Tag Archives: reuse design

Inhabitat – Andrew Chase’s Spectacular Steampunk Sculptures Are Crafted from Recycled Metal

steampunk design, steampunk sculpture, eco sculpture, recycled material sculptures, metal sculptures, animal sculptures, andrew chase, photographer, andrew chase sculptor,

Andrew Chase works with painstaking detail to create his remarkable steampunk sculptures — an impressive collection of animal-inspired artworks made from reclaimed steel sheets, car parts, industrial equipment, and more. Each sculpture takes Chase between 80 and 120 hours to complete, and they can be adjusted into different postions. His cheetah sculpture, seen above, has been sculpted from electrical insulation fittings, parts of a car transmission, and another 20 pieces of steel. Surprisingly, it only weights about 40 pounds!

via Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Inhabitat – The Pocket Shelter by Aaron Maret is a Portable Space on Wheels Read more: The Pocket Shelter by Aaron Maret is a Portable Space on Wheels

We love tiny shelters here at Inhabitat — and all the better if they can be ported around to different locations. We recently spotted the Pocket Shelter by Aaron Maret and fell in love not only with its cool and compact design, but also with the fact that it’s made primarily out of local, salvaged and recycled wood. This moveable modern residence on wheels will make for a great summer escape, wherever you picture yourself taking in the sun and the scenery this year.

via Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Three Rivers Arts Fest ready to roll – Timesonline.com: Local Entertainment

 Squonk Opera

Spread throughout the festival is a series called “3Rs: The Art of Reuse, Recycle and Repurpose,” for which eight artists created recycling centers that also stand as art installations. One artist created a garden from discarded plastic laundry detergent containers.

via Three Rivers Arts Fest ready to roll – Timesonline.com: Local Entertainment.

Malachi Milbourn turns to old buildings for old-growth wood he turns into furniture | OregonLive.com

Malachi Milbourn sees stories in the wood he works. The 28-year-old North Portland resident finds and salvages pieces of old-growth wood from buildings throughout the state that are deconstructed or torn down.

He turns the wood into coffee tables, side tables, dinner tables and other furniture, then sells them through his business, Against the Grain. He has made furniture with wood from a Corvallis hops mill built in 1910, a Molalla barn built in 1900 and parts of the Oregon State Hospitals original building, which was partially demolished in 2010.

Against the Grain

On the Web:


By email:


In person:

His North Portland studio, at 7401 N Albina Ave., is open by appointment only.

via Malachi Milbourn turns to old buildings for old-growth wood he turns into furniture | OregonLive.com.

Extreme Recycling, PDX: Ultimate Remodel | Earthtechling

portland extreme recycling house

When Corey and Deb Omey embarked on a major renovation of their 1925 North Portland home, they decided to forego the demolition dumpster and go ultra-green, utilizing recycled and reclaimed materials wherever possible. Many of these were “harvested” on site,  including not just materials from the original home, but a cedar tree cut from the front yard (to clear solar access for the rooftop photovoltaic system) that ultimately wound up as cabinetry in the home’s bedroom closets.

portland house, recycled materials

Beyond that, the couple focused on procuring whatever they needed for the project through Portland’s burgeoning network of reclaimed/recycled materials, which includes such resources as The ReBuilding Center (a kind of Home Depot composed exclusively of recycled building materials), Building Material Recycling and Lovett Deconstruction. But the resources to do to the same, according to Corey Omey — a LEED-accredited architect with Ernest R. Munch Architects, as well as the project’s designer and construction coordinator — are available to just about anyone.

portland recycled house

“We are fortunate that Portland has one of the best networks of rebuilding resources in the world,” Omey told us, “but resources like the Habitat for Humanity Re-Stores, Craigslist, Freecycle and ‘seconds’ from different types of manufacturers are available almost anywhere.” (“Seconds” consist of post-production rejects from local manufacturers.)

The result is a new home with a lot of history: the kitchen counters were once bowling alley lanes, the front walkway pavers were made from granite countertop remnants, and the main beam of the front porch was a “blowdown” from the Mount St. Helens eruption in 1980. Reused mortgage signs were used to sheath the walls, scraps of metal from a local steel yard wound up in the home’s artistic guard rails, and doors once part of the Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh Ranch’s hotel in Antelope, Ore., were reincarnated, so to speak, in the home’s basement.

“The materials and process personalize the house,” Omey said. “There is a story behind everything we found and incorporated into the finished product.”

portland house, recycled materials

Another key part of the story is the amount of labor put in by the Omeys, the contractors they worked with and their friends, as the trick to using recycled materials (which cost 50-80 percent less than new materials) is that they tend to add extra labor to a renovation project in the form of sourcing, delivering and preparing materials. The Omeys worked offset these costs with “sweat equity” on their part, volunteer labor and contractors willing to work with the materials provided.

Continue reading Extreme Recycling, PDX: Ultimate Remodel | Earthtechling

As The Tile Turns – As the Tile Turns

Reduce, Reuse and Re-create

Consisting of skillfully selected combinations of patterns, color and textures, AZU is not only innovative, but also one of the industry’s most environmental responsible. The multiple- height texture is a result of discarded end-cuts from the production of marble slabs. This blend has achieved a unique and modern look.

Human Right & Equal Opportunity

AZU was founded by partnering and collaborating with an established 30 year old quarry and factory. While already having very respectable working conditions and 35- hour work weeks, AZU has opened up opportunities for women in Indonesia. Previously banned from working in this male-dominated trade- the AZU project has led to the first-ever female division in the factory that now exclusively provides the unique hand-placed blending that makes each sheet of AZU one-of-a-kind. The ladies that work in teams of 12 have an excellent eye for producing exceptional “random-appearing” marble blends.

via As The Tile Turns – As the Tile Turns.

An introduction to Earthships | Fox News

I’ve always loved Earth Ships, including the creativity and the controversy surrounding them. The reclaimed materials are mostly tires and bottles, but could easily incorporate reusing building materials.

There are hundreds of articles on Earthships, so I would encourage you to seek them out if you are interested. I never thought I would see the day that Fox News would endorse them so I just had to post this!


Recycled Building Materials

One of the greatest advantages of Earthship construction is the use of reclaimed materials. The fundamental “building blocks” of an Earthship include tires, bottles and cans.  Earthship “foundations” begin with old tires that are filled with simple dirt. This local material is compressed into the “form” of the tire and provides a strong solid and dense “brick”. These tire walls are built on three sides of the structure and provide both thermal mass and support for the home roofing system.  Interior and decorative walls are often built using bottles and cans as the “core” materials. This integrated “matrix” of concrete and containers reduce the total amount of mortar that is needed and can provide a great decorative element.

via An introduction to Earthships | Fox News.

Salvaged oak Wine Vats Find new Life as Podium in FLCC’s Student Center

I love it when folks are blown away by reclaimed design. You can see the Frank Loyd Wright influence in the podium (I read that in the original article). More reuse of wine barrels – enjoy!

“We wanted a piece of furniture, not a library book stand; a podium, not a lectern. We were looking for a piece that would combine contemporary design and antique materials…something fitting for our new Student Center,” explained Amy Pauley, the executive director of the FLCC Foundation. Upon seeing the completed piece for the first time, Amy exclaimed, “It’s awesome!”

Crafted of white oak staves reclaimed from wine vats used at a Finger Lakes winery, the FLCC Student Center podium meets environmentally conscious requirements and offers rich history.

via Salvaged oak Wine Vats Find new Life as Podium in FLCC’s Student Center.

GutterCherry: | 2 Table

The 2Table would not have been possible without my fabulously talented and patient friend Kirby Jones.  Kirby made it possible for me to use the charred and broken beam of Douglas Fir that was salvaged from a building in Portland, Oregon.  He’s not only talented, he’s magical, because somehow the beam stayed together and is finished in such a way as the charring does not rub off.  Also, I don’t have to use coasters – nice work!

The 2Table is made from reclaimed materials.  The bases are house jacks that were originally used to lift a house from the foundation.  These jacks are solid iron and are of the vintage variety. I like the bell shape and the patina on the metal.

The circular number 2 is a scale weight, 2 for two pounds.  The curves, material, and patina match the jacks sweetly.

The wood beam works nicely; it would be what the jacks were created to move (if the house were still attached).

I love these tables.  They have rhythm, rhyme, and irony! And there are 2 of them!

via GutterCherry: | My work in salvaged materials. Metals, wood, textiles, drawing, photography and graphic design. Enjoy! | Page 2.

Small Rustic Cabin on 40 Acres in Colorado with Mountain Views for Sale

Much of the house is clad with old wood from fences and old buildings, see below…

Reclaimed materials from fences used on this small rustic cabin

Some parts of the house are even from a chicken coop, like that wall down there.

Reclaimed wall from a chicken coop used in this small rustic cabin

Recycled Timbers inside this Small Rustic Cabin - For Sale in Colorado

The timbers used on the pictures above and below are recycled from old boxcars and a hot springs water tower.

Interior of Small Rustic Cabin made from Reclaimed Materials

Kitchen area in Small Rustic Cabin

Parts of the kitchen, including the cabinets, came from an old motel.

Small Rustic Cabin - Kitchen Area - Reclaimed Materials from Old Motel

Storage in living area of small rustic cabin

Small Rustic Cabin in Colorado Made with Reclaimed Wood


via Small Rustic Cabin on 40 Acres in Colorado with Mountain Views for Sale.

diy project: reclaimed-wood knife organizer | Design*Sponge

I love projects that make use of old materials, especially when they take just a few easy steps to complete. This quick and easy reclaimed-wood knife rack from Nick Ward-Bopp is something you could probably finish in a couple hours, and as he points out below, it’s a great way to make use of empty space on the side of your fridge or on your kitchen walls or cabinets. I might gussy up my version a bit by mixing in fresh wood and possibly painting a design on it. I’ve never used neodymium magnets, though, so I’m thrilled to see a project that proves their strength and usefulness. Thanks for sharing, Nick! — Kate

via diy project: reclaimed-wood knife organizer | Design*Sponge.

Boing Boing: Revolving bookcase/room divider

The UnWaste Bookcase was jointly created by Ben Milbourne, Leyla Acaroglu and David Waterworth to act as a loft apartment room-divider that could be opened and spun completely around, depending on the needs of the residents. Its a very clever solution:

A split-level open plan warehouse conversion in Melbourne’s CBD needed a flexible solution to divide the open space into 2 rooms, while retaining the option of keeping the larger combined space when needed; an answer that would allow for light and airflow throughout the spaces but also a division between living and sleeping areas. The James Bond inspired solution involves a 4.6 metre high by 3.8m wide rotating library allowing books to be stored and accessed from either side and maximising air-flow and light when needed by simply pushing on the corner to allow for full 360 degree rotation.

Producing the least environmental impact possible was paramount with this project. Conventional ‘virgin’ MDF, Timber or Melamine all came with unacceptable environmental impacts, leading to an impasse that threatened to derail the project. The solution came via the collaboration with David Waterworth who specialises in reclaimed and recycled materials in his designs. Reclaimed plywood from construction site hoardings the temporary barriers at the edge of construction sites were sourced and the material’s unique characteristics of posters, weathering, graffiti and mismatched paints was incorporated into the design. The ply was sealed with natural beeswax, and with the construction processes minimising off-cut waste, 30 sheets of plywood were saved from landfill for this project further limiting its environmental impact.

via Boing Boing.

IKEA Hackers: Reclaimed wood desk


Description: I really love some of those reclaimed wood desks but they are quite expensive, so I decided to buy these white and clean table legs (VIKA ANNEFORS, VIKA LERBERG) and start a quest for old and damaged wood pieces to create a contrasting look.

1- I found redwood beams/mantles and cleaned and dry them for about 2 days.

2- I used some tools to distress even more the reclaimed wood, particularly the edges.

3- Using glue and clamps, I putted all the pieces together and added two metal joints underneath to reinforce.

4- I applied a wood stain and sealer coat to protect wood and enhance the color.

Voila! The desk or worktable stands out with all the other Ikea elements in white. You can be creative and add marks and elements as you wish (nails, decals, paint drops, etc.)

via IKEA Hackers: Reclaimed wood desk.

Indestructables: Cutting (floor) Board

Cutting (floor) Board



Cutting boards are a valuable, and, at times, under-appreciated kitchen accessory.  In this plastic age, we have been overrun with sick, milky-white slabs of questionable origin, claiming to be safe and clean.  After a few weeks, you end up with a scarred, savaged scrap, un-saveable, collecting crud in all those crevices.  The alternative?  A solid, reclaimed hardwood cutting board made from old flooring, hand-rubbed with tung oil to a high, non-toxic sheen.  In a pinch, it’s solid enough to chock the tires on your inlaw’s RV, or knock a kitchen intruder unconscious.  It’s also cheap (nearly free!), beautiful, and can be continually refinished, lasting for generations.

Cutting (floor) Board

I put this cutting board together with oak and maple floorboards pulled from old Chicago bungalows.  Save what you can from alleys, building sites, and salvage shops, get some good glue, and set aside an afternoon.  If you are lacking some of the heavier equipment needed — thickness planer, pipe clamps, router — you could laminate it together using the technique found in this table I did a few years ago:  http://www.instructables.com/id/Scrap-Table/

via Cutting (floor) Board.

Deluxe Chicken Coop

The ModernCoop from Wright Design Office.

The ModernCoop chicken house uses recycled cedar, metal or fiberglass roves to create an ultra cool retro-looking 50’s trailer design.

The ModernCoop from Wright Design Office.

Designed to provide a deluxe home for your backyard flock,  the innovative and sustainable design comes from Portland-based architecture firm Wright Design Office.The coops have a water supply port and a pest-protected feeding section, roosting box, egg access hatch and perch level viewing windows. A ladder is used to access the interior, and being raised off the ground helps provide extra vermin and predator protection.

The chicken coop sits in a chicken run which is approximately 24″ wide x 48″ long x 42″ high (60cms x 120cms x 107cms) including the ladder. Additional chicken coops can be added lengthwise or side-by-side to increase the chicken run area. The chicken house can be permanent or made as a mobile coop to allow the hens to do their aerating and fertilizing of the soil.

The ModernCoop from Wright Design Office.

Bonus Material: How to Wash Your Chicken


via Deluxe Chicken Coop.

Architectural Salvage and Design | R-Incarnation

Retrouvius, an architectural salvage and design business was founded by partners Adam Hills and Maria Speake. They both studied architecture before starting the business in Glasgow and eventually moving to London. With a motto of “bridging the gap between destruction and construction”, they seek to incorporate some quantity of salvaged material. This is not always easy to spot as it is usually blended with a contemporary feel.

via Architectural Salvage and Design | R-Incarnation.

MDC Interiors’ Cool Calico Desk Is Made from a Medley of Reclaimed Wood Pieces | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building

calico desk, mdc interiors, green design, recycled wood design, green interiors, eco furniture, recycled wood desk

This gorgeous Calico Desk by MDC Interiors will add a bit of rustic charm to any interior space. Designed for a new series made with reclaimed wood salvaged locally from construction sites and discarded pallets from local warehouses and stores, each desk boasts a medley of colors, textures and depth to create one streamlined design. The front drawers of the desk are salvaged from a broken hutch, thus combining an old discarded piece of furniture to produce a functional desk. The chunky legs are taken from remnant 4×4 exterior wooden posts.

via MDC Interiors’ Cool Calico Desk Is Made from a Medley of Reclaimed Wood Pieces | Inhabitat – Sustainable Design Innovation, Eco Architecture, Green Building.

Officina Roma: A Villa Entirely Built Out Of Trash : TreeHugger

This is pretty amazing; a villa constructed entirely out of scrap, part of a RE-cycle exhibition in Rome and standing until April 29.

The OFFICINA ROMA is a villa entirely build out of trash. It consist of a sleeping room, a kitchen and a work shop. The plan lacks a living room, a comfort zone, instead there is an empty work shop in the center. OFFICINA ROMA is an experimental building practice, build within an one week long workshop with 24 high school students from all over Italy.

The building is composed as a collage: A kitchen entirely build out of old bottles, the sleeping room with walls from used car doors, the workshop using wooden windows and old furniture and the main roof set from old oil barrels and used dry wall profiles.

via Officina Roma: A Villa Entirely Built Out Of Trash : TreeHugger.

Reuse and Repurpose – A Garden Shed made out of Salvaged Building Materials

Don’t throw out the old stuff – reuse and repurpose!

Almost 3 years ago good neighbors and friends of ours moved from Maryland to a little cabin on Lake Jackson in Virginia. Naturally, I’m still a little sad that they moved about 2 hours away from us – if you have great neighbors you just don’t want to see them leave! But seeing how beautiful Lake Jackson is and what a quaint little community they are lucky to be part of, I can’t really blame them.

So, for the past 3 years they’ve been hard at work renovating every little square inch of their cabin and turning it into a beautiful home. The cabin was originally built in the 1930s and needed a lot of updating to say the least. One of those times when we were talking about their progress, my friend mentioned how they were about to donate all their old doors and windows. Oh no no no no was my immediate response, you are going to do no such thing! You’ll either hold on to it or bring it to my house!


I apologize, Habitat for Humanity – I love and support your mission but in this case I just had to keep them from dropping it all off at one of your stores. They had a treasure chest of building materials at their hands and I knew they could do something amazing with it.

The end result? They took my advice plea to heart and saved it all. They are now the proud owners of what is probably the greenest garden/potting shed in all of Virginia and Maryland! They reused and recycled and repurposed … the old siding, doors, trim, windows, beams, stained glass and even a wagon wheel that used to be a lamp! It still needs some decoration and plants of course but it’s already looking pretty spectacular!

I am proud of you Karen and Gary – you took my advice to a whole different level!


via Reuse and Repurpose – A Garden Shed made out of Salvaged Building Materials.

Design*Sponge | Mini Patio Peek

Design Sponge’s Mini Patio Peek

In the nook next to the patio, we replaced the gravel with flagstones, positioned a cast iron club chair made from salvaged materials underneath a shady tree, and across from it, placed an Eastern European bench that we found at the Rose Bowl Flea. The hammock breaks up the space, but can also be unhooked during larger gatherings or bad weather.


via Design*Sponge | Your home for all things Design. Home Tours, DIY Project, City Guides, Shopping Guides, Before & Afters and much more.

Urine-powered restaurant pops up in Melbourne | SmartPlanet

MELBOURNE – Designed by Dutch-born Joost Bakker, the Greenhouse project proves that a waste free restaurant is achievable.

As part of this year’s Melbourne Food and Wine Festival program, the Greenhouse uses the by-products of agriculture for insulation and energy and is made from materials that are completely and easily recycled, natural and non-toxic.

All electricity in the building is generated and fueled by pure, unrefined canola oil, and in a world first, urine will be collected from purpose-built lavatories to be used as soybean and canola crop fertilizer.

Urine may seem an unorthodox energy source but it is actually a great source for fertilizer when diluted. According to Bakker, “Urine is incredible for nitrogen, it’s so valuable — you only need the urine of 25 people to provide fertiliser for a hectare of crop.”

The Greenhouse employs the unique Productive Building System, devised by Baker himself patent pending; the restaurant utilizes light gauge steel for its frame, making an incredibly strong and naturally termite resistant building that is 100% recyclable.

Wall cladding and structural bracing is all-natural, formaldehyde-free plywood, as the glue is made entirely from soybeans — a first in the building world. At the end of its life, the plywood can be recycled into chipboard or wafer board.Transported in and made from five 12-meter reclaimed shipping containers, the Greenhouse building can quickly be assembled or dismantled when and where required.The building is insulated with locally sourced straw bales one of the world’s largest waste products which is wedged into the walls, floor and ceiling.

Bakker has created the MgO board magnesium oxide board impregnated with biochar which allows the Greenhouse to store carbon within its walls. The MgO is a strong, environmentally friendly building material that is one tenth the carbon footprint of fiber cement sheet.

As with the past three Geenhouse restaurants, Joost utilizes sustainable ideas in all aspects of the building, from food sourcing and production, through to architecture, building materials and furniture design.

“I have designed the restaurant in reverse. I’ve started at the end; assessing the waste production, and worked back from there,” Joost Bakker said. “My dream has always been to build a restaurant that creates no waste and now I think I have achieved it!”

The restaurant’s menu is based on seasonal and locally available food. Wheat used in bread, dough, pasta and pastries is freshly milled onsite a healthier alternative to store-bought wheat products, and butter and yoghurt are made fresh from organic milk and cream delivered from a local dairy farm.

All kitchen waste is organic and composted onsite using a JoraForm in-vessel composter; the compost is used to maintain the rooftop garden.Even the restaurant’s unbleached baking paper and plantation-timber cutlery can be processed through the composter.

Photo: Joost Bakker

via Urine-powered restaurant pops up in Melbourne | SmartPlanet.

Pacific NW | Used materials are reborn into charming garden sheds | Seattle Times Newspaper

Bob Bowling guides a shed, with the help of a boom truck, into its spot in the garden. Every shed he makes is uniquely designed and crafted from mostly recycled and repurposed materials.

LIKE MUSHROOMS in damp autumn woods, Bob Bowlings sheds are popping up all over South Whidbey Island. Small enough to squeeze into a garden corner or side yard, yet large enough to house chickens, hold a yoga mat or tools, the sheds are drop-dead charming.

Is it the peaked roofs, the cupolas and aged windowpanes that lend a sense of history to each tidy little footprint of a building? Perhaps its that Bowling has mastered the perfect proportions and garnishes to appeal to our fantasies of a sweet little destination shed. Gardeners seem to share a universal gene for outbuildings, and Bowling has tapped right into that.

After his success at the past few Northwest Flower & Garden Shows, where he won “Best of Show” in the exhibitor category, Bowling is busy building custom designs.

Dont be tricked by the cute window boxes and clever cupolas. These sheds are practical. The windows hinge wide open, the roofs are sturdy galvanized metal with overhangs, and the chicken coops come with nesting boxes and windows low enough to give the birds a view out into the garden.How did Bowling hit on the formula for irresistible sheds? “I never draw them, they just evolve,” he explains. Kind of like how he got into building sheds in the first place.

Continue reading Pacific NW | Used materials are reborn into charming garden sheds | Seattle Times Newspaper

Vanillawood Hearts Reclaimed Wood


The Vanillawood design team source a lot of their treasures through Viridian Wood Products — see our prior coverage here and here — whose ever-changing inventory fuels their creativity.  Kricken loves to find surprising ways to incorporate the wood beyond flooring in her interiors, wrapping it around columns and creating cozy niches with wood-paneled walls. “It’s all about layering textures, colors and materials — and using those materials in unexpected ways!

To learn more about Vanillawood’s design projects and store, please visit their website.

via Vanillawood Hearts Reclaimed Wood.

Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures | OregonLive.com

Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures

Preston Browning’s been immersed in collectibles and architectural salvage most of his life.

Back in his Virginia days, he apprenticed for five years under a conservator who worked in conjunction with the Smithsonian on furnishings ranging from 17th-century Jacobean pieces to the works of Dutch Masters.

“Between him and my mom, who was really a junker, I got schooled,” Browning says, walking through the small retail storefront of his business, Salvage Works.

The family affair began after Preston Browning followed his sister’s lead, leaving Virginia in 1993 and settling in Portland. He worked as a cabinetmaker, junking and Dumpster diving for salvage to make his things for himself.

“Part of it was budgetary; I didn’t have any money,” he says.


via Woodworker Preston Browning turns cool salvage into treasures | OregonLive.com.

Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet

tiny pixel hotels tel aviv, Israel

Lifeguard shack on drummer’s beach in Israel is soon to be upcycled into a unique new boutique “pixel” hotel.

We’ve heard of pixelated screens and buildings, but pixel hotels are a new phenomenon that started as an art project in Linz, Austria. Now these tiny hotels established in unusual, typically abandoned urban settings – whether in a garage or an art gallery – are coming to Israel.

green design, sustainable design, upcycled, bograshov beach, tel aviv, boutique hotels, tourism

The Atlas hotel chain and Tel Aviv municipality recently unveiled plans to upcycle spacious lifeguard shacks on Bograshov Beach overlooking the Mediterranean Sea into unique boutique hotels that thrust visitors directly into the city action, rather than sheltering them in a large chain hotel setting.Local designers Lilach Chitayat, Anat Safran, and Alan Chitayat have purchased the rights to initiate the Pixel Hotel project in Israel. In addition to the lifeguard shacks, this creative team hopes to establish similar projects in Jaffa Port, Neve Tzedek, and at water towers throughout the country. Tel Aviv already boasts a hot design scene, but this latest project is one of the revolutionary we’ve seen in a while.

via Tel Aviv Lifeguard Shacks To Become Tiny Hotels | Green Prophet.

Tiny houses making big impact – San Antonio Express-News

Justin Robinson stands in a small cottage he bought that is made of recycled materials. Photo: Bcalzada@express-news.net, BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net

Justin Robinson stands in a small cottage he bought that is made of recycled materials. Photo: Bcalzada@express-news.net, BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net

LULING – Although Brad Kittel runs a construction company, he’s really in the deconstruction business.

As owner of Tiny Texas Houses, located on hilltop that overlooks Interstate 10, he builds homes that are a fraction of the size of the modern McMansion. His basic sales pitch: sometimes a little is more than enough.

The Tiny Texas cottage at Homestead Cottages in Canyon Lake is made of recycled materials. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net

Imagine the efficiency apartment re-conceptualized as the Little House on the Prairie. Tables fold out and double as storage. Couches become beds. Dead air near the high ceilings is filled with loft bedrooms. Bathrooms and kitchens are within arm’s reach. Ladders replace stairs.

But everything is hand-made and usually unexpected. Doors and windows are typically antiques, as are fixtures. Prices range from $38,000-$100,000, depending on size and amenities. The smaller houses are 10 x 10; the bigger ones can be 12 x 31.

Kittel designs homes to be oriented correctly to an individual site to take advantage of wind, sun and shade. The only nod to high tech is foam insulation that makes each home energy efficient.

But there’s more at stake, Kittel says, than just tiny houses. It’s about re-shaping the economy, culture and the environment.

The view through the 19th-century stained glass in a cottage built from recycled materials at Homestead Cottages Resort. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net

“This is about keeping it simple and building a new global consciousness,” says Kittel, a former land developer in Austin. “It’s no longer cool to have ostentatious houses. It’s no longer cool to have the biggest house on the block.”

The numbers agree with him.

The U.S. Census Bureau says the average size of new single-family homes dropped from 2,438 square feet to 2,377 last year. Surveys of builders indicate new homes will shrink 10 percent by 2015.

That trend, says blogger Kent Griswold, is being accelerated by the weakened economy.

Justin Robinson of Lake Homestead Cottages stands by his Tiny Texas cottage, which is made of recycled materials. Dec. 20, 2011. BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net  bragg story Photo: SAN ANTONIO EXPRESS-NEWS, BILLY CALZADA / gcalzada@express-news.net

“For years, it was a dream for a lot of people who wanted to cut back as they got older,” says Griswold, who writes tinyhouseblog.com. “But in the last year or two, people have been forced to look at their money differently. They want to simplify and they don’t want to be saddled with a huge mortgage.”

Kittel isn’t the only small home builder in the country, but he’s one of the few in Texas. And has a reputation for his different building techniques.

Kittel’s crews use salvaged wood, windows and hardware, gently removed from houses slated for demolition, whenever possible. He prefers century-old, longleaf pine because it’s strong, it’s attractive, and it doesn’t contain the chemicals used in factory-produced timber.

“Everything in my houses is organic,” he says. “We use 99 percent salvaged building material. And since we do that, we actually have a sub-zero carbon footprint.”

Homeowners come to Kittel with a basic idea of what they want. He takes it from there, based on what they want, what he can brainstorm, and what materials he can find.

That explains the pressed tin — removed from the ceiling of a much older home – that ended up as a shower wall in the Kittel-built guesthouse on Edith and Joe Hill’s Wimberley-area ranch.

“It’s a piece of art,” Edith Hill said. “That was so amazing about it. They put together something that is completely unique.”

The home is unique, functional, efficient and comfortable, she says.

Justin Robinson, owner of Homestead Cottages, a Canyon Lake-area inn, agrees. He bought a Kittel house and rents it to guests.

“I was in awe of the craftsmanship and what you can do with the salvaged materials,” he said. “It’s built of material that has history and character that you can’t see in new houses today.”

Kittel hopes to move from building small houses to teaching others to do it themselves. That way, he can spread his gospel of change.

He sees a future with neighborhoods of tiny houses, built with salvaged material and employing thousands in the process. Each cluster of homes would share common areas — large kitchens, dining areas and recreational spaces. The net gain is a cleaner environment, a stronger U.S. economy, less imported building materials and cheaper living.

That’s big talk coming from a tiny house.

via Tiny houses making big impact – San Antonio Express-News.

We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog


These Pulp Lamps are so rockstar awesome. So earthy, natural and modern. “PulpLamp is a lamp collection made using only materials like paper paste from recycled newspapers, this way giving them a second life. They aren’t standard models, each new creation will have a new shape, color and texture. All the shapes are made with inflatable molds, what gives the possibility of deforming them for creating a unique piece.”

via We Like What They Do: Enrique Romero’s PulpLamp | 2Modern Blog.

Redesigners part of national project-Calaveras Enterprise

Interior Redesign Industry Specialists has announced ReDesign with ReStore, a nationwide philanthropic relationship with Habitat for Humanity. The initiative connects IRIS redesigners with the 700-plus Habitat for Humanity ReStore outlets throughout North America, including San Andreas.

Through ReDesign with ReStore, IRIS redesigners from coast to coast will show the public how to reuse and repurpose furniture and building supplies found in area ReStores.

“IRIS is delighted to be teaming up with Habitat for Humanity and ReStore,” said Anna Jacoby, executive director of IRIS.

Drew Meyer, senior director, ReStore and gift-in-kind support at Habitat for Humanity International, echoed Jacoby’s thought: “We are very excited about our new relationship with IRIS and its members.”

ReStore outlets sell donated building materials and home furnishings at discounted prices to aid Habitat’s mission to provide safe, decent and affordable housing for low-income families.

IRIS members are certified interior redesigners and home-staging professionals who specialize in repurposing and reusing existing home furnishings when decorating rooms.

Meyer added, “The commitment and creativity the IRIS members bring to our relationship will make a real positive impact on the work Habitat for Humanity does to build homes and communities.”

“Our talented members are experts at thinking creatively and giving old things new life,” Jacoby said. “With the IRIS philosophy of ‘use what you have first,’ this collaboration is right up our alley.”

“Repurposing existing items in new and creative ways makes great sense economically and ecologically. This is what IRIS has always been about and we look forward to this terrific new partnership,” Jacoby concluded.

For more information about ReDesign with ReStore, contact Linda Lawrence at 728-2732 or housecalls4redesign@comcast.net.

The Calaveras Habitat for Humanity ReStore is at 172 California St., San Andreas. Open hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Fridays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. For more information call 754-3234 or visit habitatcalaveras.org.

via Calaveras Enterprise