Sunday, November 25, 2012

Nanotechnology In Textiles

A fabric that can be washed by the sun? That's soon to be possible and will work especially well in places where water is scarce.
Scientists from IIT Delhi and other institutes are working on textiles that wouldn't pick up dirt, and even if they do after prolonged use, the clothes could be "washed" in sunlight . In short, detergents are out!
At the heart of the revolutionary changes is nanotechnology.
Nano technology deals with materials at nano size (1-100 nm) level where the properties of material alter dramatically as their size and shape is changed in the nanometer range.  
The coating of nano titanium dioxide particles in clothes has 'photocatalytic properties' which can break dirt particles in the presence of sun light. 
Other possible uses for nano technology are textiles that are antibacterial, UV (Ultraviolet light) protective and water repellent breathable fabrics. A range of anti-microbial textile finishes and products based on nanosilver have already been commercialized and are finding use in the medical sector such as sutures and wound dressings and other health and hygiene textiles.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Reclaimed Great Salt Lake History At Trestlewood

The Great Salt Lake blocked the Central Pacific Railway from reaching California. The solution was a 145-mile route through the mountainous northern shore from Lucin to Ogden, Utah.  The journey had many steep grades and sharp curves. As traffic picked up, railroad engineers looked for a more direct route that would be faster and save wear and tear on their engines.
The engineers mapped out a straight path from Ogden to the lake, over the water to a tongue of land, known as the Promontory, then on to the opposite shore for an easy run into Lucin. In 1902, 3,000 men gathered to build the longest trestle in the world over the water to save time and 41 miles. 38,256 trees, representing two square miles of forest, were cut down for the pilings. In the 1950s, a causeway was built that replaced the trestle and the whole structure was abandoned. Then, in 1993, Cannon Structures Inc. (dba Trestlewood) of Blackfoot, Idaho, acquired rights to salvage the wood.
The wood that is salvaged has character. It braved great storms that generated four to eight foot waves of dense salt water. It may have nail stains, and saw marks and old growth grain patterns not seen on new lumber. Today, our friends at Trestlewood use the recycled wood for flooring, siding, timbers and Trestlewood mantels. 

I visit friends in and around Bend, Oregon that have mantels over fireplaces made from the timbers steeped in salt and history. I wonder on a quiet, chill evening with a fire roaring, if we will see movement in the grain, hear the voices of those 3,000 men working and locomotives crossing the trestle bound for California.  I wonder, as I place a candle on the mantel, if we will experience the trestle’s history. Will we faintly smell the Great Salt Lake and coal fired engines? I wonder if the salvaged wood from pickle vats and water tanks, barns, corncribs and stables could fill a large book with stories.

Why not contact Trestlewood to receive a story for your home at 877-375-2779 (toll free) or

Email Them

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

New From Uttermost

Fielding, Armchair
Item #23610

Ornately carved, solid mango wood in mocha gray heavily mottled with black and tea-stained undertones and cushioned in steel gray with antique brass nail accents. Seat height is 20".
Designer: Matthew Williams
Dimensions: 23 W X 38 H X 23 D (in) (in)
Weight (lbs): 22

Tandy, Pet Bed
Item #23087

Antiqued, medium walnut hardwood frame with plush, quilted sage polyester covering and tufted cushion.
Designer: Matthew Williams
Dimensions: 28 W X 13 H X 22 D (in) (in)
Weight (lbs): 28

Camdon, Armchair
Item #23604

Carved in solid mango wood and finished by hand in antique red with black undertones, with steel gray woven seat cushion. Seat height is 19".
Designer: Matthew Williams
Dimensions: 25 W X 36 H X 24 D (in) (in)
Weight (lbs): 26

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

8 Tips for Buying Your First Area Rug

Jessica Ashley offers 8 tips to buy an area rug like an adult.
  1. Set a budget  (I've read recently that an area rug in front of a sofa should be 1/3 the price of the sofa)
  2. Assess the room - Write down WHY you want an area rug
  3. Measure the space  
  4. Get honest about wear and tear- What kind of rug does your room really need?
  5. Consider color, light and pattern  
  6. Choose a fiber  - Choose the quality that is the best fit for your wallet, room and needs
  7. Determine density - density measures the amount of yarn packed per square yard. 
  8. Don't put off the padding 

Monday, November 19, 2012

Design Trends For 2013

The popularity of Downton Abbey has led some designers to see a hankering by customers for the traditional.

House Beautiful has ten trends predicted by interior designers:
  • Peter Dunham says warm modern materials that look vintage
  • Stephen Shubel thinks rooms will be filled with bright, more saturated hues.
  • Leta Austin Foster says enough with the plain.
  • Melissa Rufty - BRASS!
  • Meg Braff James Mont and his over- the-top, theatrical furniture.
  • Jeffrey Bilhuber - High Gloss!
  • Tom Scheerer - computer-generated photorealist fabrics.
For more, be sure to pick up the House Beautiful’s December issue on stands November 20th.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Brad Pitt Furniture

"Brad Pitt is used to a life of glitz and glamor and now the actor and architecture buff is on the cusp of launching his own new high-end furniture collection, designed with Art Deco furniture maker Frank Pollaro. The collection launched Nov. 13th to 15th under the Pitt Pollaro label and includes about a dozen pieces, comprised of tables, chairs, a bed, and even a two-person marble bathtub all made in the U.S.A.

We Will Do Anything For Our Pets

A recent experience with our dog, Ralph, reinforced this conclusion. Three separate trips to the vet for Ralph who couldn't move.  He just laid on the floor and hours later, hadn't moved.  I thought we would have to put him down. Finally, after $300 per visit, the doctor found some meds that had him up a frolicking again and greeting Mike at the back door.

Then there's South Korean designer Seungji Mun who has designed pet-friendly furniture.  First we have the Cat Tunnel Sofa.“For humans, the cat tunnel sofa is just a comfortable sofa, but for the cats, it is their playground and a comfortable bed.”

Then Seungji Mun designed the Dog House Sofa. He hopes his creation "...will raise awareness about the issue of abandoned dogs."

We all know that we treat our pets like kids. In Ralph's case he's now 70 in dog years. No kid, he!

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Gift For Life Honors Global Views

Gift for LifeOpens in a new window, the gift, stationery and home decor industries' charitable organization, will honor Global ViewsOpens in a new window and WhereowareOpens in a new window at its Jan. 27 Party For Life in New York.

Global Views, Dallas, Texas, will receive Gift For Life’s “Design for Life Award,” which recognizes excellence in product design and sustained impact on the gift and home d├ęcor industries. Global Views is a home decor wholesale company with collections that blend various styles to make pieces that are elegant, exotic, refined and casual, offering an assortment of fashion-forward products from furniture to accessories that fit every price range.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Fololow Up On Stainless Steel

Recently I asked the question, Do You Have Stainless Fatigue?

On Monday, Whirlpool introduced a new premium exterior finish that they call “White Ice.” With clean lines, silver accents and streamlined controls, the new collection’s refrigerator, range, dishwasher, and microwave are a departure from the flash and glitz of stainless steel and its many lookalikes. In fact, the combination of a white finish, stainless handles and mirrored glass appear to have a lot in common with Apple’s popular design language.

Tuesday, November 06, 2012

Opening A New Restaurant?

 OX – Clams.
Photo ©Dina Vaila Photography

We love to dine out and my wife, Beverly, is usually up on the latest restaurants.  I don’t know how she finds them. It could be by word of mouth, from the newspaper or on the web, but she learns about them.  In fact, she recently told me that residents of Portland have more restaurants to choose from than residents of New York.  I find that hard to believe.

I Googled “New Restaurants Portland, Oregon” and I’m amazed how many open each year. I often think that owning a restaurant must be a good business, if you can turn the tables several times a night. My wife thinks owning a restaurant would be grueling; long hours, late nights, all the prep, and then cleanup after the customers are gone.

I discovered one company, PeachSuite Hotel Supply, which offers a comprehensive array of hotel supplies and restaurant supplies. This hotel amenities supplier offers all you need for dining room supplies; china, flatware, and glassware for example. It has a catalog for the bar, kitchen, janitorial supplies, and furniture that you would need if you were to join the movement and open your dream restaurant.

If you do open that restaurant make sure the staff know what to do and make sure the food is excellent. Then call Beverly.