The blood orange hue of this Margarita bistro set by Alfresco Home is deliciously lush. Plus, what better color than orange to usher us out of summer and into the fall? I know, we still have almost two weeks of summer. I shouldn’t be rushing things.
The set is also available in green apple and turquoise – both beautiful, vibrant shades. But beyond the colors, I think the painted wrought iron, interlocking flower pattern, and curvy, almost Art Deco-influenced contours make this bistro set particularly special.
$499. Porch & Patio, 67 Federal Road, Brookfield. (203) 740-8001. www.porchandpatio.net.
Let me start with a few staggering statistics so you understand the impact going green at lunch can have on our planet.
- The Container Recycling Institute claims that 2.81 million juice boxes were sold in the U.S. in 2006, most of which cannot be recycled due to the inseparability of the cardboard, plastic, and aluminum foil used in the product.
- The average American school-age child throws away 67 pounds of lunch waste a year. With the population of kids in the US alone accounting for over 70 million, that’s over 4.6 billion pounds of waste that could be easily avoided.
- Plastic cutlery is non-biodegradable, can leach toxic chemicals when handled improperly, and is widely used. Worldcentric.org estimates 40 billion plastic utensils are used every year in just the United States. The majority of these are thrown out after just one use.
Read more facts about disposable lunches here on reuseit.com.
Are you as shocked as I was after reading this? And you think I would be used to hearing these kinds of numbers bandied about, but no, my mouth still drops in surprise. So let’s jump right to a simple solution to this problem. Bring your own lunch containers. Wow – that’s it?
There are so many fun, cool options these days that there’s no excuse. Check these out:
I have been using these Kids Konserve sandwich wrappers and stainless steel containers for a few years since a friend gave them to me as a gift. All these products are free of BPA, phthalates, PVC and lead. My daughter uses them everyday at school now too. Gotta start ‘em early! I really like the whole set. (Is it me or is that a hec of a lot of nuts to eat for lunch? Just saying.)
This Acme Bags lunch bag made me laugh. A take on the “I’m not a plastic bag” bag that was so hot a few years ago. The benefit of this bag is that it is made from recycled cotton and polyester, printed with PVC-free ink and made in the USA. Delicious!
I love the simplicity of this Kamal Dark Walnut Wood Lamp by Arteriors, available from Country Design in New Canaan.
It’s fashionable and contemporary, but by no means stark. The rich-toned wood and lovely adjoining circles bring it warmth, accessibility and interest.
The dark base comes with a contrasting light beige linen shade with cotton lining, and stands 31.5 inches high.
$340.10. Country Design,150 Elm Street, New Canaan, (203) 966-9131. www.countrydesignonline.com
So Irene has come and gone but she has left her mark. I have a burn down my hand from the candles I have been burning. It is day three of no power and as I write this I am relying on the light from my laptop to see the keys. I didn’t go out and buy any new candles- just scrounged the ones I had laying around. But as I smelled the fumes from the candles and felt the burn, it got me thinking that there has got to be a better alternative. Then I remembered that Jimmy Belasco who I met at a trade show a few years ago made beautiful soy candles and he told me all about the benefits of burning a soy candle. Paraffin (petroleum-based), what typical candles are made from “are toxic” he said and soy candles (at least his candle) are not. He explained that it also burns up to 50% slower than regular candles and produces little to no soot. Here are some lovely soy candles I found online.
Here’s one of Jimmy’s candles-lovely packaging, no?
Archipelago Botanicals Soy Wax Candle
This versatile little Escher table by Emmemobili, found at Signorello of Westport, is constructed of wonderfully-pleasing curved plywood. It can be used “as is,” or stacked to create a shapely shelf for books or display items.
Available in wenge wood, natural oak or tinted. Each table is just more than 27 inches long, 27 inches deep and 19 inches high. The picture below is of one table; the one to the right illustrates how three tables stacked together would appear.
$2,520. Signorello of Westport, 11 Wilton Avenue, Westport. www.signorellowestport.com
Now that Mr. Man has added baby food to his diet (Me: Yay, he’ll finally sleep through the night! Him: waaaaaah, I don’t think so), I’ve got quite a few empty jars piling up …well, actually I recycle the jars now, but I really want to do some project with them. I’ll probably make a few pairs of cymbals with the tops or just collect a bunch of them in a basket and let M.M. practice his fine motor skills.
On a grander scale- I’m thinking the magnetic spice rack would be really fun to make. Erin over at The Little Apartment did a great version with chalk paint tops. Continue reading
Though they may not closely resemble the “blossoms of snow” of which Captain Von Trapp sang, the pink and yellow flowers depicted on this “Edelweiss Crewel Coco Duvet Cover” by Pine Cone Hill are just as splendid as their namesakes.
The wool embroidery flowers virtually leap off the handsome brown cotton background.
Full/Queen is $418. Other sizes are available.
Design Solutions, 146 Elm Street, New Canaan. (203) 966-3116 or (866) 903-3744.
Family gets creative to add outdoor living space
By Larissa Lytwyn
Problem: The owners of this Sherman home lacked adequate recreation space because of their large, prominent driveway.
Solution: Shayne Newman, owner of YardApes Inc. of New Milford, transformed the end of the driveway into a cozy paradise, including a fire pit. “Fire pits can be a great addition to the home if you like to relax outside,” he says.
About two feet in depth, the circular stone structure can be used to flip hamburgers on a grill grate, or kept open for an outdoor fire to be enjoyed simply for the atmosphere
it creates. “The key is to ensure you have high enough trees
to ensure the pit will be safe, and place it in a setting
where you will have both privacy and a nice focal point, like
a water view.” The new outdoor living space is large enough for entertaining and is a welcome new addition for the
Top Tip: Make sure plants used in new landscaping are appropriate for the amount of shade or sunlight the area receives.
— Shayne Newman
Did you have a problem with your home that’s now solved? A window that was difficult to treat? An ugly feature that needed to be camouflaged? An unusual space that was difficult to utilize? We’d love to feature it in life@home. Send your before and after photos to email@example.com.