Sustainable Design Dilema – “Nice Rack”

Q. I’m so excited about this new metal rack I just got to help me extend the pantry space in my kitchen and dining room. It’s not actually new – I rescued it from being tossed out by a local business which wasn’t using it anymore.  I love the utility and industrial look, but would like to cover each shelf with a material to warm up the look and keep items from falling through – but I can’t seem to figure out a sustainable material which will work. What do you suggest? – Nicole L.

A. I think that’s great that you decided to reuse that rack Nicole. I also know what you mean about wanting to warm it up. Those industrial racks can make a kitchen look a little cold and sterile if you’re not careful. So here’s what I would do to liven it up… Read the rest of this entry »

Sustainable Design Dilemma – Stinky Paint?

I need to repaint my bedroom, but I’m really sensitive to odors.  I got a few sample cans from different brands of no-VOC paint, and they are definitely better, but there is still a funny smell even a couple of days later.  Is there anything out there I can use? – Kathy S.

Hi Kathy,

I’ve run into this myself and it surprised me at first.  You would think that taking most, if not all, of the VOCs (volatile organic compounds) out of paint would render it close to odorless.  In fact, VOCs are only part of the picture when it comes to paint odor, and I plan to explain a lot of why that is in another, more detailed post.  For now though, just know that many times smelly doesn’t equal toxic, and the paint is still probably relatively safe for your health.

However, since you are particularly sensitive to odors, you are best off trying to stick to no VOC paints that are specifically designed to have a low odor as well.  There are several choices out there for you, including Mythic Paint and good old-fashioned  Milk Paint, both of which work very well.  For my own personal projects, I have always used Farrow & Ball, since the odor is very minimal, and the paint itself is gorgeous with a very high quality.

If you have a sustainable design dilemma of your own, please drop us a line at info [at] theinteriorevolution [dot] com We’ll do our best to answer it!

Sustainable Design Dilemma – Call for Entries!

One of the new features we are working on is a weekly series called “Sustainable Design Dilemma”.  Other than the fact that plowing through a thesaurus failed to come up with a good alliterative series title, we’re really happy with how this feature is shaping up.  Since much of my spare work time for the last four years has been spent connecting clients to the products that will help them achieve their sustainable design goals, it seems a natural step to open this up to everyone!

Are you a residential designer who can’t find a durable, eco-friendly fabric for a client’s family room sofa, that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg?  Are you designing a restaurant, and thinking of using LEDs, but concerned the color quality will make the food look weird?  Are you a homeowner looking for a way to keep the heat of the sun out, but still let the light in?  Well, we just might be able to help!  And if we can’t find the solution, we have a lot of experts at our fingertips who almost certainly can.

So send us your dilemma!  Contact us at info [at] theinteriorevolution [dot] com , and provide us with your name, email address and the issue you need help with, and we’ll see if we can use it for the Sustainable Design Dilemma!  And if we can’t, we’ll still see if we can steer you the right direction.