I am a firm believer that Interior Design is a form of portraiture, and that every room we design tells the story of the family that lives there. This philosophy can manifest itself in many different ways, it could be as simple as a collection of family photos forming a gallery wall, or as we did for a famous comedian, a collection of old carnival memorabilia.
Sometimes it is geography that inspires me, like this Pied a Terre we recently finished in San Francisco. It was for a young family that did a lot of business in the city and needed a place for meetings and occasional overnight stays. So what better source of inspiration than the San Francisco itself!
In the Living Room, can you spot the references? The coffee table is a chromed rock (Alcatraz AKA “The Rock”), the wood tubular standing lamp by the column (Coit Tower), the dining room table (designed to look like the Golden Gate Bridge) and lastly the vintage chandelier meant to evoke the idea of city lights sparkling through the mist.
Now this may seem a little extreme, but remember this space is really a glorified hotel room. There are ways that you and your designer can incorporate this philosophy into your home to make it a more personal story. Perhaps it’s pillows made from the shirt you were wearing when you met your one true love, or maybe a wall map that the family can add to with each destination that you visit as a family. There are many ways to do this, but the overriding idea is that your home should not just be a collection of beautiful objects, it should be a personal statement about your family, your history and your values.
With summer right around the corner, the idea of warming weather and longer days will encourage many of us to entertain outdoors. While backyard entertaining is exciting, don’t get us wrong, sprucing up a neglected outdoor space can be a major undertaking. Luckily the showrooms at Seattle Design Center are chock full of outdoor pieces that can revive and augment patio or outdoor space, and create a beautiful space you and your potential guests will love spending time in.
Lighten your outdoor space with wood patio furniture in natural shades for an airy, open space. Dark colors tend to weigh down spaces. Lighter colors like white, beige, and some shades of tan can help create the illusion of a larger space. Contemporary designs with clean lines can be found in the Christophe Delacourt Collection at the Susan Mills Showroom. The collection’s two dining tables and matching chairs can be styled for any occasion.
Textiles in bright colors and prints can add comfort and personality to your oudoor entertaining space. The En Vacances textile collection by Brunschwig & Fils brings does just that, bringing maritime blue, lagoon green, sunset hues in oranges and corals, floral patterns, and patterns reminiscent of island life to your outdoor area. The UV-friendly, stain resistant fabrics will keep your outdoor space looking bright all summer long.Consider anchoring the space with a statement piece. The Reef Round Stone Table from the Christophe Delcourt Collection at Susan Mills Showroom with its marble finished top brings an air of modern sophistication outdoors. A large-scale decorative wall piece can bring a major wow factor to a space and help set the tone and theme for other design elements. This Moroccan-themed Bahia doorway from the Martyn Lawrence Bullard collection in the Lee Jofa draws inspiration from the Bahia palace and designs of Marrakech with its intricate lace-work and decorative motifs to mimic skilled craftsmanship.
With inspiration from all of these amazing pieces, you can make sure that your outdoor entertainment space is summer ready with the showrooms at Seattle Design Center. There you can shop these collections and as well as look for inspiration from one of over two-dozen showrooms that have all of your outdoor summer entertaining essentials.
A vintage potting table adds tons of character to the sunroom additionDuring this project, the kitchen became one of the most green rooms in the entire home.The heating grates throughout were found at an architectural salvage yard. The bell jar pendants above the kitchen island are antiques. And the chairs and crystal knobs on the kitchen island are vintage. Soapstone on the surrounding countertops is a green choice because the material was sourced locally on the East Coast.
It’s not easy getting stone out of the earth, so when sourcing materials, find ones that are sourced close to you as that leaves a smaller carbon footprint. All flooring throughout the kitchen is reclaimed old oak.
This vintage wash stand was converted with a bowl sink. Photography by Agnieszka KorbicaIn the powder room, Stone Plus added a stone remnant counter to the vintage wash stand, and we tied everything together with Farrow and Ball wallpaper, which is made with water-based paint and paper sourced from Forest Stewardship Council (FSC®) accredited suppliers.Recently, I decided to further hone my skills in eco-friendly interior design, and completed the Sustainable Furnishings Council GREENleader course. It was an intensive course in sustainability, and I received my certification as an Accredited Professional.The course is an industry-first, developed in conjunction with the Sustainable Furnishings Council and approved by ranking staff of Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund, and one of the co-founders of USGBC/LEED. The program was written by a LEED AP and is designed to pick up where LEED leaves off, focusing specifically on the furnishings themselves.It provided a ton of detailed information on the environmental issues affecting choices and the wide range of product solutions, most of which don’t cost any more than ordinary ones. It’s simply a matter of knowing the right places to look and the right questions to ask.
My Top 6 Tips on How to Go Green at HomeTip #1: Go for natural air purifiers such as indoor plants Not only will real greenery literally freshen up your space, but that pop of color looks gorgeous in any room. When buying indoor plants, think outside of the usual fiddle-leaf fig (though I love them) or fern options. Aloe Vera is great in the kitchen as it can clear formaldehyde and benzene, which are often byproducts of chemical-based cleaners or paint. Do you bring home a heavy amount of dry cleaning? Keep a Gerbera Daisy in your room as it helps remove trichloroethylene, which might be coming home with your clothes (note: daisies require a lot of direct sunlight so skip this plant if your room is dark and cozy). The Peace Lily is flowering triple threat. It doesn’t require sunlight, is easy to care for, and is known to remove all three of the most common VOCs: formaldehyde, benzene, and trichloroethylene.Tip #2: Use UV film on windows Clear window film helps keep your home cool during hot summer months and retain heat during the winter. It also saves your furniture, rugs, and floors from sun damage! An energy efficient solution that saves your bottom line? Yes, please! You’ll still want window treatments for privacy and to set the tone of the space, but UV films are a great place to start.Tip #3: Opt for low-VOC carpets, rugs, and paints With the myriad of eco-friendly products available today, there’s no reason to choose ones that off-put gas. Paint stores always carry low- or no-VOC options and you’ll want to ventilate any area that’s being worked on for a few hours. When selecting rugs and carpets, seek out more green materials like sisal, wool, or organic cotton.Tip #4: Swap in compact fluorescent bulbs and LEDs LED lights are more efficient than traditional lighting, have a longer life span, and don’t have any toxic elements. They’re one of the easiest and most affordable design swaps you can do to go green at home.Tip #5: Clean with natural products Ridding your home of unwanted chemicals is easier than it sounds. The internet is full of DIY home cleaners, including some of our favorites, many of which don’t take long to make and last for months.Tip #6: Reuse antiques Antique pieces are rich with soul, grit, and age. Plus, accessories and furniture with a past always have a story, and that’s one of my favorite ways to tell a home’s current narrative. The age-old concept of mixing old with new is a fun way to go green at home. First Dibs and Chairish are excellent sites for vintage décor, furniture, and art. Pro tip: Move quickly because items sell out fast.
What’s your favorite way to go green at home?
Click here to see the full article.