Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods

April 25, 2017 by  
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Those who live in glass houses… probably wish they had held out for this gorgeous, hand-crafted stained glass sanctuary. Built by artist and jeweler Neile Cooper, the dreamy Glass Cabin is located in the middle of a lush green forest. The tiny retreat is made almost entirely from repurposed window frames and lumber, and its handcrafted stained glass panels depict flowers, birds, butterflies, and other nature-inspired scenes. Cooper built the glass sanctuary behind her home in Mohawk, New Jersey to use as a reading space and art studio. Using repurposed window frames and lumber for the frame, she clad the tiny structure with her own colorful designs. The idyllic setting gave her the ideal place to showcase her nature-inspired artwork. Related: Wim Delvoye’s Creepy Stained Glass Windows Are Made From Recycled X-Rays Cooper’s work includes beautiful hand-crafted jewelry made from real butterfly wings . She drew upon these pieces as inspiration for the dreamy glass structure. The large panel over the door has a large amber butterfly, and the rest of the panels feature detailed, colorful renderings of nature and wildlife. + Neile Cooper Images via Neile Cooper Instagram

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Artist builds incredible stained-glass cabin in the middle of the woods

MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall

April 25, 2017 by  
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If you’ve ever walked into a MUJI store and wished you could spend the night, here’s the next best thing. The minimalist Japanese home goods store just announced plans to sell a lovely line tiny homes later this year. The first model available for purchase will be a tiny timber cabin wrapped in “shou sugi ban” charred timber – and it’ll cost just $27,500. Muji’s tiny timber huts measure just under 100 square feet. Thanks to a clever layout, they offer tons of natural light and a simple interior ideal for a quiet weekend escape or a permanent home in the countryside. The cabins also come with an extended porch that creates a seamless connection between the exterior and interior. Related: MUJI unveils trio of tiny prefab homes that can pop up almost anywhere The good news is that beautiful cabins will hit the market for just ¥3,000,000 (approx. $27,500 USD) starting this fall. The price includes the costs of materials needed for construction as well as contractor fees. The bad news? The MUJI Huts will only be available for purchase in Japan for the time being. + MUJI

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MUJI to sell eagerly awaited $27k minimalist tiny homes this fall

Living out of a van has never looked this good

April 20, 2017 by  
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For those who daydream of living the nomadic life, but are afraid of taking the leap, a new company is offering a taste of van life on a temporary basis. Colorado-based Native Campervans rents out converted vans that come with all of the essentials needed for living off-grid and on the road. Founders of the company, college friends Jonathan Moran and Dillon Hansen, say that it was a personal road trip that inspired them to create the business, “A few years ago, we took a trip to New Zealand in a campervan. The trip was amazing. It forced us to observe nature, be present and adventure. A few years later we decided to invest ourselves into that passion and began the business of purchasing, renovating and renting out campervans . The goal has been to give others the same experiences we had that’s both affordable and accessible.” Related: Amazing DIY van conversion boasts a wood-burning stove and chimney Renters have their choice of two sizes, “Smalls” and “Biggies.” The latter are converted 136″ Ram ProMasters , which offer ample interior space. All of the vans were designed to provide comfortable living space as well as optimal maneuverability. The vans come with a queen-size bed, kitchen and seating area, with plenty of storage compartments throughout the van. The Biggies are prewired for solar, and acccording to Hansen, the next step will be installing solar panels on the vans. “[Right now] the vehicles run off an ancillary battery that is charged when the van is moving. One hour of driving charges the vehicle for one day. This supports the lights, refrigerator and inverter so individuals can charge their electronics. No plug-ins at campgrounds necessary.” + Native Campervans Via Treehugger Images via Native Campervans 

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Living out of a van has never looked this good

This 74K tiny home has an incredible interior that’s larger than life

April 4, 2017 by  
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You can still live large in a tiny house – just check out the Earth and Sky Palace, an incredible little home with all the trappings of luxury. The unique 200-square-foot home, which is currently for sale for $74,000 , has a sophisticated interior design that quickly makes one forget all about its compact size. The exterior of the home offers the first clue that this is more than just a tiny space put together on a whim. The attractive facade is a blend of reclaimed pine heart and cedar with a beautiful weathered, blue stain finish that gives the structure a shabby chic cabin feel. The home’s gabled roof is topped with Onduvilla tiles, which are made with recycled materials. Related: Genius elevator bed slides vertically on rails to maximize space in Alaskan tiny home The interior is as comfortable as it is attractive. Like most tiny homes , the “palace” has a creative layout that maximizes space for the master bedroom, dining room, kitchen, and bathroom. The bedroom has a queen-sized bed with plenty of room to walk around it. The bed converts into two lounge chairs when not in use, and there is a hidden “loft” that can be used as a second bedroom. The entrance leads straight into an open kitchen with a refrigerator that runs on solar energy . A butcher block countertop doubles as a dining space. And if the living space wasn’t as impressive enough, the bathroom is big enough for a walk-in shower (with a $1,000 shower head) – something rarely seen in a tiny home. Along with the strategic layout, the interior design is what makes this compact space such a unique find. Replica embossed alligator-skin wallpaper, along with other unique touches like an 1800’s tin from a Nebraska prison, gives the space a strong personality. LED track-lighting and dimmers are installed throughout the home, and there are plenty of luxury amenities such as a surround-sound theater system and even an iPhone-controlled air conditioner. + Earth and Sky Palace Via Curbed Images via Tiny House Listings

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This 74K tiny home has an incredible interior that’s larger than life

The Farallon is a tiny farmhouse-style home you can take wherever you go

April 3, 2017 by  
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We’ve written before about Tumbleweed Tiny House Company , which handcrafts tiny dwellings for people interested in exploring low-impact living. One of our favorite designs is the new Farallon RV with a classic farmhouse aesthetic. Not only is this tiny home a beauty to behold, but it can also connect to standard RV water and electric hookups, making it a breeze to set up. The Farallon comes in several different styles with multiple floor plans, ranging from 218 to 292 square feet of usable space. Up to six people can sleep comfortably in the home, depending on the options a customer selects—most floor plans include a loft large enough for a queen-sized bed and an option to include an additional bedroom or second loft. All of the designs include the standard appliances you’d expect in a home, like a fridge, stove, heater and air conditioner, washer and dryer, water heater and shower. The RV can be set up to function off the grid or to use propane, while the bathroom can be equipped with a composting toilet or low-flush toilet to reduce waste. Related: 7 Teensy Tiny Tumbleweed Homes for Small-Space Living But perhaps the best part of the Farallon is how it’s modeled after standard RVs, allowing it to be towed by most trucks. Tumbleweed is making it easier than ever for tiny home lovers to easily pick up and move anywhere recreational vehicles are allowed. If you’ve ever taken a long-distance road trip and found yourself pining for your own bed, you can now take your home with you. The Farallon starts at $62,950 for the 20-foot floor plan or $72,950 for the 26-foot plan (and yes, Tumbleweed does offer payment plans). For an additional fee, you can customize it with added skylights, a sliding screen, and a variety of interior finishes. Additional lighting, ceiling fans, a media center, or built-in desk can all be customized when you place your order, among many other options. If you’re the work at home type, you can even set up a room to use as an office . No matter what design you choose, everything is beautifully finished in the hardwood. + Farallon Tiny Home

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The Farallon is a tiny farmhouse-style home you can take wherever you go

How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

March 17, 2017 by  
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America’s affordable housing crisis is squeezing people out of cities, but one Harvard researcher believes he’s developed a beautiful and high-tech solution to the problem. In 2015, Jeff Wilson—also known as “Professor Dumpster” after his year-long dumpster living experiment—unveiled Kasita , a smart microhousing startup that aims at disrupting the housing market with prefabricated tiny homes that can pop up just about anywhere. After a couple years in development, Wilson just debuted the Kasita microhouse at SXSW this week with the announcement that the tiny stackable homes will be ready for nationwide delivery in June. Stylish, smart, and space-saving, the 352-square-foot (33 square meter) Kasita mobile home offers a beautiful split-level living space that uses transforming furniture , white walls, and ten-foot-high ceilings to make its small footprint feel airy and spacious. Most impressively, the home is outfitted with ultra-modern amenities and home automation such as the dynamic curtain-less windows that can be turned opaque with a smartphone app to the Amazon Alexa-powered lighting modes. The high-tech stackable homes can be moved around with a crane, placed virtually anywhere, and can be prefabricated in as little as three weeks. https://vimeo.com/207700762 Envisioned for installation in unused areas of land like vacant parking lots, the Kasita aims to keep land lease costs low by taking advantage of undevelopable real estate in prime urban areas. The flexibility and modularity of the Kasitas lend themselves for use as apartments, multi-family homes, student housing, workforce housing, and more. Related: Meet the Texas Professor Who Lives in a Dumpster The Kasita comes fully equipped with all the traditional home amenities—including a walk-in shower, fridge, convection oven, washer/dryer, cooktop, and queen-sized bed—as well as lots of space-saving storage and access to natural light. Each unit costs $139,000, which according to Wilson’s calculations comes out to an estimated $800 monthly mortgage not including land lease costs. Interested customers can pay $1,000 to hold a spot on the waitlist for preorders. + Kasita

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How high-tech Kasita microhomes could revolutionize homeownership

Couple converts 16-year-old van into a compact solar home on wheels

February 24, 2017 by  
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An increasing number of digital nomads are replacing their conventional houses with practical, mobile homes powered by renewable energy technologies . Freelancer photographer Norbert Juhász and his fiancée Dora, a writer, have joined the fray with a 16-year-old van they transformed into a solar-powered home on wheels, and they’re driving it from Budapest to Morocco. While the exterior of the van is unremarkable, its interior packs all the amenities the couple needs on their journey. A multifunctional seat turns into a bed for two and includes a storage space and electrical system underneath. Opposite the bed is a small kitchen unit with a gas cooktop, gas cylinder, sink and a large water tank with a pressure-sensing pump. The tank is connected to an extra hook-up that leads to the rear of the van, where the water is used for quick showers. An L-shaped cabinet accommodates a refrigerator and more storage spaces, and features another section that doubles as a seating structure. Related: How this photographer escaped the grid with her tiny Teardrop Trailer The vehicle is powered by a 12-volt electrical system charged by either the 250-watt solar panels mounted on the roof, or the engine’s generator. Excess energy can be stored in 200-Ah batteries attached to an inverter. The couple spent around $7,200 for the van’s transformation, including its custom-made furniture. They will travel through Southern Europe all the way to Morocco, and document their journey on the Rundabella website and Facebook page . + Norbert Juhász + Rundabella Via Treehugger Photos by Norbert Juhász

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Couple converts 16-year-old van into a compact solar home on wheels

London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

February 23, 2017 by  
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Danish design firm Studiomama is known for their talent of creating comfy living space out of virtually nothing. However, designers Nina Tolstrup and Jack Mama recently put their skills to the test by buying a vacant 140-square-foot structure in Northern London just to convert the tiny space into “London’s smallest house”. Taking a cue from space-efficient interiors of caravans and boats, the designers focused on making use out of every corner of the compact space by creating flexible furniture . “A tiny space like this has to be designed like one would design the interior of a caravan or boat,” Studiomama co-founder Nina Tolstrup explained, “Everything has to be custom designed as there is not room for any off the shelf furniture, which was a great challenge.” Related: Space-saving furniture transforms to make the most of a Hong Kong micro-apartment https://youtu.be/gIfNhakS_PY Using plywood as the main material, they equipped the home with custom-made, adjustable furniture to divide it into distinct functions. The foldout bed , standing desk, and extendable dining benches add utility without occupying permanent space. Mirrors placed on either side of the home were create a feeling of amplitude, and two large windows allow for optimal natural light . To create a nice lounge area, a medium-size bench and a foldout footrest were installed into the main wall, which is covered in sliding pastel-hued panels. These panels cover use-specific storage cabinets such as a designated office space with a foldout desk, a sewing machine table, shelving for books, and even a wine rack. The designers used plywood for the furniture, as well as the ceilings and flooring, because of its versatility. “The use of one dominant material has made the space seamless – where floor, walls and ceiling comes together as one,” they said. “It is also a very warm material that makes the space feel cosy and cabin like.” The design layout for the tiny home was originally an installation for the 2016 London Design festival. The designers wanted to show how compact living can be comfortable. “We see the issues of how to live in a compact living space to be of growing importance, especially given the trends towards urbanisation and rise of megacities,” they said. “We wanted to use the project to pose a question about what are the things that we really need to live comfortably.” + Studiomama Via Dezeen Photography by Rei Moon, Director/Photographer MOON RAY Studio. Video by Suzie Joyce.

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London’s ‘smallest house’ uses flexible plywood furniture to maximize space

Patagonia launches campaign to protect Utah’s Bear Ears National Monument

February 23, 2017 by  
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The battle for Bears Ears National Monument is far from over. Weeks after Patagonia spurned the Outdoor Retailer Show trade show in Salt Lake City to protest Utah governor Gary Herbert’s quest to roll back nascent protections for the twin sandstone formations, the outdoor-apparel company has launched a campaign to inundate the gubernatorial office with calls demanding otherwise. Utahns are more than familiar with this song and dance: Locals, lawmakers, and environmentalists have long knocked heads over how the Bears Ears area, and its untapped reserves of gas and shale , should be developed. The 1.35 million-acre expanse of arches, buttes, and canyons, which several Native American tribes regard as sacred, isn’t the only public land under attack from Utah’s top politician. On February 17, Herbert signed a resolution urging President Donald Trump to narrow the boundaries of the Grand Staircase-Escalante National Monument to the south. “In passing two resolutions asking the Trump administration to rescind the Bears Ears National Monument and reduce the Grand Staircase Escalante Monument, Governor Herbert and Utah’s state delegation have unleashed an all-out assault on the state’s protected public lands,” Patagonia wrote on a website powered by Phone2Action , which provides web and voice tools to help advocacy groups connect their supporters with elected officials. “This land grab would open wilderness and recreation areas to oil and gas development and could eliminate access to the diverse landscape that makes Utah unique.” Related: Patagonia boycotts huge Outdoor Retailer show to protest Utah Republicans The outdoor-recreation industry plays a major role in Utah’s economy, supporting some 122,000 jobs and bringing in $12 billion a year in consumer spending, according to Rose Marcario, CEO of Patagonia. For Patagonia, at least, boycotting the Outdoor Retail trade show was just a start. “Because of the hostile environment they have created and their blatant disregard for Bears Ears National Monument and other public lands, the backbone of our business, Patagonia will no longer attend the Outdoor Retailer show in Utah,” Marcario said. “And we are confident other outdoor manufacturers and retailers will join us in moving our investment to a state that values our industry and promotes public lands conservation.” + Patagonia Via Outside Photos by Bureau of Land Management

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Patagonia launches campaign to protect Utah’s Bear Ears National Monument

50,000 new seeds deposited in Arctic Circle’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault

February 23, 2017 by  
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Nearly 10 years ago, a group of scientists got together to build the Svalbard Global Seed Vault in the Arctic Circle , to prepare for a world threatened by climate change , wars, and natural disasters. According to The Crop Trust , an organization that supports the storage facility, the vault holds the world’s largest and most diverse seed collection – and just received a major investment of 50,000 new seeds . The Svalbard Global Seed Vault works to ensure food security and biodiversity for the future, and it appears many countries value that mission. The Crop Trust reported around 50,000 samples from seed collections in the United States, United Kingdom, Benin, Belarus, India, Pakistan, Mexico, Lebanon, the Netherlands, Morocco, and Bosnia and Herzegovina recently arrived at the seed vault, which lies between Norway and the North Pole. Related: Syria withdraws seeds from Doomsday Vault as bombs disrupt crop research The Crop Trust executive director Marie Haga said at the vault, “Today’s seed deposit at Svalbard supported by The Crop Trust shows that despite political and economic differences in other arenas, collective efforts to conserve crop diversity and produce a global food supply for tomorrow continue to be strong.” The seed vault helps countries today too – in 2015 a research center in Syria had to withdraw some seeds they’d stored as war plagued Aleppo, but they were recently able to return some of the seeds to the vault along with the rest of the recent deposit. The seed vault could store as many as 4.5 million seed varieties; until the recent deposit, there were over 880,000 samples stored, and the total has now reached 930,821 seed samples, including potato, wheat, sorghum, rice, lentil, barley, and chickpea seeds. The vault’s extreme location helps protect the seeds; permafrost and thick rock keep the samples frozen. The Crop Trust describes the facility as the ultimate insurance policy, saying it “will secure, for centuries, millions of seeds representing every important crop variety available in the world today. It is the final backup.” Via The Crop Trust ( 1 , 2 ) Images via Global Crop Diversity Trust on Facebook and Wikimedia Commons

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50,000 new seeds deposited in Arctic Circle’s Svalbard Global Seed Vault

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