Lauren Zerbey

Before & After: An Exterior Renovation in Seattle
My favorite Before & Afters are when talented people buy tired old houses and breathe new life into them. This 100-year-old house in the Phinney Ridge neighborhood of Seattle shows that a thoughtful approach to design can be modern and sustainable while still fitting in with the surrounding neighborhood.Todd Smith, of Syndicate Smith, along with his wife Julie bought their 1911 fixer-upper in 2004 and have recently completed an extensive exterior renovation.
Apr 24, 2012
Easy Clean Kitchen Flooring Choices
If there’s one room in your home where flooring really matters, it’s the kitchen. Aside from aesthetics, the material you choose needs to be durable, comfortable to stand on and easy to clean! Whether you’re starting from scratching or dreaming of a renovation, we’ve put together six of our favorites as a good place to start.1. Tile: Tile is great in a kitchen because it is durable and easy to clean.
Jan 19, 2012
Clever Green Solutions to Everyday Issues
Some of my favorite Re-Nest posts are the ones that share clever solutions to everyday issues (you know, the kind that make you think “huh, how did I not know about this?”). From removing pesky stains to keeping pests at bay and everything in between, here’s a roundup of our favorites from 2011!TOP ROW• 1 Use Citrus Peels To Start Your Seedlings• 2 Hot Tip: Wrinkles? Forget the Iron. Use a Spray Bottle.
Dec 23, 2011
13 Green Gifts for Home Renovators and Fix-It-Uppers
Home renovation gifts probably seem a little dull, but trust me – the person on the receiving end will thank you! Tackling a project with sustainability in mind is easier when you have the right tools and gear for the job – check out our list of tried and true gift options after the jump!While some of these items may not appear “green” at first glance, a big part of responsible renovating is protecting personal health and buying quality tools that will last.
Nov 17, 2011
A Guide To Slow Home Principles: The Entryway and Landing Strip
Entryways are one of the most used areas of a home, yet there’s rarely a dedicated space for the various functional and storage needs that our daily lives command. This guide breaks down why these spaces are so important in the slow home, their components, and how you can create your own (even if you live in an apartment!).Entryways have both practical and psychological qualities.
Aug 9, 2011
5 Ways to Recycle Old Concrete
Earlier this summer, I wrote about different ways we could remove and repurpose some of the concrete around our home. Since then, we spent one full weekend jack-hammering part of our driveway and random paths around the house. The only problem – we now realize that we have way more concrete rubble than we could possible reuse!Concrete is inherently difficult to dispose of because it’s heavy and a pain to transport.
Aug 3, 2011
Water New Trees Wisely with Slow Release Bags
This summer has been relentlessly hot and dry for many states, taking a toll on our trees and plants. One way to help newly-planted trees make it through the summer heat is to install slow release watering bags. They’re inexpensive, easy to install and conserve more water than traditional methods. Find out more after the jump!Slow release watering bags deliver a high volume of water directly to a tree’s root structure, without wasting water through run-off or evaporation.
Aug 1, 2011
Easy Reuse: Wine Bottles as Water Carafes
During the last few weeks, our home has been filled with various family members visiting from out of state. With cooler-than-average weather and a bit of rain, we spent plenty of time in our favorite local restaurants. From casual lunch places to more formal venues, one trend I noticed was the use of simple wine bottles as water carafes.Although glass bottles can be recycled in most cities, why not remove the label and call it a carafe instead?
Jul 20, 2011
5 Ways to Collect and Reuse Water for Plants
Turning on the faucet or hose may be the easiest method for watering indoor and outdoor plants, but there are plenty of ways in which household water can go directly into the garden and not down the drain, saving both money and resources.Not only does it save money and resources, but recycled household water can also be more beneficial than water straight from the tap! Here are five ways to make your water do double-duty:1.
May 17, 2011
Disposable Dinnerware: 9 Alternatives to Plastic
With summer right around the corner, it’s time to starting thinking about picnics and outdoor cookouts! While there is no shortage of ideas and recipes when it comes to organic and sustainable ingredients, finding the best product to put that food on can be a bit trickier. For small crowds or backyard events, the greenest option might just be to use the dishes you have on hand, but there are certainly those occasions that call for something lighter and more portable.
May 2, 2011
9 Small Attic Rooms That Work
image:62a26c4dbb61fbdd7c76988842f3675344d56c7f w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" Green living isn’t just about living small, it’s also about maximizing the space you already have. While most attics are empty or used for storage, with just a little creative thinking that space could be used more efficiently.
Apr 18, 2011
How to Make the Most of a Crawl Space
Ahh, crawl spaces – those lovely subterranean areas that often consist of dirt, cobwebs and feelings of claustrophobia. Even though we may try to avoid them, improving an existing crawl space is actually an important step in greening your home. Retrofitting these areas not only addresses energy efficiency and moisture problems, but for those living in a small home, they can also be turned into valuable storage space!
Apr 7, 2011
How to Store Food in a Small Kitchen
We’ve all been there – you move into a new place and start organizing where things go in the kitchen. Dishes and utensils are easy but when it comes to food items it seems like most cabinets are either too deep or too tall to really be effective. So when we bought our first house a few years ago, I was excited about the promise of a new and better kitchen! Unfortunately, what I got was a 1910-meets-1964 smattering of dysfunctional cabinets and 3 lonely drawers.
Apr 6, 2011
How To Organize Waste in a Small Kitchen
image:7066557cf185bf6938ae8e8da12fde914b8fba88 w:540 s:"fit" class_name:"mt-image-center" show_pin_button:"true" show_image_credits:"true" Sorting waste can be a real challenge in a small kitchen. First there’s your basic trash, then there’s recycling (co-mingled if you’re lucky) and compost. Like most people, we didn’t want to give up precious floor space for these bins, so we came up with a semi-custom and affordable solution.
Feb 18, 2011
Winter Tip: Reverse Your Ceiling Fan Direction and Save Energy
When it’s the middle of winter and freezing outside, it’s probably safe to say that most of us aren’t thinking about our ceiling fans. However, running fans in the colder months can actually save up to 10% on heating costs and is as simple as flipping a switch. In the summer months, the slightly angled blades of a ceiling fan turn counterclockwise to move air down, making people feel cooler due to a concept known as the wind chill effect.
Feb 9, 2011
Modern, Mindful Alternatives to the Futon
During a recent remodel project, we converted a portion of our unfinished attic into a small loft. We’d like to use the space for an informal office, but also have it double as a guest bedroom. At only 200 square feet, a full size bed is out of the question and because the space has a sloped ceiling, we need something low to the ground. Even though a futon would be a great solution (in theory), I keep picturing frumpy floral mattresses, awkwardly folded on a not-so-modern oak frame.
Feb 7, 2011
Cool It: 5 Refrigerators That Save Space & Money
In small kitchens, a standard size refrigerator can take up valuable space and be an energy hog. Fortunately, many manufacturers are now making 2′ wide, counter-depth options that have plenty of space for a couple or small family. See five examples (including a comparison of annual energy usage) after the jump!While these models are narrower than a standard refrigerator, they are usually taller, giving that svelte European look.
Jan 28, 2011
Living Without A Garbage Disposal
When we remodeled our kitchen last year, we decided not to install a garbage disposal. Sure, it’s a quick way to get rid of potato peels or that forgotten container of leftovers, but do you really need one?Garbage disposals use water to help grind food into small pieces. Not only does this increase your own personal water consumption, but these small pieces then become part of the wastewater system which often requires even more water to get it to the treatment plant.
Jan 26, 2011