroom or on the magazine page, but you KNOW it will be a grimy, icky nightmare after only days in your own home. Well, finally you can have that sophisticated look, and not worry about red wine or even mustard.

The latest advances in technology are focusing on nanotechnology - the science of super tiny things- and now it is being applied to fabrics. NanoTex, the company responsible for bringing this to the consumer is using the technology to create spill and stain-releasing fabrics for home and apparel. One of my favorite home textile companies, Calvin Fabrics, is using NanoTex on their line of natural and neutral textures.

With NanoTex applied, liquids bead up and can be blotted easily away. The real beauty of the technology, however, lies in the fact that the feel (hand) of the fabric is not changed, nor is the color or appearance. Because the molecules that create the stain repellent are so tiny, they bind directly with the fibers of the fabric, rather than coating them. This also makes the stain releasing capability even more effective - stains can't even get to the fibers.

While still using a chemical to achieve the results, NanoTex is more eco-friendly because the nanotechnology allows a minuscule amount of chemical to give better results than other formulas which contain harmful VOC's.

Monday, April 20, 2009

Wastepaper Basket from Waste Paper

Here's an innovative idea for you- a container for trash that reduces the amount of trash in landfills. CHUCK™ is the world's first modern wastepaper basket constructed of 100% recycled cardboard and printed with low VOC water-based soy inks.

Inspired by walking past a pile of trash, these fun waste baskets are available in a variety of printed patterns and designs. Perfect for guest rooms, dorms, playrooms, etc. Take your recycling to the next level- not only is Chuck made from recycled material, it is 100% recyclable when it's useful life is over.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Healthy Sleep with Organic Mattresses

Looking for a quality mattress that will let you sleep healthy, deeply and well? If you suffer from allergies, asthma or environmental illnesses, a natural mattress is exactly what you need. Several all-natural mattresses are now available, but one of my favorite is from Savvy Rest. Originally developed as the Savvy Baby Organic crib mattress, now all Savvy Rest mattresses are free of toxic chemicals, just as your sleep should be.

Several factors play into creating a healthy mattress, including the following:
Most mattresses and pillows—even most organic ones—are welcoming habitats for allergens. Dust mites cause breathing problems, stress the immune system and can trigger asthma attacks. A chemical-free organic mattress should also be hypoallergenic, or you’ll just be trading one problem for another. Savvy Rest is made of natural latex rubber, in which dust mites can’t survive.

Pressure Relieving
Your mattress should support you in supreme comfort. Most conventional mattresses, particularly those made with innersprings or coils, produce painful pressure points that cause you to toss and turn.

Natural latex rubber, the core of a Savvy Rest, is pressure relieving and promotes the deepest stages of sleep. You can choose very firm, very soft, or any grade between (on each side).

A removable mattress casing made with certified organic wool fiber quilted to certified organic cotton fabric (not cotton fiber—see cotton fiber vs. cotton fabric for the crucial difference). The wool’s lanolin is naturally repellent to dust mites and microscopic scales covering each strand keep the internal ticking environment dry. So you’ll sleep warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer on a Savvy Rest.

Savvy Rest mattresses are available in Scottsdale at Natural Territory, or through your designer.

Monday, April 13, 2009

Eco-friendly Wallpaper goes Mod

Many traditional wall coverings often use PVC, a harmful and toxic material (VOC)that has been known to off-gas into the air. Buying toxin-free textiles is an important health consideration that can’t be ignored, especially for homes with infants or people who suffer from respiratory illnesses. One company, Mod Green Pod was founded by Lisa and Nancy Mims as a means to offer safer and fashionable alternatives to conventional textile prints. Their products are not just graphically gorgeous, but completely green too. They are completely free of vinyl, and use water-based inks on 100% certified organic cotton-based fabric.

In addition to these wonderfully playful yet sophisticated wallpapers, Mod Green Pod offers organic, eco-friendly fabrics in coordinating patterns and colors.
Mod Green Fabrics
Who says being Green has to mean "earthy"?

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Eco-friendly Car for Everyday

Tesla Motors has announced the release of the Model S, an eco-friendly luxury sedan with all-electric technology for the rest of the world who needs a real car, not just a sportscar. Most people don't realize (or have forgotten) that the Roadster was always mainly seen as a tool to generate the excitement and support to release a moderately priced sedan, and here it is.

The Tesla Model S and Roadster

With a range up to 300 miles and 45-minute QuickCharge, the Model S can carry five adults and two children in quiet comfort – and you can charge it from any outlet, without ever stopping for gas. The mass-produced electric vehicle offers performance, efficiency and unrivaled utility for a base price of $49,900, making it the only car you’ll ever need.

The Model S offers 100 percent torque, 100 percent of the time without jerky shifting and a fraction of the noise and harshness of internal combustion engines. This smooth and constant power delivery, combined with the sporty handling of the chassis and suspension, leads to a superior driving experience. Performance of 0-60 mph in 5.6 seconds and a 120 mph top speed nearly equal the Roadster, but with sport sedan dynamics. All-wheel-drive available allows you to take this energy efficient car almost anywhere.

The Model S powertrain features a liquid-cooled, floor-mounted battery pack and a single-speed gearbox, delivering effortless acceleration, responsive handling and quiet simplicity -- no fancy clutchwork or gear-shifting required. Energy efficiency is exceptional - the Model S costs about $4 to fully charge, a bargain even when gasoline is $1 per gallon. Eco-friendly design and luxury are nicely balanced in this sedan, including expected features like Pandora Radio or the 17 inch touchscreen with in-car 3G connectivity let you consult Google Maps to find your way.

Limited range is one of the biggest complaints with electric cars, and it looks like Tesla has been listening. The Model S has three battery pack options which offer a range of 160, 230 or 300 miles per charge. With the 45 minute QuickCharge or a 5 minute battery swap, you can drive from LA to San Francisco, Washington to New York or take even longer road trips in about the same time as in a conventional car.

I can personally see using this car as my everyday car with clients, commuting, and family road trip vacations. The base price is more attainable for most people, and should help ensure it will fly off the factory line.

Monday, April 6, 2009

Flooring for Cavemen, Castles and a Govenor's Mansion- Now it Can Be Yours

Leather has been used for centuries to soften, cushion and warm rooms in the finest homes. In the past leather floor tiles used the dorsal (spine) part of the hide, which is thicker and more durable - but also the most expensive. EcoDomo Recycled Leather Tiles are a more cost effective, and eco-friendly option combined with exceptional beauty, character, and resilience. Like all leather tiles, they will develop a patina over time and reflect the uses and characters of the inhabitants of the space. However, they are the most resilient leather tiles on the market today. They have the look, feel, and characteristic fragrance of leather – while being made of a recycled material.

The EcoDomo Recycled Leather Tiles are made from natural products which are completely renewable, including leather (scraps collected from furniture, shoe and other leather factories), natural rubber, and acacia tree bark. The acacia tree bark is a natural binding agent used to ensure the consistency of the product. Acacia tree bark is harvested from trees which re-grow the bark over time, in a similar manner to cork. The harvesting does not damage the trees.

Recycled Leather Tiles and adhesives required to apply the tiles can contribute to LEED credits. Maintenance is very easy, and eco-friendly also. Eco-Domo recommends using beeswax or carnuba wax to maintain and restore the tiles after installation- both of which are natural and renewable. These recycled leather tiles are completely natural, and help to reduce materials sent to landfills.

Tiles are available in 8 colors and 4 textures - contact your designer to see actual samples. Their online virtual sampler is a good place to start, though.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Vintage and Repurposed Furniture

Restoration Hardware has gone back to their roots and introduced a limited edition line of furniture pieces that use antique and vintage elements to create unique combinations of eco-friendly style and function.

Included in the collection is a coffee table created from a repurposed antique factory cart- an early American 1900s industrial original once used to transport furniture, fabric and supplies across the factory floor. Each cart has been restored by a Northern California craftsman. Tops have been cleaned and oiled but still bear the marks of its history and may have nicks and imperfections and the carts still have their original cast iron wheels, bolts and plates. Each cart is a vintage original and no two are exactly alike; variations in distressing, cracks, finish and wheel construction are to be expected and add to the charm and character.

A more simple, clean-lined and very usable piece is the Brick maker's Pallet Table. A limited number of one-of-a-kind brick maker's tables found with the help of European antiques dealers. Originally a pallet used to cut, cool and transport bricks 100 years ago in a Belgian brick works, the table top's bolted planks are rugged Northern European azobe wood. The rough-hewn pallet top has been cleaned, yet bears the nicks of time, the patina of use and is true to its masonry origins. The base is hand-welded steel with a distressed finish.

While not technically an antique, the Steamer Trunks in Vintage Cigar Leather are each handmade and no two are alike. The reproduction trunks use vintage cigar leather over a solid wood frame and 3000 hand-hammered nailheads. Using trunks as coffee tables is a smart balance of storage and surface and has been very popular for years. Restoration Hardware's steamer trunks are available in two sizes that will be functional in many rooms.