Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

November 9, 2018 by  
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Strict building restrictions often dictate the design of home additions, but in certain cases, savvy architects know just how to work around them. Case in point is architect Nicole Blair, head of Austin-based Studio 512 , who has just unveiled The Hive guesthouse, a tiny home that expands as it rises upward, evoking the shape of a beehive. Built as a guest house for a residence in Austin, The Hive’s unusual shape is a solution to local building codes that required that the footprint of structure be confined to a maximum of 320 square feet. Not one to be limited by such regulations, architect Nicole Blair found a smart way to abide by the rules while still creating a gorgeous extension. Inspired by the shape of a beehive, Blair simply added a second story using walls that slant upward and outward from the base. This way, the walls expand as they rise, providing extra space to the second floor. Related: This swanky desert guesthouse was fashioned out of a former horse barn Clad in large cedar shake siding  repurposed from old roofing material, the charming tiny home with a very unusual shape is certainly eye-catching. The dramatically slanted walls and large windows framed in white add a touch of fairytale whimsy to the dynamic design. From the tilted kitchen walls to the spacious, angular bathroom to the sloping bedroom, the structure’s geometric character — and quirky personality — is evident. The small, covered entrance features an outdoor shower installed adjacent to the front door. Inside, the living space and kitchen are found on the first floor, where an open layout seamlessly connects the two spaces. In the kitchen, the angled walls also provide more counter space. Between the kitchen and living room, a wall of multiple glass panels bring in  natural light . A set of dark wooden stairs leads up to the second level, which houses the bedroom, bathroom and a small work space. Throughout the tiny home, bright white walls and ample natural light lend to the vibrant, modern aesthetic. The neutral color palette is contrasted nicely with a smart collection of modern furnishings and a mix of unique features such exposed copper pipes, blackened wood flooring and kitchen cabinetry made from  reclaimed longleaf pine . + Studio 512 Via Dezeen Photography by Casey Dunn and Whit Preston via Studio 512

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Strategically slanted walls squeeze extra space out of a small guesthouse

Carbon-neutral home in Australia conceals its energy efficiency with minimalist design

November 6, 2018 by  
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Perth-based firm  Whispering Smith  has unveiled a beautiful, concrete home that combines the best of brutalist architecture with sustainable materials. Built on a very compact infill lot outside of Perth, House A is an affordable and carbon-neutral  home that was built with concrete, reclaimed brick, solar power and an underground water collection system. The 753-square-foot home was strategically designed to make the maximum use out of limited building space. Where many architects would have taken a complicated route to create more out of less, the Whispering Smith team focused on creating a design that would use simple, sustainable materials to create a beautiful space with understated elegance. Related: This super-insulated concrete “cabin” hides a surprisingly cozy interior The home is clad in concrete made out of 65 percent slag, a byproduct of steel manufacturing. Along with the concrete walls, the home was built with reclaimed bricks , which were also incorporated into the surrounding landscape. Concealed from view, a water collection tank is underground and solar panels are installed on the roof. The home’s volume from a distance cuts a stoic figure, with light gray, gabled parapets reminiscent of a traditional barn but covered in concrete. Breaking up the concrete facade is the large,  charred timber entryway topped with a polycarbonate screen. The minimalism  continues throughout the interior, where an extremely neutral color palette was used to enhance the soft, natural light that illuminates the rooms. According to the architects, the interior design was meant to be “raw, but not without warmth, texture and flourish.” The firm further explained, “We made a conscious decision to choose materials that would age well, were simple to understand and construct and didn’t require cladding or extra finishes. We used limepaint, soap finish and linseed oil, because the interior materials were the largely the ‘finish’ themselves. The concrete will never need painting, [it] will only get better as it ages. At dusk, the concrete panels absorb the evening colors and the light and the house almost disappears into the sky, and there’s something really nice about that.” To maximize the compact floor plan, the interior rooms flow seamlessly from one space to another. The main living area is open and airy, with a built-in sofa and white-tiled bench. From this room, large doors slide open to an outdoor courtyard with plenty of space for dining, entertaining and relaxing. A wooden staircase leads up to the second floor, which houses the bedroom and en suite bathroom, the only room in the home with a door. + Whispering Smith Via Dwell Photography by Ben Hosking via Whispering Smith

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Carbon-neutral home in Australia conceals its energy efficiency with minimalist design

Fight food waste with these 11 ways to use leftover greens before they spoil

September 19, 2018 by  
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While they are chock-full of nutrients, greens such as spinach, kale, chard and romaine typically do not make for good leftovers. Luckily, there are plenty of uses for this tasty produce — even if it is soggy and nearly bad — that won’t make you feel like you’ve wasted money or contributed to the growing food waste crisis. Here are 11 different ways you can use leftover greens before they spoil. Sautéed Greens Certain types of greens, like arugula, kale , chard and spinach, are ideal for adding to a stir-fry or sautéing. Add these greens with shallots, peppers and garlic, and sauté them with a bit of olive oil. If you are making a traditional stir-fry, the ribs of romaine and iceberg lettuce are great for adding a crispy element to the dish. Kale Pesto Who knew kale could be incorporated into a spaghetti dish? Start by making a pesto with kale with a food processor. Then, boil some spaghetti noodles and combine them with the pesto. Add a few sun-dried tomatoes to the mix and top everything off with some goat or vegan cheese. Once you have mastered making kale pesto, you can use it in a number of different dishes, including raviolis and fish, such as tilapia. Lettuce Soup It might not sound good, but leftover greens actually make a great soup . You can make a delicious soup out of an assortment of leftover greens, including Boston, romaine, butter, Bibb and iceberg lettuces. You can also play with a variety of spices, like thyme, garlic and tarragon, until you find a flavor combination you like. Add in potato for a heartier meal. Lettuce Cups and Wraps You can put just about anything that you would put on a sandwich in a lettuce wrap, and it will taste good. If you are looking for something new, try wrapping a mixture of rice, spicy peppers and other veggies and proteins of your choice. Like wraps, lettuce cups are a great way to use leftover greens before they spoil. Romaine lettuce and iceberg are better for cups, because they have large leaves and are a little sturdier than their counterparts. There is an assortment of lettuce cup recipes on the internet, but our favorite combines pine nuts, tofu (or chicken, if you prefer) and peppers to create a tasty treat. Green Smoothies One of the quickest ways to use leftover greens is to incorporate them into a smoothie. Greens make excellent smoothies that are both tasty and nutritious. Add a bit of fruit plus ginger for extra flavor. You can also try your hand at making a detox smoothie. For this drink, use leftover kale, apples, ginger and lemon. Start by slicing six apples. Juice three of them, and add the juice to your blender. Then toss in the chopped kale, lemon and ginger. Once everything is mixed in, add the rest of the apple slices and blend. One tip for this recipe is to use apples that are crisp, which will help give the smoothie a good consistency. But if you are trying to use up nearly-expired apples, those will work fine, too. Mac & Cheese Leftover kale actually makes great mac and cheese and can help infuse nutrients into the dish. Just cook the dish as you normally would (we recommend homemade, not boxed!), and combine the chopped kale at the very end as you are mixing everything together. Place in the oven to soften the kale and you are good to go. If you prefer spinach, it also makes a great addition to this classic comfort dish . Rice With Greens Mixing rice, including fried rice, with greens is a great way to make a traditional dish healthier. Start by cooking the rice as you normally would. Mix in a cup or more of chopped greens and your preferred spices. Cook until the kale is soft and serve hot. Coleslaw Leftover greens are great for making a quick coleslaw. Hardier greens, such as kale, mustard, chard or turnip tops, are more ideal for coleslaw, because they generally stay fresher longer. If you notice some yellowing leaves, simply cut off these portions and cut the rest into small strips. Add a vinaigrette to the mixture and the result is a fresh slaw that is sure to please. Grilled Lettuce Grilling lettuce is a great way to use it up before it wilts away. Start by cutting lettuce into wedges and coat with olive oil, salt and garlic. The sugars in the lettuce, especially if you use iceberg or romaine, will caramelize in the cooking process. Once the greens are fully cooked, sprinkle them with some cheese of your choice and enjoy. Spinach Yogurt Dip Spinach and kale can be combined to create an amazing yogurt dip. Gather Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, honey, kale, spinach, green onions, red pepper, carrots, garlic and some paprika. The key to this dish is to make sure all of the ingredients are finely chopped so that they combine well with the yogurt. You can also add artichoke hearts or water chestnuts for a little more variety. Serve this dish with veggies or chips. Braised Lettuce Did you know that you can braise lettuce? Well, you can, and it is pretty delicious to boot. You can try different recipes with this dish, but braising lettuce in coconut milk and then adding some ginger, black pepper and garlic makes for an amazing appetizer. To braise lettuce, start by chopping it up and sauté it until the leaves are slightly brown. Then add some vegetable broth and bring everything to a boil. Cover and heat for around 15 minutes to finish the braise. Images via Chiara Conti , Tim Sackton , Alice Pasqual , Stu Spivack , Vegan Feast Catering , Kimberly Nanney , Jodi Michelle , Zachary Collier , Gloria Cabada-Leman and Shutterstock

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Fight food waste with these 11 ways to use leftover greens before they spoil

Treetop House combines the best of two worlds

August 6, 2018 by  
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There’s nothing as special as being with family – that is, until you need to be alone. The family of five who contracted with Ben Callery Architects  to design the Treetop House wanted this concept to play a key part in the house’s design, and they were delighted when Callery so easily grasped it. He also understood that the design had to commune with nature, include as many views as possible of the lush parkland  around the site, and incorporate as many aspects of sustainability as possible. Callery knew the kitchen was the favorite family gathering place. Dedicated to nurturing casual yet intimate communications between parents and children, Callery’s design concentrated on the kitchen views of the parkland tree canopies, a never-ending source of wonder for young and old year-round. The tall kitchen ceilings and oversized windows flood the room with natural light and provide an unobstructed view of the rooftop deck, a favorite venue for family activities and entertaining. A turf roof , though inaccessible to pedestrian traffic, brings the magnificent foliage of the park even closer. The high, banistered deck protrudes out, bringing the treetops even closer, accelerating the excitement of nature at one’s fingertips. To create private spaces for everyone to retreat for alone time, Callery designed the other rooms with lower ceilings to create a cozy atmosphere of privacy and security. While no family member in the house is ever far away, the sanctuaries everyone needs now and then to read, study or just reflect on life are readily available. Related: The Treebox is an amazing modern home set high up in the treetops Easy-opening windows with electric external blinds help control the rays of the sun from dawn to dusk and provide shelter from the variable winds. The house also runs on solar power, has energy-saving underground water tanks, and was constructed with green materials that provide optimum thermal efficiency . + Ben Callery Architects Images via Nic Granleese and Jack Love

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Lake house in Chile built with reclaimed wood melts into the forest

August 6, 2018 by  
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Just north of Chilean Patagonia, a beautiful, low-impact lake house blends into its incredible forest landscape, virtually invisible to the naked eye. Designed by architect Juan Pablo Labbé , Casa LM’s use of reclaimed wood and glass creates a strong relationship between the family home and its idyllic surroundings. Located on the shore of Lake Llanquihue, just a few kilometers to the east of Puerto Varas, the CL Home is located on the edge of a dense forest. The building lot has a slight slope that ends at the lake’s shoreline, creating the ideal space for a family lake home . Related: Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance The concept for the design was born out of two main pillars. First, the home had to fit into an existing clearing to minimize impact on the environment. Secondly, the design had to incorporate distinct features in accordance with the seasons so that the home could be used year-round. The resulting space, which is over 2,000 square feet, is made out of local materials , with reclaimed wood as the main element. The design of the home incorporates just one single volume topped with a slightly slanted roof, whose shape virtually camouflages the home into the terrain. The area is known for its heavy rains, so the slanted roof helps direct rainwater to the back of the home. Designed to accommodate six people during the summer months, the home allows the owners and their family to take full advantage of the large open-air terrace that overlooks the lake. As part of the design process, the team decided to leave space for the existing trees to grow up through the deck, further connecting the home to its surroundings. In the winter months, the home is used by just two people, who spend most of the time inside, enjoying the home’s warm, cabin-like atmosphere. The interior space remains closely connected to the outdoors thanks to the interior finishings, made with wood  reclaimed from an old house. At the heart of the living space is a beautiful fireplace that helps keep the space warm and cozy during the winter months. The floor-to-ceiling glass panels, which look out over the lake, create harmony with the exterior as well. The large windows flood the home with natural light and offer spectacular views year-round. + Juan Pablo Labbé Via Archdaily Photography by Francisco Gallardo

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Lake house in Chile built with reclaimed wood melts into the forest

Substance harmonizes with style in this former Spanish Colonial Revival home

July 26, 2018 by  
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Any home perched on the side of Camelback Mountain in Phoenix, Arizona, is a winner. With awesome sky views as the backdrop for majestic deep-red sedimentary sandstone mountain ranges, the vistas are breathtaking, an awesome balance of beauty and tranquility. The owners of a Spanish Colonial Revival style house on the mountain loved the views, but the design of the house stifled the indoor/outdoor relationship they craved. Claire and Cavin Costello of The Ranch Mine architectural firm stepped in and made their vision a reality. The primary concerns of the homeowners were the choppy floorplan, the authentic but heavy clay tile roof on the house, dark beams that absorbed rather than reflected light, and chunky columns inside and out that ruined the panoramic views. The style was lovely, but it didn’t do justice to the natural surroundings. Related: Yield’s Sweet Suspension Shelf is Inspired by Spanish Colonial Design Instead of simply redecorating, the Costellos opted to remove all the original design elements and start the makeover with a simple two-story stucco house . To open up the floorplan and flow of the house, they connected the living spaces and added a glass, wood and steel staircase that left a wide-open view from the back to the front of the house and beyond. An ensuite bedroom added to the second floor juts out over the mountain to leave the footprint unchanged. Clad in limestone with calcite veins, the bedroom addition contrasts beautifully with the surrounding red sandstone that has hints of calcite throughout. The crowning glory to the project was more than 2,000 square feet of shaded patios around the entire perimeter of the house that also protects the interior from searing sunshine. For added comfort, cooling misters line the covered patio on the first floor. This patio leads to additional comforts including a fire pit, hot tub and pool. Custom-built steel screens on the southerly exposed second floor patio keep the sun at bay and the breezes flowing and are easily retractable to watch the sunset at the end of the day. + The Ranch Mine Images via Roehner + Ryan

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Substance harmonizes with style in this former Spanish Colonial Revival home

This pinecone-inspired gazebo is a playground for kids and adults alike

May 2, 2018 by  
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This nature-inspired mobile gazebo is a place where both kids and adults can play. Czech designers Atelier SAD designed the structure, named “Altán Šiška,” as a small building with pinecone-like scales that facilitate natural ventilation and double as drawing boards for kids to express their artistic sides. The building was crafted from 109 waterproof scales made of plywood . The boards are coated with a glaze to make them more durable. They are joined by galvanized joints, creating a structure that is strong and sustainable. The structure’s scales are deliberately spaced for ventilation. The gazebo is perfect for taking a classroom outdoors, practicing yoga or enjoying a campfire. Related: Atelier SAD’s Modular Port X Home Can Pop Up on Land or Water! “It is on the cutting edge of architecture and design, and can even serve as a meditation space ,” said designer and owner of Altán Šiška, David Karásek. “During the design process, we were aiming to smash boundaries and move forward. The Pinecone project was a big challenge for us because it was more than just a one-dimensional product,” the designers said. The building can be placed anywhere — from a backyard, to a park, to school campuses — in one day. + Atelier SAD Via Archdaily

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This pinecone-inspired gazebo is a playground for kids and adults alike

Hawaii is about to ban reef-killing chemical sunscreens

May 2, 2018 by  
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Hawaii lawmakers just approved a ban on coral reef-killing chemical sunscreens. If the governor signs the bill, the state will be the first in the nation – and the world – to outlaw the products. Chemical sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate have been shown to alter the DNA of young coral so that it isn’t able to develop properly. Yesterday, state lawmakers passed a bill that would ban sunscreens that contain oxybenzone and octinoxate. In addition to harming coral reefs, there is some evidence that these chemicals pose a danger to humans by acting as endocrine disruptors and potentially damaging human DNA. Related: Three-fourths of sunscreens don’t work as they claim and may contain harmful chemicals Opponents to the ban say that Hawaii, which already has a high incidence of skin cancer, will experience an increase in skin cancer rates. The ban won’t include prescription sunscreens that contain those ingredients, nor does it include sunscreens with physical sun blockers like zinc, so protection options will still be available. If signed into law, the ban will take effect on Jan. 1, 2021. Via Huffington Post Images via Channey and Deposit Photos

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Hawaii is about to ban reef-killing chemical sunscreens

Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

April 11, 2018 by  
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The Drumi, from product design company Yirego , is a washing machine powered by your feet — no electricity necessary. The device uses six to 12 liters of water per load, and can wash almost five pounds of clothes in around five minutes. Inhabitat first covered the little washing machine in 2015, and we checked in with Yirego to hear how they’ve improved the product, slated for release this summer. Yirego designed an environmentally friendly washing machine powered by you. And after more than 10,000 hours of product development, the Drumi is in production, and the company is aiming to release it in the summer of 2018. As they progressed past the early stages of design , they made a few key changes to improve the washing machine. Related: The zero-electricity Gentlewasher does the laundry in five minutes flat One change is the carrying handle. Users only need one hand to transport the machine, as opposed to holding both sides with the earlier model. The handle doubles as a lock, keeping the lid in place as a user peddles. The production model is now shorter than the earlier model; Yirego lowered the machine’s center of gravity to boost stability and durability. Also, they addressed peoples’ concerns that a dirty machine would impact their skin and laundry by enabling users to remove the drum out of the new Drumi for easy cleaning. Yirego said they’ve filed patents for these technologies. The washing machine is aimed at people living off the grid , in small urban apartments, or in mobile homes , to name a few. It can be utilized for small loads containing clothing like activewear or delicates. About five minutes is all it takes to clean clothes in the Drumi: around two minutes to wash, two to rinse, and 30 seconds to spin dry. You can pre-order the machine, which costs $299, in silver or green on the Yirego website . + Yirego Images courtesy of Yirego

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Electricity-free, foot-powered washing machine is slated for release this summer

7 beautifully designed tiny homes that fit big families

April 11, 2018 by  
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Who says you can’t live in a tiny house with a family? These pint-sized homes prove it’s possible to live comfortably in fewer square feet, even with children. If you never considered small-space living with kids , these well-designed tiny homes  will seriously tempt you to ditch the traditional house for a more minimalist lifestyle. 232-square-foot home fits a family of four plus their Great Dane Macy Miller of MiniMotives started building her tiny home before she knew she’d be sharing it with a family. During the process she met her partner, James, who helped her complete the house. They’ve since welcomed two children — plus a Great Dane! — and expanded the home from its initial size of 196 square feet to 232 square feet with the addition of a bedroom.  Reclaimed wood counter tops, a composting toilet  and radiant floor heating are among the sustainable features of this cozy space. Couple adapts their tiny home to welcome a baby Samantha and Robert Garlow of SHEDsistence designed and built their own 204-square-foot tiny home to live in with their cat — and then they welcomed a baby . They adapted the space to make it child-friendly with features like a loft crib and net. So far they’ve enjoyed living in their tiny house with a baby, and the small space makes it easy for the couple to keep an eye on her. Family of six lives in an airy, converted school bus Four kids? No problem. Gabriel and Debbie Mayes of The Mayes Team transformed a 2000 Thomas High Top school bus into a 250-square-foot haven. They wanted to avoid a shotgun house feel, so they designed an L-shaped kitchen to create a natural barrier between the living area and bedrooms. Big windows fill the bus with natural light . Related: Amazing camper van maximizes space with clever boat design tricks Family of four builds a salvaged tiny home for $12,000 Karl and Hari Berzins of the Tiny House Family needed to save money, so they got creative with their tiny home. For only $12,000, they constructed a 320-square-foot house using salvaged , overstock or leftover building materials . The home incorporates a kitchen sink from a neighbor; oak from a demolished home; lights and fabric from the family’s former restaurant; and insulation, windows, flooring, framing material and their stove on Craigslist . Converted light-filled bus is home to a family of five Brandon and Ashley Trebitowski of Trebventure downsized from 2,100 square feet to 240 square feet — with three kids. They converted a Blue Bird bus into a bright mobile home that boasts an open floor plan and homemade furniture. Plenty of windows fill the home with natural light, affording it a spacious feel. Camper converted into dreamy California abode for a family of five High rent prices in California prompted Dino and Ashley Petrone of Arrows and Bow to seek out an alternative residence. They decided to convert a Cougar Keystone camper into a 180-square-foot tiny home for their family. After gutting the interior, they spent $3,000 on storage solutions to avoid clutter, a custom-cut IKEA desktop and decorations from discount stores and garage sales. 10 people could sleep inside this tiny home Ready to launch into your own tiny living adventure? If you’re hesitant to build a tiny home, there are several options, such as the Traveler XL from Escape Traveler , a 344-square-foot tiny house that can sleep as many as 10 people (provided that some of those people are children!). It’s off-grid -ready, with features like composting toilets, solar panels  and battery storage . Images via The Mayes Team, © Macy Miller/MiniMotives , courtesy of Samantha and Robert Garlow/SHED tiny house , Tiny House Family , Trebventure , courtesy of Arrows and Bow, and Escape Traveler

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