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Monday, September 15, 2014


Creative DIY: fun ideas for giving new life to old pianos

upcycled piano fountain

Old pianos that have become family room eye sores can present an over-sized disposal challenge. Before you send old Betsy to the basement, sell her to strangers at a garage sale, or a make a strenuous trip to the local landfill, there may be another, more fun solution. If you’re handy with power tools and have a little vision you can transform your old beat-up piano into a new piece of furniture for your home or garden. There are many (more…)

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Thursday, September 11, 2014

Sustainable Furniture: Handcrafted Designer Mirrors

handmade maple mirror yellow blue

I love the elegant lines of these handmade mirrors created by furniture maker and craftsman, David Hurwitz. Hurwitz utilizes hand carving and traditional methods of furniture construction and joinery to create pieces with modern flourishes and contemporary style.

designer maple mirror

The craftsman uses only FSC Certified woods like cherry and maple in these museum-quality lyrical pieces. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo and certification is (more…)

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Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Stylishly Recycled: A New Life for Old Planes

Motoart DC9 coffee-table

When in the market for green furniture, many people often feel they need to compromise on design. Not all green furniture is created equally and some of it is less than stylish. Although, as you’ll probably agree, with material such as bamboo, pieces can be both beautiful and sustainable. You can also create green furniture from materials that often wind up in the dump. Old airplanes that are forgotten and sit around in airplane boneyards are an example of a material that can be given a specatacular second life.

C-119-Rudder table

Recycled airplane furniture was popularized by innovative companies like Moto Art, founded in 2002. Since then, other early designers that first turned the retired air planes into treasure other providers of similar goods like Relicta Design House and SkyART have blossomed. These, and others like them, offer chic furniture made from airplane parts that are collected from airplane bone yards. So, what’s involved in this transformation process? (more…)

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Thursday, August 21, 2014

modern industrial: wine bar in reclaimed wood

reclaimed wood wine bar

Creating furniture using reclaimed and salvaged wood saves living trees

Chicago’s Dendro Co specializes in creating character-laden handcrafted modern industrial furniture featuring vintage wood salvaged from the remains of old local buildings. We particularly like their wine table (above and below) made from a 160 year-old reclaimed plank with legs and frame made from industrial pipe.

reclaimed wood wine bar

The piece has that rustic modern look that works in so many contemporary home decor situations.

Dendro handcrafts an extensive line of modern industrial furniture – from dining and coffee tables – to stools, consoles, chairs and other furniture in keeping with their motto: Reclaim. Reimagine. Rebuild.

dendro wine bar

The wine/console measures 48″ and features a 6 bottle wine rack; the piece is also available in a 72″ version that holds a robust 12 bottles. Great for small apartment or breakfast nook. $250 @ dendroco

related: more eco-friendly furniture featured on The Alternative Consumer

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Wednesday, August 13, 2014

green home: recycled glass countertops

recycled glass countertop

Whether you’re building a new home, or remodeling an existing one, you may want to consider installing recycled glass countertops in your kitchen and bathrooms. Recycled glass will add a great aesthetic, earth-friendly touch to your home’s decor. Recycled glass countertops are sustainable – leave that granite or marble in the ground – and can be used anywhere a stone countertop can be used. Most recycled glass tops are comparable in abrasion resistance, durability, maintenance and stain resistance to a granite, marble, or stone surface.

vetrazzo recycled glass countertop

We happen to like the look of Vetrazzo’s surfaces (above). Vetrazzo makes their recycled glass countertops entirely in the United States. The glass in Vetrazzo’s countertops is 100% recycled glass. (more…)

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Thursday, August 7, 2014

rustic modern: reclaimed wood chandeliers

reclaimed wood and edison bulb chandelier

Is your lair in need of a style statement? Need to shed a little light on the subject? Rustic modern? Vintage retro? Country chic? Perhaps a handcrafted chandelier is what you need. A little family business called, Born Again Wood Works – the brainchild of designers, craftspeople and married couple, Dustin and Amber Schumacher – has created a line of handcrafted chandeliers and lighting fixtures designed to transcend styles from retro to modern and back again. 

mason jar and reclaimed wood chandelier

The couple creates handmade chandeliers that are a compelling combination woodworking craftsmanship, reclaimed wood and an array of vintage and industrial lighting components. Many of Born Again’s designs feature wooden canopies, Edison bulbs and (more…)

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Thursday, July 31, 2014

eco home decor: hand-painted antique tin ceiling tiles

hand-painted antique ceiling tile

These works of art are created from antique tin ceiling tiles salvaged from a building built in Central Texas in 1905. The 24” x 24” tiles are uniquely individual with all of the dents, holes, rust, flaking paint and character created by 100+ years of ceiling duty.

hand-painted antique ceiling tile

The tiles have been brushed to remove loose materials and sealed front-and-back with a satin sealer to slow the process of rusting and flaking. The tiles have not been straightened, or unbent, and thus maintain their rustic nature and appearance.

hand-painted antique ceiling tile

The hand-painted tiles depict leaves and ferns and feature hangers and wire. Materials: acrylic clear satin finish, permanent oil based cream paint, antique tin ceiling tile. $89 from Habit Shmabit who specializes in making new things from salvaged and upcycled finds.

related: more eco-friendly home decor items featured on

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5 unique bathroom renovation ideas

spa bathroom

You didn’t get into the complicated business of renovating your bathroom to end up with a plain, boring bathroom that is just another room inside the house. Imaginative design can turn any bathroom into your houses secret weapon – the sacred space where you hide away from every day life’s hustle and bustle. You will find some inspiration on, but in the meantime, here are five more unique bathroom renovation ideas.

Make a seat
We tend to think (or not to think but act out of habit) about the shower cabin as this tight, steamy space where you stand and, well, take a shower. Think big and you’ll turn taking shower into a pleasure equal to taking a long bath. Plan for a bigger shower cabin, let’ say double the size of what you’re used to. Once it’s in your design include a seat under the shower. No, not a chair you bring from outside but a full, tiled bench where you can sit and relax sauna style.  This unique solution not only is very practical and improves your everyday bathroom experience but will also catch the eye of any potential buyer of the house. They might not even notice you don’t have a bathtub…and why would you need one if you have a shower you can sit under.

Go outdoors
If your house design allows it think about installing an outdoor shower cabin. Taking shower outside, in the sunshine is one of life’s greatest pleasures and a house with an outdoor shower sound more attractive in a “for sale” advertisement.

Use the space
If you’re blessed with a spacious bathroom think about turning it into your own bathroom-spa-fitness club. Moving some of you gym equipment like the treadmill or stationary bicycle inside your bathroom will do just that and as a side effect you might get these muscles or flat stomach you always dreamed of – after all if you see your gym gear every time you brush your teeth you might feel inclined to use it more often.

Go Black
We often think bathroom as white. Challenge the stereotypes and re-imagine your bathroom in darker shades. To be able to do that you’ll need a lot of natural light (big window), a lot of space, more mirrors and more… courage. But once it’s done you’ll and up with a bathroom that stands out of the crowd and in a good way.

It’s a bathr…. A gallery
When do you have time to think about the important things in life, things grand and eternal? When can you let you mind go, release you imagination, gather your thoughts and seek inspiration? That’s right, in the bathroom. One of the things we tend to lack time for in our daily lives art and culture. Well, why not place it in your bathroom. A piece of art only seems out of place in the bathroom but placed there with confidence might actually improve the overall look of the bathroom. Same goes for a small bookshelf. Just remember to install good ventilation system in the bathroom; moisture can be deadly dangerous to some objects.

Think out of the box and you might change the boring square box of your bathroom into one of the most unique rooms in your house.

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