Beauty, Eco & Human – Friendly … Area Rugs

Good news! I am officially a certified Green Accredited Professional by the Sustainable Furnishing Council. While preparing for one of the six exams I had to take to receive my certification, I learnt about carpets and rugs. Did you know that “the standard carpet that covers 70% of floors across the U.S. often contains materials that can be hazardous” and can even affect our health? I am sure many of you recognize the “new carpet smell”. Well that smell comes from “volatile organic compounds (VOCs), which are emitted as gases. Some side effects of exposure to VOCs are headaches, allergic skin reactions, irritation in the nose and throat, fatigue and dizziness”. The US Green Building Council doesn’t recommend that “carpet containing VOCs be used in baby nurseries as the gases emitted are not something that should be looming in the air around a new baby”. Allergies are also a common problem for people exposed to carpet VOCs.

So let’s imagine that we all decide to move towards hard surface environments. Well, the downside of that is that spaces may become colder and hard on the feet. Of course, we can always use area rugs. Let me introduce you to the beautiful world of natural fiber area rugs. A world that doesn’t cost more and can make you a healthier human being as well as a more environmentally friendly citizen of this planet. These rugs are made out of: wool, bamboo, jute, sisal, shag, seagrass and other natural fibers.

Wool rugs can be so much fun. Only imagine walking on this hand tufted rug by Gan Rugs.

The textures are sophisticated and unique.

You may even bring the look and feel of natural elements such as pebbles shown in this Pebble Rug by 2Form Design.

And may even have fun around the house with rugs such as the Brain Dead Rug by Timothy Liles.

Of course there are choices for everyone. You may visit Pottery Barn’ wool rug selection.

Bamboo shag rugs are so beautiful and soft that no one can resist relaxing on them.

Shag rugs may also come in leather. So pure and sophisticated.

Here a shot of our famous shag rug where many of my girlfriends enjoy laying down while having a chat and a glass of wine.

There are also beautiful sisal rugs that can be used in more classic environments.

And they also come in darker colors such as the Tonga Deep Sea Rug by Merida Meridian.

Seagrass rugs can be used on foyers and they look so good.

They also come in different shapes and patterns, so you can play with them.

Jute area rugs look and feel so delicate and natural.

They also are fun to mix and match.

Get in your zen zone, be good to your body and respond to the planet. Enjoy a natural fiber area rug!

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Messenger/Bicycle Bags for Women? do they actually exist?

My frustration has been building over the last few years, and today I am sharing it with the world.

About three times a week, I ride my bicycle, and many times I carry a lot of things with me (books, clothes, tapeware, groceries). About four years ago, I decided to invest on a Timbuk2 messenger bag. Not only I wanted to support local designers, but I also was inspired by seeing all the bicyclists in San Francisco sporting their Timbuk2s. Once I started using my cool messenger bag, I realized that it wasn’t made for my body. When carrying a lot of things and leaning on my bicycle, the strap that was supposed to go across my chest started pushing my breasts. It was painful. Since then I have tried to change my pose when riding my bicycle, put pads around the straps, and pull the straps every five minutes, but I am loosing patiente with it. And please dear Timbuk2kers do not take this wrong. I love your designs and support them fully, but I am not sure if you thought about women when designing this product. Trust me, I would be more than happy to go over your studios and help brainstorming on how we may develop more female friendly messenger/bicycle bags.

My messenger bag

Because I am a designer ,and I cannot just sit and cross my arms when facing a design problem, I have decided to see what would be possible for bag developers like Timbuk2 or The Norh Face or even Jansport  to look at when designing a messenger biker bag for us women.

We women love tote bags and bags that  can be carried on the shoulder.

Super functional tote bag

Many of us dislike pink and flowers, so please do not think that by simply changing the color of the backpacks you have made them for us. You must be aware that we have anatomical diferences.

Pink messenger bag for “women” … because it’s pink

We love soft materials and leather. We actually like earthy/natural tones.

Leather messenger bag that still needs to adress the issue of comfort when being used for bicycle riding.

We like bags that are thought out throughly for us, taking into consideration our needs, our anatomic challenges, our tastes, and our busy schedules.

Vera Bradley’s Barcelona backpack.

The thing is that, we probably don’t want to show up to girls happy hour with a backpack … that makes us feel too high school like.

I personally dream of a bag that doesn’t push my breasts …

Study of my current bicycle bag straps pushing my body

I also dream of a bag that can be multifunctional, and when needed, I can carry on one shoulder, and when riding my bicycle, can be carried on my back with the help of my chest … not my breasts.

Front solution for my dream messenger/bicycle bag

From tote to backpack … that is perfection!

And that hopefully uses reclaimed materias such as the beautiful bags from Cyclus Colombia .

Really cool design, made out of reclaimed rubber tires … that is what we like!

I can’t wait to get/develop the perfect messenger bag for women. If you want to team up or get some feedback, please feel free to contact me. It would be my pleasure!

Happy biking everyone!

Head over Nails

It has been about a year since I started getting full exposure to the interior design world, and many things have changed on the way I see furniture, accessories and spaces. I must say, one of the most dramatic ones is my view of nailheads. I am going crazy about them.

Little I knew about the beauty and versatility  of nailheads, and I am still learning. Here a quick introduction to Nailheads 101 … to go head over nails.

Nailheads have been used as a traditional upholstery detail for hundreds of years. Nowadays they are having a come back in all sorts of places.

They give style and spice to simple pieces of furniture ... and you can add them yourself.

  • First of all choose the piece of furniture that you would want to revamp
  • Choose your favorite nailheads, and make sure they match your piece and your style
  • Define the distance that you want them to be from one another and where on the piece you would like to see them
  • Start nailing them and seeing how they look
  • Enjoy the project and the final piece
  • More detailed instructions at: Isabella & Max rooms

Use them on lamps such as this Mitchell Gold Leather Lamp

On mirrors such as this exotic Safari Mirror from Ralph Lauren Home

Play with designs on cabinets such as this pristine Visconti Large Cabinet from The Bungalow 5 collection

Or why not beautifying your waste basket like the peeps at DRANSFIELD & ROSS have done it

Giving style to simple pieces such as this Happiness Round Ottoman from Tomlinson/Erwin-Lambeth

And even adding them to that one room in need of a unique touch

There are rustic iron nails such as these from Mexico

And many other materials, sizes

patterns, finishes, light and dark, shiny and matte

Even artists such as Korean Sculptor Jae-Hyo Lee use them on their furniture!

Happy nails everyone!

Prototype development at Fundacion Niños de Los Andes

Hi all. I wanted to share with you the latest images of prototypes that the teenagers at Fundacion Niños de Los Andes and I have been working on for the last couple of weeks. These are musical instruments made with reclaimed plastic lids and inspired in the teenagers’ personal experiences.

Hope you enjoy them …

iDo Colombia: Week 1 at Fundación Niños de Los Andes

Did you know that your body is capable of getting used to many environments? including highly polluted ones? Yes! Finally my throat doesn’t hurt and my eyes don’t cry any more. I have assimilated Bogota’s pollution.

On Tuesday June 13th, I began to apply my design curriculum with the teenagers from the Children of the Andes Foundation. Although the first day was overwhelming and challenging, as of today, I have learned so much from the kids and am more than happy to have the opportunity of working with them.

Day 1: I introduced the kids to the world of design by presenting a visual gallery with designs made by Charles and Ray Eames, Eero Saarine, Le Corbusier, Carlos Montana, Custo Barcelona, Desigual and truly yours Isabel Perdomo. I also shared with them inspiring art by Van Gogh, Cezanne, Rodin, Botero and Guayasamin.

They thought about identification through art and design, as well as the different ways design affects their life and they affect design. At the end of the class they made road maps on how they identify themselves through design and exposed their ideas to the class.

Creating road maps in relation to Identification and Design

Day 2 & 3: I introduced them to the creative process by creating a visual gallery in which I showed my personal process to produce the Albero Lamp and the Gaudi Pen. They learned the words sketch and prototype.

After understanding the process of design, they began the sketching process in which they explored their inspirations and how they could transform them into musical instruments.

At the beginning of day 3, I showed them their constrains (exclusive materials they could use when making a musical instrument) that way they could start thinking as a designer (within constrains). In addition, I created a visual gallery with different instruments around the world that could serve as inspiration. On this day their sketches started taking a much more design oriented form. At the end of the day, we had a critique session in which each student exposed his inspiration and possible idea for his design.

Sketching and Critiquing work in order to design a musical instrument

Day 4: Today we began making the first prototype of what will be a musical instrument made with reclaimed plastic lids and leather. I showed them how to use the crop-a-dile, gave them materials to build their prototype and helped them to solve design problems.

We played music and enjoyed ourselves as we wandered around the world of design with our own hands. Today, was the most productive day and, to be honest, the most exciting. Indeed, they like to use their hands and their imagination. Some kids worked on their own, while others partnered with a close friend in order to explore and create.

Exploring, creating, working together, Designing!

Please feel free to comment and of course to follow this blog in order to receive updates of this exciting and inspiring project.

Warm regards,

Isabel

iDo Colombia – Segunda Parte

Done and done with classes . Now my main focus is to continue the development of my graduate creative work. That is: iDo Colombia, Industrial Design Outreach for at risk teenagers in Bogota, Colombia. In less than a month, I’ll … Continue reading

Bags Across the Globe (BAG)

Last Monday, I went to UC Davis to meet with my graduate thesis external advisor Ann Savageau. She also invited me to speak at her sustainable design class which happened to be visiting the UCD Design Museum. While at the … Continue reading

DIY Living Wall

Busy busy busy, that is all I have to say. I hope you enjoyed the bus shelter entry from last month. Here I am again with some fascinating design solutions. Along with Elsa Chen a peer Design and Industry student … Continue reading