Rain Water Hog - preserving water ...

I am SO excited about this new item and telling EVERYONE around me! I am looking into it for my own tiny remodel as well ... hummm, how many can I fit, how many can I afford? People often joke that it never rains in LA, well .... when it rains it pours! And when you take into account the surface of even the smallest roof .... think of all that accumulated water being reclaimed - which can be used to water your terrace, garden, refilling the pool, or used for laundry, toilets, etc ... the limit is only set by your imagination and your wallet!

Rainwater hog is the clever idea of Aussie architect, designer and 70's aficionado Sally Dominguez. Rainwater Hog sprung out of a need to reclaim rainwater - a mandatory law in Australia. It had to be practical, discreet, pleasing to the eye, and manufactured in ways that were at the same time solid, long lasting, easily installable, and Eco-friendly (not just in its use of it but in the materials chosen i.e. recycled plastic). This little [multi-award winning] gem of an idea is just at the beginning of it's journey: I wouldn't be surprised if it becomes the one item every homeowner has ... in the same way we have trash and recycled bins, a water hose, and a tooth brush ...

Below are just a few of the ways they can be positioned, but you'll be amazed at how creative some homeowners have been ...

Also ...

5% of the profits from every sale goes towards WaterAid, helping to provide practical solutions to provide safe water, effective sanitation and hygiene education to the world’s poorest people. How cool is THAT!!!

More at http://www.wateraid.org/

More at http://rainwaterhog.com/

Odacite - NEW Fresh Organic Skin Care

What a concept: an all natural - organic - freshly made skin care. Odacite is the brainchild of Valerie Grandury who has spent the last 5 years tweaking the line to perfection. Below is the philosophy behind this exceptionally 'fresh' new product line - made here in Los Angeles.

" What sets Odacité apart from all others in the cosmetic industry is our commitment to a new and incomparable level of Freshness. Not only do we set out to find the freshest, purest, seasonal and organically grown or wild crafted ingredients for our products, we make sure they get to you As Fresh As the Day We Found Them.

Welcome to our Revolution, we are extremely proud to be the only skin Care that is:

  • Freshly Made for you, in small batches, from certified organic and seasonal ingredients.
  • Directly Shipped to you from our lab.
  • Stamped with a Freshiency™ date, which guaranties optimum Freshness and Efficiency.
  • Reformulated for you, every Season, with new anti-aging agents to boost your skin’s ability to repair and renew itself.

We retain the essence of raw, natural ingredients in a process that synergistically ties many beneficial organics while preserving important micro-nutrients.

We not only Eliminate Toxic Ingredients, we also eliminate Toxic Processes.

The end-product is the most bio-available Skin Care Line.

Because of the Fresh nature of our Skin Care, you won’t find us in stores, our products are not meant to sit on shelves!

Our ingredients are chemical-free botanicals that are either Organically farmed or Wild Crafted in remote natural areas far away from any pollution.

Our products contain Mother Nature’s preservation system, a combination of plant extracts and Vitamins.

Our oils are cold pressed in order to bring you the highest content of antioxidants and vitamins preserving the life force of each ingredient

Think of us as the Farmer’s market of Skin-Care.

Every Season, we harvest nature’s fabulous therapeutic values enhancing it with proven anti-aging agents like Natural Vitamins and Antioxidants, thus creating the freshest organic age-defying blends.

Just as we are fervent believers that food is healthier freshly made from scratch than over processed and preserved, we believe that in order to deliver all its benefits a skin care product needs to be Freshly Made from organically grown and wild crafted ingredients.

On the other hand, most “regular” cosmetic are manufactured to have shelf life of three years, two for the organic industry, some don’t even have a date…

Would you put 3-year-old oil on your fresh organic salad?

Even the best ingredients in the world, once they age become inactive… Worse the oils become rancid, filled with free radicals that accelerate the aging process of your skin.
To keep a product for three years, guess what you need to fill it with preservatives!

We test all our products on real people (our CEO first) never ever on animals.

We designed a Mini- Refrigerator set at the Perfect Temperature for our products, safeguarding all the precious nutrients. Our CEO said “ if I spend so much time finding the freshest seasonal ingredient, I want a special place in my bathroom to protect them…”

Our passionate endeavor is to bring you the freshest organic skin care available on the market, for healthy glowing skin for the many seasons to come. "

For Austere Chic readers only: if you want to try odacité and get freshly made organic skin care delivered to your door, they extended the 'friends and family' discount until the end of JULY, just write SMILE in the cart for a 15% discount (US only).

More at http://www.odacite.com/

Misc. Design Inspirations

Just back from a few days in the South of France ... I fell in love with the floors of the Bastide where I was staying. All reclaimed, from the tiles in the kitchen, to the barn floors in the main house, and the waxed pine floors in the guest rooms ... the simplicity of these materials made the need for art and other objects almost obsolete.

Also loving the simple pine furniture and the ceramic lamps ... but my favorite place to be on that property was around the long outdoors table having lunch by the vegetable garden, feeding left overs to the chickens walking around us. Some chickens have the life ... I mean REALLY!

Zurich Graffiti

I love this 'graffiti' ... though I don't advocate posting your 'art' on city walls ... but walking in beautiful Zurich, this was very unexpected and so I couldn't resist photographing it. I guess it's what I call "Austere Graffiti Chic".

If you know the artist ... let me know!

Bruno Romeda

For many years, Bruno Romeda, who was born in Italy, has focused on the most simple, absolute geometric shapes - the square, the circle, and the triangle. From time to time, he will undertake variations on his chosen repertory of shapes - a circle warps into an ellipse or is truncated to an arc; a square is stretched out into a long rectangle. By starting with elemental shapes and giving form to each individual work, it is the directness with which he works, and yet with infinite subtlety, that gives his sculpture such authority and at the same time makes it so seductive.

His sculpture has been described not as a volume, around which one might walk, but rather as a "threshold," to both that which the eye can perceive -- the far horizon -- as well as to the void, the unknown. Illusion is the basis of Romeda’s sculptural psychology. His environmental sculpture, placed outdoors, interact with the landscape by framing and articulating space.

Kouros Gallery has published a number of books and catalogues on Romeda’s work, both in hard and soft cover.

This post via http://www.kourosgallery.com/artists/Romeda%2008/HTML/Romeda_main.htm

Bruno Romeda is another artist I ab-so-lu-te-ly adore! Having had the privilege to meet him ... and dine w/ him at his house in the South of France ... he's left a lasting impression on the little girl that I was then, and to this day ... he has taken a place as one of my all time favorite artist. The dream? To own one of his "circle" piece ... though I am not a collector, his pieces resonate with me in a way few other artists have. Though I love many MANY artists, I don't necessarily want to own or live with one of their pieces: but a Bruno Romeda? Anytime!!!

Above are just a few of my favorites ... but he does quite a few other shapes as well.

Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et de la Chine

When in Europe, there is one store I try to go to - no matter what: C.F.O.C. which means Compagnie Francaise de l'Orient et de la Chine. If you like minimalist pottery from Asia, this is the place for you. From clothes to ceramics to baskets and other goodies, this store is a temple of minimalist traditional Asian design. With six locations in Paris, one in Brussels and one Barcelona ... this is one store you won't want to miss!