Thursday, October 14, 2010

Easing Into Green Design

As a consumer, if you aren’t familiar with the Sustainable Furnishings Council, let me take a brief moment to introduce you to them and why this connection will be a valuable tool as you make your next furniture buying decisions.  I do promise to be brief as I’m working fast and furious so that I’ll be ready to get to all of the showrooms during my upcoming trip to the High Point Furniture Market.  I’ll also give you great links so that you can further explore some of the details! 

SFC

(A composite of manufacturers who belong to the Sustainable Furnishings Council.)

As a Charlotte, NC area interior designer, I know the jury may still be out, regarding green or sustainable design practices, mostly due to concerns about this being a “trend” or just some type of marketing tool, as well as the expectation it will create higher costs.  I do find; however, when I have a client who is getting ready to plan a nursery or a small child’s room, there is great attention paid to the sourcing of the furnishings, the bedding, and how we treat surfaces, such as the floor, walls, and ceiling, so as to keeping the environment as non-toxic as possible.  It’s certainly understandable that any parent would desire to provide their children with the best possible place to be nurtured, not only by them, but by their home.  Here’s the catch . . . What’s happening in the rest of the house?  Living goes on outside of the nursery and/or the playroom doors.  And, shouldn’t the rest of the family members and visitors receive the best of which any interior environment can offer? 

lee STN_homeoffice   French Heritage (2)

(Great examples of “pretty”, green design from SFC members.  Click on a photo to visit their websites!) 

Wouldn’t it be nice to take some of the guesswork out of the process of making selections?  First, part of that responsibility falls on my shoulders, as your interior designer.  My charge is to be sure I learn as much as I can about the various sources, not only from the way they manufacture their products, but equally important would be how they travel to get to the consumer.  I also want to see if the vendor offers an aesthetic quality and comfort, which would be pleasing to my clients.  What makes the process much easier is knowing about the Sustainable Furnishings Council and the manufacturers who have been able to join as members.  Just being able to head to their website and browse the roster gives me a valuable tool to share with clients and the consumer public.  (An important note:  Some of the manufacturers, who are SFC members, may not have updated their websites, to acknowledge their memberships, and there are some manufacturers who do subscribe to green practices, who may not be members of the SFC.)  The benefit I can share, from my attendance at the High Point Furniture Market, will be seeing most of these sources, firsthand!

I’ll admit, I’m a discerning client, too.  I like to take my time to research and discover all of the details before I decide to make purchases, not only for my own home, but for my clients, as well.  I’m easing into the world of green design and thank you for allowing me to share my newfound knowledge with you!

Take a softer step to leave a smaller footprint.  All my best! ~ Wanda

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