Monday, June 30, 2008

Help us pick a sofa...(UPDATED)

UPDATE: Upon reading all of the research on the harmful effects of materials and chemicals commonly found in most sofas on the market today, we have decided to forgo the options we listed below (although we still really like the styles). In our search for eco-friendly furniture options, we quickly learned how incredibly expensive they can be. Imagine my delight to stumble across, a California-based company that, according to their website, strives "to positively impact the world by making safe, eco friendly furniture affordable to everyone." They are the first eco-friendly company to offer sofas for under $1500. A variety of sofa styles (including some great modern designs) and configurations are available but all are guaranteed to be made with sustainable, non-toxic, environmentally friendly materials. Here is some more information from their website...

"Did you know that over 90% of furniture is made with materials known to cause global warming, respiratory problems, breast cancer, and even leukemia over extended periods of time? As if that weren’t bad enough, the furniture industry is devastating the world’s forests with their careless harvesting practices. Eco friendly furniture offers a solution to these problems by using non-toxic glues, cushions made from natural materials (soy and latex), and hardwood frames from responsibly managed forests. Good eco furniture also replaces chemically derived fabrics (polyester, nylon, and viscose) with natural fabrics (cotton, hemp, and linen). These simple changes are vital to preserving the planet, and the health of our families. The problem is that most companies who offer eco friendly furniture are price gouging their customers. The average price for an eco sofa is now over $4,300. is not interested in these schemes. Our mission is to positively impact the world by making safe, eco friendly furniture affordable to everyone. In fact, we are the first company to offer genuine eco sofas for under $1,500. We allow you to feel good knowing that your family and the planet are protected at a fair price."

We are placing an order tonight (to take advantage of a 10% off and cushion upgrade sale) for the "Jodie" sofa in "Putty" colored natural hemp fabric. We're so psyched. Granted we'll be spending a bit more than we had planned but we know it's the safest and most responsible choice. An extra $200 or $300 seems like a small price to pay for peace of mind and for maintaining our commitment to going green.

(Original post below)

So as we continue to tackle huge things like what type of wall system to use (we're back to the SIP/ICF debate and are waiting to hear from four companies with bids), I'm keeping myself busy with smaller tasks like picking out cool furniture for our new abode. Today's quest...the perfect sofa for $1000 or less. Here are the top contenders. What's your fave?

Room and Board "Westwood" ($999)

Room and Board "Brooks" ($799)

Pottery Barn Teen Convertible Couch ($799 although not currently in stock, according to PBTeen)

Exclusively Home "Plaza Tufted Sofa" ($685 + free shipping!)

Ikea "Sater" ($399)

Friday, June 27, 2008

House plans!

At long last, here are our house plans. Lori Buxton at Buxton Drafting Services has been incredible to work with and gave us a final product that really matches our original vision. We want the exterior to reference the vernacular architecture of rural Vermont but the interior to be light, airy, open and modern. We hope we have achieved the right balance of the two. If you click on the little rectangle in the upper right-hand corner of each Scribd window, you can see the frame in a larger size.

Our favorite design elements:

The steep pitch of the roof that echoes traditional barn design (silver/metallic standing seam)
Vertical siding (James Hardie or Certainteed product in white)
The mudroom/entry, a necessity in Vermont
The way the kitchen, dining and living areas flow into one another
The bank of windows facing east that frame our most beautiful views of the Vermont countryside
The open loft area that looks out over the great room, the perfect spot for both of our home offices (mine will be on the north wall, Ryan's on the south)
The way the bedrooms (i.e. private areas) are tucked into the west side of the house whereas the communal gathering spaces (kitchen, dining, great room, loft) are all clustered where the views are, on the east

1st Floor
Read this document on Scribd: 1st

2nd Floor
Read this document on Scribd: 2nd

South Elevation
Read this document on Scribd: South elevation

East Elevation
Read this document on Scribd: East Elevation

North Elevation
Read this document on Scribd: North Elevation

West Elevation
Read this document on Scribd: West Elevation

Sunday, June 1, 2008

Modern dining chairs

What's a fabulous farmhouse style table without the perfect chair to go with it? I'm oscillating between white and metal options. Which do you think best accentuates the rustic nature of the tables we like?

I love this metal chair from the Sundance Catalog, especially paired with their tables.

Pottery Barn has something very similar. It also carries a simple white, which I like.

CB2 has these options.