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September 23, 2008

Battery-powered lawn mower

Most of us only have a few more times behind the lawn mower before the cold moves in, and we're pleased! The mower is just another gas-guzzling, CO2 emitting, loud, obnoxious machine. However, unless you plan to pave paradise and put up a parking lot, the lawn mower is an essential tool.

Aiming to decrease our carbon foot prints, James Taylor Peterson created the eco-friendly Neutron Battery-Powered Mower. Running on a 24 volt battery that can mow for up to an hour on a single charge, you'll mow in peace and quiet, free from spark plugs, air filters, pull cords, and noxious gases.


Available on Design Within Reach for $479, the mower comes with the battery, charger, two wrenches, a discharge chute, mulching plug and bagger.


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September 19, 2008

Team7 Hits Miami


TEAM 7, a market leader in green, non-toxic solid wood furniture since 1980, has just opened its first exclusive showroom in the newly rejuvenated Miami Design District.

Miami will swoon at the site of Team7's modern green designs, the rest of us will have to check them out here.

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Kid Kustoms


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September 17, 2008

Marc Newson Wins Design Medal

The 2nd London Design Medal has been awarded to Marc Newson – one of the world’s most accomplished and influential designers – at a VIP gala dinner hosted by Phillips de Pury & Company at their gallery.  The medal and gala dinner is sponsored by Aston Martin.

Chosen by a distinguished panel of design figures and chaired by Festival Chairman Sir John Sorrell, the Design Medal is awarded to a designer who has made a significant contribution to design, is connected to London and is currently setting an inspiring example.  The award was presented by Aston Martin CEO, Dr Ulric Bez. Last year’s winner of the inaugural award went to Zaha Hadid. 

Ben Evans, Festival Director, said “it is a great honour to present the London Design Medal to Marc Newson in recognition of his outstanding contribution to design.  With almost no area of modern life beyond his reach or vision Marc is an inspiration to all.”

Born in 1963 in Sydney, Marc Newson has made a career out of creating a better-looking future. With his formative years being played out against the space race and the moon landings, there is a retro-futurist sensibility to Newson’s work. “The future used to be really futuristic”, he says. “There was a sense of utopia about how it might be.  We didn’t know that when we got there it was going to be so banal. The job of a designer is to look at the future.”

From the Newson-designed Qantas First Class Lounge and now the new Qantas A380 “superjumbo” jet to the Ikepod Black Hole Watch (produced in an edition of just 66) and suitcases for Samsonite, Newson has turned his design acumen to many aspects of our lives and is one of the most versatile designers in the world.

He is perhaps best known as the record-breaking star of the “design-art” market for sculptural furniture, breaking auction records along the way with his Lockheed Lounge chaise longue (of which there are now 13, one owned by Madonna) sold at Christie’s for $1,515,713 in October 2007, setting an auction record for a piece of work by a living designer.

Newson divides his time between Paris, London, Australia and Thailand.

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2009 Color Trends

2009 Color Trends – from the Rohm and Haas Company

Authentic and Traditional Paint Hues Refresh and Excite the Senses

SPRING HOUSE, Pa.--(Business Wire)-- Color style for 2009 draws inspiration from both nature and nurture. With increasing numbers of homeowners remaining in place, many are searching for options to refresh and reinvigorate their living spaces. By simply changing the paint color in a room, all spaces in the home become reinvention candidates.

“Key drivers for 2009 color choices include aspirations that create a comfortable and tranquil home environment coupled with a return to authentic and sustainable materials. In contrast, lively color use and bold patterns will find their place as an alternative to more sedate living areas,” Debbie Zimmer, paint and color expert from Rohm and Haas Paint Quality Institute (PQI) said.

Zimmer reveals the upcoming 2009 paint hues along with potential rooms for incorporation and decorative effects.


Like a warm argyle or paisley sweater, consumers increased their  yearning for artisanship and authentic materials like those found in “Menswear”. Menswear allows for a more traditional use of hues than recently seen such as navy blue, “leather like” brown and rich grey.

“Texture like” finishes and decorative techniques are also important to this palette. Incorporating herringbone and argyle paint patterns provides a focal point in living and family rooms.

Color recommendations: Grey, Navy Blue, Brown and Black

Decorative effects: Argyle, Herringbone and Pinstripes

Weather or Not!

Our eco-consciousness continues to expand and “Weather or Not!” glances upward for inspiration. This palette takes a cue from the continually changing skies and provides the homeowner with colors represented at sunrise or sunset resulting in a shift from the more expected botanical hues.

While suitable for all areas of the home, these combinations are an especially good choice for bathrooms, bedrooms and family living spaces.

Color recommendations: Dusty purple, deep blue, bronze metallics and rosy pink

Decorative effects: Large, dramatic geometric patterns incorporating metallic finishes

What’s in Bloom?

Consumers increased desire for healthy and sustainable locally grown fruits and vegetables provides fresh inspiration for “What’s in Bloom”. Another twist on the “green” movement, is inspired by fresh hues including citrus green, mango and lemon yellow.

Not just a one season offering, “What’s in Bloom” also derives inspiration from fresh fall produce such as pumpkin orange and apple red.

“What’s in Bloom” is ripe for use in a child’s bedroom, playroom and kitchens. Use in closets and pantry areas to provide an unanticipated pop of color.

Color Recommendations: Citrus Green, Mango, Apple Red, Lemon Yellow and Pumpkin Orange

Decorative Effects: Black as an accent color on trim or doors provides an interesting and unexpected frame for the What’s in Bloom color palette.

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What’s Black and White and Green All Over?

Want to renovate your kitchen and decrease your carbon footprint in one fell swoop? Check out the Paper Kitchen from Bazzèo, an eco-friendly collection made from 100% post-consumer paper waste.


Bound together with a non-toxic, petroleum-free resin made from the crushed shells of cashew nut (yes, I'm serious!), the doors, drawers, panels, and counter top are produced using a composite material from recycled paper. Recycled wood, non-toxic laminates, aluminum, glass and veneers are used as well.

Available in Gunmetal Grey, Chocolate Brown, Grass Green, Indigo Blue, and Obsidian Black.


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September 16, 2008

10 Most Influential Design Bloggers

In the midst of this exciting, and sometimes baffling, election, Home Rejuvenation has announced its 10 Most Influential Design Bloggers poll.


The 2nd Annual poll is searching to find those blogs which affect the home furnishings and design world for the better -- let's call it the who's who of the digital media age.

You're invited to send a maximum of 5 choices from their list by October 15th. 3 lucky voters will also receive a free 1 year subscription to Wallpaper* magazine. The results of the poll and the winners will be announced in mid-October.

Now while those of us at Behind the Curtains and Pure Contemporary know we're not the only fish in the sea, we hope you enjoy swimming with us!

If you want to vote for Pure Contemporary’s Behind the Curtain, click here. Just put “influential blog” in the subject line and tell them why you love Behind the Curtains!


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Modern marketing?

I love the benches from Botanist by Orange 22 -- but I'm not sure how I feel about this ad...


What do you think --- timely and relevant or just tacky?


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September 15, 2008

Tiny Houses


Winter looms and I'm already beginning to fear the cost of heating my small house. Maybe all I need is to downsize - to a tiny house.

They're cute, environmentally responsible, and encourage (well, maybe force is the better word)  conscious consumption.

Plus, they're becoming more varied stylistically as demand grows.

There's the Tumbleweed Tiny House, the Magic Box, Wee House, Metro Cabin, and Modern Cabana. I love them all.

Here's a little A/V on the subject care of The NYTimes.

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