Savvy Lifestyle

HD show highlights

I promised a few highlights from the HD show, so check them out!

Daniel Ogassian is an artist out of LA that makes tiles from concrete & ceramic.  Beautiful stuff and he was a really nice guy- obviously pays a lot of attention to detail.  The installation in the booth was impressive.

Vibia lighting had some gorgeous fixtures.  They were part of the Spanish design exhibit.  That area was probably one of the highlights of the show for me.

I love Farmboy Fine Arts.  We’ve used them on some of our projects already, but its worth sharing with you.  They do all sorts of things- artwork, vinyl applications, wallcovering, mirrors, backlit panels, etc.

Pental Granite & Marble had tons of wonderful products including a very impressive ecoline.  The tile in this picture is called Kerlite and is only 3.5mm thick.  You can put it over existing surfaces and reduce the amount of cost for demolition in a renovation.

This obviously only represents a tiny fraction of the great companies at the show, but it’s at least a taste of some of the cool things that I saw.



Happy Birthday Kels!
May 28, 2008, 11:42 am
Filed under: who we are


We love you Kelsey.  We hope you have a wonderful birthday!



We designed our initial line of tools about 3 years ago and we’re in the process now of updating them.  Part of that update is aesthetic, part of it is function, but the majority of it is making them eco-friendly.  I came across this list of what makes a product “green” courtesy of Eco-Design by Alastair Fuad-Luke.  He calls it “A manifesto for eco-pluralistic design (designs that tread lightly on the planet)”:

1. Design to satisfy real needs rather than transient, fashionable or market-driven needs.

2. Design to minimalize the ecological footprint of the product, i.e., reduce resource consumption, including energy and water.

3. Design to harness solar income (sun, wind, water or sea power) rather than use non-renewable natural capital such as fossil fuels.

4. Design to enable separation of components of the product/material/service at the end of life in order to encourage recycling or reuse of materials and/or components.

5. Design to exclude the use of substances toxic or hazarodous to human and other forms of life at all stages of the product’s lifecycle.

6. Design to engender maximum benefits to the intended audience and to educate the client and the user and thereby create a more equable future.

7. Design to use locally available materials and resources wherever possible (thinking globally but acting locally.)

8. Design to exclude innovation lethargy by re-examining original assumptions behind existing concepts and products.

9. Design to dematerialize products into services wherever feasible.

10. Design to maximize a product’s benefits to communities.

11. Design to encourage modularity in design to permit sequential purchases, as needs require and funds permit, to faciliatate repair/reuse and to improve functionality.

12. Design to foster debate and challenge the status quo surrounding existing products.

13. Publish eco-pluralistic designs in the public domain for everyone’s benefit, especially those designs that commerce will not manufacture.

14. Design to create more sustainable products for a more sustainable future.

I think that’s a pretty good manifesto.  Each one of our tools is seeking to address as many of the above as possible and we hope other designers & manufacturers will do the same.

Rebecca_ SF

Time to get in that swimsuit…yikes!
May 22, 2008, 7:28 pm
Filed under: environmental issues, who we are | Tags: , ,

I know everyone has different preferences when it comes to the location of their workout sessions.  I personally am an outdoor girl if weather permitting, but for those of you that like to spend your time at the gym there is soon to be the first “green” gym!   

What makes it green, you ask??  I don’t know about you, but my favorite thing about riding a stationary bike is the wind the wheels create from spinning so fast and acts as your own personal AC. Well, personal trainer, Adam Boesel has put 2 and 2 together…he has sinked the bikes to a wind energy generator which creates enough electricity to power the entire sound system!  He also plans to use solar panels so that all of the electricity in the building is created by wind and solar power.  I hope this trend catches on and more gyms start to follow suit.  

I think it’s so cool that Alison joined a running club!  I’ve been trying to get out there myself to get some good work outs…..I just wish I had a club I could join to help with the motivation occasionally! 

Kelsey – Vail, CO

Green Day at HD Expo

I had the privilege of attending the Green Day portion of the Hospitality Design Expo in Vegas last Wednesday.  I think it was a great success!  One of the highlights for me included hearing from Dennis Quaintance who owns Proximity Hotel-slated to be the first LEED platinum hotel in the US.  He brought a very capitalistic view to the discussion with a focus on return on investment.  He also said while he should be proud to be the first platinum certified hotel in the nation, instead he was really embarrassed at how easy it was to reach that level and how little it added to the overall cost of the project.  To address Kelsey’s post from last week, there were quite a few developers and brand represenatives present and I know they were all listening carefully to his part of the lecture in particular.  We’re starting to see a shift in the market and as consumers demand more eco-friendly properties, the owners will have no choice, but to respond.  The business aspect of it makes sense as well.  You can lower your operations costs, you can increase interest in your hotel/resort, and get higher occupancy rates.  These are proven facts.

The best part of the day, though, was the roundtable discussion set up by the USGBC to discuss a LEED for Hospitality category.  They explained a bit about how they decide what new categories need to be introduced.  Since time is critical, they want to pick the building types that will have the largest impact on society and will educate the most people.  Hotels do meet that criteria since there are so many and they have a unique opportunity to reach more people than your average office building. 

After those initial questions are answered, the USGBC begins a needs assesment.  They assemble an advisory group made up of industry leaders to look at what changes need to be made to the existing checklists.  They said they would most likely keep about 80% of the points the same and adjust the other 20% to be industry specific.  They also set up public sessions (like the one at this conference) and will send out a survey for anyone who’s interested in sharing their comments.  If you’d like to have some input you can email to be included in the survey.  After that, they go through an internal staff analysis & set up a timeline.  Then, they present the assesment to the LEED steering committee for approval.  If they still see the need for the new category then they’ll go through a technical advisory group review, 2 public comment phases (that take 5-6 months), a member ballot, and finally resource development.  I had no idea it was such a long process!  If LEED for Hospitality gets the go ahead, it will still be at least another year in the making.

The part that we played was analyzing the existing checklist and discussing what changes needed to be made.  Each table addressed a different issue, took notes, and the notes are now being compiled by the USGBC and integrated into the assesment.  The table that I led focused on resorts.  There was some great discussion and I was excited to be a part of the process.

Sorry for the long post.  I had a lot to share and I still feel like I barely scratched the surface! 

Rebecca _San Francisco

Running along…
May 20, 2008, 9:10 pm
Filed under: fun! | Tags:


Recently my neighbors started a running group and I thought it would be fun to meet new people and get motivated to get out there and run.  So far I have run three times with them and it’s been great!  It has been super motivational when you have dedicated times to go and run.  We ran two miles tonight and I can’t remember the last time that happened.  The group even decided to sign up for a few 5K’s to keep us motivated and go from there. 

I would encourage anyone wanting to get out there and start running to join a club or a group.  Not everyone is a marathon runner and is just like you.  It’s something I’m starting to look forward each week and it’s great to meet new people. 

Running clubs/groups are everywhere and thanks to google, you can find them pretty easily.  Check out the link below if you are interested.  It is just one of many places you can search groups in your area.

Happy Running!

-Alison KC, MO


ICFF 2008
May 18, 2008, 6:34 pm
Filed under: design

This weekend kicked off the International Contemporary Furniture Fair (ICFF) in New York at the Javits Center. I am a big fan of the ICFF and the Milan furniture fair in Italy that happen yearly. I’m fortunate enough to live within travel distance from the fair and I travelled there last year to see the furniture. It was a fun experience and helped me make some connections. I’m planning on heading there Monday to see what is new. I’ll post some photos once I return of the items or companies that catch my eye. 

-Jackie, W-B