Dwell on Design 2017 in L.A.

Me striking a pose at the entrance to Dwell on Design!

Me striking a pose at the entrance to Dwell on Design!

In June, I travelled to the U.S. to attend the largest modern design fair in the country – the Dwell on Design exhibition in Los Angeles! Designers, architects, retailers and design enthusiasts all converged for the annual three-day event that showcases the latest in design materials, furniture, technology, prefab, tiny homes, and outdoor. It also included an impressive line-up of speakers, and home tours of some of L.A.’s coolest architecturally designed homes.

Here are three new ideas I picked up at Dwell on Design that can help you make your home healthier and more sustainable:

1.  Mattresses made with organic coconuts!
Yes, that’s right – coconuts! Palmpring make chemical-free mattresses from organic coconut coir fibre (from coconut husks), organic latex foam, organic wool, organic cotton and no metal springs!

When you think about the fact that we spend a third of our life in bed, it’s important to have a good mattress that can help improve sleep quality and overall health.  The mattresses are sustainably produced (they essentially recycle coconut husks that would otherwise be discarded as waste) , naturally hypoallergenic and the materials prevent the growth of mould, bacteria and dust-mites. And anything that reduces the body’s exposure to chemicals is a plus in our homes.

The mattresses are only available in the US and Mexico at the moment, but I’ve asked them to consider sending to Australia!

Colva mattress made with organic coconut husks from Palmpring. Photo: Palmpring.

Colva mattress made with organic coconut husks from Palmpring.
Photo: Palmpring.

2. ‘Tiles’ made from recycled paper
I spotted the most beautiful textured tiles and then was surprised to learn they were made from recycled paper!

Archoterra make these eco-friendly decorative wall coverings from a blend of recycled papers, water-based bonding agents and other natural additives and they’re suitable for wall surfaces, cabinetry and more. I wonder if children can draw on them…..?!

Wall coverings made from recycled paper at the Archoterra booth at Dwell on Design.

Wall coverings made from recycled paper at the Archoterra booth at Dwell on Design.

3. Customised scents for homes and businesses
Whether we’re aware of it or not, what we smell as we enter a shop, workplace or home can leave a memorable impression and influence our mood.

Japanese company @aroma, who I visited at Dwell on Design, produces pure essential oil blends and also designs spaces to create a particular image and style using natural scents while taking into consideration the impact on the body, mind and environment. Using scents to influence the customer experience in this way is called 'scent branding'.

Australian company Air Aroma says scent branding is the art of taking a company’s brand identity, marketing messages and target audience, and matching them with a fragrance that amplifies those branding aspects. I had never heard of this concept, but it makes total sense (no pun intended!). Air Aroma says scent receptors in our noses connect directly to areas of the brain responsible for memory and emotion. So creating a unique scent that customers can associate with a brand creates a longer lasting emotional connection.

Research shows that using scent branding is known to improve customer satisfaction, customer retention and brand recognition. Used in workplaces, it can also increase staff productivity by improving focus and mood. Industries such as banks, retail, hotels and car showrooms are using scent branding and I dare say that more and more organisations will get on board.

Essential oil blends on display at the @aroma booth at Dwell on Design.

Essential oil blends on display at the @aroma booth at Dwell on Design.

Other highlights from the exhibition were meeting Kim Lewis and touring her Joshua-tree themed tiny house, touring a sustainable prefab house by Method Homes (available in the Western US and Canada), and checking out the ultra cool and customisable Happier Camper trailers. 

Inside the Joshua Tree-themed tiny home by Kim Lewis at Dwell on Design.

Inside the Joshua Tree-themed tiny home by Kim Lewis at Dwell on Design.

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Kate

Kate Derbyshire