Friday, April 30, 2010

Another Use for Granite

On such a warm Friday, you're lucky you have us to cool you off with our Cool Find of the Week. This week's cool find is made of granite, exactly like the granite countertops we carry in our showroom (shameless plug, I know). Designer John Pawson showed this heavy shelter off at last week's Milan Design Show:

I Saloni, Salone del Mobile, Milano, Milan Salone 2010, Salone 2010, Milan Design Week, Milan Design Fair, stone house, green building, sustainable building materials, John Pawson, salvatori

The thing about our Cool Finds so far that we haven't intentionally been posting is that they've all been recycled products. I don't try it really. I blame it on the fact that recycling has become such a big part of everyone's lives that more people are thinking up new ways to recycle both everyday objects as well as the things that are just left over.

It just so happens that this house is made from 99% recycled granite. Pawson worked with stone craftsmen of Italy to find a way to use cast-off stone which costs millions of Euros to dispose of.

Many of the intersecting planes or fissures are also lit up to add another touch of beauty to the already impressive walls of granite, and the ceiling offers a lengthy skylight right down the middle. It's just very cool to see structure like this made completely out of beautiful stones. But maybe we're just being granite nerds.

Thursday, April 29, 2010

SHUGAR! Sherwin Williams ColorSnap iPhone App

We've come up with a category of posts called SHUGAR! There's an H in there for a couple of reasons.

1. It's more fun with an H.
2. There probably should have been an H in there ever since the word was created. It's not pronounced soo-ger so why should we spell it that way!?
3. It works better because it stands for Swelling Homes Using Gadgets, Apps, and Resources. SHUGAR! The exclamation point at the end makes it even more exciting.

But let's get down to brass tacks. SHUGAR posts exhibit things like newfangled appliances, iPhone and Android apps, doodads, websites, brick n' mortar stores, etc. Most SHUGAR posts will probably have to do with new technologies and that sort of thing, but don't let that intimidate you! Sometimes a new spin on an old product makes life simpler (the Dyson Ball vacuum for example).

Now that that's been settled, onwards we go to today's SHUGAR. Sherwin Williams' Color Snap iPhone app.

ColorSnap kind of gives itself away in its name (and in the App Store, where it's free). A lot of the functionality of this app revolves around the ability to snap photos with your phone, say of a really nice crimson ottoman or a teal handbag you have your eye on or even a shade of graffiti you see on a building. The app then hunts down the closest shades Sherwin Williams offers and gives you the color name.

Once you find the color you like, you can add other colors to create a palette of your own, or even ask SW what's good. Colors can be fine tuned with simple saturation, lightness, and hue tools, and then you can choose to save your colors in the in-app library or send them to anyone via e-mail and Facebook.

The full Sherwin selection is available through the app for browsing as well if you don't feel like going out and collecting paint chips. Of course, if you'd rather have the paint chips, the free app can also show you where the nearest Sherwin Williams is.

Get all the details here, or get it at the app store for free right now!

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday: Absorption Pasta (full of goodies)

in the kitchen with: kate flaim’s absorption pasta: "

This week's What's Cooking was pulled from Design*Sponge. This absorption pasta's got all the goodies: asparagus, feta cheese, and (mmm) bacon! Enjoy!

CLICK HERE for the full recipe after the jump!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

What's Cooking Wednesday: Tangy Spiced Brisket

What's Cooking this week at Swell Dwellings? Only the best tangy spiced brisket.

brisket, ready to eat
Smitten Kitchen has a great recipe for a tangy spiced brisket that looks tantalizing.

This is something my mom has done a variation of recently. We never used to eat brisket but now we have it maybe once a month. And I'm not complaining at all. It's great with mashed potatoes (but what isn't) and a vegetable of your choice.

transferred to baking dish

Brisket is tender, lean beef that really holds in the flavor. My mouth is watering just thinking about it. If these photos did anything for you, follow the link at the bottom of the post to head on over to Smitten Kitchen, where full instructions and a satisfying dinner await!

slicing the brisket, cold

Friday, April 9, 2010

Cool Find of the Week: Emeco's 111 Navy Chair

Hanover, PA manufacturer Emeco is world famous for making the best handmade aluminum seating money can buy. You've probably seen their iconic Navy chair in movies, at restaurants, or at high end design shops. But they have so many other options, from office chairs to bar stools. Check out their website for their whole line.

Emeco has remained sustainable for their lifetime by using 80% recycled aluminum for their products. But now they're branching out.

Starting in June, Emeco will start production of their 111 Navy Chair. Aluminum takes a seat, and in its stead, plastic, provided by approximately 111 Coke bottles is used to make a warmer, more colorful plastic version of their classic Navy Chair. Not only this, but the 111 version will also be more affordable.

111 Coca Cola Pet Bottles Navy Chair

The official text from Emeco:

"After four years of work, we have created a new Navy Chair made of 111 recycled plastic PET bottles (about 65% post consumer content). We designed The 111 Navy Chair to have the attributes of the original aluminum version – super strong, durable and comfortable, but now its also warm, colorful and about half the price of the aluminum one (195₤). We expect to use about 3,000,000 plastic beverage bottles each year in production, which will start in June."

 Emeco's 111 Coca Cola Pet Bottles Navy Chair

Now what would be cooler yet, if Emeco offered a further discount to purchasers who actually provide their 111 bottles, and then turn them into a chair. Kind of like what they did for their Cash for Clunkers program.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Cool Find of the Week: Bio Glass

While we think all of the stuff we post is cool (otherwise we wouldn't post it) we're going to try and do a Cool Find every week. Cool finds could be anything really, from furniture to technology to a new product that especially caught our eye but is still relevant to home remodeling/decorating.

This week, we've got BioGlass, a 100% recycled (and 100% recyclable) countertop material made from recycled glass bottles from the company Coverings Etc.

Not only is it fully sustainable, but the stuff's gorgeous! It's almost luminous. I'm sure there's lights under the material in these pictures, but it's still very cool to have a countertop material that allows light to pass through. Imagine your countertop glowing when you walked into the kitchen.

So there you have it. Our cool find of the week. If you've got something cool to show us, post it in the comments!