Posts Tagged ‘green design’
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
Even though I live in the big city, I’m definitely a country girl at heart. Maybe it was growing up on an old farm in Minnesota, the house always full of dogs, cats, kittens and birds, or just the peaceful feeling you have being in the middle of nowhere. Whatever the reason, when I saw the Ranch at Rock Creek in Montana, I knew they were on to something special. Located in the mountain of Western Montana, this full service ranch is just as green as it is country. The existing buildings provided much of the inspiration because the owners were able to keep a lot of those furnishings and light fixtures to incorporate into the new design. In fact more than half of the woodwork like beams, floors, walls and cabinetry came from the existing property. All of the rooms in the main lodge plus the freestanding cabins and log rooms are decorated differently. I couldn’t decide on just a few to show, so I’ve included a large smattering of some of my favorites. Enjoy!
The living room at Bear House, a separate log cabin on the property.
Bedroom at the Bluebird Cabin. Not to be biased or anything, but I think this might be my favorite.
The Loft bathroom. How cool is this bathroom complete with barn doors and a freestanding tub next to the window?
Riverhouse living room
Moose House, one of the log cabins. Amazing view, huh?
In addition to the main Granite Lodge, the Ranch at Rock Creek also has a few luxury canvas cabins. You feel a little closer to nature, but have all the comforts of home including chic dude ranch decor and a full bathroom. This one would be my choice if I was staying at the Ranch at Rock Creek.
The living area in one of the canvas cabins. I love that wood burning stove!
And for your dining pleasure, the Dining Room at the main Granite Lodge
Not be outdone, the Ranch at Rock Creek also features a full service spa with a roof made of sod & planted with wildflowers. I’m loving how they even decked out the pedicure stations to match the decor.
Photos from the Ranch at Rock Creek
One of the things that I love about New York City is that with a lack of open spaces, people have to get creative with seemingly normal activities. A great example of this is a wonderful restaurant in the West Village called Bell Book & Candle. Like many restaurants in New York, they have subscribed to the organic & local food movement. But but they do it one better. BB&C’s local food is even closer than the nearest farmers market – they grow their veggies with an Aeroponic system on their very own roof. We visited the restaurant last winter, but unfortunately didn’t get to sample their produce (January & February are really the only months that they don’t grow vegetables, but they do harvest their herbs to use as dried spices in the winter months). So with a friend in town last weekend and the plethora of greens this time of year, we figured August was a perfect time to try their food for real. I can attest that the food was amazing, the staff is very friendly and the space is warm, inviting and cozy. But don’t take my word for the decor, take a peek yourself!
Here’s a view of their aeroponic system. What’s amazing about this system is that because it doesn’t have need for soil, the plants grow a lot faster than if they were placed in the ground.
Don’t those vegetables look amazing? Makes me want to find a place with a roof so I can become an urban farmer. Okay, maybe not, but a girl can dream, can’t she?
This is the bar, which is the first thing you see when you walk in. I love the slightly arched ceiling, which you’ll see throughout the restaurant. That coupled with the brick walls gives the restaurant the perfect vintage feel.
The main dining room of Bell Book & Candle. I also really love those hanging sconces over the tables.
More brick in the dining room – makes for a cozy restaurant.
Here’s where the magic happens. Okay, just kidding. The real magic happens on the roof.
Right next to the bar they have a tiny private dining room they call the Naked Lady Room. So named because of the awesome pink wallpaper adorned with, well, naked ladies. It’s a great little spot to bring a few friends and revel in your hidden gem.
Chandelier in the Naked Lady Room
Photos from Bell Book & Candle
What could be better than tacos & margaritas? Eating them in a LEED Platinum restaurant! Yup, Seattle based Little Water Cantina is expecting to achieve this lofty green goal all while serving up delicious Mexican food in their 3,000 square foot restaurant. Designed by Shed Architecture & Design, the restaurant has a hip and sustainable vibe. Green facts: Little Water Cantina is lit almost entirely with LED lights and they cut their water use (a huge deal in the restaurant biz) by about 70%. Plus energy use is down and reuse is up. Case in point, the cool light feature made of 800 reclaimed tequila bottles (and by reclaimed I mean individually dug out of the dumpster by the dedicated owners) and the awesome pendant lights hung over the bar made from vintage gramophones.
To go along with their LEED certification, Little Water Cantina serves local & organic food when feasible, uses only eco-friendly cleaning products and composts all of their food waste. If only I lived nearby, I’d be enjoying a margarita made from local & organic ingredients right now! (That means its good for you, right?) Plus the interiors are as hip as they are green. Enjoy!
The bar with the cool gramophone pendants. I also love the mix of textured wood with the tons of tequila bottles all lined up.
You can sort of see a detail of the pressed tin behind the bar where the beer taps are hung.
A close up of those cool gramophone pendants.
Bar top made from a plank of live edge wood. Gorgeous!
How cool is this mural? I wonder who all the people are in it…
Here’s a peek of the dining room and that 800-bottle tequila wall. Collecting those bottles and envisioning what it all will look like really takes foresight!
Photos from Little Water Cantina
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
Even though I’ve officially left San Francisco, I couldn’t resist one more post about this wonderful city. Even though we stayed with friends while in town, I managed to check out a few hotels to satisfy my design itch. And this one is just about as eco-friendly as they come. The Good Hotel is labelled as the first hotel with a conscience because of their “do good” attitude (yup, pun intended!). They encourage visitors to not only make sustainable choices, but to have fun while doing so. And the decor reflects just that – bright pops of color, modern art, unique decor, bikes for loan and reclaimed materials make it easy to be good and have a good time.
Brightly colored clocks at Reception so you always know what time it is. I wonder if that poor guy at reception jumps out of his skin every hour when those clocks chime. I know I would!
Curved sofas in the Lobby encourage conversation
How fun is this computer area in the Lobby? Why be serious just because you’re doing work?
Did I mention the Good Hotel is fun? Check out that photo booth (right next to renewable resource cork, of course!)
All guestroom bed frames are made of 100% reclaimed wood with bedding made from 75% recycled soda bottles. Now that some green sleep!
Another view of the Good Hotel’s green design in their guestrooms.
Another guestroom view
Although the hotel has been open for a few years now, their restaurant, the Sidebar Wine Tavern opened just a few weeks ago. Just like the Good Hotel, this restaurant features modern green design but with the addition of locally grown and organic food. My favorite are those lanterns hanging from the ceiling and the warm, textured wood. I only wish I would have known it was open when we were in San Francisco!
Photos from the Good Hotel
I’m very excited to share the news that Pure Green Magazine has relaunched and is out on the virtual newsstands! I’ve been a contributor to this lovely magazine since almost the beginning and it’s been an amazing journey to watch it grow and transform into what it is today. Celine now has a whole fantastic team behind her dedicated to showing you the best of green living. For the relaunch they’ve added more eco-friendly tips, do-it-yourself projects and, as always, beautiful eco interiors. So what are you waiting for? Go check out Pure Green for yourself!
I design luxury hotel properties as my day job so I look at a lot of properties just as a part of my research. When I see hoteliers committed to not only creating a hi-end boutique experience for their guests, but an eco-friendly one as well, I take notice. The Hotel Felix in Chicago is just such a property. It’s the first LEED Silver certified hotel in the Windy City with recycled & organic materials, energy efficient plumbing & lighting and recycling programs to name just a few initiatives. They also have an upcoming Green Roof which I can’t wait to see. The design of the hotel is a beautiful blend of modern, artful touches and understated elegance. Enjoy!
The Hotel Felix was re-developed in this historic building in Chicago.
The hotel restaurant
Photos from Hotel Felix
Lonny Magazine is out on the virtual newsstand and this month’s issue is packed full of eco products, tips and inspirations. There’s a great article about fashion designer, Stella McCartney who is as green as she is stylish, as well as an interview with Lauren Bush, the founder of FEED. This issue is a big one so head on over to Lonny for your weekend read. And as always, enjoy!