Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Spice and Sparkle of Green Design

Going green in Palm Desert for your interior design project can be a unique and beautiful choice !

We have found a new product on the market that is almost totally recycled material and here’s the twist: Vetrazzo will document the “story” of where the recycled material came from and send it along with your order. Because of the unique nature of the glass used in the production process, every Vetrazzo surface has its own history. The company tracks that history, and when you purchase Vetrazzo, they provide a Certificate of Transformation that tells you exactly where the glass in your Vetrazzo came from.

This great-looking product can be used for countertops, flooring, fireplace surrounds, shower surrounds and wall cladding. This product is made and cast to your specifications for your job, and mixes in color can vary to your specification. It is highly durable, and is resistant to staining. It can be cut on, but your knife will dull quickly as it is one of the hardest surfaces on the market. It can withstand extreme heat, which is important for durability in outdoor residential uses in Palm Desert and Rancho Mirage. The best part of this surface is that it has no off-gassing or VCO, and is made domestically and responsibly in a sustainable method. Since the raw materials for this product are sourced domestically, it does not require the tremendous energy cost of shipping other surfaces like granite.

All of the glass used in Vetrazzo is “repurposed” and makes up about 85% of the final material by weight. The largest proportion of glass comes from curbside recycling programs. Other glass comes from post industrial usage, windows, dinnerware, stemware, automotive windshields, stained glass, laboratory glass, reclaimed glass from building demolition, and other unusual sources such as decommissioned traffic lights.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Lighting Up The Outdoors

Our interior design firm is seeing an increase of outdoor living spaces that are more like living rooms than patios, and outdoor lighting and lamps have taken on a new look and importance. These functional accessories are practical in outdoor living areas, particularly those with dining areas, where families gather to play games, or watch television.

More unique styles of outdoor lamps are available than ever before, adding to the effect of extending the indoors to the outdoors. This is particularly important in the Palm Desert, Rancho Mirage, and Palm Springs areas, as interior design has spread to the great outdoors.

In selecting outdoor lighting, think of what activities you will need to illuminate. Are you dining outside? Are you playing cards? Do you like to read? Are you just curling up in front of your fire ring and watching the stars? You will also need to keep in mind if you outdoor living space is fully exposed to the elements or is under a roof where there will be open shade during the day.

An outdoor lamp base should be made of metal, ceramic, or a durable resin or plastic that can withstand the extremes in temperature, even if the lamp is to be placed under an overhang. Likewise, the shade must have a metal frame that can withstand high temperatures, and should be covered with a sunbrella/outdoor fabric that can also withstand high heat and direct sunlight without fading.

Make sure that the base is heavy enough to stay in place during high winds or is properly secured. Tall outdoor lamps and table lamps are likely to end up in the swimming pool- as items in the yard often do in the Palm Desert/Rancho Mirage area (those windmills are there for a reason, folks!).

Before you purchae a fixture, check that the lamp that you select is UL rated for outdoor use and is waterproof. A lighting store should be able to custom make an outdoor lamp if you cannot find a ready-made lamp for your outdoor living area. If you are using your outdoor lamp for mixed uses, select one that has a dimming switch and a grounded cord.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Perfect Picnic Packing!

With the summer holidays upon us, many of us will be spending time picnicking. Picnics can be very simple or quite elaborate, depending on the occasion. No matter what kind of picnic you are planning this summer, it can be made just right with selecting the right kind of picnic basket.

No matter what the cost of your basket, it should be able to do several things: sturdy enough to hold food, drinks, plates, utensils. It should be able to protect food from being squashed, and should be able to keep food cold or hot. The cool part is especially important if you have food that may spoil in heat- nothing ruins a nice picnic like a case of botchulism!

When you shop for your basket, have in mind what size you’re going to need- if you’re packing meals for two or for a family of eight, be sure what you’ve selected has enough room for all of your supplies.

Likewise, know what you want to bring along- if that means a bottle of champagne, a flower arrangement, china or paper plates, disposable cutlery or silver, make sure your basket has a place for everything.

Also keep in mind where your picnic will be, and select a basket that can get you and your food to the location- if your picnic is going to be somewhere near the summit of Mount Everest, you’ll need to select something that is more backpack-like than you would if your picnic is in the local park.

We have selected several picnic baskets with a variety of prices:

Target features Malibu Rivera insulated shoulder picnic bag for 2 with melamine plates, tumblers, stainless flatware, and a wooden cutting board for $59.99

Kate Spade has a wonderful Hobby Picnic Tote with a cool silk-screened fork, spoon, and knife on the side pocket for $123.00

And, a few baskets at the other end of the spectrum (I can dream, can’t I?)…

Modest Designs features this vintage Gucci Picnic Bag from the 70’s that is perfect for that special polo match! It has his and hers thermos, a biscuit tin, and collapsing bone-handled forks and spoons, and is priced at a breathtaking $1,675.00

Coach can help you plan a perfect day with their coloful logo print lining, logo plates, leather naplin rings, bamboo-handled flatware, priced at $1998.00

My hands-down, wonderfully impractical favorite is from Pinel & Pinel. As soon as I get my private Zeppelin, I will be sure and pack this massive trunk for an alfresco meal in Biarritz. This picnic trunk is finished in brown leather with a red leather lining. It features ten drawers and room for three bottles of champagne, and all the utensils are already packed, down to your truffle slicer (how many times have I been on a picnic and forgotten to pack the truffle slicer?!!) The trunk drawer transforms into a table and two chairs. Is Santa taking early orders? If you need to ask how much this affair costs, you’re at the wrong party, baby.

Some tips for packing are small Tupperware containers for condiments, a portable ice bucket, battery-powered candles (if you’re dining under the stars), some type of ground cover, an umbrella if you need one, some type of bag for trash- I hate to take garbage home in the basket- bring along a plastic grocery bag for this, as well as a few extra plastic bags to wrap up the dirty dishes and cutlery in for the trip home- and some throw pillows are always great if you’re not bringing chairs and a table, and I love to bring along a travel game of some sort or a deck of cards.

No matter what you choose to carry your meal into the great outdoors, you’ll be sure to have a great time if you keep all of this in mind when you choose your picnic basket.
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...