Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Stylish organic kiddie sweater

Thanks to Under the Nile, Speesies, etc., it's now pretty easy to buy basic baby clothes like onesies and pjs in organic cotton. But it's much trickier to find serious pieces like sweaters in eco-friendly materials. So I love this brand new striped organic cotton sweater from PB Kids. It's really sweet and stylish I think, and unisex too, so you could pass it on to any younger or future children, regardless of gender. Little girls could even wear it over a floral print or frilly dresses to tone them down a bit. I had sort of a hard time finding cardis for my daughter that weren't too precious and girlie, but this absolutely fits the bill. Yes, at $58 it is quite expensive for toddler wear, but many of the things at my local chic green kids shop cost even more.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Exotic accent

Vivaterra creates these takes of traditional moroccan wedding capes, which can be used as throws or rugs or, I suppose, wall hangings. A friend of mine uses one as a living room rug and it looks lovely and very cool--a "what is that and where did you get it and how were you smart enough to think of it?" sort of item. You'll have to trust me that the sequins and fringe really do look quite cool on the floor.

Now the white hue isn't terribly family-friendly, but it's really more of an off-white, and that combined with the texture means that you could live on it for quite a while before it started to look really dirty I'd think. And, since it's technically a blanket it shouldn't contain a lot of glues or possibly harmful backings . .

These Moroccan rugs are often used with mid-century modern furniture, and really warm it up a lot, so don't think you have to have an exotic or haute hippie look going on to use one of these.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Earth-friendly crib craze?

Today Ecofabulous reports that Nicole Kidman's new tot is sleeping on one of Q Collection Junior's Solare cribs, which are certified by the Greenguard Environmental Health Institute as having very low emissions. The cribs look lovely, but at $1000+, are much too spendy for most of us. I shelled out quite a bit less for both of my kids' cribs, but made sure that they were made of solid wood, so hopefully emit fewer toxic fumes than those made of composite. I found my infant son's crib through Dax Stores, which seems to be a good online resource for affordable earth-friendly furnishings. I chose the Jenny Lind-style crib made by DaVinci (photo above), which supposedly is finished with only non-toxic paints and made of wood sustainably harvested in Asia. It's made in China, but, hey, you can't have it all--and at $250 or so it is a much better option for most of us than the Q Collection cribs. I must add, though, that my son has an organic cotton crib sheet from Q Collection (not sure how much it cost--it was a gift), and the cotton is deliciously soft and the color is lovely. So if you want a little touch of eco posh in you babe's bed, you might consider some linen from the company.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Obsessed with Otomi

I've fallen in love with Mexican Otomi textiles after seeing them in Domino and on some of the big design blogs. These bright, graphic animal print embroideries are handmade by Mexican Otomi indians, and while the cotton doesn't appear to be organic or anything, the dyes are said to be natural and it qualifies as eco enough, I think, to be supporting this centuries-old tradition instead of buying textiles that are mass-produced in China, right? You can order them (along with a lot of other beautiful goodies from Mexico) at Jacaranda Home.

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Green and gorgeous tables

The Paris coffee table from Eboniste is, in my opinion, the epitome of loveliness. A little trad but a little mod too, with "feminine" curves but also possessing sturdy and graphic qualities that should keep the husbands happy. It's hard to imagine a design scheme that wouldn't accommodate it. And hard to believe that such a high-design item is actually green, but apparently that's the case. These tables, and a bunch of similarly chic side and console tables under the "green" category on Eboniste, are made of reclaimed elm and mineral finishes.

That said, I do prefer a round or other coffee table without hard edges because of the rugrats careening around my living room. Also, something about soft edges on centrally-placed tables just feels better to me on a visceral level (I've heard that round tables create better feng shui than hard edges, so perhaps that's what it is?). I recently bought a round coffee table from the 50s because, of course, vintage is the green-est route of all.

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

More rug possibilities

While not as fantabulous as the coveted John Robshaw dhurries, the flat woven cotton rugs from Dash and Albert seem like a fail-proof option for a family home. They've got a country vibe going on, but many of the striped styles are simple enough to work with urban or contemporary furniture I think. And they're cheap--around $400 for a 9 x 12. Interestingly (I guess) my googling led me to discover a blue and white striped dhurrie known as the "beach house rug" from the movie "Something's Gotta Give". I remember a decorator friend of my mother-in-law's telling me a few years ago that ALL of her clients were obsessed with recreating the Diane Keaton character's house in that movie. Apparently people are still fixated on it, because this rug is sold out until October 2008.

If I had it in me to start a business right now, I would think that stylish cotton rugs would be a money machine--really seems like demand is exceeding supply, doesn't it?

Dhurrie lust

I am currently obsessed with dhurrie rugs—I need a big area rug that's relatively easy to clean, patterned (to hide stains pre-cleaning and when cleaning fails), and with no PFC stain coatings or toxic glues or backings. Oh, and it can't be too expensive either! You would think that almost every family with young kids would need just such a rug, so why is it so difficult to find?

I thought that my quest had come to a delightful end when I discovered the super-stylish, versatile dhurries on John Robshaw's website but, alas, they seem to be out of stock, with no indication that they'll be back in stock any time soon. I've sent them an email asking for details on the apparently in-demand dhurries (every color/pattern and size is sold out, so clearly I'm not the only one craving these exact rugs). Stay tuned.

Monday, July 7, 2008

Fumbling towards earth-friendly

I'm on a quest to create a home that meets these three criteria: Beautiful, gentle on the planet, safe for (and functional with) little kids. Although there are suddenly so many "green" items to choose between, it's hard to sort out which ones are truly nontoxic and eco-friendly, and also make sense from a functional standpoint.

So, as I ponder and obsess over these issues, I'm going to share my discoveries and curiosities here, both as a personal scrapbook of sorts as well as to (hopefully) help out other people on a similar path.