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What Makes Something Eco-Friendly?
Some of the criteria taken into consideration to determine a product's eco-friendliness include:

Products Made Without VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds)
Recycled / Repurposed Furniture and Household Items
Furniture Made From Renewable, Sustainable Resources
Fabric Containing Recycled or Organic Content
Eco-Friendly Flooring
Eco-Friendly Insulation
Eco-Friendly Countertops

Click the links above to learn more.

Eco-friendly decorating uses resources responsibly.

This type of green design considers the health of the individual and the planet, as well as the economic and social impacts resulting from the design process. It also focuses on products that are least harmful to the environment while minimizing the use of natural resources and materials.

Bright Ideas offers several decorating options. Check out the list below to see which one is right for you.

New Construction / Remodel
Eco-Friendly Decorating
Redesigning
• Yours & Theirs
Sgt. Pepper Special
Seasonal & Holiday Makeover
Home Staging

 

Schedule your Home Inventory
Cataloging appointment today!

1-888-369-9963

Colleen@colleensbrightideas.com

 

Decorating Options

 

New Construction / Remodel

Choosing the right products for your eco-friendly project can be challenging. I will help you make the right choices for you and your family and work with contractors and architects to make sure you're getting the design you want. I offer the following:

• Consultation
• Space Planning
• Material Options
• Shopping Service
• Project Management
• Oversee Deliveries and Installations
• Recycle Plan

Whether you want one room or all your rooms decorated, I can help!

We'll start with a consultation to determine your needs, style and budget. I'll do pre-shopping to save you time and stress then meet with you to view what I've found. We'll discuss all the options and determine which are right for you. It can be as simple as finding a single piece of furniture or a full room make over from top to bottom. Check out the list of my decorating programs and see which one is right for you!

 

Eco-Friendly Decorating

To decorate in a way that's healthy, use products that meet criteria for low impact living and sustainability. Such products include no VOC (Volatile Organic Compounds) paints and stains, recycled furniture or furniture made from FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) certified wood, recycled tiles & glass, fabric made using organic fibers like cotton, wool, hemp, modal and jute. Using items that are chemical-free are better for you, your pets, your children and the planet.

Shopping local is also encouraged. Not only does it save energy when transporting your items, but it may even save you money. Shopping local supports local businesses thus strengthening them and your community.

 

Redesigning

Here's where we redesign with items you already have! Think of it like this, each room in your home is a store and we'll go "shopping" for items to reuse in your project.

You don't always need to buy all new stuff. Sometimes you just need to mix up what you already have.

   

Yours & Theirs

Combining your style with his, hers, or theirs (your children, in-laws or room-mates). I'll help you create a harmonious blend for everyone to enjoy.                           

 

Sgt. Pepper Special

When you just need a little help from a friend! Say you're doing the decorating yourself but you get stuck and need a little advice. I'll come by and help you out.  

 

Seasonal & Holiday Makeover

When transitioning to a new season, it isn't always necessary to buy new furniture. Easy, affordable changes can be achieved with the right accessories. The same holds true for holiday decorating.

With the right choice and placement of appropriate accessories, you can create a whole new look and feel!

 

Home Staging

Do you want the best price possible when selling your home? Well it all starts with the first impression. Staging your home involves de-cluttering and rearranging items so people can see the value and beauty your home has to offer.

I will use my designer skills to create an eye catching interior that prospective buyers will desire.

 

 

 

What Makes Something Eco-Friendly?

 

      Products Made Without VOC's (Volatile Organic Compounds)

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, "...Indoor air quality is 3 times worse than outdoor air quality and is one of the EPA's top 5 areas of concern." Furthermore, "...furniture and home furnishings are also regarded as one of the leading contributors of poor air quality."*

Why? Because of the toxic materials used to create many housefold items. That new "fresh" paint smell? Nasty VOC's!

VOC's are chemicals found in paints, stains, varnishes, lacquers, glues, insulation, carpets, flooring, furniture, countertops and cleaning supplies that are released into the air via evaporation. This process is called off-gassing and can last for several years after the products are initially installed. According to the EPA, "Volatile organic compounds irritate the eyes, nose and throat, and cause headaches, nausea, and damage to the liver, kidneys, and central nervous system. Some of them can cause cancer."

Using products made without VOC's improves indoor air quality which is better for you, your family and your pets.  

   

  Recycled / Repurposed Furniture and Household Items

Repurposing items you already have is the kindest choice you can make for the environment. It minimizes waste by reusing items that would otherwise end up in a land-fill.

You can give an old piece of furniture new life with some new paint (no VOC, of course!). Or, use that collection of wicker baskets for office supplies or bath room linens. Don't have anything to repurpose? Shop in your local consignment store or antique shop for gently used items.

Shopping local is a budget friendly option. Plus, your purchase helps foster community relations by supporting your local business. It also preserves natural resources and it keeps your carbon foot print down by cutting the distance the item and you have to travel.

Budget friendly and good for the planet? A win-win for you and the environment!

      

      Furniture Made From Renewable, Sustainable Resources  

If you can't repurpose, and can't find what you're looking for in the marketplace, than buy responsibly. Check to see if the furniture you're buying is FSC certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. Wood used to make FSC certified furniture has been harvested in a sustainable way with little environmental impact.

Eco-friendly furniture materials include:

• Bamboo
• Beech wood
• Cork
• Reclaimed wood
• Hemp
• Jute
• Wool
• Recycled products made from plastics and paper

 

     Fabric Containing Recycled or Organic Content

Fabrics made from sustainable fibers minimizes waste and pesticide use. Look for these types of fabric:

• Hemp
• Wool
• Jute
• Modal
• Organic Cotton

 

Eco-Friendly Flooring

When choosing a safe floor option, consider how you use a floor. You walk barefoot on it. You let your babies crawl all over it.

Wouldn't it be nice to not have to worry about noxious chemicals off-gassing up from the carpet or vinyl floor? Well, you don't have to worry if you use an earth friendly floor.

Here are some great options:

• Linoleum
• Marmoleum
• Bamboo
• Cork
• Wool
• Tile

 

Eco-Friendly Insulation

Say good bye to itchy, scratchy fiberglass insulation and hello to soft cotton-fiber insulation. Made from 85% post industrial recycled denim, this insulation is non irritating, resists mold and mildew and has great thermal and sound absorption capabilities. It's also a Class A fire rated product making it a safe choice.

Check out Ultra Touch made from recycled denim. I have felt this and couldn't believe how soft and thick it was. No itch what-so-ever! The extra bonus comes in the form of a government rebate of 30% of the cost up to $1,500 when you install energy efficient products.

Another eco-friendly choice is spray soy foam insulation. Made of 100% organic material, soy foam insulation conserves energy by infiltrating cracks and crevices, virtually eliminating drafts, energy loss, and condensation caused by air infiltration. Some types of insulation are treated with a borax, boric acid, and/or calcium carbonate fire retardant making it a very safe and effective product. To learn more, check out:
5 Star Performance Insulation
Building For Health

Using energy efficient products in your home can actually save you money while saving the planet. Many government rebates offer up to 30% off the cost up to $1,500 when you install energy efficient products. To find out more, check out:
Federal Rebate Programs
State Rebate Programs

 

Eco-Friendly Countertops

Granite is the most popular countertop used today but, did you know that some granite countertops emit unsafe levels of radiation? All granite contains radioactive materials such as Uranium, Thorium and Potassium. However, radon inspectors are finding radiation measurements several times above background levels in certain granite slabs.

For more information, check out the NY Times 7/24/08 article, "What's Lurking In Your Countertop?". Your local hardware store should carry a test kit or measuring device for you to check your countertop.

In the meantime, here are some great healthier options to consider:

• Recycled Glass
• Concrete
• Stainless Steel
• Bamboo

 

All of these items can be discussed during your consultation.

So when considering going green in your next design project,
let Bright Ideas show you the many ways you can be eco-friendly.

It's all a part of living green, living healthy!

For more information on these topics, please visit my links page

* Resource: Design Trade Magazine, April 2009

 

 
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