Do Better; Be Better Sustainable Interior Design for 2011

As we begin 2011, most of us make resolutions to do better or be better. One resolution that covers both doing better and being better is to strive to live more sustainably. And, since my passion is for sustainable interiors, I thought I would give you a few easy ideas for being sustainable in your interior.

Rachel Bending's Gorgeous Green Home
Rachel Bending's Gorgeous Green Home

We all can’t start from scratch by building a new sustainable home like the one above that Rachel Bending of Bird Textiles did. (Although, it is a personal dream of mine.) She spent over five years learning about the property she was going to build on in order to build a very energy efficient home that suits her surroundings. See more here.  However, if you are ready to design or re-design a room or an entire home and can’t start from scratch, there are 3 simple things you can do that are sustainable .

Organic Linen bedding by Pom Pom at Home

1. Look for organic fabrics for your upholstery, window treatments, or linens like the ones above which are made of washable, organic linen. Who wouldn’t wake-up “better” everyday in a bed like this. Organic fabrics use fewer petrochemicals during production which means less oil consumption and less off-gassing of toxic chemicals. Better for you, Better for the environment.

Photo courtesy Cheryl Janis

2. Looking to add some color to the walls? Try a zero VOC or low VOC paint. Ever get a headache walking into a freshly painted room? That’s the chemicals off-gassing from your walls and woodwork affecting your health. Low VOC’s means less volatile organic compounds. Using finishes with low VOC’s also uses fewer petrochemicals which means less toxins. Again, this means better for you and for the environment. The room above uses some of my favorite paint, Aura, by Benjamin Moore, a low VOC, low odor paint with exceptional depth of color.

Dining table locally made with reclaimed pine and finished with tung oil and milk paint

3. Need new furniture? Look for products made from sustainable materials like our custom dining table above. We have them made locally (Bonus, less fuel consumption!) out of reclaimed pine. You can also find furniture made of FSC certified wood which means that the lumber company replaces the wood it harvests. Or, you can look for products made of renewable resources like bamboo, rattan, and parawood. Don’t forget about vintage and antique pieces, too!

You see it’s not difficult to “go green” and to live more sustainably. Try it and see how easy it is to do better this year by making sustainable design choices. I know you will be better for it! I have many more great ideas to share and look forward to hearing your ideas, too; so I hope you’ll keep following this year!

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meet shannon

Creator of coastal retreats for families to feel good in, lover of beach walks, and sustainable living.




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