Wednesday, 24 October 2012

Five Easy Ways to Decorate Your Home Green

DesignerEco has put together a few ideas to help you get on your way to a greener, healthier home.

1 . Paint

 One of the best ways to make your home green is to use paint that has low VOC’s, (Volatile Organic Compounds). This goes for sealants and coatings too. Eliminating these toxins in your home is crucial for maintaining healthy indoor air quality, not to mention keeping you and your family healthier.  To make research simple, try these top brands for your next green painting project: Bioshield, Benjamin Moore Natura, Frazee UltraTech, and Sherwin-Williams Emerald.

2.  Flooring    
Bamboo and cork are two eco-chic flooring materials. Bamboo, a grass not a wood, is extremely sturdy, low maintenance, and springier underfoot than wood. Its price is also comparable to most other woods. Cork is resilient, flexible, and comfortable, giving a cozy feel. Even better, its natural properties guard against mold, mildew, pests and rot. If you’re sold already, check out these sites to see more eco friendly alternatives: Ecofriendly Flooring, Natural Home, the Environmental Home Center, or Greenfloors. We did bamboo floors recently in both a bathroom and kitchen.

3.     Window Coverings
For a no-construction eco project, consider replacing your drapes or shades with a sustainable option. Companies like The Shade Store and American Draperies & Blinds value using environmentally friendly materials and don’t sacrifice style at all. If your drapes need a facelift, take the plunge now. We think you’ll be happy you did.

4.     Furniture
Another amazing way to make your home green is to use only natural lacquers and finishes on your furniture. Doing this eliminates VOC’s, thus creating a healthier home and a cleaner environment. Check out Designereco’s stylish Caribou Bed Frame, which is finished with a water based satin polyurethane.

5.     Accessories
Last, decorating your home with eco friendly pillows like our Wabisabi Jellyfish and Sea Urchin Organic Cotton Pillows are a fantastic way to design without compromising the environment. Double-checking the materials your accessories are made from keeps your home trendy and, of course, green.

 We hope these easy tips will help get you on your way to transforming your home into a green and stylish haven. After all, decorating your home green is said to make people healthier and happier, so why not give it a try?

Please write to use if you have ideas or want supplier suggestions - we are always happy to help.

Monday, 22 October 2012

ECO DESIGN - Net Zero Offices in LA

The new Morphosis office in Culver City is the largest net-zero energy building in LA and is one of the greenest offices in the USA.

The fairly rectangular structure, located just a few feet from the new light rail Expo Line’s elevated tracks in Culver City (good for commuting), gets most of its energy from photovoltaics—a 2,800-square-foot array sitting on top of a shaded parking canopy outside.  What sets the building apart are it's innovative energy saving methods developed by nearby engineers Buro Happold.

There are four windcatchers on top of the two-story building’s angled roof, a technology adapted from ancient desert environments. Their high-tech iteration, produced by a company called Monodraught, has never before been employed in the United States. Essentially they are louvered steel boxes containing interior cross blades that allow air into the building, and, through the pressure built up on the far side of each blade, pull hot air up the other side. A digital sensor system (powered by photovoltaics) decides when to open the louvers and set the system in motion. It also keeps the louvers open at night, so cool air can flush out the space before the next work day.  LA gets so hot during the day that reducing the reliance on air conditioning is key.

The building’s east and south facades are solid and this limits the solar heat gain. In addition to this, a series of acrylic and galvanized steel shades cover the building’s sun-facing edges to create a pleasant outdoor gathering space for employees.

From a design perspective the offices look amazing - at DesignerEco we particularly love the entryway’s fabricated metallic screen. This is how it can and should be done! For more information and the full article click here.

Tuesday, 16 October 2012

Treasure Hunt

This Eco-Warrior has moved to Oahu, HI.  It's been challenging figuring out how to furnish the apartment without getting items shipped from the mainland.  Craigslist has been good to us and we found a salvage yard.  Re-Use Hawaii is a non-profit organization that diverts home renovation debris from landfills.  Being a small island it is even more important to give items a longer life before discarding.

The lobby is even created out of salvaged items.  Check out those stump end tables.  I'm searching for a tree removal company that might have some extra for my lanai.

Re-Use Hawaii employs a method called deconstruction as opposed to demolition to salvage up to 80% of a building's major components.  It's always a treat to walk through the warehouse searching for hidden treasures.  The staff is helpful and will even cut pieces to fit your needs.  Do some research in your neighborhood to see if you have a warehouse such as Re-Use.  Maybe you'll find some antique pieces or some exotic wood that you wouldn't have bought new but now needs a your home.


Beautiful granite.  What could you make with this?

Even their display is done out of re purposed drawers.  

Light fixtures, nails, plumbing supplies etc. etc.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

ECO FASHION - Dresses - Vegetable dyed, sustainable fabrics & fair trade

We love these stunning figure flattering dresses from FROCK Los Angeles. The minimalist design aesthetic is easily styled and versatile enough for every occasion.  I could wear some of these by day and some of these are totally sexy for the evening.

Better still every garment is machine washable, vegetable dyed, and eco-friendly. The brand is a fair-trade company and all collections are made in the USA.  FROCK's ethical collection made from the finest sustainable fabrics (certified organic cotton, bamboo and soy) meets that industry gap and aids in buyer responsibility while expanding the notion of eco-fashion.

At DesignerEco we are always on the lookout for ethical fashion finds. These simple silhouette hugging dresses are just screaming to be paired with bold jewellery and scarves for the fall. Click the dresses to go to the sale site.

Wednesday, 3 October 2012

Children's Nursery Decals - Non-toxic & Very Cute

Eco Friendly Wall Decal Stickers 

We love a healthy and casual way to decorate nurseries. Particularly as we the mums, and the children change so quickly in what we want from the room, and we are usually on a budget so it is useful to be able to change things up.

These super cute fabric wall decals are made from a premium eco-friendly fabric material that's PVC-free, non-toxic, CPSIA compliant, and not vinyl. The best thing about this, as 
we all know children's bedrooms are constantly a-changing these decals can be moved; they are repositionable, durable and won't damage the walls. Testing has shown that you can move it over 100 times without losing stickiness!

At DesignerEco we love an ethical eco-company! The company behind these Decals, Wall Stories, gives back to the community by giving away murals to schools that otherwise couldn't afford them. Gorgeous! If you are interested in buying them they are currently on sale here!