​Grist breaks out the kosher salt and white vinegar for a DIY house-cleaning sesh. Elisabeth Kwak-Hefferan has her reservations going into it — "I’ve heard about people using homemade cleaning concoctions for years, but I dismissed the practice to those much crunchier than I am (you know, dreds, sarongs, an open box of baking soda on the sink where others have toothpaste)" — but is delightfully surprised — " I’ll never go back" — with the results. 


Apartment Therapy takes copious notes at a talk given by tiny house demigod Jay Shafer at South by Southwest 2012 on the art of downsizing, multi-tasking and simplifying. One lesson learned: "If you are living in a small home, live well. In order to make it all work in such a tiny space, everything needs to be well-designed, and Jay suggests using quality materials. After all, while those quality materials might cost a small fortune in a 1,000 square-foot home, it's a pittance when using it for a home that's a few hundred sq ft. It's about quality and good design sense, not quantity."


The Wall Street Journal flips through the latest assortment of seed catalogs with author and gardening blogger extraordinaire Margaret Roach. If you missed it the first time around, check out my interview from last spring with Roach here


Jetson Green takes a moment to admire the Net-Zero Solar Laneway House in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. Built for $320,000 (not too shabby in uber-pricey Vancouver) by Lanefab, the 1,020-square-foot contemporary home features LED lighting, an energy monitoring system, a rooftop solar array, rainwater harvesting and SIP construction. That's the home pictured up top.


The New York Times sits down for a tutorial on how to make a lovely, Noguchi-inspired hanging lamp from a pair of old bicycle rims, ribbon and ripstop nylon. Andrew Wagner, former editor-in-chief of dearly departed ReadyMade, and architect/designer Jen Turner provide the step-by-step instruction.


TreeHugger wrangles up "5 Fun Faucets That Help Save Water."


The Brooklyn Paper is fascinated by the indoor micro-farming techniques of artist/professor Jenna Spevack. Long story short, she's taken to growing greens in, on, under, and around ordinary household furniture. Remarks Spevack: “You can have salad all year long. It’s quite a lot of fun to grow your own food. It’s sort of like no-work farming.” Click here to find out how you can support Spevack's upcoming galley exhibition.


Contemporist shares photos of two rustic hillside ADUs — one topped off with a lovely n' lush green roof — used for yoga, art, and stashing overnight guests in Mill Valley, Calif. Take. Me. There. 


The San Francisco Chronicle examines the curious — and somewhat horrifying — case of how radioactive metal tissue boxes made from contaminated scrap metal wound up at Bed Bath & Beyond stores earlier this year.


Curbed pages through the latest issue of Country Living to discover that "Greenhouses: so hot right now!" 



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

Playing catch up: March (link) madness
Thanks to Katniss Everdeen and the NCAA, you may find yourself preoccupied with the shooting of arrows and/or hoops this weekend. Need a breather? Check out the