Posted in Green Design, Recycling, Who Knew

Reuse, Repurpose, Recycle

Don’t ya love it when you can reuse an object and it actually looks cool? Notice anything familiar on the table? This coffee table uses reclaimed wood from a bowling alley.While no one would ever think high end modern style and bowling have anything in common…

William Stranger’s “Second Life” project proves to be an exception to the rule. Using reclaimed wood from a local LA bowling alley, Stranger has created a number of different and interesting pieces that include a coffee table, bench and diptych. Read the full story at PSFK

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Posted in Green Design, Quirky Design Details, Recycling

Recyclable Lids Give Old Cans a New Life

In the spirit of reduce, reuse, and recycle Recyclable Lids Give Old Cans a New Life

Northumbria University graduate Jack Bresnahan, drew rave reviews at the New Designers 09 exhibit in London for his innovative design of biodegradable, plastic lids designed to re-purpose tin can containers.

Innovative concept, yet I will add my own “Kitchen Designer” caveat. When re-purposing tin cans, I would recommend reusing recycled tin cans for
dry, non food
storage items only.

Reason: Food Storage Safety. 1) tin cans gives off a metallic taste to food. 2.) the soldered side seam and bottom of a can may leak over a period of time. I had a sticky mess in my pantry one day when I discovered an unopened tin can of mandarin oranges leaked syrupy juice after sitting a long time. 3.) A metal rust ring can collect on wet surfaces.

Lest you think I am kicking the tin can idea to the curb, this recycling idea is a good start to keep us moving forward with “cradle to cradle” product design.


A passionate believer that designers must take responsibility for their designs from conception to disposal, Jack feels that ‘anything that ends up in landfill is simply poor design’.




All Images, copyright by Jack Bresnahan

Posted in Beach House Kitchens, Kitchen Organization, Quick Fix Tips, Quirky Design Details, Recycling, Small Kitchens, Wabi Sabi

Saturday musings: Paring down with Wabi Sabi.

Photos of simple, unadorned rooms I admire.

Photos from Apartment Therapy via Sköna Hem and Emmas Design Blogg: Unlike shabby chic, wabi-sabi decor inspires minimalism that focuses more on the people who live in the space than anything else.

The aesthetic of Wabi-Sabi is sometimes described as one of beauty that is “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” (according to Leonard Koren in his book Wabi-Sabi: for Artists, Designers, Poets and Philosophers).

The concept of finding beauty in “imperfect, impermanent, and incomplete” may be more true in today’s economy than ever before. Look for beauty in found objects, your grandmother’s antique hutch, a hotel letter box.

Posted in CARB Compliant, floors, Recycling, Sustainable Design, Trends in Tile, Universal Design

Designing with Leather and Cork

New product watch: I saw this product at my local flooring store and had to do a double take. Torlys launch was in October 2008. New to my town at the insistance of a very bright salesperson who insisted his store bring in the line! Thank you Rich!

This is TORLYS Leather Tile. Shown is Novara Black Tile, this pattern has a distinctive and rich graining. It has a cork backing- environmental cushioning improves acoustics and precludes the need for an underlay in most circumstances.

Made from 100% recycled leather, Torlys Leather Floors ensures a cycle of material re-use, where leather would otherwise be wasted.

CARB Compliant: No Harmful VOC emissions, no added formaldyhyde.


What is so unique about Torlys Leather Floor is that this leather is incredibly durable. The first thing I had to do when I saw it was put it to the test. I tried to dent and scratch a sample. Now granted, I am standing in my local hardwood flooring store trying not to draw attention to my self as I slide my car keys across the surface. (Shhh…don’t tell). I could not scratch it. The material is very hard. For skeptics thinking leather is not durable, Torlys carries a 25 year residential wear warranty and a lifetime structural warranty. However, if there is a problem, an act of God or another type of household disaster, the manufacturer says it can be repaired without damage to the other tiles. They have a tool called a bulldog that allows any plank, even in the center of the floor to be replaced, without damaging the rest. This is why it is unique and considered a “smart floor”. Not even tile and hardwood cannot be replaced as easily.

TORLYS CORK
Also another favorite of mine is their Cork Flooring. Beautiful colors. Durable. Comfortable underfoot. A good insulator. All reasons to consider cork as an option for your floors. Torlys has done a wonderful job on the color selections available.

Eco-friendly note: Cork is an entirely renewable resource. Cork bark is carefully harvested once every nine years in a centuries-old tradition with hand tools- without destroying a single tree.

Check out their website, Torlys.com, for more information. They have a great interactive tool for you to preview floor tiles, planks, colors in different room settings. Beautiful!

Torlys Cork, shown in Florence Plank.
Posted in Back splashes, Green Design, Planning, Recycling, Sustainable Design

Whats Old Is New Again


Have you ever been to a place and feel as if you were transported back in time? Here is a wonderful source for finding reclaimed materials for your project. Historic Tile Company and La Voy Construction at 4524 Brazil Street – Los Angeles, California 90039, specializes in the reclaimed tile and stone. Take a look at their web site to see how wonderful reclaimed architectural salvaged materials can be in new construction.

Posted in Back splashes, Green Design, Planning, Recycling

Whats Old Is New Again


Have you ever been to a place and feel as if you were transported back in time? Here is a wonderful source for finding reclaimed materials for your project. Historic Tile Company and La Voy Construction at 4524 Brazil Street – Los Angeles, California 90039, specializes in the reclaimed tile and stone. Take a look at their web site to see how wonderful reclaimed architectural salvaged materials can be in new construction.

Posted in Planning, Recycling, Who Knew

Spring Cleaning


Now that you are waiting for the demolition date, this is a perfect opportunity to consider getting rid of items that you don’t use any more. One persons trash is another persons treasure. Before you decide to discard your bulky item, please consider reuse and/or recycling options. Review the links to the County’s “Thrift and Consignment Directory” and “The Recycling Guide” on Ventura County’s Government Resources web site.

Did you know that as of 2000, 18 states have enacted landfill bans for appliances, meaning that they will need to be recycled. The purpose of these bans is to extend the life of the nation’s landfills and encourage private industry and public sector to implement recycling of these goods. Mars Ventura offers a service that enables the customer to rid themselves of unwanted appliances. It also appeals to the environmental conscience customer by offering them an alternative to recycle instead of disposing them in the landfill. A recycling source for your unwanted appliances. Who knew?