K. Emily Bond
Senior Editor, Shelter

K. Emily Bond is the Shelter Editor at EcoSalon and currently resides in southern Spain, reporting on trends in art, design, sustainable living and lifestyle.

Articles by K. Emily Bond:

Inspired by Nature: iPhone 5 Cases from Society6

Caress your tech with these nature-inspired skins and covers. 

In celebration of the new iPhone 5, here are ten cases and other gadget holding devices from Society6 that fuse nature with technology. Cost is $35/each.

What is Society6? Good question, but may we suggest switching that “what” to “who?” Thousands of artists from all over the globe create artwork for Society6, printed and shipped in an array of products from gallery quality art prints to t-shirts. Products are produced to order, thus reducing waste; one piece iPhone cases, in particular, are made from a super-plastic called Lexan. Not bamboo or recycled, but stronger and longer lasting than other plastic cases on the market. Interesting tidbit: the material has been increasingly used in eco-friendly and high-concept cars like the GM EcoJet.

Without further ado, iPhone porn.

Salvaged Bike Chain Chandeliers Defy Concepts of Wealth

File this under sexy: dripping chandeliers made from salvaged bicycle chains.

LA-based multidisciplinary artist Carolina Fontoura Alzaga produces what she calls “reflections and documents of…shifting realities” inspired by her tri-cultural upbringing in Mexico, Brazil and the USA. Referencing tricycles at this stage would seem a natural progression, given that these functional sculptures are made from the cast-off remains of bicycles. But that would render frivolous the perspective she brings to her art of salvaging objects of disuse and beautifying them into objets d’art.

Her chandelier series, called CONNECT, borrows from the aesthetic of Victorian chandeliers and welds it to contemporary DIY and urban bike culture.

The Changing Façade of Urban Architecture

Big city, smaller footprint: blurring the line between landscape design and modern architecture. 

The trend of vertical gardening is up, as is the rise of the jolly green skyscraper. Easy on the eyes and easier on the planet, the trend of upward greenery is transforming our concrete jungles into ivied oases.

The Musee du Quai Branly in Paris is one such example, with some 8,600 vertical square footage dedicated to more than 170 different species of plants.

Ideas, Inspiration & DIY: Oh, The Things You Can Do With Rope

Get roped into this year’s hottest trend.

Sometimes naughty and often nautical, ropes are everywhere this year – from fashion to interior design. What started with a well-spotted rope entwined bowl by one of our shelter writers, has now unraveled into an all-out search for all things strung up.

The result: we found rope being used for door handles, floor mats, room dividers, containers and chandeliers, in an array of patterns and styles to fit into just about any interior, including the most urban industrial and bucolic country.

Here’s a hefty bundle of ideas, doable DIYs and luxe piles of inspiration for incorporating ropes into your own interior design projects.

What the World Needs Now is Prayer Flags, Lots of Prayer Flags

Ever feel like the world’s a mess? Say a little prayer and spread a lot of love with an optimistic set of prayer flags. 

A prayer flag is simple enough: a panel of cloth imprinted with text or images strung to spread that sentiment to whomever the wind touches. Quilter Vivika Hansen DeNegre, who started The Prayer Flag Project, calls them a “living, breathing, kinetic journal of our hopes, dreams and concerns.” They’re meant to fray in the elements, their ends left unstitched to unravel into the impermanence of time.

The world, on the other hand, is not simple enough. There is a lot to be concerned about these days. Embassy uprisings spurred by a propaganda hate film, for one. An election that’s as much about the elected as it is our fundamental value system, for another. Entire nations are in crisis. It seems that we, as a globalized humanity, are at a turning point. What direction are we going to take: the good, the bad, the better?

Why Design? Herman Miller Calls on the Industry’s Brain Trust For Answers

“I have never met a designer who was retained to keep things the same as they were.” – George Nelson

Herman Miller, manufacturer of some of America’s most iconic pieces of modernist furniture (think the Equa Chair, Aeron chair, Noguchi table, Marshmallow sofa and- all hailthe Eames Lounger) has a new video series posing the simplest of questions: why?

It’s the sort of question that trips up many a creative type, more preoccupied with the what’s and how’s as opposed to actual why’s of doing what they do. But as design is a discipline charged with finding solutions to the everyday conundrums of living, it is a question of some import.

20 Things to Do With a Chalkboard That Don’t Involve Detention

Write on it, muse on it – do anything you want on it.

The chalkboard has busted out of the classroom and into a well-appointed home near you. Last week we showed you one very cool DIY idea; now here are twenty other cool things you can do with a little chalk and a board full of inspiration.

Chalkboard planters from RossLab

Doing It Herself: The Fab ‘Can Do’ Girls of DIY

Kick-butt home improvement, by women for women (or anyone with a glue gun).

The arts and crafts movement has heralded a new era of DIY, an alterna-consumer culture for “roll your sleeves up” boys and girls with a penchant for putting the three Rs into messy (and oftentimes beautiful) practice. We’ve got our resident DIY maestro Sofie Sausser who is always challenging us to turn trash into treasure and put our rolling pins to better use.

And there’s a plethora of other “Can Do” DIY mavens of the web that inspire us each and every day. Here are a few of our favorites that make us believe that – yes! – we, too, can cross stitch, color block and power-saw our way to off-the-big-box-store-grid independence.