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Interior Design with an Eco Friendly Edge

"Interior Design with an Eco-Friendly Edge"

I recently began a new job as a buyer for a home décor company. They are expanding their product line and appointed me to seek out popular, trendy, products. Something I didn’t have direct experience in but I’ve worked in real estate industry and the real estate development industry in my former employment life and I consider myself fairly qualified when it comes to trend and style. Perfect equation, I was definitely up for the challenge.

I thought about what I hear and see mostly in the trending topics of the home design world. In the downturn of the economy, one topic when it comes to home and a better quality of life seems is the environment. It’s the hot topic of conversation lately and is applied to almost everything we as consumers and people buy and do. If even the world’s most powerful countries have bonded together to support the efforts to preserve our beloved Mother Earth, why shouldn’t everyone else follow? With all the other retail markets along with everything else slightly declining, the eco and earth friendly building, remolding and home décor products are increasing. So, I decided I wanted to find a solid eco-friendly home décor line that was not only safe for family, friends and the earth, yet stylish to suit the home and personal style.

First I wanted to make sure I was diving into this task properly educated, I didn’t want to use or suggest products that were misleading to the public and to myself. I feel like the term “eco-friendly, earth-friendly, environmentally safe” whichever you choose to call it, is thrown around so loosely. With that in mind I started my search.

What is an actual, true “eco- friendly” product? I began my search on-line, to my dismay, I was flooded with what seemed to be opinionated answers. So I went directly to the source. Surprisingly enough, according to the EPA and FTC, to be deemed eco-friendly, environmentally friendly or green, the product makeup need only be 20% natural or recycled materials.

The home is an important place where we sleep, eat, gather and where we spend time with our family and friends. We want it to be a safe and clean environment. Air quality is an especially important component of this formula. There are things that we can do to improve air quality in our home: open windows, air purifiers, add plants and live greenery and safe environmentally friendly products.

In the same breath, no pun intended, the way we decorate it and what we put in our home is equally important. The décor says something about who we are, it is a way of expressing our personalities and making our homes a calming comforting place to gather.

We need to be mindful of the products we pick for our home and their components. With that in mind, I decided to start with area rugs and carpeting because believe it or not, they are a large participant in the air quality in our homes, not to mention they help to protect a large investment, hard wood and ceramic floors . Think about it, when we purchase our home, we are sometimes more concerned with lead paint then we are with what can make up the air we are breathing. The likelihood of someone licking or nibbling on a window sill as opposed to walking around our home in is pretty much slim to none, small children and once in a while unruly guest factors rarely included.

Walking around the house is an inevitable daily, almost momentarily occurrence. Walking on carpet or rugs drudges up fibers, dirt, among other unpleasant particles and stirs them around in the air which we breathe. Not a delightful thought, I am well aware but something that needs to be considered. We need to make sure that we are making a safe, informed decision when purchasing things such as area rugs for our home…who would of thought?

In my researching efforts I found a few popular eco-friendly material alternatives such as naturally grown fibers, cotton and wool all of which are great eco- friendly materials that are safe to breathe in, biodegradable and will not clog up landfills. These alternatives are not only strong, durable, very eco friendly material they are also easily accessible and attainable renewable resources.

Some other benefits are that they are extremely for rug makers to work with. Natural fibers, cotton and wool are manageable, dexterous materials that can be used for just about any textile purpose. They endure time, lie flat with less bunching than other materials and come in endless design and color possibilities. These facile materials make producing silky, chic, stylish designs a cinch for rug designers to work with.

After feeling a little more informed I began my search for the perfect eco friendly yet style friendly area rug. I knew what I wanted, sophisticated, chic area rugs that were friendly to the environment without sacrificing design and style. I was also looking for products that were 100% natural as opposed to just 20%. I cannot control the air outside, but I wanted to be sure to do my part in making the air quality in which my family, friends and myself are exposed to be as healthy as I can control. I particularly found wool rugs to be a personally favored choice due to it’s dually serving purpose as a brilliant stain resilient material. Wool does not absorb dirt like other materials, stains are easily removed without the assistance of chemicals leaving it very family and pet friendly.

My searched deemed more than possible. There are hundreds of rugs and products available now on the market that serve as both trendy and eco friendly. It just takes a little bit of patience and research. My mission to find the perfect earth friendly area rugs has proved successful and more than possible. The eco- earth friendly movement is no longer a growing trend; it is a lingering issue that is here for good. There is no excuse for trading style and individuality for the health and benefit of our family and the interest of our earth. Yes, we can have it all.

By Olivia Brown,

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