• What: St. Louis Apartment Therapy Design Evening
• Who: Dan Rosenthal from The Lawrence Group
• When: Tuesday, April 19 at 5pm
• Where: Niche Home Furnishings | 300 North Broadway, St. Louis, Missouri
• Organizer: Ursula Bamnolker
• Attendance: 40
Design Evening Recap:
For our second Design Evening, we were thrilled to be part of STL Design Week, a week-long celebration of graphic, product and interior design.
Apartment Therapy joined the staff at Niche Home Furnishings for the evening to discuss cool & sustainable design. Architect Dan RosenthalI kicked off the evening at 5:45 p.m. with a discussion on ground-breaking projects from The Lawrence Group (Niche's parent company) that utilized shipping containers in both multi and single-unit residential housing. Taking us through a half dozen of his favorite projects, Rosenthal regailed us with stories about the challenges of using containers to create workable homes and other structures. Past projects have included everything from a Military Command Center at Fort Bragg to the West Coast Green 2008 Harbinger House.
Rosenthal explained that in addition to being earth friendly, one of the appealing things about working with shipping containers is the challenge of making them fit in with the surrounding architecture of the area. When they worked on a project in California in a historic area, they had to deal with very stringent reviews from the Historic Board there, in order to keep with the Mission feel of their surroundings.
Their biggest project by far was in Oceanside, California in which they created a Senior Housing complex with 500 containers. He noted that, at this time, there are only a handful of companies in the United States that are using shipping containers to create homes, among them, Lo TEK, HyBrid Architecture and Peter DeMaria of DeMaria Design.
Then, designers Paige Gilbertson and Jay Eiler gave us some helpful tips on going green in a chic way. They suggested using plant-derived wall coverings with Grasscloth and Rafia in unique and unexpected ways - such as reupholstering furniture, on the ceiling or behind bookcases to give a room a warm, natural vibe. They noted that these textiles now come in fun colors as well.
Another suggestion they had was to use commercial items such as commercial grade carpeting or shelving in a residential setting due to the fact that commercial items generally have a longer shelf-life.
We ended the evening with a quick question and answer session with the designers and everyone enjoyed socializing over wine and cheese.
- Ursula Bamnolker
Next Design Evening:
Thank you to Ursula and all our amazing volunteer organizers, who are helping us bring good design to cities nationwide. Interested in hosting an Apartment Therapy Design Evening in your own town? Click here.