Nature Meets Mod – Organic Inspired Design

Back in May, an innovative team at Nervous System design studio in Somerville, Massachusetts showcased a new product at ICFF (International Contemporary Furniture Fair) in New York City. The team, led by Jessica Rosenkrantz and Jesse Louis-Rosenberg seeks inspiration from natural phenomena in the world around us, and creates projects that mold art, technology, and science into one. They take unusual, yet naturally beautiful geometries and integrate them into user-friendly computer programs that ultimately create wonderful jewelry and housewares. This technique is exactly what Nervous System uses to design products like their new Radiolaria Table.

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The team created an app that allows people to become part of the fun and the life of the item that will eventually be theirs. The user gets to design the table, and ultimately have the joy of knowing that they took part in the creation of a functional piece of artwork. What a way to give your space so much more personality and character! The user also determines which holes get the plexiglass, how tall the table is to be, and what finish is to be applied. Once the table is designed, the team uses a CNC machine to carve the table out of sustainable Baltic birch plywood!

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But wait! The fun doesn’t stop there. The studio is also releasing designs for a new 16-piece pendant and sconce lighting family…and they are seriously cool. Be sure to check out more of their affordable and sustainable products at: http://n-e-r-v-o-u-s.com/shop/

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Firm Feature

Webber + Studio is an Austin, TX architecture firm that creates innovative, ultra-functional and environmentally conscious designs. They specialize in tying indoor and outdoor spaces together, and integrating the site and the structure of each project.

In this Tarrytown Residence in Austin, Webber + Studio combined Asian contemporary form, natural materials, serene neutrals, bright accent colors, and contrasting textures in a seamless indoor/outdoor living home design. These elements are all our favorite things!

Green product spotlight!

We believe in keeping it “green” and keeping it sophisticated at the same time. This recycled glass pebble tile does both by adding some eco-friendliness as well as some shimmer to these walk-in showers!
http://www.modwalls.com/modrocksrecycledglasspebbles.aspx

Kitchen from Tomorrowland

The recently completed Woloszko Kitchen is part of a larger Woloszko Residence house remodel. This “kitchen from tomorrowland” was part of an environmentally conscious design strategy. Our interior designers at Spaces Designed always design with an eco-friendly mindset, but we found especially great opportunities to make the Woloszko kitchen an energy and space efficient, material-conserving kitchen of the future. The result is an eco-friendly and functional, but contemporary and sophisticated space that improves the lifestyle of our satisfied clients.

wolosko_kit5 We repositioned the island, which was anchored to the structural column seen above, to make the overall flow through space more comfortable and functional. We specified an anti-rust coating for this awkwardly placed column and left it uncovered to capitalize on the circulation space around it.

The appliances in this kitchen are low on energy use and high on up-to date technology. Many of our clients are open to eco-friendly appliances such an induction cooktop, steam oven, and cordless small appliances.

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Our design makes use of sustainable materials like the space-saving German cabinets faced in wood veneer rather than traditional solid wood fronts. LED light fixtures in the cabinets and overhead lighting add to the tally of saved energy costs as well.

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Inside the cabinets, we made an innovative and efficient use of space.

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As we accept more and more that the world’s natural resources are limited, we’ve observed a move away from the typical granite countertops to more green products. Some materials that are being used are manufactured stones like quartz. Other countertop options are soap stone, butcher-block wood, stainless steel, concrete, or recycled glass cast in concrete. These are some great examples:

concrete counter

butcher-block countertop

stainless steel countertop

Spaces Designed! Advocates Green Interiors

“We endeavor to combine our love of design and our desire to help others live life more beautifully with our strong commitment to the environment”
Spaces Designed was founded by Komal Sheth in 2006 with a commitment to creating beautiful, livable spaces that meet clients’ aesthetic, functional, and economic goals while respecting the environment.
For more than 8 years, Komal has been creating beautiful spaces, some very fine examples of which are found right here in Austin. The ability to create an interior design scheme that combines timeless elegance with contemporary day-to-day living has elevated Spaces Designed to the forefront of Austin design. Komal continually evaluates fresh, new products and ideas in green building and encourages and promotes the use of sustainable products explaining to her clients’ the positive environmental benefits of sustainable products. Over the past several years she has gathered extensive resources for green interior design while establishing a strong network of local trades-people, builders, and fabricators who share our vision.

TruSkin Dermatology, Austin, TX
Bamboo Flooring

Why Green?
·         Healthier homes
Green design and building practices create healthier home environments through better indoor air quality and healthier building materials.
·         Lower energy and water costs
Green buildings are better performing, cutting utility costs for owners. For example, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, if every American home replaced just one light bulb with an ENERGY STAR qualified bulb, we would save enough energy to light more than 3 million homes for a year – more than $600 million in annual energy costs – and prevent greenhouse gases equivalent to the emissions of more than 800,000 cars.
·         A stronger environment
Environmentally responsible site planning and development, along with energy and water efficient buildings make a positive contribution to environmental protection
 Promoting Green
At Spaces Designed, design considerations are biased towards
·         Conserving water
·         Enhancing indoor environmental quality
·         Using environmentally preferable products
·         Minimizing non-renewable energy consumption
·         Optimizing operational and maintenance practices
“Incorporating sustainable products into a home is much easier and affordable than it used to be, thanks to innovative new products that continually enter the market. From furniture to paint, the options are almost unlimited” says Komal. “Whether it is something as fundamental as lighting, or a design element such as flooring or countertops, a green home will appear just as sophisticated and stylish as a home designed with non-sustainable, environmentally harmful products.“ 

Sierra Vista Residence
Recycled Glass Backsplash
If you are looking to give back the environment without compromising aesthetics or your budget, here are some specific examples of sustainable products that are widely available in the market.
·         Non-toxic adhesives and insulation
·         Energy saving fluorescent light bulbs
·         Low VOC paint to improve indoor air quality
·         Home products made from organic cotton and ramie
·         Carpet, rugs and furniture free of harsh chemical treatments
·         Tile and countertops made from recycled glass and other materials
·         Renewable flooring materials such as cork, bamboo or natural fiber
·         Bamboo window shades offer a natural feel while providing sun protection
·         Furniture and fabrics that use green products and/or manufacturing guidelines
·         Salvaged wood products such as timbers and other products with recycled content
·         Placement of doors and windows in the house to increase energy efficiency and flow of natural air.
·         Landscaping with edible plants enhances the sense of community, while making positive use of the land.
·         Adobe, native stone, rammed earth, sandwich panels, foam blocks, and straw bales as alternative construction materials
·         Saving water by
o   Planting natives and other drought-tolerant plants
o   Using low-flow toilets, shower heads and faucet aerators
o   Choosing water-efficient clothes washers and dishwashers
o   Installing drip irrigation and other water-efficient irrigation systems
 Komal strongly believes that going green doesn’t mean you have to go to extremes or work with unlimited budgets. It is about using common sense and being aware of what is available, so you can make intelligent choices when products dovetail within your design or construction goals. Furthermore, the long term savings and benefits of green products far outweigh near term costs. 

Sierra Vista Residence
Local Made Cabinetry
Favorite Local Artists and Resources for Furniture and Accessories 
  •  Favorite local artist: Monica Aroaz, Linda Demont, Shawn Camp, Erica Wildman
  • Favorite local stores: Collectic Home, Four hands, Stockton Hicks and Laffey, Wildflower & Jaya 
  • Favorite lighting store: Lights fantastic
  • Favorite Cabinet Makers: Madison Cabinets, Flat Creek Cabinets