27.8.18

TRANSFORMING A SCHOOL BUS INTO AN RV | PART ll

One of my most popular posts, with several thousands views, is on TRANSFORMING A SCHOOL BUS INTO AN RV.  People find this subject so fascinating!

What my husband and I learned when we were considering this project was that school buses are a wonderfully safe vehicle to convert. They are kept in optimal maintenance condition because they are transporting children to and from school each and every day. The side metal panels are also heavily re-enforced in the event of a collision.

If travelling is something your family likes to do, converting a school bus into an RV, may be a fantastic DIY project that the entire family can enjoy. 

We were very fortunate, when we purchased our bus (for $500.00) what a deal, that all the seats had already been removed. Yeah!!  This is one of the most labour intensive jobs of this entire project.

Just like designing a space in your home you should plan the layout carefully dividing the space into various sections.  Our bus was 40' long and our layout plan included a sleeping area in the rear of the bus, a bathroom area, a kitchen/eating area, a living area and the driver area at the front of the bus. 

We didn't install or wire an electrical source for our bus since it was parked at our property and not used for travel. Our bus was used as a safe way to camp and sleep without having to worry about bears having us for dinner.  However, if you are travelling with your bus, you will need an electrical source to power appliances.  Other necessities include a stove, sink and refrigerator and of course a sleeping area.

Installing solar panels on the roof to power the bus and appliances is definitely the way to go to create an eco-friendly bus.

Converting another school bus or possibly an Airstream, I just LOVE, LOVE, LOVE them, is definitely a project that we would like to tackle again in the future.  We certainly learned a lot from our first fantastic experience and really had a blast!  
Here are a few fabulous school bus and Airstream interiors with some great ideas to get you started just in case you are thinking about trying this fun project.


If this is camping, I'm in!!


Airstream Interiors by Christopher Deam  

  

  

Rachel Horn and husband renovated this Airstream with Style   


photo - Pinterest


photo - Pinterest


photo - Pinterest



How about you. Is this something that you might consider trying?

If you would like to read Part 1 of TRANSFORMING A SCHOOLBUS INTO AN RV you can find it here.

Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability and Eco Friendly Design and Products http://www.soulierdesignstudio.com   

16.8.18

INCREDIBLE LIVE EDGE TABLES - MY NEW LOVE | SUSTAINABLE INTERIOR DESIGN

My new love is live edge tables and I would really love one in my kitchen/dining area. 

Live Edge refers to the natural edge of the lumber or slab under the bark. Many of the slabs that are available, are either a full or partial live edge and a combination of straight and natural edges and often consist of multiple slabs connected with butterfly joints called inlays. These inlays are used to reinforce areas that have been weakened by cracks, knots or large bark pockets.

George Nakashima was a highly recognized furniture designer/architect and well known for making pieces from raw wood left in its natural state. What most woodworkers saw as imperfections he saw as beauty.  His tables, chairs and cabinets typically were made from slabs of free-edged wood and very organic in nature. Mr. Nakashima died several years ago but his vision has been carried on by his daughter Mira at Nakashima Studios in Pennsylvania.

This coffee table piece is an example of his work which shows the bark live edge.

Picture courtesy of Nakashima Studio

Jeffery Greene another seriously talented and highly respected furniture designer whom I have recently discovered and admire, also designs live edge furniture and was influenced by the work of George Nakashima. 

It would be absolutely impossible for me to choose one of his tables as I am completely blown away by all of them.  These tables are like nothing that I have ever seen before; each is an exquisite piece of art.

I would like to share a few examples of his work and I am certain you will agree with me!


Silver Monolith Base - Live Edge Dining Table 
(I would like this as my Board Room Table)

Clear plexiglass leg base - Dark Finish Live Edge Dining Table 
(This one would work perfectly in my kitchen/dining area - I want it!!!!)


                                         Clear plexiglass leg base - Light Finish Live Edge Dining Table



Golden Forest Base (SOLID CAST BRONZE) Live Edge Dining Table
 (Actually, I wouldn't mind this one either. Just love the forest base, comes in silver as well)


Live Edge Book Matched - Buried Black Walnut Slab

All photos - courtesy of Jeffery Greene.

Sentient is located in Brooklyn, New York and is a furniture design and fabrication company. Their work is also incredible. Here are a few examples.





These last two photos show examples of the butterfly inlays referred to above. 

Photos - courtesy of Sentient

                                     We would love to hear from you.  Which are your favourites?

Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability and Eco Friendly Design, Products and Lifestyle. 

                              Please visit us at http://www.soulierdesignstudio.com

18.6.18

HOW TO BUILD A GEODESIC DOME ~ ORGANIC SUSTAINABLE LIVING

I  have this re-occurring dream where I see myself strolling out to our backyard and picking the best tasting, fresh, organic, nutritious, chemical free, non GMO fruit, vegetables and herbs all year-round. 

Then....... I wake up. !!


As you know, my husband and I live in Pickering, just outside of Toronto, Ontario, Canada which translates weather-wise into a climate of months and months of cold weather and snow, making our growing season quite short.

Sustainable Living by growing your own food has so many incredible benefits. The following are just a few........... 

  • It is a wonderful way to support the environment. So much of the food that we eat has had to travel long distances to get to our supermarkets.  Just think about all those carbon emissions  as a result of their transport and how that negatively contributes to climate change.  
  • It is a wonderful way to support your well-being - Freshly harvested food grown in nutrient-rich soil in your own backyard means that you are consuming more vitamins, minerals and enzymes which means better health for you. Food which has traveled long distances to get to us loses so many of these vital nutrients.
  • It has therapeutic advantages; Gardening is relaxing to the mind, requires some physical exercise and the entire process of growing your own food is pleasurable and fulfilling. 
  • It reduces your monthly food bill 

So, in an attempt to support our goals of living a truly healthy and sustainable life, I have been researching for quite some time now, a manufacturer/supplier or instructions on how to build a geodesic dome greenhouse  for our backyard. There are many manufacturers out there, but not all have a quality dome structure which will withstand our Canadian winters and snow. You will also come across loads of websites with instructions on how to build one from scratch.

Now you know we love a DIY project and will attempt to build anything ourselves if  at all possible, but sometimes as they say, "you have to know when to HOLD THEM AND KNOW WHEN TO FOLD THEM!"

We decided that we did not want to go the DIY route with this project, by following some obscure directions found on the internet. Our greenhouse will have some DIY elements for sure as we will be constructing it, but from a purchased kit which includes all the necessary materials for a perfect result. 

We want to build this correctly the first time as there really is quite a science to the Geodesic Dome Greenhouse design. 

Firstly let me tell you a bit about a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse as most people have never heard of them. It is a spherically designed greenhouse structure as opposed to the typical rectangular shape like most greenhouses. A Geodesic Dome Greenhouse is constructed from a number of triangular forms made from wood struts and metal hubs and covered by polycarbonate glazing panels which fit together to create the dome shape. The beauty and benefits of this shape are many; the dome can withstand very high winds, the snow slides right off, they are extremely energy efficient and requires little or no heat.


During my research,  I found this incredible company in Colorado called Growing Spaces who have been designing/producing Geodesic Dome Greenhouses for about 25 years.  There are many, many geodesic dome greenhouse manufacturers but in my opinion they pale in comparison to the Growing Spaces dome.

They have a variety of sizes and packages to suit your particular needs. Their smallest greenhouse kit is 15 ft. which includes a covering of UV resistant, shatter-proof polycarbonate glazing panels, a set of pre-cut, color-coded struts and framing. Features like automatic opening vents, solar powered undersoil heating/cooling system, Reflectix insulation, materials for the pond and a shade cloth are included.


Plus ~ for climates such as ours there is a a snowshed entryway that has a door with a window, all hardware, and a 24" foundation wall with structural siding. 



 Here are a few other pics all courtesy of Growing Spaces.







Pretty incredible, don't you think?

Can you see yourself building a Geodesic Dome Greenhouse? 

Can you imagine having your own abundant supply of organic, fresh produce just steps away, in your backyard all year long, even in the winter months?

Can you imagine being truly sustainable and enjoying greater health and wellness?

We surely can!!

Please visit Growing Spaces for more information.

Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability, Eco Friendly Design, Products and Lifestyle.


23.3.18

EARTH HOUR 2018 | MARCH 24, 2018

Please join Soulier Design Studio by celebrating Earth Hour on  Saturday March 24, 2018. 


Let's do our part to take action over climate change and make this the best Earth Hour Ever!!!.


It's easy.... just switch off all non-essential lights in your home for one hour between 8:30 - 9:30 pm in your local time zone.

Celebrate your earth and your commitment for change. Make it a candlelit dinner with friends, play a game of cards, Chess... the possibilities are endless.

Join the conversation and the call for action!!  

connect2earth.org

We would love to hear how will you spend your Earth Hour??


Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability, Eco Friendly Design, Products and Lifestyle

8.3.18

PRESS FOR PROGRESS | INTERNATIONAL WOMEN'S DAY | MARCH 8

Let's Celebrate all women today. Their social, cultural, economic and political achievements.





International Women's Day has been running since 1911.  

Join the #pressforprogress movement and the call for action.
Do your part to help drive gender equality. 

Press the Join this Thunderclap button for more information.

www.soulierdesignstudio.com

27.2.18

YOUR PLASTICS HAVE A BAD WRAP! PART I | SUSTAINABLE LIVING |

 I have been on a serious mission to remove all the plastic in my home.

Actually, I have to admit, it is really quite a challenge as you have to find alternative ways to wrap, store and bag your food etc.  As a society we have become so dependent on plastic.  Plastic water bottles, sandwich and freezer bags, storage containers, milk jugs, milk bags, grocery bags, produce bags, plastic cutlery, plastic storage containers, plastic children's toys. Plastic this, plastic that. It's crazy!


What the heck did we do/use before plastic?

Okay, now I am going to be dating myself a little here but I vaguely, I repeat vaguely, recall the milkman delivering lovely glass milk bottles to our home.  Such fond memories peeling back the cardboard seal to find that the creme had risen to the top. 

Yummy!! Probably why I like creme in my coffee!!



There are several places that now sell organic milk in glass bottles. My questions is; why did we ever stop?  Glass is hygienic, recyclable and things seem to taste so much better in glass than in plastic.  Our food is in constant contact with plastic from production to the preparing of our foods. 

There are so many reasons to eliminate as much plastic from our lives as possible. Besides the fact that plastic is made from petroleum, from a health perspective, plastics have dangerous chemicals that leach into our foods. For example; off you go to the market with ALL good intentions of buying healthy organic greens for your family but guess what? they are packaged in plastic which is leaching toxic chemicals into those organic greens. (kinda defeats the purpose, wouldn't you say?)  BPA, a synthetic estrogen and plastics component, found in canned food, plastic water bottles, plastics and liquid infant formula containers is a chemical that has been associated with many health problems, including breast cancer, prostate cancer, insulin resistance, reproductive defects, diabetes and miscarriages to name just a few! This estrogen mimicking chemical can disrupt your hormones and alter your cells. Heating your food in plastic in the microwave, which so many people still do unbelievably, amplifies the leaching.  

.... Now From an environmental perspective ....

Oh my goodness, where do we begin? Plastic is devastating our wildlife, wildlife habitat, polluting our waterways, oceans and lands.



Photos - Courtesy of Google

Milk isn't the only item of food in your kitchen/pantry that lives better in glass. All of your pantry items will thank you for putting them into glass containers and you will definitely notice that these items will retain their freshness for longer as well.

Because I do canning each year, I have accumulated quite a collection of jars to choose from: Mason, Le Parfait and various others that I have picked up at garage sales.  It doesn't really matter as long as they are glass.  The other thing great about storing in glass is that it makes it easy to take inventory of what you are getting low on when making your shopping list.



Here are a few examples of my favourite jars and what I store in them.



These smaller ones are great for storing everything from baking supplies; baking soda and powder, sugars, nuts, spices, chia seeds, raisins, dates, jams, leftovers in the fridge ..... 


to storing homemade soups in the freezer. (Just don't overfill leave some expansion room)


These tall jars are terrific for pastas, homemade cookies, biscotti and oatmeal, crackers, breadcrumbs, flours, rice, coffee, loose tea, tea bags. I just add a label to the top.

Ok, so now we have most of the stuff in the kitchen covered, let's move on.... 

Do you pack a lunch for yourself, your children?  I would guess that you are wrapping that sandwich in either plastic cling wrap or putting it in a plastic zip lock bag.  Thought so!!  I would also like to guess that leftovers from last nights dinner are going in some plastic container with a plastic lid. Am I right? Don't feel bad, so many of us are doing just that, I mean what else is there? 

Well, there actually are safe and healthy alternatives for packing your lunch.  I love ECO LUNCH BOXES. This line is a plastic-free, waste-free lunchbox solution without any vinyl, plastic, lead or aluminum. 


There is a large assortment of sandwich boxes, snack containers, 




organic cotton lunch bags and bento boxes all machine washable 


Now, let's move on to your beverages? 

There is this amazing, amazing product called the S'well Bottle.  They are made of non-leaching 18/8 stainless steel, are a reusable bottle will keep your cold drinks cold for 24 hours and hot for 12, are sold worldwide and they give back to people in need.  S'well is a charitable company and was founded in 2010 with a passion to get rid of all plastic bottles. 

Did you know that over 200 billion plastic bottles are discarded/dumped globally each year?

S'well has a bottle for everyone, with a multitude of gorgeous colours and finishes.  I want them all .  

Here are just a few.


and a few more ....


Please check out S'wells amazing website for more information and where to purchase.

I know this post was insanely long but it is really important information that I wanted to share with you.  Not only does the use of plastic have a HUGE negative impact on your health, it has an ENORMOUS, impact on our environment.  

We have only touched the tip of the plastic-berg in this post and it will take some time and effort to eliminate most of the plastic from your life. 

Please stay tuned for Part ll of YOUR PLASTICS HAVE A BAD WRAP where we will explore other places where plastics exist that you may have not even thought about and how to rid them from your life.

Soulier Design Studio would love to hear your thoughts on this post.  Don't be shy!!

I wish you a Happy and Plastic Free Week.

Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability, Eco-Friendly Design, Products and Lifestyle.



Please visit us at 

https://www.soulierdesignstudio.com

23.2.18

LINDAL CEDAR HOMES FEATURED IN THE DWELL COLLECTION

Due to the overwhelming response to this post, I am re-posting this again.

This house is JUST incredible and is the highlight/focus of my personal vision board!  This is my absolute favorite house style; so architecturally exquisite in my eyes.  The warmth and livability of these homes come from clean, uncluttered lines and the inspired use of natural materials in the Lindal building system. (Lindal Cedar Homes)

TURKEL DESIGN - The house, an original design created by Turkel Design for Lindal as part of the Dwell Homes Collection, is adaptable to multiple site conditions and opens to views simultaneously in several directions. These attributes led the design team to select this plan as the starting point for the unique conditions of this steep site. Turkel Design collaborated with the local independent Lindal Cedar Homes dealer, My House Design/Build, and positioned the house to open into a stand of old-growth cedars and out through the treetops to the opposite shoreline.

The TD3 2490 collects its own rainwater, uses passive methods to self-ventilate, and can be delivered and constructed in almost any location worldwide. 

Please visit http://www.turkeldesign.com to see what other amazing projects they have completed.






















Photos Courtesy of Turkel Design


Here is a video walk through of this beautiful home.  I hope you enjoy it as much as I do.



ENJOY!!

Soulier Design Studio specializes in Sustainability, Eco Friendly Design, Products and Lifestyle.