Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Sustainable Furniture For Your Desert Home

With more consciousness about green products and sustainable business entering mainstream products, more clients are demanding more products for the interior of their homes besides wallpaper and paint. More furniture designers are making furniture from sustainable, renewable, and repurposed materials. As interior designers in the desert who are always looking for ways to put cutting-edge items in your home, here are some fine examples of what is available in the market:

Sustainable design is executed in stunning style with the beautiful Girado chair. Created by Team 7 in conjunction with the Batineau Design Group, the elegant chair has an elegant sculptural profile that belies its sustainable origins.

With a rounded back crafted from a choice of sustainable hardwoods or lush leather, the chair can be customized for any environment. Sustainable wood choices range from dark walnut to a lovely light maple, finished off with a timeless leather seat. Even the frame can be customized, with a choice of three very different shapes.

Batineau uses sustainable production methods and materials, producing beautiful non-toxic, solid wood furniture. The materials used by the design group are both natural and sustainable, contributing to a healthier home.

Team 7 is certified as an environmentally friendly manufacturer, using sustainably harvested hardwood that comes from a reforested European forest. Products are finished with natural herbal oils and waxes. Their green practices qualify them for great green design, even before one sees their actual eco-friendly furniture.

Urban Woods makes sustainable furniture from reclaimed wood, eco-friendly materials and environmentally conscious manufacturing processes. The distinct beauty of reclaimed wood, finished with rich water based, non-toxic stains, is preserved in modern handmade furniture that is made in Los Angeles, California. Their exclusive use of vintage reclaimed wood has many advantages; the grain of the timber with its tight growth rings shows the superior density of the wood from ancient trees, and the natural, aged patina and color of the old-growth timber is preserved in the manufacturing process, giving the furniture a look and feel that can not be replicated in new wood. Much of the reclaimed wood was originally harvested and milled 50 to 100 years ago, and has been seasoned in sunny Southern California for decades, giving the wood unparalleled stability and resistance to future distortion or structural movement. At Urban Woods we strive to make beautiful, eco-friendly furniture in the most sustainable way. They do not use tropical hardwoods which harm the rain forest to harvest, MDF, particle board nor toxic glues.

Acronym Designs have produced a range of unique designs that use a variety of materials and manufacturing processes. With a blend of natural and high tech materials, their furniture has modern appeal with classic sensibility. Whenever possible, they "use materials that are sustainable, renewable, reclaimed, or recycled," which includes FSC-certified wood and veneers, Lyptus (plantation-grown), or reclaimed African Mahogany.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Second Home, Second Everything: The Art Of Interior Design for Luxury Homes

Palm Desert, California-based interior designer William Miller has spent more than 20 years in the Southern California Desert planning, designing, furnishing, and accessorizing luxury second and third homes for his high-end clientele. An emerging interior design trend among these 2-million-dollar-plus homeowners is the demand for the interior designer to find relaztion through duplicity.

A second home is a second change for homeowners to rethink their priorities in a living environment. It turns out that for many in the luxury market, an individuals’ idea of indulgence stems from personal retreats, open spaces, and decadent amenities of their
very own: custom closets (each tailored to individual needs) the sunken tub for her and the mega shower jets for him, the plasma TV, sports bar, and chef’s grill for him, the trickling fountain, espresso station, and Zen courtyard for her, and separate kitchens for each, both indoor and out.

Sophisticated homeowners have moved beyond requests for his-and-hers sinks. Large his-and-hers closets as well as dressing areas are tailored to individual wardrobe needs; separate toilet rooms, walk-in showers, oversized tubs and separate sink areas with granite counter tops, etched glass and custom tile. These are elements that customers want in the luxury home market.

The master bedroom suite is the refuge for the homeowner. It is, simply put, more than a bedroom and becomes a quiet, luxurious escape from children, guests, and social obligation. A place to regroup and spend quiet times alone at the beginning and end of each day. Female clients typically want to spend their dollars on the luxurious feel of quality fabrics for custom bedding, wallcoverings, and down-filled furniture; men go for large walk-in showers with rain dome shower heads and multiple body wash sprays. Both sexes enjoy having their own separate spaces within one large shared space, which William Miller refers to as “independence through togetherness.”

Outdoor spaces are important for entertaining in California because so many activities are focused around the outdoors. “My clients live outdoors more than indoors, that’s why outdoor living rooms, kitchens, and dining areas are important elements.”

Value is found per square foot in covered outdoor rooms that are essential to today’s increasing luxury second home market. In new construction, these outdoor rooms are often the emphasis of the home and all design and planning begin in these areas.

Outdoor fireplaces as well as multimedia entertainment centers are standard fare in these luxury second homes as well as comfortable seating, outdoor kitchens and full-service bars.
Couples come together with their ideas about their great room. A comfortable great room or family room that is close to the kitchen and equipped with state-of-the-art multimedia entertainment systems. These great rooms are spaces that are casual enough for extended family entertaining, but elegant enough for more formal cocktail or dinner gatherings.

Monday, September 8, 2008

What Kind of a Mood Are You Living In?

Interior design in the desert is important because the color in our environment can have an effect on how we feel mentally as well as physically. Historically, some cultures have used color to heal- such as the ancient Egyptians and the Native Americans. When choosing colors for your home interior, keep in mind the feelings that are associated with each color- you may inadvertently have the opposite affect that you wish to create with the d├ęcor of your rooms. Too many colors can make a room look busy, and in fact, confuse or agitate the people in the room. First, determine: what mood do I want to create with my interior designer, and colors can my interior designer help me select to achieve that mood?

Black is the absence of light and color. It represents sexuality, sophistication, formality, elegance, wealth, mystery, and style.

Green represents health, luck, renewal, youth, vitality, fertility, and nature. Rooms that are green or yellow create happy moods, and are ideal colors for playrooms or children’s rooms. The cool quality of these colors soothes and calm.

Red is a color that demands attention. It is the warmest and most energetic color in the spectrum. Red is always associated with love, danger, desire, and strength. Red can affect blood pressure and make heart rates increase. This color, along with violet/purples can boost energy levels by causing the body to create more adrenaline. These colors can be best used in home offices, entry halls, sitting rooms, and staircases. They should be avoided in bedrooms and bathrooms, where relaxation is key, as well as the kitchen and dining areas, because these colors can boost your appetite. Inspired but not wired is the key here- a red leather magazine caddy or bouquet of red flowers is best. An interior designer can help with this sort of choice in your home.

Brown is a solid, reliable color, found in earth and abundant in nature. Light brown implies sincerity, genuineness, and dependability. Choosing brown for a home interior promotes warm feelings and an inviting atmosphere.

Blue is calm, soothing color, the color of the sea and sky. People faced with difficult tasks feel less anxious when surrounded by the color blue. Blue can be used more liberally than any other color in a room where you would like to feel less stressed.
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