Blog created by interior decorator Peggy Clarke to help create homes that reflect the people who live there and how they (want to) live. Blending spirituality with the art of interior design, Clarke aims to help people who want to create harmonious spaces for balanced living.

Monday, April 23, 2007

Green Design

People always want to know what’s hot, but in telling them I warn about making a house too trendy because of the inevitable feeling in 3-5 years that the whole thing has to be redone. Well, that’s not the case with sustainable design. Thanks to the recent recognition and (slow) acceptance of our looming environmental crisis, green design is hip and not likely to go out of style any time soon.

I’ve got some resources here and things for you to know, but I want to issue a warning. As much as magazines want to herald “affordable yet sustainable” in reality, prices are higher when you’re looking at ecologically sound decorating choices. It’s also true that not every design need can be met with sustainable resources. For instance, I haven’t yet found a single adhesive for tile that I would recommend to a client and while cork looks great and has plenty of advantages, as it gets older it looses its color and becomes easily damaged.

If you’re in the market, or are just curious about what’s out there to decorate your home in a way that’s responsible to our planet, here are some things to consider:

Purchase furniture that uses reclaimed fabric. ABC Home & Carpet is one of the best retail options for concerned consumers. Not only do they lean towards green design, they are committed to fair trade, a critical part of planetary sustainability. Here they’ve used fabric found on discarded items to upholster furniture.

Q Collection is committed to creating high-end, stylish pieces with environmentally friendly materials. They’ve eliminated toxic chemicals and carcinogens to improve air quality including the ever-popular formaldehyde which turns to a gas at room temperature. Here’s my favorite from their collection.

J Goode Design creates hand-blown glass light fixtures using recycled and recyclable glass and sustainable wood like bamboo. Using the ancient art of glass blowing, each pieces is unique and quite stunning.

Peter Loh builds state of the art furniture using reclaimed wood.

Instead of vinyl flooring in your laundry room, consider marmoleum. It’s all natural made of linseed oil, rosins and wood flour and is as strong as vinyl in high traffic areas. Look for it in your local green building supply store.

Another great resource is the Building Materials Reuse Association ( for materials you can recycle or repurpose in your own home.

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