“Going Green” certainly isn’t a new term - yet we as consumers are starting to recognize the importance and long-term benefits of the current green trend in interior design. This general awareness has finally impacted the decisions of manufacturers resulting in more innovative materials available to us today.
You may have already gone green with your choice of household products and cleaners, which is a great first step, but now it’s time to consider the home itself. Have you ever thought about which design products in your home effect your immediate environment? Probably not, but we’re not here to scare you. Just be aware that even your floor and wall covering can drastically effect your personal ecosystem and air quality - something that can be taken for granted within your own home.
Our goals for sustainable design are to advocate safe and sustainable products, sourced locally when possible. To reduce overall impact, emissions and improve indoor air quality, in turn positioning our clients to live in a safe environment with long-term health benefits and energy savings.
In our respective field, we are able to identify the manufacturers and materials that meet the standards of green living to help execute sustainable design principles for a variety of projects. Whether you’re remodeling your space or building from scratch – interior design materials for all areas of your home can be sourced from green minded companies.
We are often faced with a common theme of confusion from our clients: "Why would I spend that much money on a green product when I can find a regular product for half the price elsewhere?" Our response is unanimous; "you get what you pay for". Inexpensive materials are such because of the quality of construction and labor put into creating the product. They are often laden with chemicals and harmful off-gassing properties. This doesn’t mean that sustainable design is outrageously unaffordable or design in bad taste.
In fact, green design must still be good design and that is why we have selected a few our favorite (green) things to inspire and help you make changes with sustainable design in mind. Treat this as an opportunity to design or redesign with greater knowledge of the products going into your home. You should feel good about the floor you walk on, the light you flick on every night and be at ease when spending time around your kitchen island and counter tops.
We can’t be the first source you’ve heard this from, but it is time to make the switch to light-emitting diode or LED bulbs. It is well known that LED bulbs have a longer lifetime than the average household bulb, eliminating the need for frequent replacement. These bulbs contain no mercury, lead or glass and they produce less heat. LED bulbs also save more energy with reduced power consumption and emit light more efficiently and directly to the desired location. Although the downside to LED bulbs can be the upfront costs, you will save more in the long-term and can slowly integrate bulb by bulb until every light in your home is up to standard.
We love the look of an Edison bulb for a funky vintage touch in a modern lamp or chandelier. We source our bulbs from a local shop – Light Works of Steamboat and use them in our showroom and in our own homes. Try the Satco Vintage LED bulb to achieve a unique look in any modern light fixture.
There are many options for wall covering from zero emissions paint to wallpaper made from recycled materials. From a design standpoint in a mountain modern setting, we love the idea of adding an accent wall made from reclaimed barnwood. Recently we moved our studio from 4th Street to the front of Lincoln Ave. We pulled up all of our gorgeous wood flooring at the old studio and re-purposed it in our new showroom as an accent wall.
Installing a custom barnwood siding can really add up after labor costs are involved. For you DIYers we recommend Stikwood, an easy to install product made from real reclaimed wood. This innovative product allows you to be the designer by customizing easy to cut pieces in any pattern and in almost any area of your home. All Stikwood products are responsibly sourced and FSC certified plus they only use European oil finishes and VOC-free paints.
At the base of our homes, flooring installation has proven to be a harmful process. Whether it’s carpet or wood covering – unless you know these products in your home are reclaimed or certified green in some way – you may be at risk to chemical off-gassing. Don’t start to rip up the carpet just yet, off-gassing typically occurs within the first year of its installation. So for your next flooring remodel we’d like to make you aware of suitable replacement options.
These green products are typically a larger upfront expense, however our resources have comparable price points depending on the style and finish. We turn to The Carpet Shoppe for the latest green carpet technology and feature a green friendly wood flooring brand right here in our showroom. Provenza provides a wide range of hardwood floor products with a variety of finishes for any palate. Their ecotech collections are made compliant by the CARB and LACEY act green standards.
We are fortunate that counter top trends have been focused on natural stones and less of man made products – however, Lapitec is a special combination of natural minerals fired into many textures and finishes that can withstand extreme temperatures, impact and scratches. The material is also non porous and anti bacterial. The benefits of this product help to reduce other potential hazards in the heart of your home where family meals are cooked and shared.
Additionally, Lapitec uses renewable energy in its manufacturing – thanks to the 13,000 sq./m of solar panels fitted to the roof of Lapitec’s headquarters in Treviso, Italy and the company does not use any raw materials obtained through petroleum processing. We also feature this product in our showroom and love to share samples with those looking for something a little different than the average stone counter top. Lapitec works for any room of the home, and can even be used on exteriors at around the same price point as a stone with less added benefit.
Happy Earth Day!
We hope you have found some inspiration in this blog post and learned a few things about green interior design. In celebration of Earth Day – we felt it was important to inform our friends and family about the importance of green design and products available to you today. We are here for you on your next home project or remodel, stop by and see us soon!