Top Tips From a Green Interior Designer

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When Emily Prugar of M House Designs in Virginia turns her attention to some other client and job, she does not go out and start buying furniture and fabric first thing. She instead envisions her designs throughout the strategies of upcycling, re-covering and buying green while never sacrificing design.

The results are amazing rooms which don’t off-gas VOCs, price exorbitant dollars for waste or design a lot of materials. Prugar consented to share a few of her secrets behind these spaces so that people can decorate (and move green in) our own homes. Our favorite: window treatments. They bring trend to a room while keeping out cold air. See more of Prugar’s hints and strategies below.

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1. Ask questions about what you purchase and bring home. Prugar states,”I ask myself,’Can I know what’s inside this product? Just how far did it have to travel for our home? Is this merchandise designed to be and reused, or to come back to nature? Am I using renewable energy? How clean is the water coming out of the mill, and just how much paper or tools do they work? Is the product made at a socially fair way? Is this product safe for the children?'”

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2. Check out Lee Industries for furniture that is green. Lee Industries is Prugar’s beloved producer. According to her, it’s a huge selection of furniture, provides a great product for a reasonable price and is one of the most environmentally friendly companies around. Out of its manufacturing processes, it removed chlorofluorocarbon gases as early as 1980. Its standard cushions are soy based. It uses water-based finishes, recycled-fiber filling at the pillows and FSC- and – SFI-certified wood frames. Also, its goods are created here from the U.S.

“You can also acquire organic fabrics,” she states. “And for every Natural Lee piece that is sold, they plant a tree. Their springs are 80 percent recycled metal.”

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3. Hang window treatments. “Window treatments help to insulate a window, shield the furniture around the window from sun damage, provide privacy but give you control of their light, plus they add so much character to a space,” Prugar states. “You can make a lot of window treatments yourself with fabric you have: classic dish towels make good cafĂ© curtains and sheets; pillowcases and even tablecloths can make great curtains or shades.”

These window treatments were made from sheets.

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4. Reenvision furniture you already have. “Recycle bits you have by re-covering, painting, cleaning, restoring or reimagining a brand new use for them,” Prugar states. “Additionally, find local sources for your natural fabrics, low-VOC paints and green-furniture manufacturers.”

She’s even wallpapered Ikea bookshelves. “They look incredibly trendy,” she states,”and it only cost me a roll of background and an afternoon. You can background something with any type of newspaper: maps, menus, poetry pages by a publication — even comic book pages.”

This is Prugar’s own upcycled TV cabinet.

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5. Shop in your residence. Prugar claims that”you would be astonished how cool that the assortment of wooden spoons or classic tea tins seems hung on the wall in the kitchen. You’d be amazed what you can do with Stitch Witchery [tape] and fabric and a few of hours over the weekend: Create your own window treatments, cover a lampshade, make pillows, add a skirt around a pedestal sink, make a duvet on the wall above the bed, etc..”

Prugar saved one customer’s china set for wall screens (shown).

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6. Make friends with store owners that are antiques. “Find an antique store you love and give your shopping list,” Prugar states. “They can keep an eye out for that armoire you need for the guest bedroom or the older bench you want for the mudroom. Or that orange Eames chair that will look awesome from the nursery.”

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7. Purchase secondhand furniture but make certain it’s worth buying. On Prugar’s list of questions are the following:”Is the framework hefty? Are the cushions hefty? That usually means it is made from hardwoods and nicely constructed. Can it be bench created or fabricated? How can it be joined?” Additionally,”paste is not a fantastic sign of a well-built bit,” she states. “But when a dresser is constructed like a mystery where all the parts fit together nicely, you get a great bit in your hands. If it was erased, how long has it ever been at the U.S.? Some furniture will decode as it adjusts to a new climate, and that means you want to be certain it did not just arrive here or the timber has been treated ahead.”

Also look for zippers on sofa pillows. “This is one of my favored checks for a customer’s’deal’ sofa,” she states. “If the pillows don’t have zippers, you can’t really wash them”

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8. Go for a custom slipcover instead of generic. “You may be surprised how interesting your grandma’s old chair appears after you pay it at a funky dragon-patterned fabric,” Prugar states. “A slipcovered sofa lasts much longer in a home together with, say, four boys, so you save money and reduce waste by not needing to replace the sofa every 10 decades.”

She adds,”A fantastic slipcover should make the sofa look upholstered. “Honestly, you want to have that slipcover for a monster to get off. It needs to be tailored and fitted to every curve of the sofa. You then won’t have some sagging going on, which seems messy.”

Additionally,”Most producers save their layouts for their slipcovers,” she states,”so you can always find a fabric, send it to the producer and have them make a new slipcover from the pattern. In two weeks, you can have a new sofa for half of the price of buying a whole other sofa.”

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