reclaimed wood project

Barrique: Wine Cask Recycling

Barrique: The Third Life of Wood is a creative exhibition traveling around various cities in the US. The exhibit focuses on creating unique objects using recycled wine barrels or casks. The wine casks can only be used for three years and then they are no longer viable for use with wine making. Instead of simply trashing them, the community in Italy where this project began, decided to use them as reclaimed wood.

The Italian organization brought on designers and architects to craft pieces of furniture that reflected their style. Besides design and recycling there is a third component of this project: recovery. The exhibition highlights Europe’s largest treatment facility for those covering from drug addiction.

Located in San Patrignano, Italy, the facility provides housing, education and treatment to 1,300 residents. Here they learn professional skills – including viticulture, wine making, and woodworking – and produce more than 450,000 liters of wine each year, aging it all in 230 liter French oak barrels.

The residents of San Patrignano crafted the pieces of furniture from the designers out of old barrels, demonstrating how design innovation can be used for social good. Pretty cool.
The movement has been also named “recycling and recovery.” Not only do the casks get recycled but residents get a sense of purpose in transforming the wine casks into gorgeous creations. San Patrignano has been in existence for over 30 years and averages a 70 percent recovery rate. All this for a place that doesn’t charge the residents a dime.

“…we learnt to grow by drawing upon the eyes, heart and experience of the artisans who taught us… The things we made no longer stood for lonliness and death, but enthusiasm, fullness and satisfaction. Giving another opportunity to a simple piece of wood was like tasting the sweetness of a new life.” – Marco Stefanini, former San Patrignano resident.

We saw many tables and chairs that were constructed for the Barrique exhibit. But one that stood out was the Stave table. The table makes the most of the curvature of the wine casks. The curvature of the barrels is evident, but the pieces fit together with total smoothness.
This such a creative way to make use of wine barrels that would otherwise be discarded.

crystal christmas tree

Nachtmann Crystal Christmas Tree Sets

There are special decorations that always make it on to the Christmas table or mantle each year. They are wrapped and stored with special care and always remembered to be put on display when the holiday season commences. We all have Christmas treasures that have been handed down to us from a previous generation. Perhaps it is a special ornament or a nativity scene. Why not start a new tradition of your own with these elegant crystal Christmas trees.

Decorate your table with one or with many of these holiday crystal trees to create a dazzling display as the light reflects off the details of these crystal trees. The crystal holiday trees come in your choice of colors: red or green, of course! There are two sizes to choose from. Get a set of two which are 3-1/2 inches tall each or get the large tree. This large crystal Christmas tree measures 6-1/3-Inch tall. They are easy to care for – just wipe with a damp cloth.

While these crystal trees are the perfect addition to your home, your guests and friends will no doubt enjoy them too. Why not give them as presents. These holiday trees make the perfect gift as they add such a beautiful touch to any home. Here’s the link to the full line of these fabulous crystal holiday trees.


How to Create a Woman Cave

We’ve all heard of the “man cave,” a space where men keep their huge televisions and unsightly furniture and retreat to watch sports or hang with their buddies. It is often in the basement or garage of a home. While this is often times a laughing matter, it is important for everyone to have a place to go in their homes that they can have solitude, even if it is only for a brief period of time. That’s why more and more women are creating their own personal space, or their own Woman Cave. While the name may suggest something a bit rustic, today’s woman caves are anything but.

When setting up your woman cave, think about what inspires you and gets you energized. Perhaps it is a place where you practice Yoga or mediate. Maybe you enjoy blogging and need an office environment. Or maybe it is gardening that relaxes you and you have a shed that has all your garden tools. Whatever your special space is – it should make you feel relaxed and energized when you spend some time in it.

Some tips to think about when you are creating your woman cave:

  • Neutral colors work best, but little splashes of color are great here and there.
  • Keep it minimal – you don’t want to have to keep cleaning it up. Keep it simple. Maybe adding some womanly touches like candles or vases.
  • Think outside the house – if you are limited on space inside the house perhaps you can make it a shed where you garden or a nice chaise in the shade of your back yard.
  • Take a look in your basement or storage area and perhaps find items that can be repurposed for your woman cave.

Remember, it is your space, so decorate however you feel appropriate. Paint it an interesting color. Perhaps you relax with a cup of tea of sip on a girly cocktail. Or maybe it is one piece of furniture that you love but that just doesn’t go with the rest of the décor in your home. Make your woman cave your own and come away feeling refreshed and rejuvenated after a short respite.