Wednesday, 29 February 2012


We chanced upon these amazing tractor seat stools in the Cleveland National Forest last weekend. Sitting innocently in a beautiful log cabin these stools were red in splendour and lined up like soldiers at the bar.

What an innovative idea for an old tractor. I 'm not sure how low the VOCs of that shiny paint are but it pales in comparison to extending the life on those chairs. It always boils down to the balance of style and sustainability....

Tuesday, 28 February 2012


Look what we found in CVS of all places!

GO CVS -admirably green, however a little coarse for a delicate derriere....

Monday, 27 February 2012


The Shore Hotel- Sustainable Luxury Boutique Hotel in Santa Monica

Close to the Santa Monica pier on Ocean Avenue, the Shore Hotel Santa Monica is the newest luxury boutique hotel in the city.  The Silver LEED-registered Santa Monica environmentally friendly hotel takes a revolutionary approach to sustainability.

The hotel worked with a LEED consultant to ensure that every aspect of the hotel was designed to reduce the consumption of natural resources, from the building design itself to its day-to-day operation. As much as possible, the hotel relies on locally procured recycled and recyclable materials, many salvaged from the building's demolished preexisting site for use in the new build. Every aspect of the hotel was designed to reduce consumption of natural resources. If only all the other hotels would follow suit....

Eco-ticity Facts:
  • 50% of construction waste was recycled or salvaged
  • Wood sourced from sustainable forests
  • 10% of all building materials are from within a 500 mile radius of the project
  • Low-flow water fixtures that significantly reduce water consumption
  • Native landscaping that reduces the extent of required irrigation
  • Sophisticated building controls system that monitors and adjusts energy usage
  • Low VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) materials
  • Maximized access to natural daylight

Love the color coordinated turquoise and orange that consistently permeates the hotel.

More design features and eco furniture and lighting from design team at


We have just discovered these little hotel bath treats

Eco sciences luxury guest toiletries from Accent Amenities is one of the first hotel toiletry programs designed and manufactured using the latest in environmentally friendly packaging. Our eco bottles are manufactured using a n ew additive that makes them biodegradable in land, on land or in water. This new technology preserves the attractive packaging capabilities while insuring the bottles will return to the earth with new appreciable impact on the planet. The line includes shampoo, conditioner, lotion, bath and shower gel, body cream, body wash, shea butter bar, facial bar and more. None of the products are tested on animals.

Friday, 24 February 2012


New Eco technology accessories for your designerEco desk and handbag:

This sleek new Lexon solar powered calculator is designed by Pierre Garner and Elise Berthier. This unique calculator is made of PLA (a corn-based plastic) and bamboo.  Stylish desk accessories that look good and don't have a footprint!

Not so much of a looker -  Snow Lizard just launched their uber-rugged iPhone 4/4S AQUA TEK S case and it’s the world’s first waterproof, solar-charged, battery-powered case. Launched via Kickstarter today, the case combines battery and solar technology, and it protects the phone against bumps and spills and even allows your phone to double as an underwater camera.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


My friends Leah & Matt set to creating their own custom dining table a few weeks ago and this is what they created:

The cutie orange sets off the grey drapes and the dark stain beautifully.

It is a beautiful and stylish concrete slab with an innovative wooden post base. We love wood detail that shoes through in the top.

Leah is a fabulous interior designer so was well prepared with detailed CAD drawings.

 Hats off to them this was a heavy exercise!

If you are interested in purchasing a similar design with custom concrete contact for more information.  If we can persuade Leah & Matt to do it again we will, if not we have one or two more sources up our sleeves (see above for custom concrete coffee table)......

Monday, 20 February 2012


This hotel is fabulous! Hi is a design and ecological hotel providing a fully contemporary experience.
HI is also concerned about well being and boasts a strong commitment to ecological values. Below are the measures they have employed to help reduce their impact...

_mineral organic paint on the hotel’s façade
_Organic restaurant, exclusive use of organic products for the breakfast and the restaurant
_Use of recycled paper in the administration
_Graphic materials for external and internal use printed without chlorinate chemicals with the label tcf
_Packaging of the boxes and usable materials of the restaurant made out of recycled materials
_Vegetal shampoo and shower gel available in the rooms without packaging
_Waste separation // sorting of recyclables
_Bicycles available in front of the hotel
_Essential oils scent diffused in all communal spaces
_Staff t-shirt made out in organic cotton
_Partnership with a fashion company named Miséricordia, products sold at the Hi Shop or used by our staff
_Ecological cleaning products used in the rooms, corridors and lift (non smoking)
_Gardening products with no chemical fertilizers
_Actions and communication with our clients for energy savings purposes (linen, water etc.)

The DesignerEco team love the bright color schemes employed throughout the hotel from fuschia, to lime to orange.  We also like the way this hotel demonstrates that through responsible actions, set up, cleaning, customer service and so on, you can create an eco -friendly hotel. This might not be built to sustainable requirements but their actions and attitude to environmental impact is commendable. Balancing design with footprint.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


This beautiful hotel is built sustainably and with a very cool design aesthetic. It helps being located on a stunning Cornish coast with views out towards the rugged cliffs and sea.
  If you are looking to recreate the look we sell eco side tables like these at
 The Scarlet team believes that a building relying so heavily on the natural landscape for its power has a responsibility to treat that landscape with respect and care. Accordingly, the entire hotel structure was built in keeping with eco-friendly principles and is maintained via an eclectic mix of sustainable energy sources that include grey water harvesting, rain water harvesting, solar water heating, insulation, biomass boiler, and ventilation heat exchange. An all-natural pool and sea thrift roof help keep the ecological footprint at a minimum, and widespread use of recyclable and recycled materials reflects the team’s down-to-the-last-detail efforts to protect and honour the unique Cornish environment in which their hotel stands.

Friday, 17 February 2012


For those of you who are consciously shopping for eco furniture and lighting- what perfect accompaniment for the wall decor? These living walls could be used anywhere! What a fabulous way to create a natural atmosphere and add color and texture. What's more the design possibilities are endless - you can design a pattern or scheme using textures, leaf shape, color, heights, location and so on.....

The technical stuff - The system consists of a frame, waterproof panels, an automatic irrigation system, special materials, lights when needed and of course plants. The frame is built in front of a pre-existing wall and attached at various points; there is no damage done to the building. Waterproof panels are mounted to the frame; these are rigid and provide structural support. There is a layer of air between the building and the panels which enables the building to ‘breath’. This adds beneficial insulating properties and acts like rain-screening to protect the building envelop.

We love the fact that they are low maintenance, water efficient and clean! Low maintenance with an automatic irrigation system. They are water efficient, especially when compared to the irrigation that is used for gardens and urban parks. They are clean as there is no soil and no possibility of soil borne pathogens. A lightweight porous material takes the place of soil and therefore the walls are very light, weighing less than 4 lb/ft2 (20 kg/m2).

Another fab find from the DesignerEco team! Wouldn't this look great amongst all your eco furniture?

Wednesday, 15 February 2012


So after learning about how toxic much of the fresh meat, fruit and vegetables are I keep an eye out for organic restaurants. I'm particularly drawn to ones which pursue an environmental objective through their design also!  My husband and I cycled to 'bohemian' Ocean Beach, San Diego on Sunday and stopped for lunch at the charming Raglan 'public house' just like back in England.

They served water in these old pitchers and had sweet succulent displays on all the rustic benches.  The entire facade was made out of recycled old boatwood - giving splashes of colour and interest to the urban venue. Inside the toilets the decorators paid homage to the Kiwi ownership roots with wallpaper photos of the All Blacks rugby team on the ceiling and New Zealand newspapers pasted to the wall with chalk board underneath for guest comments. Very creative!

 Hats off to the organic and delicious menu. The food was yummy - good 'pub' fare and the ladies serving were delightful.
f you are interested in sourcing eco friendly materials such as the boatwood or the reclaimed tables and benches contact DesignerEco for referral or visit

Restaurant details - 1851 Bacon St San Diego, CA 92107 (619) 794-2304
I can't find a website yet but it is owned I believe by the same people as the Bare Naked Grill in Pacific Beach. 

Tuesday, 14 February 2012


A gorgeous hotel is hard to come by. An eco friendly hotel with nice design, even harder. This is the first of a series where we will profile eco-friendly designer hotels.....

The Good Hotel.  The bright colors in the decor combined with the natural reclaimed and recycled furniture create a fun and quirky vibe.

The couch (pictured above) is made from recycled felt blankets.

If you forgot to pack there is even a vending machine branded by ReadyMade magazine which dispenses sustainable t-shirts and wallets made out of FedEx envelopes;

These platform beds built out of 100% reclaimed pine and "Good" Bedding: bedding made of 75% recycled soda bottles.

 "Good" Amenities:  Recycling bins, "Sink Positive" toilet installations and other renewable, reusable design elements in rooms.

We love their transport provisions-
  • Six Globe® bicycles available on loan to guests (a refundable deposit applies)
  • Parking available at $20 per night (plus tax).  Hybrid cars receive complimentary parking.
If your eco-conscience is still not sated when you check out you can donate $1.50 to One Brick or offset your carbon footprint through  

Good green effort all round! Next week... a little more luxury! In the meantime if you want to recreate the look at home visit for eco friendly furniture & lighting.

Friday, 10 February 2012


For those looking for inspiration for DIY activities - an eco friendly felt is the perfect material. You can make soft textured lampshades, coasters, artwork etc.  Here we feature a few darling eco felt lampshades... contact our boutique for the suppliers.

These sustainably produced lampshades are great as soft decorative pendants. Hang them individually or in series. There are two types of felt we would suggest-  felts  made from wool (which makes them a natural and replenish-able addition to the home) and felts made from recycled plastic bottles (which makes you feel really good that all that plastic is being put to good use).

We sell an Eco wool flannel by Brentano through our online designer furniture boutique but another suggestion for a good felt product available in craft stores is Eco Fi Felt.

Eco-fi is a high-quality polyester fiber made from 100% certified recycled plastic PET bottles. It can go into any textile product such as clothing, blankets, carpets, wall coverings, auto interiors, home furnishings, and craft felt. Eco-fi can also be blended with other fibers, such as cotton or wool, for enhanced qualities.  Better still it is machine washable and doesn't fray!
For more information please feel free to email

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


Using Roca “Reusing Water” technology this space saving, water conserving designer W+ W  (washbasin &  water closet) is a marvel.  Clean and contemporary looking it would fit in any of our designer bathrooms ( or

The Roca W+W uses waste water from the washbasin to fill the toilet cistern, the ‘water-reuse’ technology can reduce water usage by up to 25% compared to a standard toilet.
How does it work? The sink part of the Roca W+W has two exits. One exit leads to the waste pipe, which you could select if you've been using the basin to shave in or brush your teeth, and the other exit takes the waste water to be recycled for use in the toilet. Grey water to be reused is filtered and chemically treated, before being used to fill the cistern. The W+W’s reservoir can store up to four litres of water and has an overflow, so that any excess grey water is diverted to the main waste pipe.

Very clever and not bad looking!

Wednesday, 1 February 2012


It gives me strength when I find environmentally friendly products in the big retailers. It proves my theory that if we drive a demand for eco-friendly furniture then retailers will insist on suppliers with sustainable and ethical production practices. We demonstrate using our purchasing power that manufacturing and consumerism have to change to capture our dollar.

See these finds from big high street chains-

Pottery Barn Reclaimed Table & Bench Set
West Elm Zig Zag 100% Organic Cotton Sheets

For eco friendly furniture, lighting and decorating inspiration from the small guys visit