Archive for July, 2010

Yikes: Mutations for Your Home

Once more, it’s a plunge headlong into questionable taste and a roundup of furniture and accessories that most of us should find irresistibly grotesque.  With the exception of the bird’s-nest bed frame, I’d rather search for furnishings at the Goodwill store than bring any of the other selections into my home. How about you?

Gesundheit of Fashion


The original carvers of these Polynesian moai statues on Easter Island would be simply delighted to find that in the 500 years that passed, the best we could do with all our knowledge was to turn their design into a tissue dispenser.  You might think it’s kind of cute, but it’s snot.

Texas Hold ‘Em


No way these chairs end up in my hacienda, cowboy!  But maybe they’re your kind of thang. Surprise: they’re sold by the British-owned UK Contemporary Furniture. At some point, one hopes, the novelty will wear off.

Ewe Thrill Me


Feeling a bit sheepish? Casa Sugar has everything in shaggy furnishings that you thought you never needed.  Which brings us to…


outdoor couch

Lay down some stakes, sod, and some nitrogen fertilizer and this outdoor couch will grow itself!  Water and weed according to manufacturer’s specifications and enjoy! (Lawn mower sold separately!)

Eight Is Enough!


Polystyrene balls and recycled blue-jeans form the tentacles of this beanbag chair that is simply far less than astonishing. It may be a good choice for the drunk tank.

Branch Office


I love the looks of this canopy bed from Shawn Lovell Metalworks, but its $15,000 asking price is simply for the birds.

Handy Hardware


Your friends will know what’s shakin’ if you install this brushed, polished aluminum door handle from the Netherlands. I find the whole thing just a little disturbing.

Building with Bottles

  • July 28th, 2010 (by Jessie)
  • In: green
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Making due is one of those things most of us don’t think about much, given our society’s affluence and excess.  When we do think about using items we already have, it tends to come from a concern about the environment, instead of finding a way to create what we want and need with limited resources.

I was reminded of this after a family member sent a picture she took in Africa—the building was modest, but bright colors and decorations made from old soda cans made it beautiful. And over the years, people have been using bottles and cans they already have to create what they need, whether that’s construction, decoration, or something that manages to become both.

Bottle as Building Material

Since the early 1900s, people have been building with bottles, using them just like bricks bound together into structures with mortar. According to, the earliest bottle house was constructed in 1902 by William F. Peck in the mining town of Tonopah, NV. Since saloons were some of the first commercial structures in mining camps like Tonopah, empty bottles were plentiful, and bottle houses were born.


While that house was torn down in the 1980s, you can check out a bottle house that currently serves as a store at Knott’s Berry Farm in Buena Park, CA. Though you probably shouldn’t leave your empties behind, even there.

Bottle Bricks

Upping the bottle building ante, in the early 1960s, Alfred Heineken of Heineken Beer visited the Caribbean where he noticed that not only was there was an excess of old bottles littering the beaches, but there was also a shortage of affordable building materials. As a result, he hoped to solve with both problems and asked Dutch Architect John Habracken to design a “brick that holds beer”—the “WOBO” (world bottle).


According to Inhabitat, the bottles were designed to interlock and came in two sizes, and while 100,000 of them were produced in 1963, only a small shed on Heineken’s estate and a wall at the Heineken Museum in Amsterdam were ever built with them, and the brewery stopped supporting the project.

It was a brilliant idea, and surprising that this failed—after all, what’s more perfect for a frat house than a beer bottle house? Time to teach those boys some building skills and get these bottles off the ground and out of the trash.

Recent Comments

  • Kid's stuff:Bedroom furniture for dreamers

    Hey Woodrow,

    You've put together a great post here. Hardwearing and long-lasting bedroom furniture is so important when you have young children, and choosing pieces which can handle the rough-and-tumble that comes with having little ones is key!

    Best wishes, Alex.

  • Awesomely Oddball Lawn and Garden Accessories

    I plan to do this. What was your process in painting the bottom...outside portion of the tub?

  • Poor staging can crush your home sale

    Woodrow, you have once again 'nailed' the essence of the issue of staging your home for sale with easy to understand pics and words. These are definitely rules to live by, oh wise one! I know I"m soaking up the knowledge you share--- now excuse me while I wring myself out. Can't wait for the next issue.

  • To everyone, a room of one's own

    We've recently bought a house which needs A LOT of work and I'm trying to convince my other half to let me build a "room of my own" for the house, one where I can put my games console and beer fridge. She's not gone for it yet though. The most I've managed to get is an office I can work out of ... not quite the same ... LoL.

    Mine would certainly be like the car boot room in the first image :)


  • Home designs you haven’t seen before

    I wonder how far the folks in the Rock House are able to drive in their car? Maybe down to their boat? It's so true that home is where you are at the moment.