Categories: Design

Sweet Summer Shades

Ooh la la summer is finally here. It’s time to pull out the beach bag, grab a swimsuit, and find some hot summer shades. Here’s a list of our summer-approved shades. We pulled out our top favorites for their sharp style and sustainable features.

First up are some gorgeous golden glasses from Schwood, a Portland-based company that makes bespoke shades from sustainable wood. We love the vintage vibe that anyone with an eye for design can appreciate. Each pair of frames is handmade and comes in a super sturdy matching wood box.  You can even order a pair made from recycled skateboards! Guaranteed to give you a one-of-a-kind look.

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Play with your Furniture

If you find it hard for your kids to sit still all day, perhaps they could use a bench that turns into a seesaw. Gizmodo turned us on to this awesome new product from Dutch designer DvanDirk. We’d have to agree that we’re a little jealous this one only comes in child-sized options. Nothing like turning your furniture into a playground set with just a few simple maneuvers.

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Grow a Vertical Garden

This past weekend, the International Contemporary Furniture Fair came to New York City, showcasing the latest in great product design, with a lot of emphasis on eco-friendly home furnishings. Whether furniture made from recycled materials or furniture that is completely bio-degradable, there were several examples of innovative design. We love seeing each year more and more designers creating products with a green mindset.

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Browse Carefree with Happily

 

The other day I saw a baby in a stroller, just barely big enough to hold a bottle, playing with her very own iPad. Although a bit of a shocker, it’s not so unusual these days that kids receive tablets or smartphones long before a pen and paper. While iPads can be a distracting toy, they can also be used for educational purposes to give your child a head start. But while there’s so much on the web we wouldn’t want our kids stumbling upon, fortunately a new app makes sense of it all: Happly.

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Bring the Farm Indoors

There’s no secret to the enormous benefits of filling your home with live plants. They clean the air, uplift your mood, and increase energy flow into your space. But what if you went a step further and put a plant in literally every free space available? What if you grew kale in your couch or parsley in your desk? One artist imagined just that scenario at a new show at the aptly named New York gallery Mixed Greens.

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The New Camping: Clear Bubble Tents

I always love the idea of camping, a romantic night in the great outdoors. But I’ve found that the reality is usually a lot less fun:  pitching a dank tent and swatting off mosquitos while trying to get a fire going. PSFK alerted us to a new form of camping, which lets you be one with nature in your very own bubble tent. Designed by the Attrap Rêves group in Marseille, France, the bubble tents were created as a way for campers to get the most out of nature, while leaving as little of an impact as possible. They’re made of completely recyclable materials, and each interior is unique.

The tents are about 13 feet in diameter and can easily be packed up without leaving a trace of waste behind. The pods come in two styles, one completely clear style that allows you to basically blend in with your surroundings. Another style is opaque at the bottom for more privacy, but with also an awesome view through the clear roof. Telescopes are also available to get up close and personal with the Milky Way. Enjoy the night sky without the bug bites. A nearby restaurants allows campers to dine in luxury, no firepit necessary.

It’s easy for many properties to use the label “eco-tourism” just because they recycle. But it takes true innovation to use design to create new experiences that allow us to vacation with minimal impact on the environment.

 

The Ever Evolving Crib

We at Paper Culture are all about raising our children green from Day 1. Whether by choosing eco diapers or finding innovative cribs that grow with our children, we love finding products that make it easy. But what about once your child finally outgrows that crib? Our friends over at Lil Sugar have put together a collection of repurposed cribs from creative mothers and scavengers.

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Eco Origami Collection Wins Top Fashion Award

The London Design Museum Awards, known in the industry as fashion’s Oscar awards, honors the best of the best in the world of style. This year’s competition was fierce, with judges having to choose among contestants like Sarah Burton’s Alexander McQueen wedding dress for the Duchess of Cambridge and French label Céline’s sleek car-inspired fall collection. But when it came to awarding pure innovation, nothing could top Issey Miyake’s 132.5 collection.

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Monkey Around in a Pop-Up Forest AirHotel

Opening their doors for business this May in the UK is the AirHotel, part theater, part treehouse, all fun. Designed by the Time Circus, a Belgian artist collective, AirHotel lets visitors spend a night in the forest on the ground or in the air. This new type of Bed & Breakfast features tree-climbing room service staff, aerial hostesses to cater to your needs, and live performances throughout the night.

Like any nice resort, AirHotel features a Wellness Machine Room complete with sauna and bar. And one pod, the “Drop” room can be lowered down to the ground for anyone feeling dizzy up in the trees. We’re not usually looking for quite such a circus in our getaways, but the creative design and unique take on forest living has got us hooked. AirHotel is part of the Norfolk and Norwich Festival and stays are limited to one night only.

 

Give me your hand!

Picture this: you are precariously pushing a grocery cart with one hand through the parking lot and holding your child’s hand with the other. Your car keys are in your mouth. Is this your worst nightmare or an every day occurrence? You can breathe now. The problem has been solved. The Reisenthel “motherchildbag” (from $11 – $20) gives you an extra hand, or really an extra handle for your kid to hold. And what kid doesn’t want their own special handle? [read more]