Tuesday, October 27, 2009

October Blog

When I envision the relatively new coined term "man cave", with Halloween right around the corner, I conjure up an image of a natural dwelling made up of dirt and stone. (Perhaps with men holding bats, Flintstone style along with live bats flying around) On the contrary, this room or area actually refers to a man’s space in the house, garage, attic or basement utilizing the highest technology that he can afford. A bar, game table, home theater, stereo system or other electronics can be enjoyed here. A gathering place for men or "buddies" to recline or convene at. Since goth is somewhat "in", black can be masculine and adapted in an aesthetic way, but I’d prefer not to overdo it. Black or brown leather paired with a "hot" accent color such as red or orange can be an effective palette for the space.

Eco materials can be utilized or adapted in the design. Cork flooring is not only green but extremely acoustical. In addition, no VOC paints on the walls and ceiling along with that leather furniture that I mentioned is a great way to incorporate green elements.

TIP : LED televisions are hot right now. They are more costly due to new technology, however, they’re also more energy efficient and take up less depth. This is a nice feature when being mounted on a wall.

~Please check back next month for more design ideas.

Sunday, September 6, 2009

September 6, 2009

Change life. One room at a time. That is a manufacturer’s tag line and I love it. It is so true. I highly recommend designing or redesigning your home, or your own personal space exactly how you love it. Yes, there should definitely be an overall scheme, whether it be weaving color or design elements by a common thread, but do ONE room at a time until it is perfect for you.
In this economy, in order to get the most out of your home‘s equity, I suggest renovating your kitchen or bathroom. That is where you’ll increase the value of your property the most. By installing a new hardwood floor, it can increase the value of your home as much as 10%, and it’s NATURAL!
Speaking of renovating bathrooms...VANITIES!! It used to be that the bathroom vanity was a built- in unit in the bathroom. Now, vanities are more furniture-like and are standing on their own to make a huge statement. Since being green and the earth are really "in" now, the same applies for these furniture vanities. Earth-friendly materials are having a lasting effect on kitchen cabinetry as well as bathroom vanities. Low VOC and no added urea formaldehyde are hot now. Examples of these are bamboo and FSC certified wood. (Forest Stewardship Council)
Intertwining modern electronic technology and design technology in today’s world, here’s a tidbit of info. Not that this feature will be applicable and beneficial to everyone, but it is so outstanding. (As well as a little plug for Sherwin-Williams paint company) Thanks to Colorsnap, a free Apple iPhone application from Sherwin-Williams, you can use the iPhone camera to take a picture and match it with one of the 1,500 Sherwin-Williams paint colors. WOW ! How neat is that?
~ Please check back soon for more design trends and information.

Monday, July 13, 2009

July 13, 2009

I attended a conference in Chicago last month, NeoCon World's Trade Fair 2009. Of course, the main topic was green products and design. Although not as highly attended in previous years, it was highly exciting! Exciting because I wasn't crammed into an elevator with 30 other people but also because of the new product offerings.

To name a few:

~ A children's line that uses formaldehyde-free, 100% recycled wood fiber furniture
~Eco laminates that achieved GREENGUARD certification. (GREENGUARD certification is awarded to those products that emit low levels of chemicals under prolonged use.)
~Terrazzo countertops made of recycled glass. They look as if you're looking through a kaleidoscope! Beautiful...
~Ceramic square tiles that look like real wood random planks, very neat!
~Fabrics made with vegetable dyed patterns printed on natural fabrics.
~Bamboo and leather rugs as well as recycled rubber floor tiles.

Contact me for more detailed information if you're interested in any of the above mentioned products.

If not in the market to purchase new products, I like this concept:

REPURPOSE: Why not take an area in your house or office that you're not using and give it a whole new purpose? For example, take a closet and remove the door, paint the interior a dramatic or calming color, depending on the mood you're trying to achieve, and add wooden shelving at different heights. It becomes an art gallery when adding spotlights (Mr 16 bulbs) or an exhibit of your favorite collection. In any case, it's giving space a new meaning.

Product idea: Do you have an old shower curtain that you just don't want anymore but hate to see it end up in a landfill? You don't have to throw it away. Instead, use it as a dropcloth for your next painting project or use it under a table for kids to paint on.

~ Please check back next month for new ideas and feel free to comment or start a discussion.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I just love the idea that I read recently in the newspaper about groups of people convening to "swap" stuff. What is one person's trash is another's treasure, as the saying goes. They're swapping toys, home goods and other items. Here's another idea: Why not swap garden plants and flowers when yours are getting overcrowded??

There's also a website called www.freecycle.org where in many locations, you can join a group and get rid of unwanted items. The items are free~~all you have to do is contact the person who has the item and if you are first on the list it's yours! You can also post items you don't want and know that they are going to someone who needs them. The group was formed with the idea that conscientious donators don't want to burden the landfills with items that could be used by others.


~~ Is your furniture making you sick? Some furniture contains hidden chemicals called Polybrominated diphenylethers (PBDEs) which are added to the polyurethane foam that is used to manufacture some upholstered furniture and other household goods.

In animal studies, these compounds can negatively affect the thyroid gland, the reproductive system, the immune system and can even interfere with learning and memory. The good news is that some companies have reduced or eliminated the use of PBDEs. A partial list of those companies include Apple, Canon, Dell and IBM.

Furniture companies are also paying closer attention to the environment and consumer's health. Some of these companies include Bob Timberlake, Rowe, and Bean Products. To view a hemp sofa from Bean Products, visit the "featured products" section of our website at www.snickolsondesign.com

Please check back for our future postings!

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Welcome to my first blog. When I first sat down to write this, it was Earth Day and I thought, how appropriate! But I didn't get it to my proofreader in time to post. Then, on second thought, why wait for Earth Day? I want to promote GREEN all year round!

In general, this blog will spotlight GREEN ECO-FRIENDLY articles, products, ideas and information. But I won't exclusively focus on being a Greenie--I will also include what's hot, what's not so hot, what's in and what's heading out in all design arenas.

Ever since the Clean Air Act in 1963, our country has made some pretty significant strides in cleaning up our outdoor air. And I'm sure you heard recently the EPA declared greenhouse gasses a threat to public health and a principle cause of unwanted climate change. But, did you know that approximately 90% of our time is spent indoors? We need to clean up our indoor air as well as our outdoor air in order to be healthy!

A great and simple way of bringing the outdoors in, as well as cleaning up our indoor air is growing certain house plants...there are indoor plant varieties that actually cleanse the air that you and your family breathe. These include, but aren't limited to:

holy basil (balances adrenal glands and also good for lowering stress)

boston fern


english ivy

peace lily

weeping fig

reed palm

* GREAT RECYCLING/DETOX TIP: If you have old paint that you don't want to have to wait to dispose of properly, you can take corn husks and put them in the blender and grind to a pulp. Add them to your paint and mix well; this will detox the paint and make it harmless to the environment.

** Please check back soon for more exciting ideas!