Kitchens and Baths: Use durable, nontoxic products like stone, steel, wood, and glass to stay even healthier while sheltering-in-place. These materials can be part of appliances, countertops, finishes, fixtures, and even accessories.
Home Offices: Maximize storage space in home workspaces using woven baskets, wooden boxes, and artisanal ceramics. Store on surfaces, decoratively layer larger pieces in corners or place on open shelving to create more closed container areas.
Common Areas: Create a layout that maximizes traffic flow, conversation space, and access to everyday items, like electronics, books, and games. Consider organizing with hidden storage for pillows, throw blankets, and remotes.
Bedrooms: Emphasize the rejuvenating aspects of this room, like the view of a fireplace, favorite piece of artwork, or of the outdoors, and add some luxurious fabrics and lighting! Try keeping the bedroom for sleeping and relaxing only, not turning it into an office or workout room (even though most of the other rooms in the house are multi-use).
Outdoor Living Spaces: Bring interior comforts, like accessories for morning coffee and after-dinner drinks, outside! Additionally, furnish your deck, patio or fire pit area with green products like recycled furniture made from metal, natural fibers, or wood.
By Gina Jacobson, Owner/Interior Designer, CL Designs
As preparations for snowy weather and large get-togethers begin, having engaging surroundings gains importance for many of us. With so many décor options available, I make my best choices after carefully considering what already exists in a space. In this house, expansive windows drew my eye and naturally highlighted the darker pieces in my table arrangement. Curvaceous Moser furniture offered the perfect inspiration for the twists in each centerpiece, and the russet hues in the countertops became the impetus for more warm wood features and golden lights throughout.
While complimenting the home’s fixtures, the decorations also provided a healthy alternative to synthetic objects. White candles added a crisp touch to the plant clusters, as well as innocuous flames to spotlight the details. At the same time, a bar of soap anchored the vanity with its neutral color and served as a hypoallergenic resource for handwashing. A round ice sculpture mimicked the numerous circles already in the vicinity, as it showcased herbs and, perhaps most conspicuously, vibrant flowers, local greenery, and organic produce, yielded a fresh aesthetic and wholesome nutrition for later consumption.
When incorporating seasonal furnishings into the heart of any house or office, I consider not only the environment as it is, but also its occupants’ physical well-being. During the colder months, styling projects are usually undertaken in order to satisfy clients’ desires for inviting and one-of-a-kind surroundings where visitors can gather. But my seasonal work may be just as important as a means of modernizing the entire dwelling or place of business for both that time frame and beyond.
To do that, I refer to comprehensive design principles, develop customized proposals that fit my client’s wishes, and prioritize clear procedures for each task I perform. I weigh other aspects of green interior design as well, including the recyclability, durability, local sourcing, and energy efficiency of anything I procure. I believe that the areas we inhabit can be functional, beneficial, and beautiful at the same time and that the combination of those three is what will make them truly great.
Overall, as a passionate and focused interior designer specializing in healthy products for both residential and commercial sites, I have a strong drive to create aesthetically-pleasing, intuitive, and welcoming areas. I usually find that my clients enjoy fine art, unique touches, and environmentally sensitive products. Whatever your reason, if you decide to utilize my design services this winter, you can expect the process to start with a meeting. At that time, I will observe your space and get a sense of your priorities for its design. Whether for one room or the whole building, I will then devise a detailed, personalized plan that may include everything from furniture layouts to accessories and ornamentation. Once that plan is in place, we will meet again to finalize it and agree upon implementation dates, understanding that their fulfillment signals completion of the work. Lastly, with your approval, I will photograph the outcome for future use.
Featured photograph: Full-Service Interior Design Plan Board and Design by Gina Jacobson, CL Designs, mixing a fresh flower arrangement with calming furnishings and fixtures for the mild-to-cooler months. Visit CL Designs’ Full-Service Seasonal Residential Interior Design services page here, or find Full-Service Seasonal Commercial Interior Design services here.
Having pared down our interiors for the freshness of spring, then cultivated the outdoors for summer, it’s time to enjoy the harvest. Here are some tips on how:
Celebrate the lighter colors that the season brings for a fresh look in September.
Summer squash, multicolored carrots, corn and potatoes are great inspiration right now.
Those velvety, rich-colored accessories and tablecloths can also easily make their way back into your living and working areas for the extra comfort they naturally add.
Keep some outdoor living areas furnished for that “golden hour” when the air and light is just right to start a fire.
Focus on the fireplaces, indoors and out. Store the indoor fireplace screen and add some accessories.
Add throw blanket storage area and warm lighting to your more sparse summer seating areas.
Fall is a great time to transition the outdoors from party-central to cozy by the fire, and the indoors from cool and calm to energizing for gatherings and parties.
Entertaining staples for the indoors, like ample seating, and special glasses and dishware are primed to take center stage in the interior of your home or work space again.
Fall 2019 Necessities Fire irons Favorite vases, in various sizes Lanterns, indoors and out Decorative storage for throw blankets and Pillows Blooming, native flowers
• Real plants are always an easy way to bring new life into your home, and allium, cone flowers, and Virginia bluebells fit the bill in Minnesota summers. For added benefits, snake plants and Boston ferns not only look beautiful, but also counteract chemicals like formaldehyde that can be common in our interiors, and are native plants to Minnesota.
• Fill bright ceramic or glass vases with summer blooms; add even larger jugs for freshly-cut branches and leaves.
• Choose a light entryway rug that is less patterned than your mud-resistant spring version.
• Keep throw pillow covers with invigorating colors and lines and bring in more crisp, cool colors, as well.
• Bring in nature through the view outdoors to a garden scene you have cultivated.
• Invest in lasting materials like metal indoor/outdoor tables and versatile plant containers.
• Focus, broadly, on movement, openness and cross-breezes in your interiors. These are always emblematic of summer.
• Artfully display your umbrellas, wellies, raincoats and delicate shoes with chests, artisanal hooks and wooden sandal racks.
Renewing your space for spring is beneficial at whatever point in this time of year that feels right for you! I find that starting at about the first thaw allows for the most enjoyment of what the season has to offer, but I suggest going at a pace that accounts for the chilly remnants of winter.
Here are some more things to keep in mind:
1.) Focus on the accessories…
– Edit your decor and leave room for future finds.
– Arrange accents like bright ceramic or glass vases in your vignettes instead of the candles you may have had available to supplement your lighting during the long nights of winter.
– Find pretty entryway rugs that are durable enough to withstand frequent, muddy footsteps.
– Replace dark throw pillow covers or other interchangeable fabrics in the house for those that offer more invigorating colors or patterns.
– Real plants are always an easy way to bring new life into your home, and hyacinths, lilacs and crocuses are classic symbols of spring. For added benefits, Barberton daisies, peace lilies and red-edged dracaena not only look beautiful, but also counteract chemicals like formaldehyde that can be common in our interiors.
2.) PAST spring decor trends:
– Multiple brass fixtures
– Woven art
– Pantone Ultra Violet
– Nautical accents
3.) CURRENT/2019 spring decor trends:
– Eco-conscious picks
– Vintage lighting
– Handmade pieces
– A nod to Art Deco
– Green textiles
Fashion and design industry experts update their styles for the seasons, and share their favorites. But, ultimately, it becomes a personal choice for those updating their own spaces.
4.) To approach this on a budget:
– Sell items that no longer work in your home as part of the editing process mentioned above
– Focus on bringing nature in through newly-sown seeds and blooming bulbs
– Save money, long term, by investing in lasting materials
– Add small touches of wood, stone and clay for their tactile qualities
– Artfully display your fresh fruit and vegetables
5.) Use the following items to renew your workspace this spring season:
– Full-spectrum light bulbs
– Energizing palettes
– Living walls
– Appealing task lamps
– Florist’s chrysanthemums or other purifying flower cutting
6.) How to repurpose items in your home for Spring 2019:
– Reorganize your permanent decorations or artwork to create an exhilarating space
– Have your favorite lightweight linens sewn into supplemental, wispy window treatments
– Use small, heavy items, like vintage architectural detail pieces, as paperweights for those breezy Duluth days when your windows are open
– Tap into your personal photo collection and frame and display those that remind you of spring
– To go beyond accessories, trade your wintry indoor side or coffee tables for your coordinating teak, metal or other versatile material outdoor versions until the weather allows those outside tables to be placed back on the patio
7.) A few spring decorating no-nos:
– Faux foliage, since it lacks the natural vitality that spring brings
– Impersonal designs, as they can begin to feel like clutter in our spaces
So many things in our built environments have harmful components. By eliminating them as much as possible, we can be more at ease, fit and productive, overall.
Have a look at the following for a quick overview of some of our everyday products’ ingredients and effects.
Adhesives – carbon tetrachloride – damages our hepatic system (the system that makes proteins, breaks down food & purifies the body) (1)
Formaldehyde – found in pressed woods, particleboard, plywood, fiberboard, permanent press fabrics, paper coatings, certain insulation, and glues – classified as a human carcinogen by IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) – irritates eyes, nose, throat, skin; can cause occupational asthma (2)
Fabrics – sulfur, arsenic, copper, lead and mercury, among others – cancer, wide-ranging illnesses (3)
Stain-protectors – PFCs (perfluorochemicals) -tumors, immune system and hormone malfunctions (4)
Insulation – spray foam – flame retardants and other carcinogens – asthma, watery eyes, sinus congestion, headaches (5)
Plastics – “Journal of the American Medical Association published a study involving 1,455 American adults, which linked high urinary levels of BPA to heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and liver complications.” (6) “…tests have shown that the chemical (bisphenol-A, aka BPA) can promote human breast cancer cell growth“(7)
Finishes – VOCs (volatile organic compounds) – “2 to 5 times higher inside homes than outside, regardless of whether the homes were located in rural or highly industrial areas.” – liver, kidney, and central nervous system damage; cancer (8)
Metals – mercury, lead, cadmium, aluminum- “…impairment of cognitive development (e.g. developmental disorders), degenerative diseases of the nervous system, which would include Alzheimer’s disease, Parkinson’s disease, and multiple sclerosis (MS), problems with skeletal development and maintenance (e.g. osteoporosis), kidney disorders, and blood disorders.” (9)
Now that you know more about what to look for, if you cannot find an ingredient list and production information for your products, consider not buying them.
Choosing companies that are providing the above information may encourage those to continue doing so.
As always, if you would like more assistance with choosing healthy interior design products, contact CL Designs.
Why should I bother investing in green design?
• Human Health
There are additives in our home decor products, and in our buildings themselves, that cause health issues. Companies are not required to label these products’ ingredients like much of the food industry is, so consumers often do not even know what toxins they are bringing into their offices and homes. Consumers have a small, expensive pool of vendors to pick from when they do embark on the task of purchasing actually-green products and services. By purchasing our interior design products from those companies that are being mindful of human health, we can change that.
• Planet Longevity
The products and processes involved in the transporting, assembling, installing and finishing of the built environment fixtures and furnishings that we buy and use today are largely chosen from outdated and inefficient plans that are unnecessarily detrimental to the earth. It is exciting to contribute to those that are choosing more beneficial paths.