Monday, July 27, 2009

contained living

I have long been a fan of using shipping containers as architecture; they are inherently sustainable in the fact that they are repurposed industrial waste and virtually indestructable. Building with them is somewhat akin to playing with wooden blocks as toddlers, making it fun and relatively simple to come up with a really cool structure, and the aesthetic is still incredibly unique and interesting.

But the really great part about them is the ability to design and build cost effective structures. This is exciting to me because my contractor husband and I are about to embark on a housing project using these amazing materials and it's bigger than anything we could have imagined!

Still in the research phase, I thought I would share with you some of the inspiring images of container structures that really got the juices flowing. Enjoy.
images courtesy of

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images courtesy of architecture and hygiene

And a shameless plug of my own container design, from a project when I was in school

Check out this video from Modern Marvels

Friday, July 24, 2009

Eco-Luxury in Laguna Beach

Yesterday I attended the groundbreaking ceremony of a new project by Tresor Properties. Touted as the first LEED for Homes Platinum project on the California Coast, the two homes being constructed here are a great example of intuitive design. Going for LEED is no easy task. It requires thinking very far outside the box (or in this case, home) and a high level of accountability on the part of everyone involved. From my perspective, the OC Builder has accepted that challenge.

a modeled rendering of the future homes

One example is the filming of the demolition, which yielded 90% salvage, proving that a little foresight and good planning goes a long way. Check it out.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

beachy green

Summer is in full swing and the local heat wave is practically forcing people to hang out at the beach. But with all the cars baking in parking lots, trash that gets buried in the sand, and chemical sunscreens washed off in the ocean, a day at the beach isn't exactly good for the environment.

If saving Mother Earth is your M.O. and you want to do it in style, these eco-friendly beach finds will be right up your alley. Let's see if we can keep our footprint the size of the ones we leave in the sand.
These bamboo and organic cotton beach towels are a perfect blend. The colors are fun, plus the bamboo makes them super soft and the cotton makes them absorbent. Find them at Sea Glass Organic
This bag can go from beach to barbeque. Made from repurposed sailcloth, it's water resistant and will keep its shape when you plop it in the sand. Also at Sea Glass Organic.

I love this organic cotton bikini from BTC Elements...
and this dress from Patagonia to thrown on later

Pack a picnic and stay all day with containers from

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Guyot Designs Meal Gear - Cup & Bowl Set
These fun and flexible bowls will fit easily into whatever space is left in the bag.

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And dont' forget the sunscreen!

The Sun Stick from Purple Prairie Botanicals is perfect for keeping in your beach bag all season long.

The Sun Shield system from MyChelle works to prevent sun damage, but it also contains ingredients with anti-aging properties, pain relief and anti-inflammatories. Perfect for the people who have already been in the sun a little too long...but aren't quite ready to pack it up.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

inspiration on the open seas

Today I am wishing that I could be out sailing, so I'm feeling inspired by these beautiful yachts shown in Architectural Digest. Just imagine spending a sunny afternoon on the deck, drink in hand, and great company...that's the life!

Monday, July 13, 2009

born in a barn

I've been doing some research for a trade client on using barn style doors in interior spaces. Everything about this just seems so cool; the hardware, the millions of finishes, the ease of use...I could go on, but instead I'll just let you see why I get so excited. Check these out.

Reclaimed Wine Oak
reclaimed wine oak door from Cliff Spencer
Rocky Mountain Wildlife Furniture

image from


Innovative sliding doors
images courtesy of Sunset

Saturday, July 11, 2009

back to blogging

I've been missing the last week, but I promise I have a good excuse! I was drawing my little heart out, creating conceptual renderings for a rather large condo project in Mexico. In less than a week I had to complete 33 drawings of various rooms in 3 different interior styles. Whew! It was definitely a challenge but, as always, in design it somehow comes together.

Take a look at what I've been up to.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

I'm no Martha

In an attempt to re-awaken my inner crafter, I decided to try a simple project that I found on How About Orange, a cool DIY blog. The goal was to recycle magazines into coasters by 'weaving' the paper, thereby creating a textural and functional piece of art.

The author of the blog, Jessica, has become a bit of a paper-weave expert and self-proclaimed fanatic, going so far as to make baskets and other cool things. I, on the otherhand, will not be adding myself to the paper-weavers fan list anytime soon (nor would I consider it a hobby, pastime or anything in the realm of fun!). My experience was that magazine paper, which is slippery and bulks up when folded, was not meant to be woven into anything. One row across, one row down...yeah right. More like one row across, one down, then redo what you just did because it slipped out of place. And repeat.

It's kind of a mess, right? I don't think I will be honing my skills on paper weaving so it's on to something else...

If you would like to show me up, by all means please attempt this project yourself. You'll find directions here. Good luck to you and let me know how it goes!