Green Dreaming

All photos courtesy Furniture Choice Ltd.

The color green symbolizes life, renewal, harmony and growth and is set to steal the limelight for the year ahead. With people getting busier and the increase of screen time for work, this calming color is a gentle nudge to unwind and rejuvenate.

Reminiscent of nature and the outdoors, using green in the home also serves as a reminder to be more eco-friendly and sustainable where possible.

Rebecca Snowden, Interior Style Advisor at Furniture Choice Ltd., shares 4 ways to bring this color into the home.

Use green as a feature wall color 

Serene and soothing, green makes for a great feature wall color. From darker shades like emerald green to brighter hues like apple green, the color offers many psychological benefits. These include helping to induce relaxation and serenity, as well as giving off feelings of optimism and growth. 

Because of its benefits, this color and its many shades can be applied to many different rooms.

For example, home offices can benefit from a green feature wall as it helps soothe tired eyes. Similarly, sage green is a relaxing color that’s perfect for a bedroom feature wall, as it creates a calm and airy atmosphere that’s lighthearted and uplifting. 

Some other accessories and textures to consider are jute, leafy plants and candles for relaxation. And where there are windows, choose sheer white curtains to allow sunlight in while maintaining some level of privacy. “The natural light will also cast a lovely glow on the sage green wall and give the color a little pop,” Snowden says.

 

 

Pastels are the perfect lighter alternative

On the pastel front, neo mint is set to be very fashionable in 2020. “It’s young, fresh, energetic – great for pairing with an equally sunny color like coral,” says Snowden. “Brighten up a small space or designate separate functional areas by way of color blocked walls.”

Balance the boldness of neo mint walls with simple, neutral furniture like a white bed. Select furniture with slim legs and clean silhouettes to achieve a clean look. Alternatively, layer on rugs and cushions within the same palette for a maximalist approach.

Statements pieces are key

Make a statement for the new year and invest in larger green pieces, such as an elegant green velvet sofa. The sumptuous material enhances the richness of an emerald green and adds depth to a space. To those anxious to make such a bold choice, Snowden notes that “a green velvet sofa is easier to pull off than you might think. It is incredibly chic and luxurious yet laid back enough to suit most interiors.” 

Style with brass finished planters or side tables for a lavish look, or matching dark wood furniture for something classic and cosy. “Bold yet versatile, a green velvet sofa is easy to dress for the seasons and set to become a talking point of the home,” she says.

Houseplants are a designer’s best friend

Live green plants are the best accessories for decorating the home in shades of green. Some help clean the air and release more oxygen for easier breathing while others bear fruit for eating. Mix and match plants of different green shades for depth and interest in the home. 

“Leafy, trailing plants inject a little wildness for an urban jungle feel while demure little succulents are adorable and easy to manage,” Snowden notes. “Plants are quick additions to the home that make a big impact on our wellbeing – a big focus for 2020.”

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Give the Gift of Sustainability

It is that time of year when the search for the perfect gift is on. Something that might be on most gift lists is a beautiful piece of jewelry. Whether it’s a new pair of earrings, a necklace or a set of rings, this year, gift-givers (and self-treaters) can make an effort to choose sustainable and fair trade options. Consider these companies if you’re searching for sustainable jewelry choices.

Enji Studio Jewelry

In 2014, founder Niki Grandics saw the opportunity to make a positive change in the jewelry industry. Grandics developed a passion for luxury fashion and jewelry at a young age. As an adult, she went on to study goldsmithing and silversmithing. 

In 2013, her eyes were opened to a negative side of the fashion industry when the Rana Plaza building in Bangladesh that housed garment factories collapsed, killing over 1,100 workers. Grandics knew she didn’t want to contribute to the problem and chose to ethically and sustainably source all the materials she uses for her pieces.

 

Faustina Ring: Ruby slice (2.5ct), Montana sapphires (0.1ctw), recycled 14k rose gold. Photo courtesy of Enji Studio Jewelry.

For her creations, all the gemstones are fair trade and ethically sourced from small scale artisanal miners. As a whole, Grandics wants to marry modern luxury design with traceable sources to ensure that people can own and wear a piece they feel proud of.

Dael Necklace: red rutilated quartz slices (13ctw), recycled 14k rose gold.

Sahar Agate Earrings: white agate slices (~13-16ct each), Montana sapphires (0.1ctw), rough diamonds, recycled 14k gold.

Aline Pendant: 2.25ct rutilated quartz, recycled 14k gold, 18″ chain available in sterling silver or 14k gold.

All above photos courtesy of Enji Studio Jewelry. 

I also come from a family of immigrants and scientists and it impacts the way I design and view the world around me. I see the contrasts and the differences in the places I’ve lived and traveled – how it’s all part of a larger whole. We’re all connected.”

-Niki Grandics

Photo courtesy of Puck Wanderlust. 

Puck Wanderlust

Named for a mischievous fairy (Puck) and the strong desire to travel and for adventure (Wanderlust), the jewelry company based in London was co-founded by two women that shared the same philosophy and mantra regarding sustainable fashion. 

 

According to the company’s website, each design is handcrafted by “happy hands” in countries such as Bali and India. The 925 sterling silver and 18-karat gold vermeil are 100-percent recycled and every stone used is hand-selected, hand-cut and “lovingly set,” allowing pieces to be individual and unique for each buyer. 

Puck Wanderlust’s suppliers are family-owned, something the company is truly proud of. 

 

“Our suppliers use recycled materials where possible, provide fair wages for their staff, and comply with ethical standards put forward by the government,” co-founder Ranelle Chapman says.

 

The company features multiple collections, one collection in particular — The Bombay Deco Collection — is inspired by the geometric motifs and vibrant colors and patterns of Indian art deco. 

Photos courtesy of Puck Wanderlust. 

   Other Sustainable Jewelry Companies to Check Out: 

   * Accompany

   * Melissa Joy Manning Jewelry 

   * AUrate

   * Bario Neal

Featured photo courtesy of Puck Wanderlust. 

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Flowers & Diamonds

The delicate and fleeting beauty of nature has been preserved in Earth’s hardest natural substance resulting in the perfect combination of jewelry and flowers.

Jewelry inspired by flowers is not a new idea, but an enduring concept. When a stunning color or intricate design appears naturally that delicacy is what makes it memorable. Solidifying these two elements creates a unique union of fragility and strength that can last throughout the years. Diamonds, the hardest natural substance, exist far beneath the Earth’s surface for millions of years and the fragile life of a flower only blooms for a short time before it is gone. The perfect balance has been achieved in these pieces.

There’s no longer a need to choose between flowers and diamonds when selecting the perfect gift or adding to a collection. Whether it’s a ring, necklace or brooch these examples are the best of both worlds.

Alex Soldier’s Cornoair Brooch

Alex Soldier offers a multifunctional piece that is an unforgettable representation of nature. “Flower motifs celebrate life in its many beautiful manifestations,” says Alex Soldier, the president of the self-titled company. With the same intricacy found in a flower, the Cornoair Brooch with Mandarin garnet and colored diamonds appears as a work of art that can be cherished throughout the years.

Handmade in New York City, the piece is adaptable and can be worn as a brooch, ring, necklace, or a cuff. Soldier explains that in jewelry design there is “passion in detail.” The brooch is made of 18 karat rose gold and over 800 stones, including light and dark champagne diamonds, chocolate and black bead diamonds, rubies and more.

Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier

The Flower Diamond

 

The Flower Diamond stands out among other gems because of the flower-shaped inclusion that appears as if it has bloomed in the center of the stone. The pear-shaped, modified brilliant-cut diamond encases a perfectly symmetrical, six-petal flower, making it a natural marvel. Similar to a snowflake, the pattern that appears in the heart of the 3.02 carat diamond is one-of-a-kind.

Originally discovered in the jungles of Minas Gerais, Brazil and recut to showcase the flower shape, the main stone was mounted in a gorgeous, platinum necklace with a total of 32 carats of diamonds. John Humbert, the owner of Sterling Promise Inc. says, “You need to see it with your own eyes to understand how incredible it is. It’s hard to believe it occurred naturally.”

 

Photo courtesy of Sterling Promise Inc.

The White Gold Flower Ring

 

“There is something very romantic and beautiful about the simplicity of a flower,” according to Lauren Wolf, the owner/president of Lauren Wolf Jewelry. The White Gold Flower Ring has a 3.18 carat cognac diamond that is speckled with intricate inclusions that adds to the organic quality of the ring. Serving as the petals, are champagne marquis diamonds that are shockingly clear, according to Wolf.

“I’m attracted to the floral motifs from the late Victorian period and the early 20th century,” she says. “The idea that this symbol can carry such a special meaning throughout time is powerful.” The ring generates a sense of imperfect natural beauty that is typical in flowers.

 

 

Photo courtesy of Lauren Wolf Jewelry

Gold Astra Brooch With White And Black Diamonds

 

With the true detail found in a flower and the power of a stunning diamond, the Gold Astra Brooch is an unforgettable union of two iconic symbols. “Aster flowers have long been symbols of enchantment and mysterious allure,” according to Soldier. The 127 stones that make up the piece contribute to the authentic feel and overall romantic allure that Alex Soldier manages to capture.

Photo courtesy of Alex Soldier

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Sustainable Shoes and More by Nisolo

Nisolo, a sustainable fashion brand, shares its impact report online and offers everything from jewelry and accessories, to heels, boots, bags and more.

This company focuses on more than low prices. The handcrafted process involves intentional designs, an ethical work environment, and comfortable fashion that can be worn every day.

We sat down with Devon Murrie, brand partnerships manager at Nisolo, to learn more about this industry.

What is the inspiration behind your company?

Nisolo has the vision to push the fashion industry in a more sustainable direction — where success is based on more than just offering the cheapest price — a direction that not only values exceptional design but the producer and the planet just as much as the end consumer.

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What are some of the biggest challenges when creating sustainable shoes?

One of the biggest challenges of sustainable production is gaining complete visibility into every level of a supply chain. We took a much deeper look into our supply chain in 2018 after learning from Patagonia about their material traceability practices. We still do not have 100% visibility into every level of our supply chain (we regularly visit all of our factories and tanneries, but no farms to date), however, after speaking with representatives of our tanneries in León, Mexico, we know that a lot of our leather comes from farms in the USA and northern Mexico, and is a byproduct of the meat industry. Diving into this further is a priority of ours for 2019.

What does sustainable mean to you?

We at Nisolo feel a responsibility to the ethical treatment of our producers. We work to ensure living wages, safe and healthy working conditions, and additional benefits such as healthcare, time off, and bonuses for our producers. We also feel a responsibility to understand our supply chain and mitigate our environmental impact. All leather used in our supply chain is a byproduct of the meat industry, and we’re utilizing the more eco-friendly vegetable tanning method across many products.

Please explain why your company stands out among others?

Two things really set Nisolo apart: our attention to good, functional design and our vertical integration. We actually own and operate our factory in Peru, which allows us both visibility and flexibility into our design and impact practices.

Despite our confidence in those areas, we know greenwashing has reached new heights in our industry and we felt it essential to obtain third-party certification from a highly respected organization. So in 2017 Nisolo also received B Corporation certification — recognizing us as a company that uses the power of business to help solve the social and environmental challenges our world faces today.

Photos courtesy of Nisolo

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