By @MaryVincent GratitudeGourmet
Nicholas Walker heads the outdoor division of Kathy Ireland's Jardin J du J brand which launched at the 2001 San Francisco Flower and Garden Show and was awarded the Gold Medal for Design Excellence. His mission is to bring the outdoors in through garden inspirations, and the Jardin J du J Brand products include Rugs, Furniture, Top of Bed, Accessories, Lighting, Wall Art, Jewelry, Skincare, Cut Flowers and Candles.
I interviewed Nicholas Walker at LA's Dwell on Design 2011 and two videos are below. In the first video, Nicholas describes the the Jardin J du J mission, launch and great success at the San Francisco Flower and Garden Show.
In the second video, he shares both 'old world' and high technology sustainable practices he used in building his own California home. Per Nicholas, "Function has to be honored before Form." He discusses the scarcity of water, nine-year drought, Sun, and semi-arid LA climate. Because alot of air conditioning is used which costs alot of money, he insisted he must have a white, metal roof and used Keynar paint (used on the NASA space shuttle), which reflects 72% of the Sun's UV rays. Per Nicholas, that is a huge savings on your cooling bill. He also has 22 PV Solar Panels and 2 Hydrothermal Panels and discusses the efficient Sun absorption on the black panels.
Nicholas also discussed Venturi principals of moving air in a home without using electricity. He also has 12 inch thick concrete walls and as a result, the bottom floor never needs heat or air because its in the dirt and geothermal principles permit a 72 degree temperature year round without using any energy.
Nicholas says he's been lobbying for legal Greywater Systems for 15 years in the landscape industry. He says that if you take an epsom salt bath (epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and it is the best thing for plants), instead of having it go into the sewer, use the water for fertilizer. As of August 2010 in Article 1881 he can now legally do it -> Laundry to your Garden. He is an advocate of using ancient traditions such as working with gravity instead of using pumps.
Thank you Nicholas for sharing your valuable insight, design strategies, and best practices with us!