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I really enjoyed reading the chronicles of the High Point Furniture Market from my fellow editors, Chelsey and Leslie. (I’m jealous you guys met Angelo – he’s so cool.) I love seeing the unusual stuff in Leslie’s vlogs (I sooooo want the crazy-cool diva lounger. If it had built-in speakers and magic fingers it would be perfect!)

Thought I’d share some of my favorite unique/artistic furniture pieces – stuff I really don’t think you’d see at High Point. Check out this line of ultra-fun, Dr. Seuss-like furniture from Straight Line Designs.
Check out more of my favorite pieces»

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The first day of spring was Friday. Here in NYC it snowed. That being said, the two days preceding the snow were beautiful. I am SO excited for spring. I love checking out amazing gardens in and around the city. So, until the weather catches up with the season, I get my fill of spring by looking at beautiful pictures of gardens. I print these pictures out and I put them around my desk and immediately, I’ve got a sunny disposition.

No matter where you live, you can find amazing gardens. Even here in the urban jungle that is NYC there are amazing gardens. Two of my favorite places to go to soak in the greenery: Brooklyn Botanical Garden and Governors Island. Also, this summer here in NYC we have a special new space to enjoy, The Highline. It’s a huge planted park that is built on the old raised railroad tracks that run along the west side of the city. I was lucky enough to take a private tour of the work in progress, and I can honestly say that it’s breathtaking!

What kind of gardens do you love? How are you hyping up for spring? Check out more brilliant landscape designs at Knibb Designs!

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Candle Holder

One of my top eco-friendly, online shopping destinations is The Nest Store. I browse it every few weeks to see what new home accessories and products are in stock. One perennial favorite is this cool tealight candle holder from eco-designer Robin Wilson.

Wilson reuses leftover building materials and waste products to create her unique furniture and accessories. These contemporary candle holders are made from an eco-friendly concrete that’s created with the fly ash from industrial smokestacks; leftover concrete gets redirected to local recycling centers. Thanks to the sturdy material, these candle holders would work well indoors or out (added bonus: they’re on sale now).

If you have time, browse around the site for other modern design pieces, all made from unusual or sustainable materials.

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Your holiday decorations may already be in place, but if you’re anything like me, you’re always open to more inspiration (and thinking about next year). I did some online window shopping to see others’ creative — and re-creative — ideas for decking the halls in an eco-friendly way.

Here are a few favorite finds:

The Cardboard Christmas Tree
Forget all those pine needles and think inside the box this year – the cardboard box, that is. This recycled cardboard tree comes with ornaments or can host your own collection. Paint it, add some glitter, drape it in lights (like flickr user, Amanda385, does). Then when the season’s over – just fold it up and stash it in a closet. At three foot by three foot, it’s perfect for an office, kid’s room or dormitory. Plus, sales proceeds help the Arbor Day Foundation. Similarly, this Snowflake Tree from Cardboard Safari is a tabletop-friendly alternative.

(Eco-extra.: Between a live or fake fir tree, always opt for the real thing, which you can turn into mulch and feed to your garden – a gift that keeps on giving!)

Paper Wreath
I just discovered a clever crafter who rolls up old bits of wrapping paper, music sheets and other scraps to make indoor wreaths. You can buy her designs through Etsy – or if you’re extra industrious, follow her lead and see what kind of wreath you can create.

Recycled Wrap
Flickr user jamieleto takes old Art Forum issues and lets their colorful photos and graphics be her wrapping paper. With a little ribbon and a recycled gift tag attached, these presents looks good enough to appear in – and not just be made from – a magazine!

Bottle Tree

Maybe this bottle tree isn’t for you (it wasn’t for the folks at, where I found it), but it’s definitely a Christmas conversation piece – and might fit right into a sporty game room. Here’s an idea: throw a holiday party, serve one or two types of bottled beer or soda, and ask guests to assemble the tree as they finish their drinks. It helps with post-party clean-up too!

Recycled Ornaments

And let’s not forget our own offerings. has some crafty ornament ideas“Spoonaments,” made from old or mismatched silverware (everyone has some crowding a kitchen drawer), and cross ornaments, made from used DVDs or CDs.

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Here in the foothills of the Great Smoky Mountains, the first freeze of the season is just hours away. Time to protect those sensitive outdoor plants! For me, often that means bringing plants indoors. Plants are a delightful way to add life, color, texture, interest — and even stress relief — to any space. Plus, if you’d like to be more environmentally-friendly, decorating with houseplants is an easy way to “go green” — literally. They can help you and your family breath easier especially in the winter if you spend most of your time indoors. Plants produce oxygen, absorb carbon dioxide and actually clean and purify the air of toxic VOCs — or Volatile Organic Compounds found in cleaning products, pesticides, paints, perfumes, laminates, carpets and tobacco smoke.

Take your houseplants to the next green level by planting them in recycled or reused containers. Almost any vessel that will hold soil and water can be considered a planter. Below are some of my houseplants potted in containers that once had previous uses. My husband and I feel good about giving these containers new life while they provide the home for life-giving plants that we love to have indoors. It really is good to be green — all around.

My husband re-potted this growing Norfolk pine in an old, heavy crock pot insert he found at a thrift store for $4.

This hammered metal bowl once held hair accessories. Now, it’s the perfect complement to this Stonecrop plant.

This unique wedding present was intended to be a serving dish. It came with serving spoons shaped like a shovel and a pitchfork. We decided to keep the serving spoons in the kitchen and utilize the wheelbarrow to house a container garden.

What are your favorite houseplants? What containers have you re-used in an inventive or unusual way? For more information about living green including a list of the best houseplants for cleaning the air, visit

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Okay, I’ll admit it. I’m obsessed with bathrooms. More specifically, I’m obsessed with sinks. Whether touring a friend’s new home, staying in a boutique hotel, or even browsing this site’s ideas, I make a b-line for the bathroom to eyeball the goods.

An odd fixation maybe, but if you saw my minuscule bathroom and my pathetic sink, you’d understand. Actually, I can’t even call it a “sink.” It’s a mini-sink: a 10 by 10-inch basin attached to a wall. No countertop or vanity, just an equally small medicine cabinet above. Don’t even get me started on the salmon color! (I’ll spare you the picture.)

This week, my sink envy went into overdrive when I saw this beauty from eco-architect Michelle Kaufmann:

Made from recycled porcelain (material otherwise bound for landfills) and concrete, the mkPURE sink is too chic for words. How it melds into the countertop area is just magic. It looks like it’d be simple to clean, too. With a $1,950-plus price tag, this sink is a little rich for my blood (and probably my landlord’s), but it definitely gets a spot on my dream home wish list.

A structural or atypical sink can be such a centerpiece in the bathroom. Sure, your toothbrush holder or cosmetic case might mar its grandeur, but hey, that’s what cabinets are for — hide the realities! We spend a lot of time in the bathroom so why not surrounds ourselves with some design stars?

But surely, I’m preaching to the choir. Here are some other eco-lovelies I’ve been eyeballing lately:

Moso Bamboo Vessel Sink

Gleen Glass Vessel Sink

Signature Erosion Sink by Gore Design Co.

Some other eco options:
VitraStone Cement Sink: made from 75 to 80 percent recycled materials
Ecohaus Recycled Copper Sink: this one’s Fair Trade, too

Of course, my tiny bathroom might benefit from this creative solution:

Whatever I choose, my dream sink will be outfitted with a faucet aerator — to cut down on water waste and costs. Then it’ll be truly perfect and totally green.

What sinks, conventional and creative, have you been lusting after lately?

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