Friday, January 16, 2009

How did I come to be an eco-friendly designer?

Breaking with my standard format of reporting design trends, I want to share a little bit more about me personally and why I am in the business of creating eco-friendly homes.
I grew up in beautiful Jackson Hole, Wyoming - an area so rich in natural beauty and resources that I couldn't help but be awed by my surroundings and of course that influenced me greatly. Conservation has long been a hot topic there - my home was just minutes south of Yellowstone National Park, the first National Park in the US, and literally across the road from Grand Teton National Park. That doesn't mean that I am profoundly for movements like Greenpeace or against ever killing a single sagebush. My upbringing has led me instead to a much more moderate approach to preserving the environment.

A major influence on my focus on building healthy interiors has to be my father, who has suffered from severe chronic asthma for most of my life. (Here he is working as a part-time volunteer EMT, along with a few grandkids, my Mom and another firefighter) The many times he was hospitalized and nearly died created a need to learn more about his illness, and what triggers an attack.

Now of course we know so much more about triggers due to the air quality of your living environment such as dust, cleaning chemicals and paint fumes, pet dander, mold, etc. Naturally I always ask clients about their health issues, allergies, etc before recommending flooring, bedding, and even the cushions in their sofa. The availability of paints and finishes that are low or zero VOC is wonderful, and I use them whenever possible.

All this doesn't mean that I am a granola girl, though. I love the city life (that's why I am now living in a suburb of the 5th largest city in the country) and fashion, modern architecture and living luxuriously. I'm not a fashionista, either, though. Somewhere in between - a little bit country, a little bit rock'n roll. People of a certain age will get that.

My designs tend to be somewhere in between going all out green with organic cotton, bamboo and sisal - and the most exotic woods, stones and materials from all over he world. I always tell my clients that building a green home is about making choices, prioritizing and deciding what works for them. We tend to look for and use local sources as much as possible, specify mainly hard surface flooring, natural fiber carpets, and energy efficient appliances and fixtures. Recycling pull-outs for trash, low water use plumbing fixtures and long lasting construction materials are always part of our plans.

The new options are growing everyday, and getting better and better. We will continue to explore and use the best of the new products that become available to us. Meanwhile, we are doing our best to educate and inform about the choices we have. To that end, this blog will highlight new products we come across and how we are using them in projects. We will also talk with architects and builders who create eco-friendly homes.

If there are any topics you would like to see us discuss, please comment here.
We look forward to hearing from you...

1 comment:

R. Jacob said...

I came upon your blog and liked it alot! I do some opinion posts on my blog. Green is in and it makes health sense too. I have someone, a supplier you might be interested in:
http://www.verdeboard.com/index.html
They and you think alike.

Thanks for your time.

Rayond Denzel

http://rjacobpost.blogspot.com/