Northwest Renovation Magazine

A Home Improvement Magazine


Green remodeling

My home’s inclusion in last year’s (2012) annual City of Portland, OR “Build It Green! Home Tour” occurred for many reasons. My design focus resulted from very practical considerations: I require accessibility because of my walking disability. The six-year journey from buying a very tatty fixer in September 2006 to its present state as my own Shangri-La also resulted in some very personal life perceptions for myself. I viewed many homes and none had any inkling of accessibility.... more

Next time you need a new sconce or dome light, try thinking outside the (big) box (store). Anybody can buy those lights! You want something different. You didn’t realize it before, but you do. You want something old. Something used, refurbished, re-wired. And I’m here to help you! While new is good, and it certainly has its place (new underwear comes to mind), it can lack character. And there’s also the danger of new being homogenous. Homogenized milk is good. Homogenized light fixtures... more

I am ostensibly rebuilding my deck at the moment. In reality, however, I’m remodeling my back yard. I will have a new and bigger deck, plus new paths, new fence, a patio for my containers, and more. It’s a ginormous project. And, I’m trying to use primarily salvaged materials. I like the low-impact feeling and look I get from using salvage and I love the challenge of turning salvage into a beautiful space. If you don’t know, I have purchased about 30,000 pounds of salvaged metal from... more

I love the idea of using repurposed and recycled materials in my interior projects, but I hate the idea of giving up great style. In my many trips to design markets and gift shows I have found some amazing recycled and repurposed products that are super stylish, easy on the eyes, and easy on the environment. I have managed to find pieces that are the true definition of green, no greenwashing here! One of the main benefits of eco-friendly furniture is that it means less material ends up in the landfill.... more

Flipping through shelter magazines, you’d think “green” remodeling involves the installation of expensive energy-saving devices and a minimalist design that advertises the homeowner’s familiarity with the cutting edge. Or, conversely, an environmentally conscientious remodel might reflect a low-tech, salvage-focused approach, often at the expense of comfort and design. Preserving the original woodwork in the dining room not only saved resources, but also authenticates the home’s... more

Being a good Oregonian, I care about the environment. I have heard of carbon credits, but they seem a little impersonal. Instead, over the years I have developed my own carbon credit program. It’s not official — it exists in my head only — but it makes me feel better about some of my bad habits. And what’s wrong with that? You have to start somewhere, right? Kerei and bamboo used to make a parquet pattern. Recycled leather floor tile. My pickle barrel floors. Here’s what I... more

Boys’ Fort, the design team of Richard Rolfe and Jake France, loves summer in Portland. “You can LIVE outside…just briefly,” jokes Rolfe. Highlighting a recent design for an outdoor living space, Rolfe and France illustrate how they incorporate salvage and vintage items into their designs to create a one-of-a-kind look. “When someone walks into your home, you don’t want him or her to feel like they’ve just walked into a Pottery Barn catalog. You want them to feel intrigued... more

As she made her morning coffee, Ari Starke realized she needed a sweater for the first time this season. She sighed, “Here we go again.” The owner of a 1930s Tudor, Starke loved her historic little home with all of its charm. Unless it was cold outside; then she was torn. “I have these beautiful wood windows, but it was miserable to sit too close to them. On windy days, they rattled and you could even feel the air coming in between the top and the bottom sash. The amount of money we spent heating... more

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