October 13, 2010

Living Green: Your Style with a Side of “Green”

Posted in Design Case Study, Green Interior Design, Luxury for the home, Uncategorized at 9:07 am by luxuryforthehome

By: Lauren Ballas – LEED AP

A green home isn’t a mud hut with a chimney in the middle and it certainly doesn’t have to be the sterile type of modern design that we are seeing everywhere.  I am going to show you 3 case studies of LEED residences that don’t require you to compromise your style.  These studies should give you a taste of what a “green” home should entail!

#1 Rosewood Hills – Columbia, South Carolina  

Affordable homes that come in your style!

We all ask the question…will I be able to afford a green home?  This project is just one of many that focus on affordable LEED for Homes housing!  Pricing starts in the $170’s.  The developers included efficient irrigation, use of low VOC products, dual flush toilets, and high efficiency windows.  Even better, they integrated a program that educates the homeowners on how to operate and maintain their green homes! 

Rosewood Hills, South Carolina - LEED Gold Residences

Rosewood Hills Interiors, South Carolina – LEED Gold Residences

Above: Just look at these green homes!  At first glance, you wouldn’t believe they were Gold Certified LEED Homes.  The details are simple, yet highlight the ever so timeless colonial style!

#2 REAL Model Home – St. Petersburg, Florida

The builders’ goal was to show that a home of any style could be truly green!

Most of the green features in this home were designed around the climate, which I am sure those of us living in Houston can appreciate!  The design maximizes the natural light while minimizing the passive solar heating and additionally allows for natural ventilation.  The steady airflow reduces the need for air-conditioning and heating!  This strong and efficient home was built to withstand extreme weather and the insulation is even a soy-based formula!

REAL Model Home, Florida - LEED Gold Residence

REAL Model Home Interior, Florida – LEED Gold Residence

 Above: This beauty radiates an open seaside design with a hint of contemporary.  It’s the perfect place to feel safe, enjoy the warmth, and soak in the healthy environment…inside and out.

#3 Villa Trieste – Las Vegas, Nevada

As green as you can be!

Even though Pulte Homes had ambitions for Platinum, they did not have any intentions of giving up the wants and needs of homebuyers!  Technology permits these homes to have added energy efficiency which ends up reducing energy use by 55%.  The recycling program reduces construction waste by 75% and contributes to the affordability of the home!

Villa Trieste, Nevada - LEED Platinum Residence

Villa Trieste Interior View of the Study, Nevada - LEED Platinum Residence

Above: This Mediterranean style home doesn’t scream green at all.  The muted blues and browns give the home an open, cool, and calming effect.  Comfort and taste go hand in hand with greening your life!

The options for “green building” are endless; however, all you have to do is make smart choices and decide on what is important for your home.  Just remember, you don’t have to compromise “your style” in order gain a little “green”!

August 4, 2010

Luxury Living: Outdoor Furniture

Posted in Design Case Study, Design inspiration, houston interior design, Houston Interior Designer, how to choose furniture, Uncategorized tagged , at 5:25 pm by luxuryforthehome

By Leslie Hassler, Houston Interior Designer

So our next step starts with the fun part of the plan, selecting the furniture.  There are many things to keep in mind when selecting your furniture.  The climate, the exposure to the sun, materials – steel, aluminum, all-weather wicker  and teak for example.  You also want to consider the maintenance of the pieces.  This is generally where I lose people.  Maintenance for outdoor furniture, won’t it last forever? Nope.  It is durable, but if you sat 365 days a year outside in the elements, I doubt you would be looking so fresh in a few years.  So, invest in covers for the furniture and make the investment last longer.  Also, consider the manufacturers warranty – sometimes the difference in pricing isn’t just quality, but it also maybe the warranty behind the product.

So along our journey with this project, we have an inspiration and a fabric scheme (click the links to check them out), so here are two options that would work for the project.  Do you have a favorite?

Lloyd Flanders – Mandalay Collection, Restoration Hardware – La Jolla Collection, Dedon – Marrakesh Collection

Luxury For The Home believes that true luxury is not about ostentation or expense.  It is about simplicity. Sanctuary. Comfort.  It’s the beauty that happens when everything, including you, has its own ideal space.

Are you ready to bring luxury into your home?  For more ideas sign up for our newsletter, or to schedule a consultation, please call me at 281-701-2461.

March 9, 2009

A Design Case Study: Windfarms & Palm Springs

Posted in Black, Color affects, Design Case Study, Grey, Palm Springs Interior Design, Propellers, San Gorgonio Mountain Pass, White, Wind Turbines, Windfarm at 2:24 pm by luxuryforthehome

As part of our short drive from Ontario Airport in LA to Palm Springs last month, we had the pleasure of driving through San Gorgonio Mountain Pass. This stretch of mountains is the third highest in California and the pass is a natural wind tunnel, with strong winds most of the year. This windfarm makes enough power to supply Palm Springs and the surrounding areas.

I was FASCINATED! As a resident of Texas, with family in Dallas, we often see semitrailers loaded with wind turbine parts. They are huge. But I had not seen a wind farm until we reached Palm Springs. This most amazing fact is that the tallest wind turbines are 150 feet tall, with the blades at 1/2 of a football field. When you are driving through, you sense they are big, but not that big.

The designer in me took great notice in how the use of three colors; white, black and grey, affected the landscape. See what you think –

The largest and all white ones are up on the ridge. The lower ones (medium) have a black “A” Frame structure – see how the bases disappear in the landscape?

These are my favorite color, grey. You can still see them, but they are more subtle in the landscape versus the white. I’m not sure why the color difference, but for this terrain, I know which one I’d vote for. How about you?