Co.Design goes gaga over Chico, a pet boutique in Japan geared towards pooches (and their owners) possessing an impeccable taste for minimalist design. Writes Suzanne Labarre: If you read our site regularly, you know there are two ways to our heart: modern design and furry animals. It’s only natural, then, that anything that combines the two makes us so giddy we could punch ourselves.”

TreeHugger tests out the $50 GE Energy 9W LED light bulb. The review, for the most part, is pretty glowing.

EcoHome reveals some big Solar Decathlon news. No, the original, U.S.-based event hasn’t found a new venue after getting the boot from the National Mall. However, China will be hosting its own Solar Decathlon starting in 2013.

Jetson Green profiles the Vicino House, a “high-end green designer home" in Pacific Palisades, Calif. It’s big, it’s fancy, and I would like to move in, please. That's it pictured up top and featured in the video at the bottom of the page. 

Re-Nest tours “David and Sarah’s Deep Green Dream Home,” a charming 1915 craftsman bungalow in Oakland, Calif., treated to a LEED Platinum renovation. And surprise, surprise: “David” just happens to be David Gottfried, founder of the U.S. [Green Building] Council.

Inhabitat hits up author, architect, and downsized home diva Sarah Susanka for her “5 Tips for a Green Home Remodel.” What are these pearls of wisdom, you ask? Re-evaluate the space you’re working with, get an energy audit, invest in quality over quantity, use lighting to amplify perspective, and enhance your space with color.

GOOD helps to announce Finland’s annual Habitare Design Competition. This year’s theme? Outhouses. Makes senses given that “Finland is known for both its ecological designs and its outhouses.”

Yanko Design digs “Grow Up,” a ceramic mug with grass that grows out of the bottom. I’m a bit perplexed as to how this is actually functional (it’s certainly not dishwasher-safe) but the prototype photos look cool.

The Los Angeles Times visits Croft House, a furniture store that specializes in affordable-ish home furnishings made locally from reclaimed materials. Lovely stuff.

Natural Home raids the recycling bin searching for plastic milk jugs and toilet paper rolls to incorporate into DIY repurposed birdfeeder projects.

The New York Times examines how Architectural Digest’s new editor, Margaret Russell, is un-stuffy-ing the respected but out-of-touch shelter magazine. Writes the Times of A.D. “… it has never been exactly modish, particularly in the last two decades. Its photography had begun to seem unsophisticated, too flat and bright; its layout stiff and dated, redolent of the 1980s, its heyday. Like the wardrobe of a successful movie mogul of a certain age, it telegraphed money, but not always taste.”

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Playing catch up: International affairs
Travel around the wold in green home news with Finnish outhouse design competitions, Japanese boutiques for minimalist design-loving dogs and Chinese solar home