Get away from it all in this off-grid concrete cabin just steps away from the Appalachian Trail

December 7, 2018 by  
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For those looking to disconnect from the chaos of life, this off-grid retreat is just the place. Tucked into a rocky ridge along the Appalachian Trail, the 160-square-foot Lost Whiskey Cabin was created by the team at GreenSpur  to be a self-sufficient off-grid getaway – with a edgy twist. Clad in raw concrete with large steel-framed windows, the tiny solar-powered structure eschews the traditional log cabin aesthetic for a contemporary industrial vibe. The stunning cabin is the latest addition to the Lost Whiskey Club, an eco-friendly complex that includes a communal farmhouse, mobile whiskey bar, and various off-grid lodging options . Surrounded by 5,800 acres of incredibly scenic protected public land?, the complex is the perfect location for a low key escape from city life. Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect The Lost Whiskey Cabin is a unique design that opts for a tough industrial look. Inspired by Scandinavian minimalism , the structure is designed around its primary use: to reconnect with nature. The walls of the cabin are made out of pre-cast concrete panels manufactured in GreenSpur’s own warehouse and later transported to the site. This method allowed the team to not only reduce construction time, but also reduce impact on the land . In addition to the concrete panels, the cabin was has a series of thick steel window frames that provide stunning views. The same steel was used on the cabin’s chimney. The interior design was kept minimal to put the focus on the amazing surroundings. The living space is comprised of a Murphy bed made out of reclaimed wood . The bed doubles as a dining table when not in use. Two singular chairs face a pair of massive floor-to-ceiling glass doors, which open out to an open-air deck that cantilevers out over the landscape. The heart of the cabin, the concrete platform was installed with a Dutch hot tub that, along with a chair and a hammock, lets guests soak up the breathtaking views in complete tranquility. The rest of the home is equipped with all of the basics, mainly furnishings that have multiple uses and were chosen for their flexibility and durability. “With a crackling fire that heats the hot tub, solar panels, cisterns, Murphy bed, shower and compost toilet, this off-grid structure is virtually maintenance-free, and should look and function the same 100 years from now,” says GreenSpur founder Mark Turner. + GreenSpur Via Dwell Photography by Mitch Allen via GreenSpur

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Get away from it all in this off-grid concrete cabin just steps away from the Appalachian Trail

Simple DIY upcycled holiday decor

December 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

Traditional Christmas decorations can quickly get expensive and extremely wasteful. But you can change that in your home this Christmas season by turning everyday household items into holiday decor. All you have to do is take a shopping trip through your house and upcycle old stuff into Christmas decorations. With just a little time and creativity, you can create these holiday decorations for just pennies, and keep the waste at a minimum. Pasta Christmas tree All you need for this project is some raw bowtie pasta, cardboard plates, a hot glue gun, and spray paint. Choose a color of paint that will match your holiday decor, like silver, gold, or green, and paint your pasta before gluing the pieces together to make a tree. This is just the beginning. You can also use penne rigate, fusilli, rotelle, radiatori, ditali lisci, or pasta shells to make a variety of different ornaments. When you watch the video tutorial for this craft, it will give you a creative spark. And, the surprising thing is, the holiday decorations and ornaments don’t even look like pasta when you are done. Toilet paper Santas This is a craft idea that you can do with the kids. All you need is some toilet paper rolls, colored paper, a marker, glue, scissors and string. First, measure and cut a piece of red paper that will fit around the toilet paper roll, then use your marker to draw bricks. Glue the red bricks to your toilet paper roll, then use the red paper again to cut out Santa’s legs and part of his hat. You will need white paper for the “fur trim” of Santa’s hat and pants, and black paper for the toy bag, feet and mittens. Sock monkey ornaments If you have some old sock monkeys hiding in the bottom of the closet, or have some sewing skills, you can create some cute sock monkey ornaments to put on the tree. All you need to make your own sock monkey is a pair of socks, two buttons, cotton stuffing or polyester fiber, scissors and some needle and thread. Wine bottle cork Christmas tree Another super easy idea for upcycled holiday decor is a Christmas tree made from wine bottle corks. You can paint the corks or decorate them with buttons, glitter, and textiles before tying them in red ribbon. Or, you can keep it simple and arrange plain corks (possibly with some red wine stains) into the shape of a tree. Then glue them together and add a decorative ribbon. Bottle light tree With some rebar, wine and/or liquor bottles, and a few strings of Christmas lights, you can create your own bottle light tree to light up your front yard. The possibilities are endless with this project, and the bonus is you have to drink some booze to make it happen. Cinnamon stick candle holder All you need for this idea is some cinnamon sticks, hot glue, some ribbon or lace, and a few holiday embellishments that you can find in your yard, like pine cones. And, in just a few short minutes you will have custom candle holders that will make your house smell amazing throughout the holiday season. Recycled Christmas village You can take this idea and run with it any way you like. You can use plastic containers or mason jars to house trees you can make from paper. And, you can use cereal and snack boxes like BettiJo at Paging Super Mom to create your village . Tech lover wreath Do you have some old computer parts, cell phones, and cords taking up space in your home? Well, stop letting them collect dust and turn them into a holiday wreath. All you need is a wreath form and some old tech to create this cute, geeky decoration. Light bulb garland and ornaments This upcycled holiday decor idea uses old light bulbs, paint, and some ornament hangers. You can add them to some garland or hang them on your tree. And, if you want to take this idea to another level  — and you have some art skills — you can turn the light bulbs into reindeer, snowmen, Santas, or even a grinch with the right paint and crafty accessories. Lanterns It doesn’t get much easier (or cheaper) than this. You will want to start by creating a holiday image with vintage angels and stars, or any other Christmas-inspired thing you can think of. Then, print out your design and cut out a piece that will fit around a soup can and another that will fit a box of matches.  Finally, glue or tape the pieces to the can and matchbox, just don’t cover the striking surface on the box! Images via Personal Creations , Elin B , Diana_rajchel , Shutterstock

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Simple DIY upcycled holiday decor

This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime

December 7, 2018 by  
Filed under Eco, Green, Recycle

In recent years, companies have started to repurpose the massive amounts of used-once-then-trashed plastic in new and exciting ways. For example, REPREVE, a sustainable fiber created from 100 percent food-quality and BPA-free plastic, is being used in a variety of products from clothing to couches. Lovesac is a green furniture company using the recycled fabric to cover sofa cushions. While the eco-friendly material is a huge component of the design, it’s just a sample of an entire furniture line aimed at sustainability. In a world of disposables, the company’s goals push back with a focus on design for a lifetime. It’s a concept that not only includes durability in its couches, called sactionals, but also caters to the ever-changing needs of seating demands. Related: Repreve — sustainable multi-use fiber made from recycled water bottles The sactional is a versatile, modular design that you can easily customize to fit your space. Simply choose from the many ottoman, seat and side arrangements for the look and seating capacity that suits your needs. Then, arrange and rearrange any way you like. With a lifetime guarantee on the sactional, the company estimates that this grow-with-your-demands product will replace the purchase of four couches during its lifetime. With the introduction of the the Sactional, Lovesac has continued its theme of lifetime products with removable, washable and replaceable covers. Dirty covers can be washed. Torn covers can be replaced. When the now-trendy slate twill color becomes a throwback, you can update it without the cost or waste of replacing the entire couch. Even better, the upholstery fabric for the couches is made from hundreds of tossed single-use water bottles, which are given new life through REPREVE fabric. Depending on the components chosen, between 600-1200 water bottles are used in the production of each Sactional. For 2018 alone, Lovesac expects to repurpose around 11 million water bottles through its efforts. Related: How to recycle a sweater into a cuddly pillow for your couch True to the overarching goal of creating an environmentally-friendly couch, the Sactional is neatly packaged and shipped in bleach and dye-free  recyclable  kraft cardboard. Unlike the traditional sofa set that requires two heavy lifters for transport, when it’s time to relocate to a different level of the house or new home altogether, the entire sectional can be broken down into manageable pieces for the move. + Lovesac Images via Lovesac

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This couch made from recycled water bottles is built to last a lifetime

This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

October 5, 2018 by  
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The Ojai-based tiny home builders of  Humble Hand Craft  have unveiled a beautiful off-grid tiny home made almost entirely of reclaimed wood. The Shark Arch, also called Los Padres, is a wonderful example of a sustainable tiny house that exudes a charming, rustic design. Running completely on solar power, the eco-friendly home on wheels has a cozy cabin feel. The Shark Arch tiny home is 28-feet long, which is rather large for a tiny home on wheels . However, by fitting the home on a gooseneck trailer, a truck bed fits about 8 feet under the structure. Additionally, the team designed the home to be aerodynamic on the road. The front end has a V-nose shape that breaks the wind, and the roof has a “shark fin” that adds stability to the building when it is mobile. A welcoming wooden deck that leads to the entrance can be folded up when the residents are on the go. The strategic, sustainable design carries through the the interior of the tiny home. According to the designers, they do whatever they can to create eco-friendly homes using reclaimed materials. “Given the exploitation of resources in the world today, we are partaking in the new wave of conscious building and business practices,” the team said. “By salvaging reclaimed materials and harnessing solar energy, we minimize our carbon footprint while still providing artisan homes of the highest quality.” Related: These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect Accordingly, the Shark Arch is made with reclaimed wood inside and out. The exterior cladding and trim is made with western red cedar finished with an eco-friendly hemp shield. Walking through the double redwood door with dual pane glass, visitors are met with an all-wood interior that resembles the feel — and smell — of a cabin. The team used reclaimed redwood from old water tank staves to clad the walls. The western cedar boards on the ceiling were left untreated, giving off a woodsy cedar smell that connects the tiny home to nature. The compact living space is divided into a living room and adjacent kitchen, which is installed with electric appliances that run on solar power . The bathroom, which is actually quite large for a tiny home, was outfitted with a repurposed copper tub and composting toilet. Storage was placed wherever possible throughout the living space: under the sofa, behind the stairs and so on. Located just under the “shark fin,” a sleeping loft is surprisingly spacious and well lit by a large skylight. On the other side of the trailer, another loft is hidden above the kitchen and can be used as an office, a guest room or extra storage. + Humble Hand Craft Photography by Luke Williams via Humble Hand Craft

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This charming, solar-powered tiny home is handcrafted from reclaimed wood

These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect

September 10, 2018 by  
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We all need a little digital detox once in a while, and these beautiful off-grid cabins are the ideal answer to getting away from it all. Scattered around South Australia’s most breathtaking landscapes, the CABN s are completely self-sustainable and eco-friendly tiny cabins that are designed to offer a serenity-focused retreat. The first CABN, named “Jude” after the founder’s mother, is located in a remote area in Adelaide Hills , just under an hour drive from Adelaide. Surrounded by 180 acres of sprawling natural grassland, guests will be just steps away from walking trails, creeks, dams and stunning scenery. Related: This off-grid, lunar lander-inspired tiny home is out of this world The tiny cabins are designed to offer guests a place where they can truly reconnect with nature. Although the cabins are completely off-grid, they don’t sacrifice comfort. Inspired by Scandinavian design, the compact structures are made out of natural timber . Inside, the minimalist interiors are geared toward relaxation. The tiny retreats’ front walls are almost entirely glazed, flooding the living space with natural light. Jude sleeps two guests in a king-sized bed, and the bathroom comes with an indoor shower and composting toilet . Guests will enjoy a kitchen equipped with all of the basic necessities. To completely relax, the CABN rules strictly forbid ironing of any sort. According to CABN creator Michael Lamprell, the inspiration for the retreat came from a personal experience while he was studying both minimalism and tiny home design . “For someone that has lived and worked within the excesses of consumerism, the concept of minimalism was a revelation,” Lamprell said. “I was at a point where stress and anxiety were affecting all areas of my life — something had to change. At the same time, I was introduced to the concept of tiny homes, and the opportunity to create stunning cabins in unique locations, allowing you to switch off your mobile phone and truly relax. Set in isolated spots, the aim is to help the terminally busy disconnect and recharge.” + CABN Via ArchDaily Images via CABN

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These Australian tiny cabins are designed to help us disconnect

Compact floating cabin pops up on water in extreme remote locations

August 11, 2017 by  
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Russian firm BIO-architects recently unveiled their latest modern modular cabin—and this one floats on water. Prefabricated offsite, the DD16 house was dropped on a lake near Moscow and is lightweight and durable enough to float and withstand harsh winter extremes. Designed for remote locations, the off-grid cabin uses solar energy for electricity, draws fresh water from the lake, and uses a composting toilet for waste. The 16-square-meter DD16 cabin is a prototype that is being tested through rentals under the DublDomClub organization. The house comprises two modules prefabricated at a factory and constructed with a laminated timber frame with milled ports. “The prototype was designed and made as a tourist equipment where the weight of every detail is taken into account so it can be used in very harsh conditions,” wrote the architects. “All the constructive elements were subject to change as well as the interior finishing compared to the regular houses.” The milled ports help reduce the structure’s weight and minimize cold bridges and gaps. Lightweight polyurethane foam is used for insulation, while the facade is clad in lightweight composite aluminum sheets for a seamless finish from top to bottom. The cabin was also constructed with modular pontoons that are used to support the floating structure and can be disassembled and stored inside the cabin during transport. DD16 can be easily put in place with a crane or helicopter thanks to beam releases that make it easy for just one person to do the rigging work. Related: Beautiful cabin pops up in ten days with minimal landscape disturbance The customizable interior features a double bed, bathroom with shower, dining table, and living room where a wood-burning stove can be installed. Despite the compact size, the cabin feels surprisingly spacious thanks to the glazed end wall that lets in a great amount of natural light and blurs the distinction between indoor and outdoor living. Hidden storage and transforming furniture also help reduce visual clutter. The DD16 prototype is currently being rented out to clients seeking a unique retreat in wilderness. The team plans to test the house is different extreme conditions. + BIO-architects Images © Vlad Mitrichev and Ivan Ovchinnikov

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Compact floating cabin pops up on water in extreme remote locations

Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built of recycled red brick

August 11, 2017 by  
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Austin Maynard Architects continues their valiant fight against the cookie-cutter McMansions of Australia with a beautiful new project built of recycled red brick. Located in Richmond, Melbourne within a laneway, the Brickface is a compact house addition at the end of the existing building’s rear yard. The modern and playful extension includes a garage on the ground level, studio living/guest suite above, and a roof deck. Brickface stands out from its laneway neighbors thanks to its recycled red brick facade, large round windows, sculptural form, and garage doors that are painted black instead of white to recede into the building face. The side of the extension facing the main house features an eye-catching outdoor spiral staircase, as well as a playful extruded pattern of red and blue glazed brick from the PGH Vibrant range. A new entertaining space with a pool and terrace was built between the existing home’s main living area and Brickface. “Melbourne’s property market is so inflated, that we’re now seeing a generation that are not only unable to buy a home, but also struggling to find affordable places to rent close to their work, school and community,” wrote Austin Maynard Architects. “ Melbourne does have one trick up its sleeve that many parents are increasingly exploring. Melbourne is strewn with under-utilised laneways and many home owners are creating a second residence in their backyard with frontage to the laneway, where their adult children can live during university and early employment. These second residences are becoming fully independent studio homes for adult children, allowing them to save and plan, whilst continuing to contribute to the essence of Melbourne’s most vibrant and cultural suburbs.” Related: Austin Maynard Architects restores a beach shack in their crusade against McMansions Flexibility was built into Brickface’s design. The ground-floor garage can be easily adapted into a large living space or even an office. The high-ceilinged contemporary interiors are filled with natural light and the walls painted a bright light blue. The accessible roof terrace can be used for entertaining and as garden space. + Austin Maynard Architects Images by Tess Kelly

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Swanky laneway house in Melbourne is built of recycled red brick

Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

June 23, 2017 by  
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French rustic charms and modern luxuries come together in this beautiful tiny home on wheels. France’s tiny house company Baluchon has outdone themselves again in their latest build called the Ostara, a tiny home built on a six-meter trailer. Currently located near a horse farm in Toulouse, the light-filled timber abode looks surprisingly spacious despite its small size and sleeps two in a loft bedroom. Custom built for clients Nathalie and Sebastien, Ostara was named after the stable close to the tiny home’s location. Although charming and rustic on the outside, the spruce -clad Ostara makes a grand impression with its large French doors flanked with curtains that open up to a light-filled living room. A large 1.8-meter-long sofa forms the living room’s focal point and can also comfortably lodge an overnight guest. A small bookcase, wood-burning stove , and a small dining table that accommodates three people is located to the left. To the right of the living room is the kitchen with a full-size sink, pantry, two-burner stovetop, fridge/freezer, and a gorgeous extendable wooden countertop. The bathroom with a full-size shower and composting toilet are tucked into the end of the home. Related: Fully-furnished tiny house from France easily fits a family of three A corner staircase with built-in storage leads up to the mezzanine with a large loft bed . Multiple double-glazed openings, including a broad bay window and one-meter-wide circular window, punctuate the home and provide views of the horses and rural surroundings. Sheep wool, cotton, linen, hemp, and wood fibers were used for insulation. The home is made from locally sourced materials. Baluchon’s beautiful homes are only delivered in France due to the company’s desire to limit carbon emissions. + Baluchon Via Tiny House Talk

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Enchanting tiny home combines French rustic charms and modern luxuries

The Long Drop is an odorless composting toilet built with waste materials

December 12, 2016 by  
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This eye-catching composting toilet called The Long Drop was built entirely from scavenged and waste materials. Invisible Studio Architects designed and built the project to serve their own studio in the UK, with the aim of reducing costs and mitigating any impact on the local drainage system. The toilet features a system that eliminates foul odors thanks to a long drop from the main structure to the chamber. An exhaust fan draws air into the chamber. The chamber for solids can be easily swapped, leaving a full one to compost , while the empty one is in use. Related: Nature Loo’s Composting Toilet Puts More Distance Between You and Your (Icky) Poo Box The studio designed the project with minimal drawings, and built it with help from friends and neighbors using locally-sourced wood ; they embraced the building’s rough edges and “mistakes” as a healthy sign of improvisation. + Invisible Studio Architects

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The Long Drop is an odorless composting toilet built with waste materials

Solar-powered Homegrown Trailers weigh just 2,500 pounds so you can roam freely

November 2, 2016 by  
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The Homegrown Trailer features a pop-up roof which can be fitted with 400 watts of solar panels , and lithium batteries with the capacity of 2400 watt-hours. Users can upgrade the panels to 800 watts and the batteries to and a 6000 watt-hours of storage. Sustainably harvested cedar, maple and poplar are combined with wool and cork floors for additional insulation. Related: Teenager turns a $200 run-down camper into a beautiful cozy escape The chassis is made from durable and lightweight steel frame which allows another 10 square feet of additional space at the rear of the trailer which can be used for storage or outdoor cooking. Inside, a pull-out queen bed and two extra-large twin bunks can fit up to four people and convert into couches during the day. A 12-gallon freshwater tank pumps to a large sink at the rear counter, sink water drains through back of trailer into a modular, external graywater tank , and 1.5 gallon water heater available as an add-on option. The composting toilet features a privacy screen. Hot water tanks, Gravity-fill water filters, portable outdoor shower system , brakes, swing tongue and spare tires are all available as add-on features. Related: Foldable Wide Path Camper is a whole different kind of bike trailer As of recently, you can also rent Homegrown Trailers, complete with a full battery charge, a full tank of fresh water, clean bedding, and a full set of eating and cooking utensils and equipment. For those looking to buy, the pricing starts at US$ 32,500, including the solar roof, mattresses, appliances and the composting toilet . + Homegrown Trailers Via Treehugger

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Solar-powered Homegrown Trailers weigh just 2,500 pounds so you can roam freely

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