ALL POSTS TAGGED "michelle kaufmann"

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Earlier this week, Design Happens blogger Kristine Brabson asked: “Where will green pre-fab go now?” She was responding to the news that architect Michelle Kaufmann, a leader and innovator in the green living movement, is “closing up shop.” Despite forging forward and having more than 100 clients anxious to build, the dream of making green design accessible to the masses proved to be too difficult in this economy for a small company.

Enter Clayton Homes, leading home builder, with more than 1.5 million homes built since the company was founded in 1934. It makes sense that Clayton would take the leap into pre-fab, sustainable design; the company produces manufactured and modular homes. How does $93,000+ for a two-bedroom, one-bath home sound for a sleek, eco-friendly home with plenty of amenities?

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This is a 2-bedroom, 2-bath model with a starting price of $108,000. Image courtesy of Clayton Homes.

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Michelle Kaufmann House
Sad news hit the eco-design community this week. Renowned architect, design maven and green prefab pioneer Michelle Kaufmann announced that she was closing up shop — a casualty of the bad housing market and economy.

Kaufmann has been a major figure in the latest prefab movement (in case you’re not familiar with pre-fab, check out this background info from Dwell Magazine). She was finding innovative ways to transform out-of-the-box (but still dreamy!) homes into sustainable, practical solutions. Her model homes — especially the Glidehouse, mkSolaire, mkLotus and Sunset Breezehouse — were all breathtaking in their clean lines, simplicity and eco-friendliness.

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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

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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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