Savvy Lifestyle

some Wednesday inspiration…
March 25, 2009, 5:48 am
Filed under: design | Tags:

passed on from my roommate:



Rebecca_ SF


Business Cards

We’ve crossed a milestone in our “little” endeavor and it’s about time we have our own business cards!  We’ve been meeting a lot of new contacts recently and decided that writing our contact info on the back of reciepts found at the bottom of our purses isn’t the most professional. Little did we know, there are so many choices to choose from in the world of business cards…. one sided, 2 sided, inks, papers, colors, and of course the overall aesthetic of the card. 

If you haven’t noticed in our previous posts, we all have what one might call a “greener” conscience.  This being said, we’ve decided to go with a company called Greener Printer.  This is an eco-friendly online printing company that produces everything recycled from business cards, letterhead, brochures, catalogs, posters, etc.  They have 8 different papers to choose from, all of which are 100% recycled or post consumer materials and 4 that are Forrest Stewardship Council (FSC) certified.  They also have the option of printing with soy or vegetable based inks….  This hardly breaks the surface of the company’s capabilites, environmental impact and green business practices.

I wanted to post the designs we’re leaning toward, but I’m not that computer savvy….hopefully we’ll have something for you to see soon!

Kelsey – Vail, CO

The Margarido House

I had the privilege of touring the Margarido Houseon Saturday.  It’s Northern California’s first LEED platinum home and the first home in the nation to be both LEED-H certified and GreenPoint Rated.  The place is absolutely gorgeous!  It’s located in the Oakland hills and has stunning views out over the bay towards San Francisco.  I had no problem picturing myself with a glass of wine in the roof top garden watching the sunset over the city. 

You can check out a video tour below from Sally TV.

As is to be expected of a LEED platinum home, it has all kinds of sustainable features like:

-Solar panels on the roof providing all heating & hot water, and most of its electricity

-4,000 gallon rainwater cistern that collects all the water on site

-Living roof covered with native grasses and succulents

-Exterior cladding and interior flooring made from Heath Ceramics’ used kiln shelves

-Reflective cool roof

-All LED/ CFL lighting

and much more…

The owner/developer is Mike McDonald with McDonald Construction & Development.   He partnered with his brother Tim McDonald from Plumbob architects in Boston and interior designer Ian Read from Medium Plenty.  McDonald Construction and Medium Plenty had already partnered on the 24th street house that was featured in Dwell Magazine in their June 2007 issue.

They’ve definitely shown that going green is not a sacrifice.  If you ask me, they’re living in the lap of luxury.  I’m hoping homes like this will inspire people and we’ll start seeing a lot more green homes around the country!


Kohler gone Karbon
July 30, 2008, 10:02 pm
Filed under: design | Tags: , ,

The Karbon “Articulating Kitchen Faucet” by Kohler may not be new to some of you.  I’ve had my eye on it for quite some time now, but I have yet to have the perfect job for it or see it installed.  The fascinating thing about the Karbon faucet is that it has 5 pivot points which gives it a unique range of motion to allow for those akward and hard to reach positions.   It also gives you the options of stream or spray; can be installed with a low flow aerator to conserve water; has a reach of over 13″ in every direction; and let’s be honest….it looks pretty slick.

This may sound weird and I’m not try to dis the Karbon because it’s more than functional and has a very unique design, but for some reason it kind of brings me back to 1986 and the movie Short Circuit!  It makes me wonder if this character was part of the designers inspiration??  I’ll let you be the judge 🙂


 Kelsey – Vail, CO

The Renegade Craft Fair

I made a stop by the Renegade Craft Fair this Sunday.  It was amazing!  It’s certainly not like the craft fairs your Grandma goes to.  This was more like a collection straight from all your favorites at Etsy.  I spent way too much money and I would have taken home much more if I could have.  Here were some of my favorites:

Hello Lucky Printing Press:

Loyalty & Blood:

Ahhh… I couldn’t help it.  I had to get the tool necklace….

Nous Savons:

More beautiful necklaces from Jocelyn Nguyen at Nous Savons.

The Weekend Store:

They specialize in recycled vintage jewelry.  I got a necklace with a twig dangling from it and a button ring, but they had a huge assortment of things made out of old typewriter keys and clock parts as well that I thought were pretty cool.

The Poster List:


Amazing screen printed posters!  I want to own so many!  Good thing they’re only $10.99 each.

And to really make the day perfect the Mucca Pazza Marching Band from Chicago performed.  They were crazy and highly entertaining!  Their myspace page refers to them as an astounding circus punk marching band and I’d say that would sum things up pretty well.  I loved it! They’re playing in town at the Rickshaw Stop on Thursday and I just might have to go.



_Rebecca, SF

ICFF 2008 Highlights
June 27, 2008, 10:48 am
Filed under: design

So I haven’t posted highlights from ICFF this year. Overall I didn’t see too many ‘new’ items at the show. It was an exhausting day for me treking the city 8 months pregnant but it is always nice to see what is new and educate yourself.  These were my favorites that I saw while I was there.

I’m pretty impressed with the Hida Collection of furniture that I viewed last year. They have now picked up a retailer in the US but I haven’t used or seen their products used yet in the US. The wood is made from compressed Sugi wood that is a grown in Japan. Apparently the wood is soft and not used for construction but with compressing the wood it can be used for furniture.

-Jackie, W-B

The Pharos Project
June 22, 2008, 1:51 pm
Filed under: design, environmental issues | Tags:


Finding green materials & products is one of the biggest hurdles for designers & consumers in general. A group called the Pharos Project has been working diligently to solve that problem. I had the privilege of hearing one of the founders, Tom Lent, speak at a USGBC (U.S. Green Building Council) meeting a week or so ago. Apparently, the whole thing started with a casual discussion at another USGBC meeting a few years back. Designers & Architects were complaining about the market, all the greenwashing, and how even if a product says its green, you don’t really know what that means. A few napkin sketches later and the pharos project was born.

It’s not in use yet. They’ve been developing this for awhile, because they want to make sure they get it right. They’ll be doing some testing with private companies this summer, doing beta testing in the fall, and ideally launching early next year, from what I understand.

It’s meant to be the most comprehensive green review of products out there. All products are rated on a scale from 1-10, in 16 categories, which are divided up into 3 sectors: Health & Pollution, Environment & Resources, & Social & Community. It’s all represented on an easy to read circular chart that gives you a good idea about all aspects of the product at a quick glance. There are many other green material rating systems being developed right now that cover some of these categories, but most leave out Social & Community. This sector includes some vital things like the occupational safety of employees of the company, consumer safety, fairness & equity, community contributions, & corporate leadership.

All the information is gathered from questionnaires the manufacturers themselves fill out, plus third party certifications like energy star & green guard. They even have a percentage next to each category showing their confidence level in the rating. i.e. If the only information available is from the manufacturer, their confidence level would be much lower. There are also forums where you can argue the rating if you disagree.

The entire database is stored online and seems to be incredibly user friendly (at least in theory). You’re able to filter your searches and prioritize categories. For example, if you only want to see products with good air quality ratings. Or, you can filter all products with ratings in all categories of 3 and above.

I can’t wait for this to get launched. I was so impressed by Tom. He seemed to be so genuine in his desire to create a good tool and help fill that need in the industry. It wasn’t about money or the green trend. You could tell this was something he believed in and that he had put a lot of thought into. I think it could be incredibly helpful and really streamline the entire design process. I’m hoping that eventually it could be extended to all products on the market. Maybe it could even become part of a required label on the packaging. Manufacturers would be held directly accountable and with all the information out there and in people’s faces, I have a feeling that bad behavior would start changing quickly.