Modern Beanbags for Luxury Floor Seating

Sitting on or nearer to the floor will help you bring grounding energy to your body and your environment.

Beanbag chairs are a way to enjoy the luxurious, lounging element of floor seating, while still enjoying some support to the spine. In a beanbag chair, you are allowing some additional extension to your lower body by having less strain on the psoas muscle, therefore helping to maintain a higher level of circulation in a seated position.

“Floor culture” has been widespread across Asia for centuries. In Korea, sitting on the floor was a way to stay warmer due to the ondol, or underfloor heating systems. In India, sitting on the floor while eating is part of the Ayurvedic lifestyle, aiding in digestion, circulation, and portion control.  In Japan, there is at least one room of the house with washitsu, a traditional style room that is adorned only with woven tatami mats across the floor, a simple low table, and some floor cushions. In modern times, we enjoy floor seating as a means to feel more cozy and comfortable in our own homes, and when welcoming guests. With an array of contemporary designs to choose from, one can maintain a modern look in their home, while still offering a relaxed and inviting aesthetic.

We hope you enjoy some of our favorite modern beanbag chair selections!

 

Earthy Charcoal
Earthy Charcoal
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Subtle Geometric
Subtle Geometric
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Dark Knit
Dark Knit
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Linen Textile
Linen Textile
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Woven Linen
Woven Linen
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Clean White Down
Clean White Down
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Grey Wool
Grey Wool
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Triangle Lounge
Triangle Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Faux Fur Nest
Faux Fur Nest
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
White Leather
White Leather
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Boho Knit
Boho Knit
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Dark Wedges
Dark Wedges
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF

Floor Seating Dream

Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Soft Faux Fur
Soft Faux Fur
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Earthy Nook
Earthy Nook
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Cozy Lounge
Cozy Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Twin Knit Set
Twin Knit Set
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF
Velvet Corner
Velvet Corner
Photograph Courtesy of Honestly WTF

 

 

Learn about how to maintain a clean and minimalist environment in your home in Cleanse Your Home, Cleanse Your Mind.

Cleanse Your Home, Cleanse Your Mind

Keeping your home free of stagnant energy will help you live with lightness of being.

August is the fall of the summer, and autumn right around the corner. With luck, this summer you have spent countless hours bathing in sunlight, or adventuring in new territories. Now is the time to spend some time inside your home, take a look around, and begin to cleanse all the corners and surfaces to ready yourself for the last third of the year. Having a clean and pure living environment is clinically proven to increase brain activity, calm your nerves, and improve overall productivity.

Minimalist Living
Minimalist Living
Photograph Courtesy of Wartaku

 

 Clearing Clutter

Clean and Minimalist
Clean and Minimalist
Photograph Courtesy of Style Caster

 

The first step to minimizing clutter, and maximizing peaceful, clean energy in your environment, is to discard any of the following items from your surfaces and drawers.

  • Old Magazines + Newspapers  – If you have stacks of old magazines and newspapers lying around your coffee tables or bookshelves, toss them into the recycling, and clear space for new projects and books!
  • Receipts + Bills + Documents – Have you already logged or filed necessary information from any receipts, bills, or documents you’ve been saving on your desk or in your kitchen drawers? Throw them all into the recycling bin! Anything that you truly need to save for your personal files or taxes should be neatly organized and placed in a file folder or cabinet.
  • Clothing – Take a long, hard look inside your closet, boudoir, or dresser, and remove anything you haven’t been wearing regularly (seasonal clothes aside).
  • Books – Do you have stacks of books that you have already read? Pick your top three, and donate the rest. Trade collections with your best friend, create a neighborhood “Take One, Leave One” bin, or find a coffeeshop with a bookshelf and leave them for someone else!
  • Medicine + Vitamins – Check the expiration date on all of your bottled medicines an supplements, and discard anything old, or anything that you are no longer in need of.
  • Makeup + Perfume – Cosmetics and toiletries expire also, and usually aren’t of the same quality after spending too much time laying around in a drawer. Go through everything an toss out those mostly empty compacts of powder or dried up mascaras!
  • Jewelry – If you aren’t going to invest in basic jewelry pliers or a small repair kit, it’s time to discard all the broken jewelry that you have cluttering up your drawers.
  • Old or Unused Electronics – Do you have a drawer for old cables, phone chargers, cell phones, or any other obsolete electronics? Get rid of all of that! Donate to your local Goodwill.

 

Setting Intentions

Creating an Altar
Creating an Altar
Photograph Courtesy of Free People
Fire Elements
Fire Elements
Photograph Courtesy of Free People

It is of utmost important to the balance of your mind and your home to dedicate an area of your space to setting intentions. Find a coffee table, bookshelf, or atop your mantle to place powerful items of significance, peace, abundance, and prosperity.  Here are some things you can get started with:

  • An Altar Cloth sets the foundation for the space you are creating, reflecting all that is within you.
  • Salt is an important ingredient to place in a bowl on your altar, as it is protective, purifying, and represents the Earth’s energy.
  • A Chalice represents the Mother Goddess, or divine feminine energy, and is used to hold ceremonial drink, or salt water.
  • A Wand can be made from any organic material, and is used to direct and channel energies in and around you.
  • Candles are used to invoke and hold the power of each cardinal point, and are used to balance the masculine and feminine energies.
  • Bells or Singing Bowls call upon healing energies on your altar, clearing any stagnant energy, and can signify the beginning and ending of your personal practices or rituals
  • Powerful Stones like crystals and minerals each vibrate at their own frequency, and hold unique significance than can represent different feelings, intentions, and affirmations you would like to focus on.

 

Homes that Feel Cleansed

Organization Inspiration
Organization Inspiration
Photograph Courtesy of Wartaku
Clean, Open, Pure
Clean, Open, Pure
Photograph Courtesy of Wartaku
Warm and Zen
Warm and Zen
Photograph Courtesy of Wartaku
Bright and Earthy
Bright and Earthy
Photograph Courtesy of Wartaku

 

Learn about Feng Shui and how to set intentions in your modern home!

A Brief History of Feng Shui

One of the Five Arts of Chinese Metaphysics, fen shui, or wind-water, is a ancient traditional belief system that guides and governs the energy forces within architectural structures.

Closely linked to Taoism, feng shui practice discusses the arrangement within architecture in terms of  the “invisible forces that bind the universe, earth, and humanity together, known as qi. In traditional Chinese culture, qi is believed to be the vital force, life force, energy flow, or material energy forming part of every living entity. Qi, in relation to feng shui, includes the orientation of a structure, its age, and its interaction with the surrounding environment, including the local microclimates, the slope of the land, vegetation, and soil quality.

The use of feng shui is dated back as far as 5000 BC to the Yangshao people that lived along the Yangtze River in China. Between 4700 BC and 2900 BC, the Hongshan people in Northeast China, who interacted with the Yangshao, adopted feng shui into their culture. Before the magnetic compass, feng shui relied on cosmography to set the orientation of structures. Early Chinese astronomers utilized a gnomon, or the part of a sundial that casts the shadow, as the first instrument to use circumpolar stars to determine the north-south axis of settlements. Rituals for using a feng shui instrument required a diviner to examine current sky phenomena to set the device and adjust their position in relation to the device. The magnetic compass was in fact originally invented by the Han Dynasty for the purpose of divination and feng shui.

In Western civilization, feng shui has become widespread, and is commonly utilized in interior design and architecture.

Bagua

feng-shui.jpg

In Yaodian, the cardinal directions are determined by the marker-stars of the mega-constellations known as the Four Celestial Animals:

East: The Azure Dragon (Spring equinox)—Niao (Bird 鳥), α Scorpionis
South: The Vermilion Bird (Summer solstice)—Huo (Fire 火), α Hydrae
West: The White Tiger (Autumn equinox)—Mǎo (Hair 毛), η Tauri (the Pleiades)
North: The Black Tortoise (Winter solstice)—Xū (Emptiness, Void 虛), α Aquarii, β Aquarii

You can use the bagua diagram in your own home, by using a compass, or the compass app on your phone, to check how you have intuitively placed things around your home, and re-arrange accordingly. Using the bagua diagram can, if anything, be an excellent way to decorate and arrange parts your home with intention!

 

Quick Tips for Feng Shui in a Modern Home

15 Minutes to Better Feng Shui

Image Courtesy of Gates Interior Design

 

 

Learn about Color Therapy to utilize more elements of Feng Shui in your modern home!

 

Backyard DIY Projects: Glass Bottles

Upcycling, or creative repurposing, is the process of transforming used and discarded materials into products or projects for better environmental use and better quality.

By upcycling, you prevent wasting potentially useful materials, therefore reducing the consumption of new raw materials when creating new products. Reducing the use of new raw materials can result in a reduction of energy usage, air pollution, water pollution and even greenhouse gas emissions. The major environmental impact of glass production is the atmospheric emissions from melting activities. The combustion of natural gas or fuel oil, and the decomposition of raw materials during the melting, lead to the emission of carbon dioxide.

Glass bottles are already a brilliantly constructed work of art. Both their smooth, oblong shape, and array of colors make them a prime candidate for upcycling in your own home. When they go in the recycling bin, or often the trash, it is common for them to shatter and become useless for anything other than being melted down. It’s a shame to let such a beautiful sculpture go to waste! Imagine the possibilities of using beautiful blue hues of glass, or serene greens to create a privacy wall, outdoor shower, garden bed, or simple a lantern to hang a candle.

Check out these immensely creative and extraordinay applications of glass upcycling. Some are more complex and require a bit more knowledge of construction, and some that can be simply constructed in a weekend!

Breathtaking Structures

 

Garden Portal
Garden Portal
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Backyard Pagoda Lounge
Backyard Pagoda Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Earth Ship Wall
Earth Ship Wall
Photograph Courtesy of Wilder Publications
Glass Bottle Gabion Wall
Glass Bottle Gabion Wall
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Backyard Art Studio, New Zealand
Backyard Art Studio, New Zealand
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Cottage Bathroom Inspiration
Cottage Bathroom Inspiration
Photograph Courtesy of The Art of Upcycling
Portal to the Backyard
Portal to the Backyard
Stunning Covered Patio Ceiling
Stunning Covered Patio Ceiling
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Glass Bottle Backyard Oasis
Glass Bottle Backyard Oasis in Deep Ellum, Texas
Glass Bottle Greenhouse
Glass Bottle Greenhouse
Photograph Courtesy of Milkwood
Bottle Cottage

Bottle Cottage

Photograph Courtesy of The Art of Upcycling
Backyard Shower Dome
Backyard Shower Dome
Photograph Courtesy of Marks Veg Plot
Outdoor Shower Dreams
Outdoor Shower Dreams
Stained Glass Effect
Stained Glass Effect
Photograph Courtesy of Marks Veg Plot
Earthy Glass Bottle Wall
Earthy Glass Bottle Wall
Photograph Courtesy of Insteading
Market Hall Altenrhein Switzerland, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser.
Market Hall Altenrhein Switzerland, designed by Austrian artist Friedensreich Hundertwasser
Photograph Courtesy of Insteading
Creative Patterns
Creative Patterns
Photograph Courtesy of Offay Design Studio Blog
An Array of Shapes and Colors
An Array of Shapes and Colors
Photograph Courtesy of Lushome
Outdoor Bar
Outdoor Bar
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Bottle Temple in Eastern Thailand
Bottle Temple in Eastern Thailand
Photograph Courtesy of Insteading

Simpler Designs

How to Begin
How to Begin
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Ocean Shades
Ocean Shades
Photograph Courtesy of Flickr
Bottle Garden Bed
Bottle Garden Bed
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Ornate Doorways
Ornate Doorways
Photograph Courtesy of Plant Care Today
Colorful Decorative Wall
Colorful Decorative Wall
Simple Wine Bottle Shelf
Simple Wine Bottle Shelf
Photograph Courtesy of Bob Vila
Hanging Lantern Inspiration
Hanging Lantern Inspiration
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Suspended Candles
Suspended Candles
Photograph Courtesy of Architecture and Design
Wine Bottle Chair
Wine Bottle Chair
Photograph Courtesy of Insteading

Glass Bottle Cutting Tutorial!

 

Check out another awesome Backyard DIY using Cinder Blocks or Reclaimed Lumber!

Modern Hotels: Austin, Texas

Austin has an international reputation for its rich and vibrant culture. With hundreds of live music venues, thousands of restaurants, and endless adventure destinations in the outdoors, you will never have a day in Austin without excitement and activity!

Ranked as one of the fittest cities in the United States, and with 300+ days of sunshine and an average temperature of 68 degrees, being active in Austin comes naturally. Austin offers an abundance of outdoor activities from cycling, stand-up paddle boarding, hiking, yoga, kayaking, rock climbing, and more!

Austin is known for its creativity and freedom of expression. Home some world-class museums like the Blanton, with the nation’s largest University-owned collection on exhibit, Austin attracts an international appetite for the arts. Austin is a place to explore the work of designers, painters, sculptors, writers, photographers, filmmakers, dancers and musicians, year round, in a variety of venues.

Modern design and decor are now a part of the aesthetic culture in Austin, and there are an array of cafes, restaurants, hotels, and bars so beautiful, that they are a place to see, and be seen. If you have an eye for unique architecture and interior design, you will enjoy these eclectically modern hotels!

The South Congress Hotel

Natural Elements
Natural Elements
Stay Here!
Sleek and Minimalist
Sleek and Minimalist
Stay Here!
Houseplants Galore
Houseplants Galore
Stay Here!
A Touch of Retro
A Touch of Retro
Stay Here!
Cozy Lounges
Cozy Lounges
Stay Here!
Sleek Bathrooms
Sleek Bathrooms
Stay Here!
Rich Palettes
Rich Palettes
Stay Here!
Downtown Views
Downtown Views
Stay Here!
Green Pathways
Green Pathways
Stay Here!

The Austin Motel

Austin Motel
Austin Motel
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
South Congress Views
South Congress Views
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Modern Courtyard
Modern Courtyard
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Mid-Century Bedroom
Mid-Century Bedroom
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Retro Pool
Retro Pool
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Modern Lobby
Modern Lobby
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Green Patio
Green Patio
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Double Rooms
Double Rooms
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Let Love In
Let Love In
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen

Hotel Van Zandt

Lobby with Pizazz
Lobby with Pizazz
Stay Here!
Record Player Birds by Paul Villinski
Record Player Birds by Paul Villinski
Stay Here!
Geraldine's Dining Hall
Geraldine’s Dining Hall
Stay Here!
Lady Bird Lounge
Lady Bird Lounge
Stay Here!
Second Floor Swag
Second Floor Swag
Stay Here!
Geraldine's Restaurant
Geraldine’s Restaurant
Stay Here!
Fireplace Lounge
Fireplace Lounge
Stay Here!
Sleek Pool Deck
Sleek Pool Deck
Stay Here!
Earth Tones
Earth Tones
Stay Here!
King Spa Bedroom with a View
King Spa Bedroom with a View
Stay Here!
King Spa Suite
King Spa Suite
Stay Here!
The Lady Bird Studio
The Lady Bird Studio
Stay Here!
Living Room Music Corner
Living Room Music Corner
Stay Here!

Native Hostel, Bar & Kitchen

East Side Vibes
East Side Vibes
Photograph Courtesy of Dwell
Modern Timber Accents
Modern Timber Accents
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Classic Austin Fusions
Classic Austin Fusions
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Mid-Century Lounge
Mid-Century Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Rustic Modern
Rustic Modern
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Private Rooms
Private Rooms
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Dorm Beds
Dorm Beds
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Dormitory Lounge
Dormitory Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Native Lounge
Native Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag

Hotel Saint Cecilia

Green Outdoors
Green Outdoors
Stay Here!
Arbor Lounge
Arbor Lounge
Stay Here!
Pool with Soul
Pool with Soul
Stay Here!
Modern Luxury
Modern Luxury
Stay Here!
Color and Shape
Color and Shape
Stay Here!
Saint Cecilia Lounge
Saint Cecilia Lounge
Stay Here!

The W Austin

Ethereal Light Fixtures
Ethereal Light Fixtures
Stay Here!
"Whatever, Whenever"
“Whatever, Whenever”
Stay Here!
Steven Durr Acoustics
Steven Durr Acoustics
Stay Here!
AWAY Spa Treatments
AWAY Spa Treatments
Stay Here!
AWAY Spa Lounge
AWAY Spa Lounge
Stay Here!
"Extreme Wow Bathroom"
“Extreme Wow Bathroom”
Stay Here!
McIntosh Installations
McIntosh Installations
Stay Here!
Trace Dining Hall Seating
Trace Dining Hall Seating
Stay Here!
Extreme Wow Suite
Extreme Wow Suite
Stay Here!
"Fantastic Suite"
“Fantastic Suite”
Stay Here!
"Cool Corner Bedroom"
“Cool Corner Bedroom”
Stay Here!
AWAY Spa Nails
AWAY Spa Nails
Stay Here!

Take a peek at a little more info on Austin as one of our top Wanderlust Destinations,

Weekly Healthy Recipe Feature: Japanese Poke Bowl

Following health-conscious recipes filled with nutrient packed foods will contribute to the energy of your body and your mind. Healthy food doesn’t have to be bland, in fact, some of the tastiest flavors can be combined to create exotic fusions. Eat clean to feel clean!

This island delicacy may appear complex and slightly intimidating to create, but it really is quite simple! The contents are fresh and raw, and require little preparation.

 

Ingredients You’ll Need

  • 8-12 ounces of Sushi Grade Ahi Tuna, Salmon, or Tofu
  • 1 cup of Steamed Jasmine or Brown Rice
  • 1 Cucumber, Thinly Sliced
  • 1 Avocado, Diced
  • 3 stalks of Green Onions, Thinly Sliced
  • 2 tablespoons Minced Shallot
  • 2 radishes, Thinly Sliced
  • 1/2 cup of Shredded Carrots
  • Fresh Minced Cilantro and Basil
  • 2 Cloves of Garlic, Minced
  • Freshly Grated Ginger (to taste)

The Dressing

  • Soy Sauce or Tamari (Gluten Free)
  • Rice Wine Vinegar
  • Sesame Oil
  • Shichimi Togarashi*
  • Dijon Mustard
  • Cayenne Pepper

 

*Shichimi Togarashi is a mix of spices and herbs including Sansho (Sichuan pepper), dried citrus peel, sesame seeds, poppy seeds, hemp seeds, ginger, garlic, shiso (Japanese basil), and nori (pressed seaweed). Most of these ingredients might already be in your pantry, but the rests should be available at your local Asian food supply.

d133c0f77c223b3cda38be1534f1d94666627316.jpeg

Photograph Courtesy of The Kitchn

 

Instructions

Begin steaming your rice of choice; I personally prefer jasmine sticky rice for taste, but brown rice has a bit more fiber. Whether you choose white or brown rice, you will still be consuming almost exactly the same number of calories, carbs, protein, and fat.

Shred carrots into a jar. Whisk together shredded ginger, and rice wine vinegar and pour into carrots. Shake and refrigerate one hour to pickle carrots.

Cut the Ahi Tuna, Salmon, or Tofu neatly into 1/2-inch cubes, and place into a bowl.

Stir in soy sauce or Tamari, sesame oil, Dijon mustard, rice wine vinegar, cayenne pepper, minced shallots and garlic, and chopped green onions. Refrigerate while you prepare other ingredients.

Fill the bottom of your bowl with your rice of choice, and top with freshly minced cilantro and basil, diced avocado, the pickled carrots, grated ginger, and thinly sliced cucumbers and radishes.

Scoop the tuna, salmon, or tofu on top, and garnish with Shichimi Togarashi and green onions.

 

japanese-poke-bowls-with-ahi-tuna-green-onions-sesame-seeds-600x900

Photograph Courtesy of Jessica Gavin

 

Check out another delicious and simple healthy recipe for a Thai Cucumber Salad!

Backyard DIY Projects : Reclaimed Lumber

 

Trees are a vital ingredient for supporting life on our planet. They are crucial to our environment as humans, producing oxygen and absorbing climate change-causing carbon dioxide. People cut down 15 billion trees each year, excluding the undocumented millions illegally logged, and the global tree count has fallen by 46% since the beginning of human civilization.

Logging is the greatest determinant of whether trees will survive in a given area. The most dramatic losses to forests are in tropical regions where land is being cleared for agriculture and other commercial purposes. Logging involves the cutting and processing of trees to produce timber and pulp to supply the world’s markets for furniture, construction, paper, and other products. If not managed properly, logging greatly contributes to deforestation and forest degradation. Habitat loss is one of the biggest threats to biodiversity, especially in tropical rainforests where over half of all of the planet’s documented flora and fauna are found. Logging also directly impacts soil and hydrological cycles, as reducing in tree coverage leads to the increase in water runoff and soil erosion.

It is imperative to our survival as a species to preserve our planet’s forests. A way to immensely impact the conservation of trees is to utilize reclaimed timber for the construction of your home, and your home improvement projects.  The vast majority of repurposed wood comes from timbers and decking rescued from old barns, factories and warehouses, though some use wood from structures such as pallets, boxcars, coal mines, and wine barrels.

Here are some amazing projects using pallets that we hope inspire you to utilize reclaimed wood for your future home projects!

 

Backyard Lounge
Backyard Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Big DIY Ideas
Coffe Table // Firepit
Coffe Table // Firepit
Photograph Courtesy of Alison Coldridge
Succulent Planter
Succulent Planter

 

Geometric Privacy Fence
Geometric Privacy Fence
Photograph Courtesy of Big DIY Ideas
Modern Pallet Garden Shed
Modern Pallet Garden Shed
Photograph Courtesy of Billie Lourd
Back Porch Swing
Back Porch Swing
Photograph Courtesy of Big DIY Ideas
Modern Wood Installation
Modern Wood Installation
Visit Etsy
Plant and Candle Installation
Plant and Candle Installation
Photograph Courtesy of Home Lovr
Palett Palace
Palett Palace
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Pallet Deck Foundation
Pallet Deck Foundation
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Finished Pallet Deck
Finished Pallet Deck
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Extra Wide Chaise
Extra Wide Chaise
Photograph Courtesy of Big DIY Ideas
Dream Treehouse Made from Pallets and Reclaimed Wood!
Dream Treehouse Made from Pallets and Reclaimed Wood!
Cabin Made Completely from Pallets!
Cabin Made Completely from Pallets!
Photograph Courtesy of World Truth
Repurposed Pallet Benche
Repurposed Pallet Benche
Photograph Courtesy of Big DIY Ideas
Simple Yard Tool Holder
Simple Yard Tool Holder
Photograph Courtesy of Flux Decor
The Possibilities are Endless
The Possibilities are Endless
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest

 

Check out another Backyard DIY using Cinder Blocks!

A Brief History of Indigo

The serene shade of indigo has been used across the world for over 6,000 years. Indigo dye is among the oldest to be used for dying textiles and making prints, and was first documented in history as being used in Huaca Prieta, Peru. Since its discovery, indigo dye has been used in the ancient civilizations of Japan, India and Southeast Asian countries, Mesopotamia, Egypt, Iran, and Africa.

 When Sir Isaac Newton began his research on the continuum of colors, he introduced indigo as one of the seven basic colors that could be shown through a prism creating the optic spectrum.

Indigo Dye Workshop
Indigo Dye Workshop
Photograph Courtesy of Eleven Gallery

When indigo dye made its way to the ancient Greeks and Romans, it was long valued as luxury product. Arab merchants brought indigo dye from India during the Greco-Roman era, and thus the latinized word indigo, derived from India, was born. In Mesopotamia,a neo-Babylonian cuneiform tablet of the seventh century BC gives a recipe for a lapis-like color being used to dye wools, pigments for paintings, and cosmetic purposes. The early Spanish colonists setup indigo dye production in Guatemala, and has been a key element in the color palette in the country since.

Variants in Indigo
Variants in Indigo
Photograph Courtesy of Mochni

The color indigo is named after the indigo dye derived from the plant Indigofera tinctoria and related species, although a large percentage of indigo dye produced today is synthetic. The color is primarily used to dye cotton yarn or silk; about 20 thousand tons are produced annually, primarily for blue jeans. Indigofera tinctoria, also called true indigo, has been naturalized to be cultivated in tropical areas of Asia, Africa, and the Americas. Since it is a legume, it is also widely used as a soil-improving ground cover, and is rotated into fields similarly to alfalfa and other beans. Dye is obtained through processing the leaves through fermentation.

Indigo_StonyCreekColors.jpg

Photograph Courtesy of Science Business

When indigo was introduced into colonial South Carolina, it became the second-most important cash crop after rice. Because of its high value as a trading commodity, indigo was often referred to as blue gold.  Its common use is in creating the popular Shibori and tie dye fabrics in both cotton and silk, as well as denim. Eventually, the demand for indigo outweighed the capacity of supply, and a synthetic alternative was developed. In 1883, a German chemist first synthesized indigo, and by 1897, his formula was made into a commercially feasible manufacturing process for mass-production.

Dying Techniques
Dying Techniques
Photograph Courtesy of Mochni

 

Look at these beautiful Bunglo modern pillows in indigo shades!

 

Blue Willow by Bunglo
Blue Willow by Bunglo
Shop Bunglo

 

 

Blue Tangier by Bunglo
Blue Tangier by Bunglo
Shop Bunglo

 

 

Learn how shades of blue and indigo can impact your life and the feel of the design and decor of your modern home in Chromotherapy: Blue Dreams

 

Stay tuned for the origins and processes of other dyes and textiles!

Midweek Wanderlust, Destination: Austin Texas

Austin, the capital of Texas since 1839, is the fasted growing city in the United States.  An urban zone immersed in natural beauty, Austin sits amidst lush rolling hills, and numerous lakes and rivers. The culture is thriving with a diverse range of music, performing arts, film, technology, fine foods, and athleticism.

Despite widespread stereotypes of Texas, Austin is in the heart of the hill country, with rich landscapes of forests and waterways. Downtown Austin is perched alongside Lady Bird Lake, a reservoir on the Colorado River that runs through Central Texas.  There is a 15 mile hike and bike trail that traces the lengths of the reservoir and some adjacent roads and parks, inspiring an athletically abundant culture of jogging, biking, and dog walking throughout each day. With delightful weather most of the year, you will not often see Lady Bird lake empty of kayakers, paddle boarders, and the local rowing club. You can even catch local bands playing a concert atop the water from rafts, canoes, or tubes for the Midsummer Serenade Series.

You will find natural monuments such as the renowned Barton Springs Pool, an enclosed bit of natural spring that attracts thousands each week. The 3-acre lake is spring fed, and the water averages 68 degrees Fahrenheit year round. There is an 8 mile stretch of protected land along Barton Creek with hiking trails, waterfalls, swimming holes, rock climbing routes, and pristine wilderness that begins in Zilker Park near downtown, heading into Westlake Hills.

Lady Bird Lake
Lady Bird Lake
Photograph Courtesy of The Crazy Tourist
Barton Springs Pool
Barton Springs Pool
Photograph Courtesy of The Crazy Tourist
Hamilton Pool
Hamilton Pool
Photograph Courtesy of Travis County Parks
Lost Creek Waterfalls, Barton Creek Greenbelt
Lost Creek Waterfalls, Barton Creek Greenbelt
Photograph by Caitlin Tracy

 Austin is home to a large population of musicians, some known around the world. With an international reputation for being the “Live Music Capital of the World,” there wont be a day or night in Austin without a vast number concerts in an array of genres. Most restaurants and nearly all the bars in Austin have the capacity to be a live music venue at some capacity.

There are now a good number of Fortune 500 companies headquartered in Austin, and since the influx of technology and developmental companies in the 1990s, this high-tech town has been recently nicknamed the “Silicon Hills.” Conventions and festivals such as South by Southwest bring millions of techies to Austin for events and seminars each year.

 

There is a rapidly growing foodie culture in Austin that has made it a hotspot for innovative and delectable selections of cuisine. Chefs from every corner of the world have created their dream kitchens that attract appetites from far and wide.

A long standing local motto, “Keep Austin Weird,” refers to the movement and desire to protect small, unique, and local businesses from being overrun by large corporations. The eclectic aesthetic of Austin manifests in its restaurants, cafes, and hotels. From the classically eccentric old-Austin flavor, to the newer sleek and modern tastes, you wont find a corner of Austin that doesn’t catch your eye.

Check out some of our favorite selections of places to stay, and spots to eat!

Austin Skyline
Austin Skyline
Photograph by Caitlin Tracy

WHERE TO STAY

The Austin Motel

Austin Motel
Austin Motel
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
South Congress Views
South Congress Views
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Modern Courtyard
Modern Courtyard
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Mid-Century Bedroom
Mid-Century Bedroom
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Retro Pool
Retro Pool
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Modern Lobby
Modern Lobby
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Green Patio
Green Patio
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Double Rooms
Double Rooms
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen
Let Love In
Let Love In
Photograph Courtesy of Dezeen

 

Native Hostel, Bar & Kitchen

East Side Vibes
East Side Vibes
Photograph Courtesy of Dwell
Modern Timber Accents
Modern Timber Accents
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Classic Austin Fusions
Classic Austin Fusions
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Mid-Century Lounge
Mid-Century Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Rustic Modern
Rustic Modern
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Private Rooms
Private Rooms
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Dorm Beds
Dorm Beds
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Dormitory Lounge
Dormitory Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Native Lounge
Native Lounge
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag

Hotel Saint Cecilia

hotelsaintcecilia-poolfromabove-1600x700

Stay Here!
hotelsaintcecilia-arbor-side-1600x700
Stay Here!
0fe9cb59cf73c2daee39ef00e519b7f3
Stay Here!
luxury-hotels-texas-austin-hotel-saint-cecilia-suite4-bedroom_lg
Stay Here!
luxury-hotels-texas-austin-hotel-saint-cecilia-poolside-bungalow-living-room_lg
Stay Here!
hotel-saint-cecilia-lounge
Stay Here!

 

WHERE TO EAT

 

Sway

Modern Thai Cuisine
Modern Thai Cuisine
Photograph Courtesy of Urdesign Mag
Garden Patio
Garden Patio
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Ornate Graphics
Ornate Graphics
Photograph Courtesy of Identity Design
v
Family Style Dining
Photograph Courtesy of KUT
Austin Style
Austin Style
Photograph Courtesy of AIA Los Angeles

 

Licha’s Cantina

East Side Flare
East Side Flare
Photography Courtesy of 6street
Backyard Dining
Backyard Dining
Photography Courtesy of Social Hub
The Lupita, a Jalapeño and Watermelon Infused Tequila Cocktail
The Lupita, a Jalapeño and Watermelon Infused Tequila Cocktail
Photograph Courtesy of Trip Advisor
Pollo con Mole
Pollo con Mole
Photograph Courtesy of Trip Advisor

 

Perla’s

South Congress Flare
South Congress Flare
Photograph Courtesy of 365 Things Austin
Delectable Seafood Platters
Delectable Seafood Platters
Photograph Courtesy of 365 Things Austin
Patio Dining
Patio Dining
Photograph Courtesy of 365 Things Austin

 

Check out some more amazing Austin Recommendations from our friends at So Much Life!

And keep following us for more Wanderlust Destinations like Chiang Mai, Thailand!

 

 

Backyard DIY Projects : Cinder Blocks

A backyard is your private sanctuary, and depending on where your home is located, can be your only retreat to be immersed in natural elements. Your enclosed plot of earth is yours to grow and develop to your heart’s desire. Dedicating time and creative energy into your backyard will provide a space to nurture yourself in a peaceful environment. You will cultivate beauty that will inspire you to share it with others, and give you the desire to spend more time outdoors than indoors.

Landscaping projects however, can become quite expensive in no time, so sparking a drive to design and construct your own outdoor experience can be both exciting and essential! By using repurposed materials, you are both saving funds, and succeeding in moving away from a consumerist lifestyle.

Check out these DIY projects for the backyard utilizing cinder blocks to make planters, garden beds, benches, and tables!

.

Succulent Temple
Succulent Temple
Photograph Courtesy of Brit & Co
Vertical Asymmetry
Vertical Asymmetry
Cinder Block + Mosaic Garden Bed
Cinder Block + Mosaic Garden Bed
Photograph Courtesy of Brit
Planters + Candle Nook
Planters + Candle Nook
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Lounge Seat
Lounge Seat
Photograph Courtesy of Slip Talk
Gilded Blocks
Gilded Blocks
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Curved Garden Beds
Curved Garden Beds
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Stairstep Planter
Stairstep Planter
Photograph Courtesy of Deavita
Planter Pyramid
Planter Pyramid
Photograph Courtesy of Cool Creativity
Bench with Backrest
Bench with Backrest
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Eclectic Bench
Eclectic Bench
Photograph Courtesy of Buzz Feed
Colorful Planter Prism
Colorful Planter Prism
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest
Outdoor Bar
Outdoor Bar
Photograph Courtesy of Brit & Co
Simple Modern Bench Planter
Simple Modern Bench Planter
Photograph Courtesy of Pinterest

 Stay tuned for next weeks Backyard DIY Project!