Archive for the ‘Products’ Category
Sure, there are all the traditional Valentine’s Day gifts that you can give. But this year why not take your presents up a notch and give the eco-friendly version instead? I’ve compiled a few options so your ‘I Love You’ can be both red & green.
1. Bouquets of flowers are the most traditional and foolproof gift option for Valentine’s Day. But not all flowers are eco-friendly, so make sure you do it right. Check out your green flower options here.
2. I’m a fan of jewelry for Valentine’s (I mean who isn’t?), but nothing says I love you quite like green jewelry. Among all the shops out there, Linhardt is a personal fave.
3. Why not give a practical gift this year? I love the funky red design of this Baggu reusable grocery bag. Even better if you fill it with organic food.
4. A little red in your life is always welcome. And how cute are these felt purses from Canvas?
6. Give organic or locally produced chocolate. One option is Dagoba, a chocolate company dedicated to sustainably grown, organic cacao.
7. What better way to say I love you than with a heart? I love these hand crafted French ceramic hearts from ABC Home.
8. Make your own Valentines with this eco-friendly stamp kit from Branch.
9. Give a Valentine’s Day card made from recycled paper like this cute French Bulldog from Sycamore Street Press.
I love a leisurely bike ride as much as the next person, but I have always been in awe of the subset of New Yorkers who are brave enough (or crazy enough?) to navigate the insane traffic of this fair city. Maybe someday if I ever move to a less populated (read: fewer cars) area of the country, I’ll get myself a bike. In the meantime, I’ll stick with walking, taking public transport and living vicariously through these brave souls. But that doesn’t mean I don’t appreciate a good looking and eco-friendly bicycle.
Panda Bicycles was created by three friends at Colorado State University, obsessed with making the world a better place. They set about making a bicycle that had it all – a unique, classic design with well-crafted, innovative, safe and hi-tech details. The bamboo frame of this vintage inspired piece is not only good looking but also eco-friendly, naturally hefty and non-corrosive. As Panda Bicycles says, “we’re growing bikes,” which I think couldn’t be more true. As for me, just imagine me on one of these bikes with a basket, sundress, jaunty little hat and no traffic.
Photos by Panda Bicycles
I’m not really a New Years resolution type of gal – I’m more of an avoid-the-gym-at-all-costs-during-the-first-two-weeks-of-January kind of gal. But to be honest, even though I don’t make resolutions (because I’d rather see where life takes me and vow to do x, y or z as the need arises, say in May), it doesn’t mean this isn’t a great time of year to start something fresh. And because January happens to be a time I like to stay in and hibernate, what better time than now to start organizing your life.
I’ve written posts before about office organization, but let’s face it – your office isn’t the only area of your life that needs a bit of order. Even as I write this post, I’m looking around my house right now at the piles of magazines, random pieces of mail and purses & shoes dropped haphazardly by the door that could all have found a better home. Living in a small apartment has taught me that not only does organization make me a happier person, it also makes me a more productive one. So I’m dedicating this week to getting my (and hopefully your) act together with some products and sources to help keep your life a more ordered one. Plus the best news of all – there are tons of eco-friendly & inexpensive ways to get your organization on. First up this week are labels and hooks, two great and underused organization tricks. I’ll be following up later this week with even more great round-ups.
One of the tricks I love is using labels for everything from spices & baking supplies to closets and cords. Not only are labels helpful to remember where things are and where they go back to, but they can look great in the process.
1. Chalkboard labels especially good for items that often need new labels 2. Freezer labels to keep your refrigerator organized (via Martha Stewart) 3. Make your own fabric labels with a vintage typewriter (via Make Something). Even more green if you use organic fabric. 4. Days of the week pins to organize your to dos by day 5. Kitchen labels for all your baking needs 6. Turn a regular garbage bin into a chic labeled piece with these recycle labels 7. Organize your cords with toilet paper rolls. Label the outside and you’ll never have a jumbled mess again (via Real Simple). 8. Make your own spice jar labels – even better if you use recycled paper (via Martha Stewart) 9. Iron on labels with organic twill tape (via Patchwork Pottery)
To help keep entryways, coats and clothing off the floor and available for easy access, hooks are a great way to organize. My house is sprinkled with them because I love having easy access to my everyday items. Plus if you pick hooks that are as chic as these, you’ll be happy to put them front and center.
1. Driftwood coat rack 2. Personalized coat rack made from spoons. This would be great for keys too so you always know which are yours. 3. Boat cleat hooks from Denise DeLong 4. Coat rack made from a vintage cabinet door 5. Hook made with a vintage book as the background 6. Three bin wire shelf & hooks (with labels!) 7. This “bath” rack would be a great place for bath robes
Unfortunately our long weekend away coincided with this season’s New York International Gift Fair so I didn’t get to wander the aisles looking for new products and catch up with all my favorite vendors. Even though I wasn’t at the show, my inbox has been full of sneak peeks and new releases. So of course I had to share a few of my favs with you. If you went to the show, share your favorites in the comment section below.
I’ve always loved Fluf’s reusable bags for their chic patterns and easy storage solutions. But I’m really loving this pink Big Zip to store whatever you can think of. I would probably use it as a travel bag, but I love their suggestion as a clutch for a night out.
I’m so happy that Coco, from the ever popular blog cococozy.com, was able to transition from design blogger to product designer. I’m loving her colorful and graphic pillow collection as seen here from Coco’s booth at NYIGF. Jump over to her blog to see the rest of the booth. (Photo from Cococozy)
The gorgeous handblown desk lamps come from Tempo Luxury Home Collection. I really love the interesting shapes, unique shade system and subtle colorations. It looks to me like these lamps are lit with LEDs, hence their title Smart Lights.
Natural Curiosities has a wonderful new collection debuting at the NYIGF. This Turot Geometric piece is one of my favorites, silver leafed to add dimension and sparkle. Take a peek at the rest of the collection online for a bit of artistic inspiration.
Last but certainly not least is an installation shot from Christen Maxwell‘s newest line of pillows and throws. I’m especially loving that zigzag pillow just off of center as well as the metallic linens (center). She’s also put together a gorgeous little e-catalog full of inspiration pics of the latest products that you should definitely check out.
I’m the type of person who works best in a team setting. The days when I’m collaborating, bouncing ideas off others and talking through problems are the times when I’m my most creative and inspired. So when I was introduced to Red Clay and their democratic style of design, I knew they were on to something special. Here’s the deal: Red Clay sponsors design competitions which are centered around a particular theme. Designers submit products to the community (us!) who in turn vote on their favorites. After all the votes are in, the top rated products are manufactured and sold on Red Clay’s website and Etsy store. This process gives designers who might not otherwise have the means, the chance to sell to a larger audience. And it gives us, the voters, a chance to decide exactly what we’d like in our home. Power to the people!
So what types of products are typically submitted? Red Clay’s first collection included a colorful variety of pillows and table linens that you can still get your hands on. Their next collection will be ceramic objects, including decorative vases, bowls and platters. If you’re an artist, get your wheels turning and submit your design! You have from July 11 to July 22 to submit your entry. And if you’re a member of the community, you’ll get your day in the sun to vote on your favorites after all the submissions are in.
In addition to this democratic method of design, Red Clay aims to be as green as possible with a commitment to honest materials and honest manufacturing. They’ve even gone so far as to transform the way they ship their products with an innovative mailer. Made from waterproof nylon on the outside and fabric scraps that had been bound for the trash bin on the inside, Red Clay has tackled that one thing that makes me guilty beyond belief about ordering online – the packaging! These mailers can then be returned for free to be reused for the next customer or you can keep them for a small fee. FedEx – you’d better start taking notes!
Photos from Red Clay
If you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time, you probably know that I’m a complete sucker for maps. On the wall, on fabric, on the computer, you name it. For me, looking at far off places inspires me and looking at the places I’ve already been brings back some amazing memories. So when Cath Young of Bearded Pigeon contacted me about her organic cotton pillows, I told her that she had me at hello. These cushions are handmade by her in Australia (yay for the Aussies!) and printed on to 100% organic cotton with $1 of every sale going to Kiva. I really love the bright colors and promise of adventure to come. If I had one of these pillows in my house, I’d pull out my button collection and start sewing one on for every place I’ve visited. You can purchase these lovelies at her Etsy store.
Cath not only makes eco-friendly products, but she walks the walk too. Her home in Australia relies only on sun for power and rain from the sky for water. Outdoors her garden grows organic fruit and vegetables. And it seemed only fitting to include pictures of the travelling pillows’ origin. If you’d like to see more of Cath’s lovely house, take a peek at her Flickr page here.
Photos from Cath Young
As I said in yesterday’s post, we spent last weekend in Charlottesville, VA for a wedding. We went a few days early so we could check out the town & UVA campus and enjoy a bit of time off in what we were expecting to be a charming and relaxing town. Well, C-ville definitely didn’t disappoint in that regard, but what I wasn’t expecting was how eco-conscious the residents are. There are tons of shops throughout the town focused on healthy living, locally produced products and organic food. But my favorite green shop was Sustain, Inc. Their products are colorful & chic mix of home goods, fashion and accessories all required to pass a rigorous check of their eco-friendliness. Each item sold in the store must meet a few of the following criteria: locally sourced, made in the US, fairly traded, organic, recycled, sustainable or from an eco-conscious company. In addition, Sustain donates 2% of their proceeds back to Kiva. Chic & green? Now that’s my kind of store!
A view of the store
I really fell in love with this art
Does that wallpaper look familiar? It should! It’s eco-friendly paper from Madison & Grow.
How fun are those rolled up rugs?
Located above Sustain, Inc. is a really nice stationary shop called Good Press Paper. Katie, the owner, has a great selection of cards and paper as well as an impressive array of custom invitation options. But my absolute favorite was her collection of vintage stamps that are absolutely usable for your own letters. What better way to recycle old stamps that would otherwise end up in a dusty stamp collector’s tome than reusing them as postage? How do you know they’re vintage? Besides the low postage rates, they’re the lick and press type of stamp. No stickers here!
The stamps are sold either pre-affixed on an envelope & notecard set, or…
Gathered together in a little package totaling the correct amount to send your own first class letter. Pretty clever, huh?
In my mind, sustainable and art always go hand in hand. The care and thought that goes behind each and every handcrafted piece of art means that it’s not a mass produced product that’s going to end up in a landfill someday. But for me, art is even better when it not only looks great, but is made of eco-friendly materials too. This Abstract Paper collection from Natural Curiosities definitely fits the bill. Each sheet is made from a combo of mulberry, pineapple (I didn’t even know you could reuse this fiber!) and banana fibers taken from agricultural waste and hung on linen. I love the subtle geometric shapes that form a really interesting contrast between the organic material and the angular lines.
Natural Curiosities only sells direct to the interior design trade, but you can find their art at many shops around the country including Calypso Home, Lillian August, Mecox Gardens and more. Check online for a location near you.
Photos from Natural Curiosities
I love the look of antique Edison lightbulbs – they have a really nice warm glow with just the right amount of vintage-ness. Unfortunately looking vintage doesn’t necessarily equal actually being vintage and eco-friendly. So that’s why I was excited when I saw these awesome lightbulbs from Plumen. They’re actually compact fluorescents, reshaped into something that’s as far from boring as you can get. In fact their dynamic little shape was inspired by feathers (hence Plumen – clever, huh?). I think they also somewhat resembles those Edison bulbs that I was just waxing poetic about moments ago. And best of all, they’re also as energy efficient as a CLF. The one bummer is that you can’t dim them, although with a shape like that, why would you wanto to?
For you lucky Brits and Europeans, the Plumen lightbulb has been out in 220v for a while. But they’ve finally branched out to a US version for us 110 volt-ers. You can purchase them online or in stores at MoMA or The Future Perfect.
These light bulbs really do look like a modern take on an Edison bulb.
I love that they’re hung without a shade in this installation so their shape really takes center stage.
Of course, they also look great peeking out from the bottom of a pendant…
or thru a translucent shade
Photos from Plumen by Tom Mannion
We had house guests last week and inevitably our apartment ends up a bit of a mess from the extra people and activity. So we spent part of Sunday organizing – something that always makes me feel refreshed and clear headed after I’m done. We live in a pretty small apartment, so a well planned and practical organization strategy is key to maintaining a neat home. There are a few areas that I’ve nailed said strategy and a few that, well, could use a bit of help (ahem, bookshelf). Even though we’re past spring cleaning, what house couldn’t use a bit of method to reign in the madness? I put together eco-friendly home organization tools to help you gather, arrange and simplify your life, all while being chic and green.
1. Heirloom Recipe Card Box from Rifle Paper Co. 2. Bamboo Dry Erase Entry Butler from Three by Three 3. Campaign Storage Bench from Serena & Lily 4. Expandable gadget tray from Crate & Barrel 5. Leather trim basket from Greenhouse 6. Teak ladder with shelf from VivaTerra 7. Reclaimed root coat stand from VivaTerra 8. Vintage wood desk organizer from Redefine Home 9. Covered jars with chalk writing surface (so you know what’s inside!) from Canvas 10. Shelter caddy from Canvas
1. Vintage drawer spool cabinet from City Owl 2. Woven Ikat basket from West Elm 3. Curved rattan baskets from West Elm 4. Washed wood cubbies from Redefine Home 5. Project binder from Naked Binder 6. White Hayworth shelf from Serena & Lily 7. Reclaimed wood wall coat rack from Amenity 8. Three bin wire shelf from VivaTerra 9. Flower cork board from Three by Three 10. Salvaged wood hotel key rack from Three Potato Four