Browsing Tag

green living

Work and Life

Office Design: Transparent and Cheerful Panels

raw color ABN AMRO Eindhoven

Anyone who visited The Netherlands knows that the Dutch are not afraid of colorful spaces, even for the corporate office spaces. It is easy to add a punch of colors into an office space. For example, you can paint the cabinet drawers, choose a fun color for the chairs or use the color blocking technique for your room dividers. Continue Reading

FAMILY GAMES and Toys

Three DIY Toys that You Can Do with Your Kids

french postal truck toy

cupcake or ice cream truck
photo: cupcake or ice cream truck by Martine Camillieri

Crafting projects let you pass quality time with your kids. I wanted a project that I could do for my boy, who adore trucks. I found three project ideas fron France that repurpose things that you have at home.

french postal truck toy
photo: La Poste, French postal truck by Martine Camillieri

The first idea is from Martine Camillieri. This french woman has been transforming cleaning product containers into cars and trucks since 2007. Her upcycling creations appeared in a book and many exhibits over the years. Although she failed to provide tutorials to make your own, it seems that she affixed two caps to make wheels and used stickers and paint to decorate the vehicles. It is definitely a project that you can do with your kids.

diy pickup truck toy
photo: DIY pick-up truck toy by Martine Camillieri

The second idea is from a limited-print series called Bolides. I encourage you to explore your own boxy style. After a few trial and error, you could design your own templates. I would use mashi tape to create the various car or truck elements. Washi tapes come in a variety of colors and it is easy to reposition them. Cut a straw in two to support the wheels.

bolides

You could make your own paper tipi toy. Let your kids create their own patterns. Each tipi stands tall with 3 sticks.

make your own paper tipi toy
photo: Tipis by Morse

These are not toys that are designed to last. Nonetheless, they are fun to make. If you want to keep them longer, you could always tell your kids that they are making art pieces for their playroom.

DESIGN and style LIVING

Giant Plastic Bottle Fish Sculptures Shimmer on a Rio Beach

fish sculptures shimmering at day on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro

fish sculptures shimmering at day on Botafogo beach in Rio de Janeiro
Photo credit: Victor R. Caivano / AP

I woke up this morning to a sunny, hot summer day. It felt natural to look for beach stories since I sat next to my pool. I discovered one that it absolutely a treat for the eye and your sense of creativity. Enjoy!

Discarded plastic bottles never look so good! Hundreds of empty water bottles were used to reproduce the effect of fish scales. And what effect! The fish sculptures glitter under the sun. The effect is as stunning at night, thanks to a mix of LED and projected lights.

giant fish sculptures at night in rio beach
Photo credit: Alexandre Macieira / Riotur

These huge fish sculptures are installed on popular Botafogo Beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. They were created as a part of the Rio +20 conference, which is about sustainable development. Despite the beauty of these sculptures, we must also think about how much waste we created on a daily basis.

+ Via Inhabitat, Hungeree and Colossal

FOOD + DRINK TABLEWARE

Lucirmas Upcycles the Wine Bottle into a Table Set

pure bottle

pure bottle

Sometimes, you simply need to adapt the shapes of everyday objects to create new ones. If we omit the handmade process of the making, this is basically the visual approach of Lucirmas, a Barcelona-based glass studio. Lucirmas uses 100% recycled glass to create tableware.  Take for example, the Pure Bottle. Lucia Bruni imagined a cleverly designed 3-piece table set that is made from a single recycled wine bottle.

pure bottle 3 piece table set

After five steps (cutting, hand polishing, fusing, thermal tempering and sandblasting) what you get is a glass, a lantern and the most unusual spoon that I ever saw. I especially enjoy the look of the lantern.

The spoon is sure to be a conversation piece. But I feel that it could be awkward to eat with it. Is it just me? I guess that it is one of these things that you need to try before you are convinced.

recycled glass toothpick holder

On the end, they did a good job with their toothpick holder. It’s a fun, simple design!

For the moment, a small numbers of European retailers carry their products. But if you don’t mind the shipping fees, Lucirmas operates an international online store.

SOURCING:
+ Pure Bottle €41 at Lucirmas
+ Toothpick €13 at Lucirmas
+ via MOCO LOCO on Facebook

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

Breathe Easy: Middle Colors Humidifier

Middle colors humidifier green living room

Middle colors humidifier green living room

Ah, January. That less-than-loveable month where frosty temps, post-holiday fatigue, cold and flu bugs, and dry indoor air (due to always-on heat) combine to create a cesspool of breathing challenges.

While a humidifier can be the answer to breathing easier during winter months, their typically bulky and boring design can leave your style sense congested.

Enter the Middle Colors Humidifier series from Japanese designer Takashi Hiroshi Tsuboi. Available in two sizes and a range of bright and bold colors, the humidifers are perfect for overnight use offering 8 – 10 hours of continuous use.

Middle Colors Humidifier colours

The larger model also features an aromatherapy function: just add a few drops of a scented oil to an aroma pad, and mist the room with your favourite scent. Try lavender to not just breathe but sleep easier.

SOURCING:

+ Middle Colors Humidifier, $119.99 (small) / $169.99 (large) USD

 

ENTERTAINING HOLIDAY entertaining

New Uses for Old Things: Holidays Cookies Wrapped with Office Supplies

old cd envelopes cookie gift wrap

old cd envelopes cookie gift wrap

This post is about finding a use for your old office supplies. If you still have an box of CD envelopes lying around, I saw on Better Homes and Gardens a way to transform them into cute cookie packages. Instead of a printed ribbon and a Holidays adornment, you could decorate the envelopes with a beautiful string and affix a gift tag. I wish that I could insert a gold cake pad but at 6 inches, the smallest cake circles are two big for a CD envelope. This is why you need to use a scrapbook paper or gift wrap paper to add a festive backdrop. The only downside is that I would feel the need to cover the cookie with food-safe cellophane before inserting it into an old CD envelope.

christmas cookies wrapped in mailing tubes

If you plan to ship them, why not wrap your Christmas cookies in mailing tubes? I showed you three ways to add a Holiday touch to plain mailing tubes last year.

SOURCING:
Gingerbread People Cutouts
+ Three-Pepper Spice Cookies

HOME + GARDEN ORGANIZING

New Uses for Old Things | Loaf Pan Organizers

bread pan loaf organizer kitchen

bread pan loaf organizer kitchen

A couple of weeks ago we shared a few creative container garden ideas – including one that made use of old muffin tins. Tin loaf pans would work well as makeshift garden planters too, but they look just as lovely hung in a row on a bright kitchen wall.

These rustic tins look fresh when filled with colourful kitchen linens, shiny silverware and cheap-and-chic citrus fruits, but they’re easy to imagine in other corners of your home too.

Try them in the office to organize paperwork and stationery supplies; in a garden shed to keep seed packs, twine and garden gloves within reach; or in a crafty corner filled with scissors, ribbon spools and a stack of fabric fat quarters. No matter where you find a place for this DIY, it adds a touch of upcycled, old-meets-new charm.

It’s easy to see why this simple, versatile project made ReadyMade Magazine’s list of 100 best projects of the year. (Check out the complete list for more clever, reader-submitted projects!)

SOURCING:
+ DIY Loaf Pan Storage from ReadyMade
+ Photos: ReadyMade

LIVING URBAN Living

Umbra Handisleeve and Dandisleeve

umbra handisleeve and dandisleeve

umbra handisleeve and dandisleeve

The Handisleeve by Umbra has an handle, which means that it is easy to hold and drink from. Some textile coffee sleeves can be slippery. It won’t happen with the rubber coated Handisleeve. I see it as a must-have for when you are driving your car. It comes in blue, red, green and black.

Alan Wisniewski designed two two models: the simple Handilsleeve and the Dandisleeve (in black or pink) which shows a flower cur pattern. Both models can fit several sized of cups. You can watch what people have to say about it.

SOURCING:
+ Handisleeve by Umbra $5
+ Dandisleeve by Umbra $5

HOME + GARDEN HOME decor

New Uses for Old Things | Wooden Pallets

wood pallet coffee table reuse

wood pallet coffee table reuse

April may be the month when the urge to spring clean takes over, but it’s also the month when we seem to give the most thought to our environmental impact. While you’re in the midst of purging and re-organizing, don’t underestimate the power of re-purposing. Case in point: the lowly wooden shipping pallet.

They’re easy to overlook leaning against dumpsters and tossed in ditches, but wooden pallets also have built-in rustic charm with a nod to industrial functionality. With a bit of TLC, they can be transformed into fresh furniture pieces or smart storage. We rounded-up a few clever DIY examples. Don’t miss all the step-by-step instructions for these projects in the “Sourcing” section below!

Pallet-Turned-Coffee Table

A bit of sanding, four castors, a glass top and a coat of stain or paint turn these pallets into large coffee tables with built-in shelves for storing books, magazines and removes.

wood pallet reuse table lounge day bed

Pallet-Turned-Day Bed

Add a futon mattress or high-density foam topper to a painted pallet to create a day bed or lounge. Perfect in a finished basement or a teenager’s bedroom.

Pallet-Turned-Shelf

wood pallet wine rack plate shelf reuse

The basic construction of wooden pallets makes them prime storage solutions (especially for wine). On the left, they’re stacked and lined with deep rectangular baking sheets for bar storage. Mounted on the wall (right), the slats are perfect for displaying a collection of pretty plates.

Pallet-Turned-Garden

wood pallet balcony garden

For apartment dwellers who want a balcony garden without tons of hanging baskets or heavy pots, line a pallet with landscape fabric to keep soil inside – then plan to your heart’s content.

SOURCING:
+ DIY Coffee Table 1 from Noepa Hjertet /  DIY Coffee Table 2 from Fjasevashuseton, both on Stylizimo.com
+ DIY Day Bed from Siljesol on Stylizimo.com
+ DIY Wine Shelving from Remodelista.com
+ DIY Plate Rack by Katrin Arens on Remodelista
+ Balcony Garden from Life on the Balcony