25 January 2013

Save the Planet with Reusable Lunch Bags!

Eco-friendly Products We Love

Reusable-Lunch-Bags

Hundreds of millions of families across the globe share the same morning routine. They get up, get washed, get dressed, eat breakfast, and pack the kids’ lunches before they drop them off at school. Others skip a step or two to save time and money. School buses and lunches are a godsend for parents who don’t have time for the traditional routine.  They may also, unknowingly, be helping out the environment.

School buses produce significantly less pollution than the dozen of cars it would take to transport each of its passengers to school. And school lunches are arguably more eco friendly than homemade meals because they do not require plastic bags. Most parents are unaware of this. They believe they’re making the healthy choice for their families. But most of the bags that are used for snacks and sandwiches end up in landfills.

What’s the problem?
Because of its molecular stability, plastic is not considered to be biodegradable. It may take up to 500 years to degrade, according to most estimates. This might not be much of an issue if we weren’t using so many of them. We’re talking billions of plastic lunch bags each day!  

What’s the solution?

There is absolutely no reason why a loving parent should feel guilty about packing healthy lunches for her children.  But she can also help out the environment by switching from plastic bags to reusable green bags.

What are they?
Often made of lightweight cotton or other food-safe fabrics, a reusable lunch bag can replace hundreds of plastic paper bags.  Most parents use them for an entire school year before they order new ones. So, not only are they better for the environment than plastic bags, they are also much cheaper in the long run.

Where to find them?
We came across these lovely pattern from Lunch Skins (image 1 and 2 on top), very colorful and fresh.
Etsy seller LYKDesign has a vast variety of 100% cotton fabrics with a retro vibe to them.

24 January 2013

DIY Paper Ornaments and Jewellery by Field Guide Design

DIY Home Decor

Paper-Ornaments1

Every day I come across beautiful things on Etsy, it’s such an inspirational place and I’m always amazed at the things crafter and artists come up with.

If you’re the crafty type you’re going to love this Etsy shop:

Field Guide Design is a collection of jewellery and paper goods made by artist Darbie Nowatka.

Derbie was born in New Jersey and majored in graphic design, she now lives in New York with her husband, two cats, a bird, a hamster and a fish.

She’s inspired by geometry and nature.

I love her DIY geometric paper ornaments, they come in sets of 8 at t he price of $25

22 January 2013

Smart Australian Design: Bower & Beyond

Rocking Eggs and Animals!

Rocking-Egg-BowerBeyond

If asked, most parents would tell you that the happiest day of their lives was when their kids were born. Suddenly a couple becomes a family and both are left to raise a precious bundle of joy whose future is virtually limitless. Almost without exception, parents want the best for their children. And that begins with the nursery.

Soon after they find out they’re pregnant, most couples select a room and start decorating it. They assemble and arrange baby furniture and baby toys and make certain that everything is functional and safe. Some items meet these requirements better than others.

The baby bouncer or rocker has long been seen as an essential nursery item. It helps soothe restless babies with a calming motion that can send them off to dreamland in short order. The only problem is that most rockers are either functional and expensive or inadequate and cheap. There seems to be no in between.


Bower & Beyond was founded on the simple idea that products for babies could be stylish, functional, and sustainable. Many of the items they sell incorporate sustainable materials that are either natural or recyclable. They also employ sustainable processes to manufacture the products in their catalogue whenever possible.  
One of the products they are most proud of is rokii®, an egg-shaped baby bouncer that can safely accommodate babies and infants alike. A highly responsive bouncer, rokii® will continue to move as the baby does until he stops moving, i.e., falls asleep. If your child is not particularly active, it may be necessary to manually move the device with a slight push or tap.

08 January 2013

The Sailors Club: Sydney Harbour Dining

Best Restaurants in Sydney

The-Sailors-Club-1

Home to one of the most beautiful skylines on Earth, Sydney is also the most populous city in Australia. Its inhabitants refer to themselves as “Sydneysiders,” a play on the term “seasider,” since the city is situated on the Tasman Sea.  No matter where they reside or what they do from 9 to 5, Sydneysiders adore water sports. Swimming, surfing, diving, and sailing are extremely popular with locals and tourists alike. But after all that activity, most folks want to relax by the sea with a drink in their hand and good meal.

Inspired by the style and energy of the waterside lifestyle of Palm Springs in the 1960s, The Sailors Club lets guests to take a trip back in time while they dine. Located on Sydney Harbour at Rose Bay Pier, the owners of the popular eatery were guided by the photographs of Slim Aarons, who captured au courant waterside resorts during his celebrated career.

08 January 2013

Products We Love: Vintage Style Milk Bottles

Vintage Home Decor

Urban-Cartel

Ceramic milk bottles from Australian brand Urban Cartel

There’s nothing wrong with being nostalgic. Folks naturally long for times when things seemed simpler and made more sense. Of course, this isn’t always the case. Life has always been hard and fraught with uncertainty or doubt. But when it comes to design, there is no question that vintage is most definitely in. Homeowners and apartment dwellers alike adore decorative pieces that remind them of the past. With that in mind, we will review a product that is as charming as it is useful.

Vintage milk bottles are a sweet reminder of the rustic life most earthlings once enjoyed. Less than a century ago, many of us were working on farms and living off the fat of the land. A major source of income, of course, was provided by milch cows. Dairy farms worked from sunup to sundown to fill the bottles that were often delivered to our front doors. While the milkmen of old have long since hung up their proverbial spurs, milk bottles are more popular than ever!

17 December 2012

Tired of Breaking Plates? Save on Melamine Tableware!

Melamine Plates, Cups, Jugs and more!

Melamine-Plates

Whether impromptu or planned, cleanup is always an issue at any get-together. After a three or four-course meal, the dishwasher will inevitably run out of room and tableware will start to pile up. In the past, there were only two options—plastic or paper plates, both of which must be discarded. There is now a third option that is somewhere between disposable and permanent tableware. Melamine is a resin or synthetic polymer that is composed of organic compounds that are heat and fire resistant. The material is extremely versatile and highly stable, which makes it suitable for numerous industrial and commercial applications.

Also known as thermoset plastic, since it is heated before it is set into a fixed form, melamine kitchenware is considered safe for normal, domestic use. But like most other wonder materials it has it weaknesses. Chief among them is its sensitivity to heat, which means that melamine kitchenware should not be placed in the dishwasher or microwave. Melamine plates and cutlery really must be hand washed. The material is also difficult to recycle, which is not necessarily a bad thing. What do we mean?

The average earthling doesn’t think twice about discarding a paper or plastic plate. Why? Because they get recycled and that’s good for the environment…right? Well, not exactly. Recycling is unquestionably a better environmental option than simply burying, burning, or stacking trash. But it still pollutes the environment, since gas-powered trucks have to haul it away and recycling factories require energy to run, which also pollutes our planet. Therefore, the best and more eco-friendly option is to simply use melamine tableware in place of paper or plastic.

Durability

Made of a tough and rugged resin, melamine plates and utensils won’t break if you drop them. That means the kids can finally, safely clear the table after dinner. The sturdy material is also far more attractive than traditional plastic plates that are designed for a single use. Available in a wide range of colors and styles, melamine may just be the wonder material of the future.

Here are some links to some of our favorite designs from online shops around the world!

  1. 1) Tea Party from Lucy King Design
  2. 2) Monster Kids Bowls from French Bull
  3. 3) Embossed Melamine Plate from Rice
  4. 4) Melamine Jug from Rice
  5. 5) Custom Melamine Plate from Etsy Shop SimplySublimeBaby
  6. 6) Juice Cups Set from French Bull

10 December 2012

Living in a Shoebox

Small apartment Decorating Ideas

Small-Apartment Decorating ideas

Apartments used to be temporary living spaces for most folks. But with the world economy in a funk, most apartment dwellers cannot afford to buy homes. The question then becomes how do you turn a small apartment into a cozy home? In this brief article we will discuss five simple and affordable decorating tips for the average apartment dweller.

1. Whenever possible, save space!

One thing most homeowners hated about apartment living was the tiny kitchens. Still, most feel the need to decorate these incommodious areas with unnecessary furniture. In our humble opinion, this is a mistake. The kitchen is a busy room, especially when it’s small, and adding tables and chairs that barely fit not only wastes space it also looks awkward. Instead, purchase a nice set of foldable chairs and set them up when you have company.

2. Go dark

There is a common misconception that darker colors make small rooms feel even smaller. But many decorators believe that darker colors actually make a space feel warmer and more intimate. The truth is that no color will make a tiny room appear enormous, since it’s a question of scale, not color. So, if you want your apartment to feel like a home, use colors that make you feel comfortable.

3. Go Vertical

When you don’t have enough square meters use your walls! Without too much of a damage to your bank account you can get simple but practical vertical storage from Ikea or built in shelves that you can fill with your books or boxes. Mix books and boxes with vases, candles and figurines for a funky look.

02 December 2012

Retro Games Nostalgia: Coin-Op

Looking back to be on the edge of technology?

arcade-games

It may seem incongruous or even contradictory, but some folks who love technology aren’t always looking for the next big thing. In fact, some of them are looking back...way back! The resurgence in retro video games over the past few years has been nothing short of astonishing. No, these folks aren’t fighting the future. Most of them couldn’t survive without their iPads or Bluetooths. But like every generation that has come before them, they long for simpler times.

Most remember and relish the first time they pumped quarters into a Pacman game or defeated King Koopa to save Princess Toadstool in Super Mario Bros. And now that they’ve reached adulthood, these former arcade addicts can afford to reach back in time and bring back a beloved memory, in pixelated form.

What are they looking for?

27 November 2012

Marimekko Store Opens in Sydney!

New designer store in Sydney

Marimekko Sydney

Founded in Helsinki, Finland in 1951, Marimekko is one of the most popular and influential Nordic design houses in history. Noted for their brightly-colored fabrics and simple design styles, the company currently operates over 80 custom or concept stores around the world. Their extensive catalogue includes garments, home décor, apparel, fabrics, and assorted accessories.

The commercial growth of the company has been nothing short of astonishing. The watershed moment occurred during the presidential election of 1960 when future First Lady, Jacqueline Kennedy, wore Marimekko dresses and accessories throughout the campaign. By the time the First Family had moved into the White House, Marimekko was the name on every fashion-conscious woman’s lips.

Soon after the death of its founder, Armi Ratia (1979), the company changed hands (1985), but remained headquartered in Finland. As they had done for decades, the design house tackled nearly every aspect of domestic design, including toys, furniture, dinnerware apparel, accessories, fine fabrics, and bedding.

16 November 2012

Best Markets in Sydney

Food, design & vintage markets in Sydney

Surry-Hills-Market

Markets have been an integral part of the city of Sydney since its founding in the late 18th century. They form an intimate connection between culture and commerce. At last count, there were more than fifty markets in the city and its surrounding suburbs. Most are open on a regular basis, but others have more limited operating hours. Let us take a moment to review three of the most popular markets in Sydney.

Founded as a community market in 1981, the Surry Hills Market was one of the first in the area to trade in handmade, secondhand, and recycled goods. This gave local low-income residents the opportunity to earn a little extra money and also attracted tourists. Although it has become wildly popular in recent years, it has not forgotten its roots as simple community market. Held on the first Saturday of every month from 7:00 am to 4:00pm, the Surry Hills Markets serve as an important fundraiser for the Surry Hills Neighbourhood Centre.

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Vinyl Design

Studio 56, L5, 61 Marlborough street,
Surry Hills, 2010 NSW

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