Q: What products do you recommend for eco-friendly interior design?
A: I look for items that use recycled or reclaimed materials, emit limited or no volatile organic compounds (VOCs), and are manufactured within 500 miles, requiring less fuel for transportation. The chair pictured above is made with soy-based foam and sustainably harvested wood and does not contain formaldehyde. Some Maine favorites include mirrors made from old windows and doors and a dining table made from reclaimed roof boards.
Q: How can we minimize impact on the environment with our design choices?
A: Consider how to best dispose of items so as not to contribute to the eight million tons of home-decorating waste added to U.S. landfills each year. Ask how long materials will last and if they can be recycled or repurposed when you’re ready for a change. I’m bringing in a new line of recycled rugs that I’m excited about. I also look for furnishings made from recycled postconsumer materials, such as textiles and plastic bottles, or from bamboo and wool, two rapidly renewable resources.
Q: What’s new and exciting?
A: The quality and durability of no- or low-VOC paints have improved dramatically. Sherwin Williams just came out with the Emerald line, a very nice paint, and Benjamin Moore has Natura, which features many great colors. It’s always worth asking around, as smart interior design choices continue to be developed.