I was recently a guest on the Mike Nowak Show (WCPT Chicago Progressive Talk Radio / AM820). Mike’s show generally focuses on gardening and other outdoor eco-related topics. On this day, in addition to his usual fare, we talked a bit about indoor life and what he dubbed Non-threatening Green Design. What this comes down to is doing what you can do when you can do it. Green design can be completely non-threatening if you approach as you would a large, barking dog – without showing fear. But seriously, if you educate yourself and don’t try to do everything all at once, you can green as you go – in your own time and on your own budget. Click on the CONTACT US link and email or call to schedule a complimentary green consultation.*
And here’s a link to the podcast of Mike’s show: http://www.mikenowak.net/podcasts/. Scroll down to July 22nd to hear our conversation.
* Complimentary consultation available in the Chicago area.
Most problem rooms can be transformed and improved with a little creative re-working.
To illustrate, here are a couple of dramatic Befores and Afters . . .
. . . for re-working challenging rooms
It’s true that great environments are often born of great spaces. But a room doesn’t have to be created perfectly to become perfectly functional and comfortable. With a good plan and the knowledge of how to maximize square footage, function and flexibility, even a difficult space can become just what you need – just when you need it.
Take a look at the plans below (you can click on each one to enlarge and explore). All are slightly challenging in different ways with multiple focal points, small parameters, or the need to serve different purposes - sometimes at the same time.
How great would your own environment be if it really fit your lifestyle – perfectly? With a good roadmap, you might just be able to use the space you always thought needed to be altered, added to or replaced.
Happy Earth Day! Over time, we’ve all collected a lot of great and significant stuff. Maybe it’s hard to tell the clutter from the treasure, but there is treasure. The pieces we choose – and choose to keep – mean something to us, even if we’re not sure what to do with them. Designing sustainable interiors is as much about creating a feeling as it is about choosing what goes into them. When home feels like home – when we’re relaxed, creative, healthy – our environments are helping to sustaining us. Good design can include your favorite pieces used in a new way or in a new place. The ancestral wicker chaise (far left) – filled with sentimental value – was revived and positioned ia a contemporary living room where it is used and appreciated every day. Near left, objects found at flea markets and thrift shops are arranged on a mantle – happy reminders of the wonderful hunt.
There’s a place for everything you love – you just need to find it.
Someone I’ve known well and for years calls me a sybarite – committed to pleasure and luxury. It’s meant as a compliment. At least that’s the way I’ve always taken it.
Recently, luxury – or at least admitting you’re a fan – has become unmentionable. Witness the rise of the phrase “luxury shame.” Luxury and Sustainability are words (not to mention concepts) that have rarely shared a story or a space.
Sadly, mention Green interiors – particularly home interiors – and up come thoughts of flat bamboo and scratchy sackcloth. But as sustainable materials and elements evolve and become more widely available (and they are rapidly doing both) truly Luxurious Green Interiors are not only feasible, but within our grasp.
See the fabrics pictured here? Do these fabrics look like sackcloth to you? Me neither. And I only wish you could feel them. They’re soft and substantial, beautifully crafted and Green.
Keep watching this space for some of the best Green indulgences available. You too can be an unapologetic Green sybarite and add guilt-free luxury to your life and to your home.
The pursuit of Green (the buzzword was Ecology then) started in my teens. We worried about pollution and population growth and were as moved by litter as that now iconic Native American. We wrote songs and raised money and picked up trash (that’s me on the left). And, at least for awhile, we changed a small piece of our world. Eventually, for some, the magic waned and we became slightly less zealous and slightly more involved in growing up. But the awareness born in those kid years stuck and became a mostly unconscious day by day attempt at living more simply and non-intrusively. When I started my interior design career, I brought this awareness – equally unconsciously – to my projects and clients.
The bottom line is this: I have solid proof that sustainable interiors can be beautiful and functional. Great design can, on the very first try, yield lasting environments that perfectly fit the way that people live and work without sacrificing looks. Fabulous, timeless spaces that foster joy, creativity, relaxation, productivity and wellbeing – what could be more sustainable than that?