As an offshoot of Inflate, a British company that has been making temporary inflatable buildings since 1999, AirClad offers custom-made permanent inflatables for residential and commercial use. The AirClad pool house is 32 feet long, 13 feet tall and 16 feet wide. It's made with an opaque, polyester-reinforced, solar-reflective PVC that comes standard in white, or in any number of custom colors. The 'House' is essentially a lightweight solar shade with no doors or enclosures, and uses air to inflate the base, walls and roof of the structure. Known as bubbletecture, inflatables are becoming viable alternatives to prefab structures. Dwell on Design will be featuring inflatables for the first time this year, including the AirClad and the CasaBubble. See more of AirClad's concepts and projects on their site.
The Green Zebra keeps popping up wherever we go around town, a sure sign that it needs to be blogged. The Green Zebra is the city's first all-green resource guide, and it's replete with special discount passes and special offers from 250 local services, products, and resources that focus on eco-friendly living. The guide includes healthy home product and service providers like Healthy Choice Carpet Cleaners, organic gardeners like the sustainable landscapers at Second Nature Design, alternative energy companies like Bay Solar Power Design, and real estate services like Green Key Real Estate. Zebra also covers green approaches to healthcare and eating, eco events and travel. Since we're apartment therapists, we went right for the 20 simple action steps page on their site, which makes a great local companion to The Cure. The Green Zebra is going for $25 and can be purchased online or at any of these stores.
Q: As a girl fresh out of college and moving into my new apartment, I inherited these 4 black chairs. In the pressure of time and money, I bought a simple brown table that has hints of black in the varnish. Does anyone have any ideas on how I can renew these chairs? The leather is somewhat worn and scratched and I don't think they really go well with the table. I'd just hate to throw them away since they're still sturdy. Editor: Leave your suggestions for Samantha in the comments - thanks! Got a question? Send us yours with pic attachments here.
Solar energy and windows just seem like a no brainer, but while there have been plenty of concepts we've yet to see real life glass that can collect energy from the sun. One promising new product hopes to make that idea a reality. Engadget reports on Chin Hua, a company that's developing solar windows. They recently showed off their innovation at the Taipei International Optoelectronics Week. According to Engadget, the slightly foggy pane of glass can collect and deliver two watts of energy. It's unclear how long it takes to collect that amount and there aren't very many details, but it's an exciting development nonetheless. From what we've gathered, it sounds very similar to the Peer+ concept from the Dutch, in which, depending on how much light you let in through the window you collect more or less solar energy.
Over at AT Los Angeles, our writer Beth has an interest with home offices inside closets, something us small space dwellers can all appreciate: We're a big fan of taking a closet and transforming it into a work space. Not only does this suggestion make great use of a teeny space, it also evokes a cozy vibe that we're attached to.... Not to mention, Maxine is a kindred sprit with her organized office space. She also puts to use a shelf riser for her phone to make use of the area below for extra storage. We also love her thoughtful idea to stack the printer on a stool below the desk. To make the nook feel roomier, square mirrors are placed side by side as the office backdrop. The best part of an office closet-the space can be hidden from view when not in use. We always remember this wonderful February Jumpstart office in a closet post, Shawn & Callie 's February Jumpstart Project 2009, which reminds us colour is an important element, just as much as organization. Crafter Paula Prass had us envious of her organization and use of colour showcased in her closet space office from this past Final Frame. Justin's Office in a Closet is an example of how to use a larger walk-in style closet as an office.
We often find that a small kitchen leaves little room for a place to sit down and eat a meal. Most folks working with a small cooking area will take a meal to the couch. So when we spotted Caroline's DIY countertop bar, we had to share. By simply painting and installing wood shelving from IKEA, Caroline makes great use of a tiny space. Instead of having to stand in the kitchen waiting for the pasta to boil, she can plop down on a stool and enjoy a sip of tea and a magazine. Great idea for those of us who never thought a dining area was possible in a small kitchen.
For me, nothing beats my favorite perfume for a hint of luxury that lasts &mdash even if I'm standing, sweaty from walking to work. At home, that feeling comes from my Garnet Hill linens, which are delightfully crisp. In this economy, and in the cozy fall season, small luxuries like this make us feel rich. Another luxury of mine is my Jasper Conran glossy white china, which I use every day. What is yours? Fresh flowers from the market on Fridays? A Saturday latte and a walk? Antique tea cups for afternoon tea? Whatever it is, I believe these small things, even though material, help us all feel more blessed, refined and luxurious - even if we're eating PB&Js on our fine bone china!
We spied this vanity by Waterfall Bathroom over at ecofabulous. The piece is made from FSC-certified and formaldehyde-free wood and low VOC paint. It's not exactly our style, but we think it would look adorable in a kids' bathroom. Get even more green details about Waterfall Bathroom and the piece at ecofabulous.
Check out this elegantly simple bathroom vanity from Italian manufacturer, Mastella. The Jey vanity is a curved open shelf in natural wood. Definitiely designed for the consumer who is not intimidated by open storage!.... Available in varying sizes and two tones of wood. If you prefer closed storage, check out Mastella's Guest vanity.