The Ellis Park house is a multi level home built by Altius Architecture in Toronto Canada. It is a contemporary style home that incorporates clean lines and boxy style with sustainable elements such as geothermal heating and cooling, passive solar design and daylighting strategy, recycled and reclaimed materials, passive thermo-siphon ventilation and a green roof. The design of the house includes open concept living spaces that take advantage of the large expanse of windows and the use of sustainable materials such as cork, reclaimed stone, birch and marine plywood, clay brick, copper and Douglas fir.

Description of the Ellis Park House by Altius Architecture
Located in Toronto’s Bloor West Village neighbourhood the Ellis Park House was conceived as an ecological urban home that places a bold emphasis on sustainability and contemporary living. The home was constructed on an overgrown infill site, just steps from Bloor Street, that was considered unbuildable because of its 45 slope and shallow depth. Where others saw obstacles the design team saw potential for an earth sheltered home, ideally sited in an urban context with good solar orientation and exceptional vistas over Toronto’s High Park.

The design and construction of the home provided the architectural team with the opportunity to experiment with various systems, materials and assemblies, providing real world experience and long term monitoring to verify theories and assumptions that could not be tested on private clients.
The enduring legacy of the Ellis Park House is that many of the design strategies that were novel at the time of its design have become standard in the firms current work. The house proved to the firm’s clients that reducing ones ecological foot print can be done with out compromising comfort, luxury or style and more importantly that sustainable practices really do pay for themselves.

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Via Contemporist


Modern Arizona Home


This amazing desert home built by Will Bruder + Partners is a modern dwelling that is a comfortable living space for a family of 4 that is nestled in the rugged desert of Arizona. The back of the home has a series of large windows that frame the McDowell Mountains in the distance and a mountain preserve to the south. Entry, office and bedrooms are on the upper level with the primary living and dining experience, a media/music chamber and potter’s studio tucked beneath.The harder surfaces used through out the house such as concrete and steel is softened with the use of cork and wood to provide an aesthetic balance.

Via Contemporist

Austin is known for SXSW and is the place where all the hip young Texans live and is a hot bed for homeowners who are open to using sustainable products in their homes. We receive a lot of inquires from this part of Texas and this homeowner did an amazing kitchen renovation. I am super impressed with their two tone cabinets because I hate matchey-matchey and their brown cork tiles is a nice complement to their lower cabinets. Overall this will be a great party kitchen.

Lauren and Kyle purchased this 1910 home and have transformed the small, choppy 970 sf home into a modern dwelling that still has the original original character of the home. They removed almost all the interior walls  to create a large open home but kept such details as the exposed beams to retain some of the original charm. Lauren and Kyle updated the kitchen in a modern style and chose to use a dark cork flooring through out the entire home. The dark floors and the light walls create a nice contrast that does not make the space feel small. Their apartment is part of the “Small Cool 2012” contest at Apartment Therapy so click the link below and vote for their space.

What I Love About My Small Home
Our 1910 home was dark and cramped when we moved in, but now it’s open and filled with natural light. We love that it’s modern while also celebrating original features, like the exposed joists in the living room. We also love that everything has a purpose and that many elements serve double duty. (For instance, the studio loft doubles as a guest sleeping area, and the guardrail for the stair doubles as a storage “fauxdenza”.) Our house is now more functional, more efficient and a reflection of the way we live.

Biggest Challenge of Living in a Small Space
The biggest challenge of living in a small home was to transform the original layout to meet our current needs (while living in the house and doing the work ourselves!). By removing walls and reconfiguring spaces, we were able to add a second bedroom without increasing the overall footprint. We also took advantage of every square inch – a small studio space was carved out of the attic, the porch was closed in to create a mudroom (so important in Seattle!) and the ceiling was vaulted over the kitchen and dining area to create more volume. A wall of sliding doors maintains privacy for the bedrooms and bathroom without taking up precious floor space, and carefully placed built-ins provide valuable storage for a house that had not a single closet! Because everything is so open, we chose a cohesive palette of bright whites, warm wood tones and pops of color to create a cozy yet modern space that we call home.

Via Apartment Therapy

Cork floating floors is a designed so that it can be quickly installed by any homeowner and requires a minimum amount of tools and knowledge. With its tongue and groove locking system, a customer does not need to use glue or nails to snap the floor together. The above photo is from one of our customers who was able to complete their renovation quickly so they could enjoy their new flooring and room.

Via Flooring Store Online

We talk about sustainability as objects that you can purchase to help the environment. Buy cork flooring, buy eco-friendly products, buy bamboo and the world will be a better place. But one of the biggest factors in living a sustainable lifestyle is purchasing only the items you need.

I feel that one of the areas that Americans need to scale back on is the size of the homes we live in. Yes it is great to have a lot of square footage to move around in but having a theater room, bonus room, finished basement really a necessity for a small family? Have you thought how much energy it takes to heat and light these rooms?

This micro home is to the extreme but do we really need a McMansion for a family of 3? Of course we love the cork flooring they are using in this micro home.

One big key to small-spacing living is vertical space – with nine feet in each horizontal direction, the only way to go is up. At the same time, this particular design manages to look like it evolved somehow organically, with elements not simply occupying every spare spot. Read More

Via Dornob

Great looking brown cork flooring. Nice complement to the mint green walls. – John

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