I recently moved my daughter Isabel up to UC Berkeley for the fall semester. She transferred as a junior in Psychology after completing her degree at Cabrillo in the spring. Proud dad! The move went very smoothly for her – spiffy dorm, own room, new friends, loves her professors. She’s a planner and worked hard to get things set up. For me, the change has come with its adjustments, to say the least! In fact, I look differently now at every parent who has experienced their child moving out. Should we say emotional rollercoaster?She was recently telling me about her experience getting her kitchen set up that she shares with three other roommates. Apparently, Isabel has become the go-to expert on all things compostable and recyclable in the household. That’s my girl – continuing the legacy of saving the planet one teaching moment at a time!
- Brian Corser, owner
New Cork Composite Flooring
WISE Cork by Amorim
Another beautiful alternative to vinyl flooring!
Amorium is at it again, offering ten cork-composite floor options that are completely waterproof and free of vinyl and other toxic ingredients while having one of the toughest wear ratings on the market using food grade recycled PET plastic!
Cork is one of the most eco-friendly flooring options on the market. Amorim has reached a remarkable CO2 negative footprint in its entire process. Cork harvesting is an environmentally friendly process during which not a single tree is damaged. The bark regenerates itself after each extraction in preparation for the next harvesting. A harvested cork oak tree absorbs 5 times more CO2 from the atmosphere than a tree that hasn’t been harvested, helping to reduce global warming.
Come in today to see the 10 gorgeous cork styles! $5.99/square foot
For more information, see amorimflooring.com.
Coyuchi’s Fall Colors
Sustainable organic textiles for your home.
Coyuchi has introduced a variety of lovely new colors and styles for the fall. Whether you are looking to refresh your bedroom or add a beautiful throw to your living room, we have beautiful new options for you. Come feel your way through our swatch books and find your next gorgeous organic towel, sheet, blanket, or duvet!
Help Cathy Refurbish Her Cast Iron Outdoor Furniture with Milk Paint!
I’m starting a new project refurbishing my vintage Rococo-style cast iron garden furniture. I inherited four pieces from my grandparents years ago. My grandmother purchased them at an auction in the early ’70′s – she never paid full price for anything! After years in the garden, these pieces are ready for a refresh.
Please help! What color should I paint these beautiful pieces? I’d love for my daughter to enjoy them for years to come. I’m looking for a fresh new coat of milk paint to bring them back to life.
Milk Paint is a safe, non-toxic, and versatile finish that has stood the test of time. Composed of milk protein, hydrated lime, plant-based fillers, and iron oxides, milk paint is a natural, eco-friendly choice for a variety of indoor and outdoor projects.
I’ve selected 8 possible colors for this project. Please take a look and vote for your favorite! Then check back next month to see pictures of the process and of the finished project. Let’s get painting!
Eco Fusion Flooring Sale
October 1 – 31
For the month of October, greenspace is offering deep discounts on over 40 strandwoven bamboo floors from Ecofusion. Bamboo is a rapidly renewable resource. Bamboo floors come in a wide variety of colors and styles, making them an excellent choice for almost any style home.
For more information, see ecofusionflooring.com.
Avoiding Flooring Mistakes
This is the fifth in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.
Tip #5 – Choosing the right material!
The last mistake you want to avoid when installing a new floor is choosing the wrong material for your space and for your lifestyle. Wood floors look gorgeous in a kitchen, but if you are an exuberant chef who drips and splashes all over your kitchen floor, you may be happier in the long run with tile or linoleum, or a vinyl-free waterproof floor, something that is water resistant and easy to clean. Tile floors can be dramatic and beautiful in all living spaces, but if you like to sit on the floor or have young children (or old dogs!), they may be too cold and hard for some rooms. Things dropped on tile floors tend to break and small people who fall down on tile floors tend to hurt themselves. Carpet, cork, or wood floors are much friendlier options for the rooms where you spend the most time.
So, are you looking for a floor that can hold up to heavy traffic? One that will feel warm and cozy? One that will enhance your home’s resale value? Come in and talk to us! Let us help you choose the perfect material for your next flooring project.
I have a small Swiss army knife that I always carry with me. It has five features: knife blade, nail file/screwdriver, scissors, toothpick and tweezers. No corkscrew, no magnifying glass, no leather hole punch, no flash drive. It’s reusable, durable, practical and convenient. It is actually one in a line of at least an identical dozen that I’ve had in my life – many of them lost to airport TSA or swallowed in any number of couches I’ve sat in over the years. I truly feel I am unprepared to meet the challenges of the day without it. But then, that’s the kind of guy I am – boy scout!Now I mention this because it has also had one unintended, yet fortunate consequence in its use. Many years ago, I was walking with a sweet gal in San Francisco who I recently started dating. She happened to be wearing sandals and got a splinter in her foot. We stopped, looked at the splinter, (and you know where I’m going with this), I pulled out my Swiss army knife and the tweezers and with it the splinter. My date claimed that at that moment she knew she wanted to marry me. And we did – just five years later.- Brian Corser, owner
NEW WATERPROOF FLOORING
WISE by Amorim
Our gorgeous new alternative to vinyl flooring!
Looking for beautiful and comfortable wood-look waterproof flooring for your home that is free of vinyl and other toxic ingredients? We have the answer! WISE by Amorim is composed of layers of cork with a rigid core made of cork amalgamate and natural crushed stone. It is topped with beautiful wood-look veneers and a non-PVC protective wear-resistant layer, making it easy to maintain.
WISE is comfortable to walk on, soft, quiet, and warm. Amorim goes to great lengths to “green” their production process, making WISE a “Climate Positive” flooring choice. It also meets the highest European indoor air quality standards. And did we mention it is waterproof?!
Come in today to see the 10 gorgeous wood styles! $4.99/square foot
For more information, see amorimflooring.com.
AVOIDING FLOORING MISTAKES
This is the fourth in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.
Tip #4 – Acclimating!
Another pitfall to avoid when installing new flooring is not allowing it to acclimate to the space before installation. For the most successful installation, you want the humidity level and temperature of your flooring materials to match that of your space, preventing potential buckling or gaps due to the material swelling or shrinking after installation. The way to achieve that is through acclimating the flooring – letting it sit in your space for several days before installation. You’ll want to check the manufacturer’s installation instructions for their recommendation on how long the materials need to acclimate and whether the boxes of flooring should be opened or kept sealed during this time. Some solid bamboo floors need up to 5 days to acclimate. Engineered floors may need only 24-48 hours. Be sure to find out what your floor needs before you start installing! Always let the manufacturer’s installation instructions be the first thing you read when researching your new floor. They are available on most manufacturers’ websites and will save you from making costly mistakes!
NATURAL CLEANING TIPS
DIY Soft Scrub
Mix ingredients together until your paste has a smooth thick consistency. Store in a re-purposed jar or container. Use to gently and safely scrub sinks, tubs, and other dirty areas of your home. No protective gloves or masks required!
My daughter and I were recently visiting my cousin and his family in Arroyo Grande, just south of San Luis Obispo. While there, we were treated to one of Mother Nature’s greatest prizes – a fully grown, fruit-laden avocado tree! Not something that I ordinarily see in Santa Cruz! Being accustomed to paying nearly $3 each for an organic version of these natural wonders at New Leaf, it was like looking at a tree covered in dollar bills! Personally, I believe the avocado should be a universal currency. Forget Bit Coin, to me, the humble avocado is a valued commodity. It is the prized basis for any number of delicious dishes from guacamole to avocado toast or paired with any fresh dish you might wish to consider.Now I mention this because it is a marvel to me to reflect on the extraordinary things that Nature brings into my life. Whether backpacking the High Country of Yosemite, watching a hummingbird collect nectar from a nearby blossom, biting into a fresh ear of grilled corn, or gathering fragrant roses from my front yard for a bouquet, nature never ceases to surprise me as long as I take the time to stop, take a breath and notice.
- Brian Corser, owner
NEW PRODUCT FOR SUMMER:
Stone Talk Ceramic Tile by Ergon
Our favorite Italian tile designer has created a new collection of natural stone-look ceramic tiles, perfect for floors, walls, and shower surrounds in five earth tones and three distinct textures: Minimal, Martellata and Rullata. (All three textures can be seen in the bathroom to the left.)We have samples of all five colors and three textures here for you to explore. Come in and take a look!
For more information, see emilamerica.com.
AVOIDING FLOORING MISTAKES
This is the third in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.
Tip #3 – Expansion Gaps!
Many people choose floating floors for their homes because they are a reliable option and more affordable than flooring that needs to be nailed or glued down. Floating floors are a great choice for natural materials that expand and contract, because the material is not constrained by nails or glue. They are also a good choice over concrete slabs since they allow for the use of an underlayment which provides cushioning and sound dampening. That said, it is critical that floating floors be installed with expansion gaps all around them. Most gaps should be ½”, but you’ll always want to check the manufacturer’s installation instructions first. Make sure that the floor is not constrained in any direction, by walls, intersections with other floors, or other immovable objects. The gap along the perimeter is then covered with base molding or by using quarter-round trim that is nailed to the existing wall trim. This simple consideration allows the flooring to expand and prevents the floor from deforming or buckling.
Many of you may have known my late wife Lydia. You would remember her if you had met her, all curls and outspokenness – she was the face, brains, visionary and effervescence behind Greenspace. When we bought the business in 2007, it was just about to disappear. We looked at each other and knew that somehow we wanted to this business to survive. Onward into the great recession of 2008 we charged, until the spring of 2012. All along Lydia held the business together on Soquel Avenue until what I call a financial tsunami hit, forcing us to close our doors quickly. While she and a wonderfully supportive community of friends were selling off our remaining inventory, I was out scouring the city for storage locations to put our displays and samples. We then set up an office in our living room with the paint tinter and shaker in the garage. Lydia would mix paint and leave it on our front porch for contractors – we were somehow back in business!
You see, Lydia was not the type to give up easily about anything. A few months later we found our Swift Street location and have been there ever since. Now I tell you all this because, though Lydia is no longer with us, what I call her WWLD remains. It an acronym for “What Would Lydia Do?” I use it whenever a tough decision comes my way and I want to take the easy way out. It pretty much goes along the lines of doing the exact opposite of whatever my natural inclination at times may be. I don’t always do it, but it certainly keeps me on my toes. – Brian Corser, owner
WELCOME NEW EMPLOYEE!
We are so delighted to introduce our newest greenspace team member, Joel Barnes! Joel comes to us with a background in Interior Design. Over the years he has helped a number of clients in our community and beyond. Joel studied Design at West Valley in Saratoga after years of working in the Silicon Valley tech world. He is originally from Upstate NY, but migrated to California in 1986, settling in Santa Cruz in the early 1990’s. He and his husband Tony live just steps away from Greenspace here on the Westside. Joel has a passion for helping customers with home interior design choices, and is very happy to be joining us at Greenspace. We are pleased to have his talent, enthusiasm and expertise.
Let’s keep our dollars local!
Pay by check instead of credit card and greenspace will donate 1% of your total purchase price to your favorite of the following five local charities:
In the two weeks since we informally launched this campaign, we have already generated close to $200 in donations! Please join us in keeping our dollars in our community.
new Wool Carpet Stain Remover
At last, we have found a safe, effective, low-odor wool carpet cleaner, recommended by fine wool carpet manufacturers.
WoolClean spot remover is specially formulated for high-quality wool carpet, rugs and upholstery. The WoolClean kit includes three “specialists” that come to the rescue for unexpected spots and spills:
New Marmoleum Colors
Just in time for spring, Forbo has introduced new additions to their Vivace, Real, and Fresco lines as well as two new lines of Marmoleum marbled colors: Terra and Splash.
From a distance, Splash colors appear light grey with a slight nuance in tone, yet from up close, Splash is an overall light grey with hints of surprising colors peeking through.
This modern and playful design is ideal for use on its own but can also act as a connector between more classic marbled and uni-patterned visuals.
Terra, a close, tight and highly contrasting structure inspired by igneous rocks. Terra colors combine a sophisticated small scale marbled structure with great soil hiding properties. The authentic mix of colors creates a versatile floor design that combines well with other Marmoleum items.
Terra’s superior appearance retention makes it ideal for use in high traffic areas such as healthcare flooring and floors for schools and provides a natural feel to any environment.
This is the second in a series of posts designed to help you succeed in your home projects.
Tip #2 – Moisture!
Another common problem homeowners run into is their wood floors expand and contract due to moisture and temperature changes. At the extreme, this can lead to cupping, crowing or buckling of the planks, or cracks and gaps between them.All natural materials respond to humidity changes — as moisture in the air increases, hardwood floors and other wood-based products will absorb the surrounding moisture and expand, and as the air dries out, these materials will release moisture back into the air and shrink. This phenomenon is known as hygroscopy and occurs year-round within your home.
There are ways to help limit flooring movement as humidity fluctuates. Installing a vapor barrier underneath your floor goes a long way to help prevent the worst effects from moisture. Some underlayments have a vapor barrier built in already. However, if you’re not using an underlayment, a durable polyethylene film known as visqueen is a safe, inexpensive, and effective option, available at local lumber yards. While maintaining your floor, most flooring manufactures recommend damp mopping, which uses less water than wet mopping, to clean up dirt and spills. Lastly, placing protective waterproof mats near exterior doors and under water bowls and planters will help prevent damage to your floor and avoid expensive repair work down the road.
I’ve lived in Santa Cruz for some 30 years now. As with so many things in life, I was accidentally fortunate in landing here. At the time, my mind was set more on finding employment than on sandy beaches. I enjoy living here – great weather, there’s a cool new vibe happening on the Westside and there is always the chance of greeting a friend or neighbor when I’m out pedaling on West Cliff Drive.
I also see our beach town as a community concerned with the environment. Santa Cruz has been at forefront in reducing the use of plastic bags, styrofoam to-go containers and plastic straws. We are also committed recyclers. Whether through curbside pick-up, drop-offs at Greybears or Habitat for Humanity, we seem to be a pretty dedicated group.
Recycling often comes to my mind when I travel, especially if it involves multiple time zones. I’ll be at my new destination with my empty glass bottle, yogurt container or empty toilet paper tube and I end up hunting around airport terminals, my Air BnB rental or the local tourist attraction in the hopes of finding that familiar blue bin with the white recycling triangle on it. Many times having no luck. Ah, the guilt of throwing it in the trash! At that moment it makes me long for home. Now if I can just get rid of all those single use coffee cups in Santa Cruz, I’ll be a truly happy man!
- Brian Corser, owner
Best Green Retailer 2019!
New Product: Micodur
Waterproof PVC-Free Flooring
Micodur’s ground-breaking technology delivers a floor that combines the durability and stability of ceramic tiles with the simple click-down installation of a floating floor and no grout. This natural, mineral-based, vinyl-free floor is the perfect combination of cement, minerals and natural bonding fibers which provides extreme density and dimensional stability.
Advanced digital printing technology and HotCoating surface technology combine for a beautiful yet durable flooring product that works perfectly in both residential and commercial areas. Micodur’s stability is possible due to its durable mineral core board and is an excellent alternative to plastic or wood-based flooring.
See lico-us.com for more information.
Teragren Bamboo Flooring Sale
10% off Teragren floors
April 1 – 30
Teragren has redesigned its entire line of bamboo flooring, adding beautiful new colors and styles. Bamboo flooring is durable, elegant, and sustainable.
See teragren.com for more information.
20% off towels & robes
April 1 – 30
20% off Coyuchi’s certified organic bath towels, mats, and robes for the month of April.
See coyuchi.com for more information.
OMI Earth Day Sale
20% off latex mattresses & accessories
April 19 – 27
20% off OMI’s solid organic latex mattress, pillows, mattress covers, pads, and other accessories. This amazing sale includes the Flora, the Flora Nouveau, and the popular Terra mattresses.
See omimattress.com for more information.
|It’s time for spring cleaning! All of us at greenspace avoid bringing toxic chemicals into our homes whenever possible. Luckily, you can clean your home using products that you probably already own.Here is Cathy’s glass cleaning recipe. We’ve tried a few different homemade formulas over the last year and she swears this one is the best:|
Homemade Glass Cleaner
Combine in a reusable spray bottle and shake well each time you use it. Enjoy your sparkling clean mirrors and windows!