Friday Wrap-up Week #6

 	 Watch as the PGR team fall victim to one of your greatest fears: the dreaded corporate presentation. As they squirm and doze their way through the cheesy presentation, the team discovers the difference between truly being “green” and “green screening”; while two of their own cash in their dignity for a free snack.

Watch as the PGR team fall victim to one of your greatest fears: the dreaded corporate presentation. As they squirm and doze their way through the cheesy presentation, the team discovers the difference between truly being “green” and “green screening”; while two of their own cash in their dignity for a free snack.

- White Space is a new, online commercial carpet company.  I don’t know anything about their products yet, but they obviously have a good sense of humor.  Any designer who has ever had to sit through the “green” presentation of a company who hasn’t the slightest clue about sustainability will appreciate this video.

For more serious stuff, including how to enter for the Good Green Design Awards, and whether USGBC is planning to fool around on FSC, read on…

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My Sparrow Doesn’t Drop Candy Wrappers*

Franklin Chest in Naturally aged finish.  Made in the USA.  41" h x 43"w x 19.5"d.  $1370.00

Franklin Chest in Naturally aged finish. Made in the USA. 41" h x 43"w x 19.5"d. $1370.00

With products that are typically locally made, hand made, or made of reclaimed, re-purposed or natural materials, My Sparrow furniture has an aura of subtle age and greater purpose.  It would be easy to imagine these pieces in the seaside cottage of someone like Rachel Carson.  Wave washed shells strewn across the top, and antiquated science tomes stacked against the legs. Read the rest of this entry »

If You Read Just One Book… OK, Maybe Two

I am often asked what books I would recommend for a designer trying to “go green”.  For a long time that was a tough question.  It seemed everything out there with “Green” in the title was long on pretty pictures, but short on substance.  It’s understandable that the first books to market were a bit rushed, considering how eager people were for information.  However, once you got past the parts about using no-VOC paints, and reclaimed wood floors, there really wasn’t much to go on.  Most particularly for the commercial interior designer.

Happily, ASID, in conjunction with Wiley, decided to publish two books on the subject.

“Sustainable Commercial Interiors”, by Penny Bonda and Katie Sosnowchik, was the first to hit shelves, followed closely by

“Sustainable Residential Interiors”, by Associates III.  Both books are a treasure trove of useful information, including comprehensive coverage of subjects such as: certification systems, life cycle assessment, materials use and re-use, daylighting, and ventilation.

As each book is aimed squarely at the needs of the respective branch of interior design it’s written for,  a residential designer is not likely to get much out of the commercial book, and vice versa. One other thing to keep in mind is that a few things have changed since these books were first published in 2007, most especially the USGBC’s LEED system, which figures prominently in the commercial volume.  As of now I know of no plans to revise “Sustainable Commercial Interiors”, but I will let you know if that changes.

All things aside, whether you are just starting out in green design, or just want to expand your knowledge base, these books are must haves for your library.  You will find yourself referring to them again and again!

Re: Re…

Recycle Defined

Reduce, reuse, recycle…  Reduce, reuse, recycle…  Reduce, reuse, recycle…

When you work in the field of sustainable design, you hear that set of words so often it becomes almost meditative.  Ohm…..

But what do those words really mean when it comes to sustainable interiors?  How do they differ from some of the other “re” words, such as reclaim, or re-purpose?  Why are some more important for one product, but practically meaningless for another?

Allow us to try to help you sort it out.  The following is a list of some of the most common “re” terms used to describe sustainable materials, along with our own notes as to why and when it matters.  (All definitions are from Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary 11th ed., unless otherwise noted.)

Reduce - “to diminish in size, amount, extent or number”

There is a reason that ‘reduce’ is the first word of the holy trinity of green words.  It is, after all, the most basic and important concept.  Every time we remove something from it’s natural state of being, there is an impact on our planet.   The less we take, the more stable our planet becomes.

Although designers, by the very nature of what they do, must specify “stuff”, that stuff doesn’t have to be as resource intensive.  Imagine the difference in the amount of material used to make a simple, light weight, wall mounted shelf system, vs. a set of heavy, built-in bookshelves.  This principle applies to every imaginable product, but is often overlooked by both designers and manufacturers as an aspect of green. Read the rest of this entry »

Neoporte Accessories by Blomus

Neoporte mail box with window and newspaper holder by Blomus

Neoporte mail box with window and newspaper holder by Blomus

For those who love the sleek look of Neoporte’s stainless steel entry doors, but worry that they won’t be able to find a mailbox worthy to share space with them comes this great line of architectural and design accessories. Read the rest of this entry »

Friday Wrap-up Week #4

Time for another Friday wrap-up!

Will's Nighstand from Design Sponge

Will's Nighstand from Design Sponge

I always love seeing the Before & Afters on Design Sponge, but this fantastic reclaimed nightstand by artist Will Means has to be one of my all time favorites!

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How Do They Make… Vetrazzo Countertops?

Have you ever wondered how Vetrazzo makes something like this…

Vetrazzo "Bistro Green" table top

Vetrazzo "Bistro Green" table top

From something like this… Read the rest of this entry »

Plover Organic – For the Birds!

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Sometimes finding coordinated organic cotton bedding and pillows can be frustrating.  The patterns are often fairly plain, and the colors lean more towards earth tones.  Not so with Plover Organic’s linens! 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!

Friday Wrap-up Week #3

From chairs that can be taken apart and reupholstered on site in minutes, to zero-VOC “color liquids”…

Transformations Furniture from Lloyd Alter on Vimeo.

Check out Transformations Furniture interesting take on sustainability.  Kudos to them for thinking about what happens to their chairs after the original upholstery wears out!  As seen on treehugger.com

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