A Well Insulated Tiny Cabin


While living full time in a tiny home may not be for everyone, it is undeniably a very sustainable housing alternative. Besides, tiny, easy to assemble structures have many uses, such as a home office, guesthouse, yoga studio or cabin. The Little Cabin Company of British Columbia recently unveiled just such a versatile creation, which can also be a great glamping alternative for colder areas, due to the fact that it’s very well insulated.

The cabin is called Cobby and measures 104 sq ft, with a footprint of 12’ by 11’3”. They are insulated using blown recycled fiber, and can withstand even Canada’s extreme winters. The entire cabin is constructed using locally sourced materials, with the siding made using sustainably harvested cedar. While they can be hooked up to the grid, the company also offers a solar package to power the LED lighting and other necessary appliances. (more…)

By |September 27th, 2016|Prefab|0 Comments

Student Housing Made of Shipping Containers


Shipping container architecture seems to be once again becoming quite popular. The well-known Danish firm Bjarke Ingels Group has recently completed a sustainable floating housing prototype for students living in Copenhagen. The project was commissioned by Urban Rigger, a local student housing startup. This student housing is made from repurposed shipping containers, and designed in a way that makes it possible to easily and quickly replicate the design just about anywhere.


This so-called Copenhagen Urban Rigger housing is made of nine recycled shipping containers, which rest top a floating base in the harbor in Copenhagen. The entire structure has a total floorspace of 7,319 sq ft (680 sq m), which is divided up between the actual housing units, as well as a common garden/courtyard area, a bathing platform, a BBQ area, a kayak landing point, and a sitting area. The structure also features a communal roof terrace and a basement level, which has 12 storage rooms, a laundry room, and a technical room. (more…)

By |September 26th, 2016|Container Design|0 Comments

Using Grasscloth and Natural Wallcovering for Eco-Friendly Decor


Our homes are one of our primary outlets for self-expression. Whether we are entertaining guests or simply welcoming friends and family, our home decor says a lot about who we are and the type of atmosphere that we wish to present. For those with eco-friendly or earth-based style preferences, finding wallcoverings which project your personal style can sometimes present a challenge. Fortunately, there are a number of grasscloth and natural wallcovering options which will flatter any living space while complementing your home’s existing eco-friendly style.


In case you are unfamiliar with these products, grasscloth wallpaper is a type of wall covering which is created by weaving dried grasses together and affixing them to a paper backing. Based upon the types of grasses used, it comes in a variety of colors and patterns, and with textures varying from fine to coarse. Because it is crafted from sustainable, natural materials, grasscloth wallpaper is considered an environmentally-friendly option for both homes and commercial spaces.

Note, however, that there are some factors that you should consider when choosing grasscloth wallpaper. The first is that because this is a natural product, it varies in color and pattern. That means you will not be able to perfectly match the rolls to one another. The result is visible seams which can be disconcerting to those who are used to flawless wallpaper patterns. Also, note that you should not use grasscloth or other natural wallpaper in smaller bathrooms or any space in which humidity might be a problem.


Most varieties of grasscloth wallpaper feature a single piece of seagrass held in place by a thin cotton thread, which is attached to the paper backing via a light adhesive. This means that grasscloth wallpaper is susceptible to damage if placed in a high traffic area. While grasscloth makes a lovely wallcovering choice for many homes, you should consider your space itself before making the grasscloth choice.

For spaces in your home for which grasscloth simply is not well-suited, there are a great number of designer wallpaper options from which you can choose. Options vary from vintage to modern styles, and textured options provide a great way to add depth to any living space. Choose a simple floral pattern or a unique color scheme to suit your home’s decor. Best of all, most wallpapers are suitable for any room, and provide a beautiful alternative to natural wallcoverings in the high-traffic and potentially humid parts of your home.

grasscloth_wall_designWhether you choose a grasscloth or other natural wallcoverings, you should take your time in making your selections. Unlike artwork, mirrors or other decor items, wallpaper of any kind is not easily interchangeable. Therefore, you should choose a pattern which does not overpower your space and can accommodate a variety of decor pieces should your preferences change over time. With a respectable time investment, you are sure to find something which will bring beauty to your home while showing off your personal style.



By |September 24th, 2016|Design, Fixtures, Modern design, Products, Surfaces, Tips|0 Comments

Tiny Home Fits Family of Three


Tiny homes are considered too small for families by many, but some are still making it work. Like the couple living in this 400 sq ft home with their baby and dog. Their home was designed by Tiny Portable Cedar Cabins of Idaho.

The so-called Urban Cabin measure s12 ft by 28 ft, and showcases a wonderful blend of rustic and modern elements, complete with a shed-style roof. It’s also quite mobile, since it is considered a park model RV, meaning it’s possible to move it using a semi-trailer truck. Though it wasn’t designed to be hauled around as often as other, smaller tiny (more…)

By |September 22nd, 2016|Modern design|0 Comments

Micro Apartment Complex Coming Soon to Houston


There is a housing shortage in many cities worldwide, which has in recent years led to the emergence of “micro apartment” complexes. These offer small homes, which are just as functional as larger ones, but cost much less. Ivy Lofts is one such “micro apartment” complex. It was developed by Novel Creative Development and it will be located in the East Downtown, or EaDo, neighborhood of Houston, which is very close to the cultural and business center of the city. (more…)

By |September 19th, 2016|Modern architecture|0 Comments

Bring Lasting Beauty to Your Home With Eco-Friendly Redwood


© California Redwood Association

When it comes to creating sustainable, eco-friendly homes, some homeowners may feel they need to turn a blind eye to beauty and appreciate the greener features that may not add to their curb appeal.

There’s a building material available today, though, that defies that assumption: redwood.

Grown and harvested under some of the world’s most stringent environmental guidelines certified well managed and sustainable, redwood is one of nature’s most versatile building products that will bring both strength and natural beauty to any design aesthetic. It is like the supermodel of softwoods.


© California Redwood Association

Redwood is a sustainable building product – start to finish. A Life Cycle Assessment study of redwood showed that redwood lumber is much more environmentally friendly than the production of engineered alternatives. Because redwood is all-natural, it can be recycled or repurposed after its project has reached the end of its life. Synthetic solutions such as composite decking can just end up in a landfill.

In addition, redwood trees continuously scrub carbon (CO2) from the atmosphere, converting that carbon to wood. Even better: that carbon remains stored even after a redwood tree is milled for lumber. That means the average size redwood deck holds on to a half-ton of carbon.


© California Redwood Association

More than just beautiful and eco-friendly, redwood possesses an excellent strength to weight ratio and can span greater distances than plastic composite decking, making it even more economical to use. In addition, it is naturally resistant to decay, termites, and even fire. With periodic maintenance – cleaning and refinishing – a redwood deck will last 25 years or longer.

Redwood’s versatility means it is the perfect addition to any part of the home; more than just a decking material, redwood can be the starting point of a dramatic outdoor kitchen, pergolas, exposed timber beams, full walls of paneling, and more. The only limit is really the homeowner’s imagination.

With its natural strength, universal aesthetics and sustainable roots, redwood is the perfect green touch to complete your eco-friendly home.

Author Bio
Charlie Jourdain is president of the California Redwood Association. Reach him at [email protected] or (888) CAL-REDWOOD.

Celebrating its 100th anniversary in 2016, the California Redwood Association is one of the oldest trade associations in the lumber industry. From the very beginning, the association’s primary mission has been to promote redwood products and educate builders and consumers on the advantages of using redwood. To learn more about redwood, visit the CRA at Real Strong Redwood.


© California Redwood Association


© California Redwood Association


© California Redwood Association

By |September 17th, 2016|Design, Modern design, Tips|0 Comments