Beyond Greenery: Going Green in Interior Design

Beyond Greenery: Going Green in Interior Design

We created a home office area in a large, open living room by installing antique church doors. Antiques are actually a "green" design element.  Photo   by  © Lisa Russman Photography | www.lisarussman.com

We created a home office area in a large, open living room by installing antique church doors. Antiques are actually a "green" design element. Photo by © Lisa Russman Photography | www.lisarussman.com

When Pantone chose "Greenery" as the 2017 Color of the Year, we agreed! Actually, we were one step ahead when we used a similar vibrant green for a guest bedroom last summer. (You can read about our guest room in this Dering Hall feature or check out the before and after photos.) Pantone called the shade "nature's neutral" and talked about how it reflects humans' connection with the environment. Maybe that's why we were drawn to it. Well that and it feels fresh, modern and clean at the same time.

Photo by  © Paul S. Bartholomew

Photo by © Paul S. Bartholomew

Beyond green as a color, it's also important to remember that green is a term used in reference to sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices and products. That's something we've always embraced in our designs as well as our personal lives.

"Green" interior design encompasses more than eco-friendly or sustainable finishes and products. Re-using, recycling or repurposing are some of the best ways to be green. In fact, the barn door in this photo was a sad, old (okay, and very dirty) door that we found at one of our favorite reclaimed wood sources, JC Woodworking in Pennsylvania. We had it repaired, cleaned and painted and now it's a favorite element and statement piece in our client's new master suite.  

In addition to recycled pieces like the barn door, antiques are actually among the greenest items since they don't require any energy to produce. They too can add interest and perhaps even tell a story.

Not into antiques? Do the next best thing and invest in high-quality, timeless pieces that will become future valuables instead of needing to be replaced every few years and ending up in a landfill. When we kick off a new project, we always begin by assessing our clients' existing items. Why start completely from scratch unless you want to or have to? In addition to being greener, it's also so much more personal and unique when we include beautiful items or mementos such as artwork, a collection, or souvenirs from their travels. 

Going green in interior design offers the opportunity to blend old and new, giving spaces character and depth. Plus, many of our green finds even serve as inspiration pieces for the entire room. We love finding creative, fun and unique ways to be green while designing gorgeous space that have personality.

What's your definition of going green?