Posts Tagged ‘Eco-homes’

Eco-Friendly Home Ideas

Whitman shows Alba vintage crystal chandeliers.

Whitman shows Alba vintage crystal chandeliers.

Reuse and Recycle
Interior decorator Kari Whitman scours antiques store, flea markets and a client’s existing inventory before even thinking about new furniture. “The craftsmanship is often better in older pieces,” says Whitman. “For Jessica Alba’s house we bought almost every piece used.”

Green Home Accessories

You don’t have to renovate your whole house to go green. Whitman surfs the Web for stylish and affordable home accessories, like these colorful waste baskets made out of recycled potato chip wrappers ($36; btcelements.com). She also suggests checking out eco-furniture.com and uncommongoods.com, where they sell organic linens and wine glasses made from recycled windshields.

Forget About Carpeting

Alba's bedroom, with hardwood floors and area rugs, illustrates this tip perfectly.

Alba bedroom, with hardwood floors and area rugs, illustrates this tip perfectly.

“Go for wood floors and rugs instead of carpeting,” says Whitman, who credits Bamboo Flooring Hawaii as a great resource for sustainable wood. “Most carpeting is made from non-organic fibers and it can get so dirty and hold in dust and various toxins.” The types of rugs Whitman suggests using are sisal, jute or even cork. “You can also get outdoor rugs of recycled plastic or old tennis balls that are great,” she says.

Protect Your Pets

Don’t forget your furry friends when making eco-friendly choices. One way to protect them from environmental toxins is by giving them a safe place to rest. Greener Pup dog beds ($36-$50; greenerpup.com), designed by Whitman, are made with 100 percent organic and non-toxic materials that are both soft and durable.

Choose a Saltwater Pool

“Salt water has fewer toxins, it’s softer on skin and it won’t cause red eyes, itchiness or green hair!” says Whitman, who used True Blue Pools for Alba’s pool, at left. Another reason the designer is a big fan: “The salt keeps pools clean and algae-free without chemicals, as these systems clean and monitor themselves.” While they may cost more upfront, Whitman says they require much less maintenance and you’re not paying for chemicals.

Eliminate Toxins

“I am obsessed with Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning products,” says Whitman. The all-natural and biodegradable line of products includes fragrant household cleaning supplies as well as environmentally-friendly cleaners for babies and pets. “My favorite scent is lavender, but I also like lemon and gardenia,” says the designer.

Save Water, Go Faux

For Whitman (above), synthetic turf is a long term commitment to saving water and “an amazing way to be green.” She likes Forever Lawn, which is made from recycled plastic and tires. “It looks so real, and eliminates pesticides,” she says. Plus, it just needs an occasional rinse.

Protect Baby

For Jessica Alba’s daughter’s nursery, Whitman and Alba chose a crib and changing table made with sustainable wood and nontoxic paint. They also bought linens from Sage Creek Organics.

Above: Lawson-Fenning’s Aerial crib ($1,240; nurseryworks.net for stores) is an example of eco- and design-friendly baby furniture.

Be Paint Smart

To avoid buying (and wasting) several cans of paint before finding the right shade, Whitman invented Wall Makeup ($39; wallmakeup.com. The do-it-yourself kit lets you create and test small batches of custom colors before a dealer matches them.

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