Modern Design for – Green Interiors

Breathe easy. Even though the Environmental Protection Agency estimates that most Americans spend approximately 90% of their time indoors, and home interior furnishings and materials can emit hundreds of pollutants and Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) that can lead to a long list of health problems, there are options.

It makes sense to avoid upholstery, rugs, or carpeting treated with flame retardants which are known to be unhealthful and are being phased out in many states. Natural woods, stone and ceramic tile, cotton or wool fibers, are green, long lasting choices for interiors. There are now water based low VOC paints and glazes on the market that can still provide the depth of color and durability, without the fumes and disposal concerns.

Here are a few interesting eco-friendly products. The textured tiles (top left) are made of coconut shells that are often burned after the processing of the meat or pulp. The shells are salvaged and made into these decorative tiles with intricate basket weave or scalloped designs.

Another desirable, often expensive product that ends up in the dump is leather. Even luxurious leather gets thrown away; scraps from furniture, shoemaking, car interiors, eventually make their way to landfills. A company, EcoDomo, recycles the pieces using a stone-grinding method turning them into richly colored tiles (2nd at left) and panels that deaden sound and are comfortable to stand on.

This pretty green solid-surface (3rd at left) could be made from a bottle of wine or beer you once enjoyed as it is composed of 100% post-consumer recycled glass. Available in white, light green, dark green, blue, and brown, the heat compression method uses no binders, colorants, fillers, or other admixtures, and has no off-gassing.  Called Bio-Glass by Coveringsetc, it can be used for countertops, walls, or floors.

At Whipple Russell Architects we are pleased that our clients are increasingly expressing an interest in sustainability and environmental values.