Green at Home New Designs for a New Era

 Gone are the days when living green meant dwelling in a geodesic dome-house in  the woods somewhere with a sofa and love seat made out of tree stumps. Today,  living green doesn’t look much different than traditional interior design—even if the environment can tell the difference. Even luxury high rise buildings  and urban co-op and condo owners have upgraded their living spaces with greener  materials and products.  

 “The green movement has made everyone aware of how important it is to make  responsible design decisions,” says Kati Curtis, ASID, CID, LEED AP ID&C, and the principal of Nirmada Interior Design, based in New York City. “Apartment owners are educated consumers, and they have begun to understand how  remodeling decisions can affect their family’s health and well being.”  

 Not Just Skin-Deep

 According to Neil Chambers, LEED-AP, founder/CEO of Chambers Design in New York,  gone also are the days when luxury homeowners thought that the finished look was  the most important part of the design. Now, he says, homeowners recognize that  while aesthetics are obviously important, the most important elements of  interior design go even further.  

 “Today, people want to make sure they are not getting toxic paints and other  products that will off-gas into their living areas for the next five years,” he says. “This translates into a more focused value on indoor air quality and livability,  as well as a new attention to healthier lifestyle for owners and their  families. Neighbors won't suffer from headaches from that ‘new paint smell,’ which are actually toxic volatile organic compounds off-gassing into the  building. Plus, if you use materials that use less energy, you are reducing the  building’s carbon footprint.”  

 The American Society of Interior Designers (ASID) says that green design  encompasses many elements of the home, such as lighting, appliances, flooring,  upholstery, fixtures, furniture, wall coverings or paint, and more. By choosing  green, you can save on energy costs, make your home healthier and create a more  environmentally-friendly home.  

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