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Category Archives: eco living
Do you have limited storage at your home to store your bike? A common issue amongst inner city dwellers, is where to store their two wheeled eco friendly mode of transport. Some are awkwardly stored down terrace house hallways, others take up valuable floor space in small laundries and bedrooms, and some just don’t even get a guernsey as the storage issue is all too hard. Is this resonating with you? I’m hoping today’s piece showcasing the simple but ingenious design of Latvian design firm Chrome Limited may go some way to solving your storage issues.
Made from birch, the FIXA, latin for “fixed” is a multi purpose wall mounted bike shelf that not only picks your bike up from the floor and tucks it in close the wall, but also functions as a storage unit for all your bits and pieces. Imagine pedalling home, storing your bike up out of the way, putting down your keys, wallet and sunglasses all in the one place. For me, this would be bliss. No need to search
for everything next time you head out the door – just grab it all and off you go again. Talk about making life easy! The timber panel on top also opens for a handy little hidy place for extra items too.
The only issue you may have with this piece, is if you ride a woman’s style bike without the top cross bar. Perhaps that should be Chrome Limited’s next design solution!
Stop reading now if you own a kindle or device on which you store all your reading material. For the rest of you who have a vast collection of hardcopy books and magazines, where do you store them all? Are they scattered across bench tops and piled high in baskets, or are they neatly placed in custom bookcases? If you answered in the positive for the latter, lucky you. Today, I am sharing some innovative book storage ideas that look beyond the obvious storage solutions, but may suit you down to a tee.
I’ll never look at my stairs quite the same again. Many of us utilise the open space beneath the stairs for storage, but have you ever considered the stair rise too? Ingenious. Literally stumbling over words!
You’d never have to get up from your chair with this design – Curled up in your chair, you could finish one book, then just grab another. The perfect lazy afternoon chair. Perfects you could custom make your own?
Another great idea! Books are literally packed to the rafters! In this case, a plywood plank was simply added
as a support to the existing ceiling rafters, creating the perfect book nook.
Has this sparked any ideas for you at home?
If you are looking to add a little eco chic industrial design style to your home, international creative design web-store, Etsy is the place to hunt down some real treasures. Trawling through their site is a true delight, and one which will find you loosing a few hours very easily! Today I share with you a few of my favourite industrial lighting designs.
Starting off with my outright favourite find is the wirecage by USA based designer Kevin Pritchett of Junkyard Lighting. Using salvaged and other “unconventional” materials, he creates unique and delicate lights that would sit well in any room ~ although over a kitchen bench top would look particularly stunning!
Hilary Nagker of FleaMarketRX has re-imagined the traditional bulb cage light which I am finding it hard to put words to – it’s rustic and industrial with its sturdy rusted cable thread, but also features pretty wiring twisted into delicate petals! Hang a single cage light outside by your front door, or group them together at varied lengths as a real design statement.
I love this upcycled take on the classic Planet desk light! Fashioned from a timber folding bricklayer’s ruler, a gasoline funnel and a log splitting wedge, this desk light is spectacular – perfect for a dressmaker, draftperson, architect, builder - or just me because I love it!
There are so many more unique finds on Etsy, but the above are my current Top 3 – though that may change any time – Will keep you posted if I find any more beauties.
I love a room makeover. Sometimes just very small changes, make a remarkable difference. Case in point today ~ I laid out one of our Boucherouite rugs for a photo shoot, and am afraid it may now just be there to stay! Don’t you think it adds a nice vibrant lift to the room!
I usually shy away from using too much colour, but today am at a positive turning point. It has provided such a joyous and happy lift to my lounge area. I have had lots of queries about this room, so in case you were wondering, here are the specs:
Wall Colour: Dulux Barnfloor on walls and ceiling creates a lovely cosy feel.
Lounge: Jardan covered in removable linen cover ( a godsend with young family members).
Timber side table: Mark Tuckey (strong and sturdy – you can throw anything at this piece and it just looks better and better!)
Chair: Refurbished Danish Deluxe Armchair (if only it could tell a tale of its previous existence).
Lotus Silk Lamp: This holds special memories ~ a special find during travels in China!
If you have any other questions, please let me know!
~~ State of Green ~~
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I was first attracted to the Vivo Barefoot range when I spoke to local Soled Shoes shop owner Suey Cooper about their virtues. She passionately shared that the underlying ethos behind the Vivo Barefoot brand, is to allow feet to develop naturally by providing a light sole and wide toe space to allow for growth. Rather than being weighed down by heavy soles and tapered toes, Vivo Barefoot celebrate the foots natural form, allowing it to develop freely~ not squished and squashed into tapered and heavily padded shoes. Suey is so passionate about the Vivo Barefoot range, that four weeks ago she handed over a pair of Neo Junior Hydrophobic Mesh trainers to my seven year old son (hereinafter referred to as Mr 7), and challenged him to put them through their paces. They almost didn’t leave his feet for the next 4 weeks …..
Being summer holidays in Australia was a perfect time to trial the shoes. Pulling them on for the first time, Mr 7 commented on how light they were compared to his regular padded trainers. Whilst he occasionally wore socks with the shoes, he preferred to go without as he found them very comfortable. Now I am not exaggerting one iota when I say Mr 7 fell hard for these shoes (must have his mother’s genes). Not a day has gone passed over the past four weeks that I haven’t seen him wearing them. They were paired with new clothes on Xmas Day, traversed dry and rocky bush tracks on holiday, gripped skateboards, peddled bikes, caught air with some spectacular slam dunks and even balanced in and out of canoes down the Murray River.
From my son’s point of view, the Vivo Barefoot trainers are an absolute winner. From mine, they are too. There is the practical element, that I am happy his fast growing feet have ample space to grow naturally. There is the hardy element, in that these shoes have really been worked the last four weeks, and still look good! And there is the style element – The Neo’s do look good with everything. They look great with jeans (no Seinfeld look), summer shorts and physical training gear. A perfect all rounder. To top it off, you can even throw them in the washing machine and they come out looking spick and span.
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The girls at Love Mae clearly know how to party, as they have just released a great new range of eco friendly party ware that will not end up in landfill. If you have ever tried to run an eco friendly party, you would know how hard it is to find attractive and colourful wares that are biodegradable. Even plain white paper plates are becoming increasingly hard to come by!
Begone plastic plates and cups. Love Mae’s cute range of cupacake wrappers, biodegradable plates and gorgeous treat bags set the scene straight away. Pair them with some fab paper straws, string some paper lanterns or handmade paper chains from the rafters and voila – the pretty sustainable party scene is set.
Thanks Love Mae!
Hold onto your hats ladies and gents as there is a new textile designer in town, and I LOVE her work! Karen Johnston of The Print Society launched her textile homewares business just a few months ago. Over the past few weeks we have been talking on and off as she has been making her wonderful cushions and pom pom sling bags for the State of Green store, and she is an absolute delight.
Born in Sydney to an editor and a draftsman, Karen has over ten years experience in textile printing and design. She first studied Fashion Design at East Sydney TAFE, and later returned to study Textile Design and Printing. Karen uses hemp, yak (oh yes) and organic cotton base cloths, and hand screen prints bright and punchy designs upon them.
I particularly love the different prints and colours on each side of the cushions ~ you can change the look of your decor in a simple flip of a cushion, and their inners are made from sustainable PET (recycled plastic bottles)! Coinciding today with the introduction of The Print Society’s homewares in our online store, is our interview with Karen conducted just this afternoon – so it’s straight hot off the press!:
1. What inspired you to enter the field of textile design? The inspiration to create my own fabrics came years ago when I was studying Fashion Design at East Sydney TAFE. I found that the range of textiles available in Australia was quite limited and it was almost impossible to ensure exclusivity as a younger designer. I knew the basics of screen printing so found myself playing around with different ideas. A few years later I returned to study Textile design and haven’t looked back.
2. You use hemp, yak and organic textiles in your range. Why did you decide to use these textiles? Natural fibres are so much nicer to print on! They are beautiful to handle and have qualities that synthetic fibres just can’t emulate. However, apart from reasons based around aesthetics and manufacturing, I like to use hemp and organic cottons due to the environmental and economic benefits which result primarily from the nature of the crop’s growth cycles and harvesting techniques.
3. What have been your biggest challenges starting a new fabulous business? All of The Print Society’s products are screen printed and made by hand, making production efficiency a difficult balance to strike. So my focus is on reducing time wasters and improving processes wherever possible.
4. What can we expect to see from The Print Society in the future? I’m putting a lot of work into research and experimentation at the moment. I have a strong interest in art and culture, so you’ll see the focus start to move in that direction. I’m also looking at ways to take a more ‘free-form’ approach with screen printing, meaning that there’ll be less use of the rail for repeat printing, and more random placements during the process.
5. Share with us your easy eco living tip: For me it’s all about reducing waste. At home my partner and I are committed recyclers and composters. In the studio, nothing goes to waste, and the furniture was sourced from The Bower Co-op in Marrickville whose mission is to reduce the amount of ‘hard waste’ going into landfill through reuse and resale. Yes my furniture is amazing!
Thanks Karen ~ we look forward to keeping an eye on what you come up with next, and may just have to get a sneak peek at some of those wonderful furniture finds.
I hope all our State of Green readers had a great weekend. The sun was shining here in Melbourne, and put me in the mood for a fresh room makeover for my daughter. After occupying a room with her two brothers for the first 3 1/2 years of her life (see former makeover here), it was time to turn my storage / junk room into a cute girls bedroom.
Once I removed all the bits and pieces stored in the room and vacuumed away a tonne of dust, the room looked twice as big as it used to. I re-assembled my daughters bedroom furniture and put it in place, but it was still missing that certain “je ne said quoi“. Now this is where it is handy (and a little dangerous) to have the State of Green store at my fingertips – I flapped out two of the rag rags we recently got in from Morocco and Voila – It added the required pizazz.
It is quite amazing to think these rugs used to be pieces of clothing, cloth and various other textiles. Thousands of tiny pieces of recycled cloth are neatly knotted in place to form various bright patterns, that are not only hard wearing but are absolutely striking.
Now I have just one issue – I LOVE both of the rag rugs above, and need your help to decide which looks best. I am leaning towards the geometric design in the bottom image. How about you? Leave a comment below and let me know!