April 22, 2009

Happy Earth Day!

The last time I really remember celebrating Earth Day, I was in kindergarten. As part of the celebration we received small evergreen trees to bring home. I planted mine in the yard, and it turned brown and died shortly thereafter.

I'm loving that there are so many beautiful eco-friendly decorating options available these days. With so many choices, you don't have to sacrifice style to create a green home.

Hopefully these earth friendly decorating ideas will be a little more helpful than my dead tree!

Cork is an eco-friendly flooring option that is as durable as hard wood. I love it in this kitchen because it adds dimension and texture in a neutral palette. It also adds cushion underfoot - which would be such a bonus for my sensitive feet!
Linoleum is another earth friendly option. While it sounds like it must be made of a whole much of bad synthetic things, it's really just composed of linseed oil, discarded wood flour and limestone dust. I thought that this kitchen showed a way to use linoleum in a fun, stylish way. The broad bands of color widen this narrow space.
This hallway shows an antique table sitting on a wood floor reclaimed from an old building. The walls were hand brushed with a chemical-free white wash. Sometimes the easiest (and cheapest) way to be green is to just reuse and repurpose existing materials. This cute living room features a hemp covered love seat finished with organic cotton twill tape, a coffee table covered in fabric made from the fast growing arrowroot. And don't worry, being earth friendly doesn't mean you have to miss out on the deer head trend; This one is made out of bass wood!
When I first saw this room, it took me a second to figure out what I was looking at; it's a glass wall! More natural light means less need for electricity. But what a novel concept for apartments without a lot of windows?! (There are curtains for privacy). This room is part of the first house in Illinois to earn gold Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED for homes) certification. The home incorporates photovoltaic cells, a green roof, geothermal heating and cooling, and recycled materials. To read more about it, click HERE for the article in Metropolitan Home.

You also don't have to make sacrifices to have an eco-friendly vacation. These pictures below are from Solage Calistoga, a resort in Napa Valley that utilizes many green designs.

The pool minimizes chlorine levels by using an ozone-based system to keep water clean, which mean yay! - no green hair or dry skin!
The bath products at the spa are made locally, using natural, raw ingredients and no preservatives.
The restaurant serves locally grown, organic produce, meats and wine. Carbon filtered water is served eliminating the need for bottled water. Rooms and common spaces are furnished using natural materials such as wool, jute, and hemp. Bamboo and reclaimed cedar, both sustainable materials are used for flooring. Amenities are made locally and delivered in bulk-size containers for dispenser refilling, so I guess you can't snag any extra shampoo to bring home!The resort offers bicycles for guests to tour the resort and ride into town. The bikes are also the main source of transportation for the staff.

What a fabulous place to take a vacation, and how much more relaxing knowing the strides they've taken to reduce their impact on the environment.

For more info on green design at Solage Calistoga, click HERE

Photo Credits:1-4 Domino, 5 Metropolitan Home, 6-10 Traditional Home.

1 comment:

  1. I've been intrigued by cork flooring lately. It looks pretty great in that first pic - it gives the kitchen a really warm feeling. I bet it feels nice underfoot too.