Today, for a guest post, we have Lori Dennis, author of the upcoming book, “Green Interior Design.” Lori’s publisher, Allworth Press, has generously offered to give away one book before the book even hits the shelves this fall! If you win a book on Living Large this week, you will have to wait until the end of October for your prize, but the wait will definitely be worth it! Read Lori’s interview and simply make a comment on this post between now and Tuesday August 24 at 5 p.m. CST. I will draw one lucky winner and announce the winner on Wednesday, August 25. You will have until Thursday, August 26 to send me your name and snail mail address. Good luck!
Why write a book about "green" decorating?
I lecture regularly on the topic of green design. After years of being asked by clients, designers and builders, "Isn't there a book where we can find all of this information?” I decided to write one.
Give us an example of how "green" decorating is different from traditional methods.
When you incorporate green methods/materials into a decorating project, you select items that are healthier for the occupants, the environment and the people who make the furnishings and materials. Going green is about choosing products that have less impact on our planet from extraction to manufacturing to transporting to installation. It's about living or working in a space that has less carcinogens and cleaner air quality. It's also about knowing that the person who made your product was paid a living wage and was not exposed to elements that make them sick.
Give an example of a good green decorating method that would work well in a little house.
My best advice for green decorating in a little house is to thoroughly select items that are useful or that bring you happiness. Recycle, give away or sell items that do not serve a purpose. This will help to eliminate clutter, which in turn eliminates dust, resulting in more time to enjoy your life and less need to clean (hopefully using less toxic chemicals). Look around the house for things you can reuse in more enjoyable way. Going green doesn't have to cost anything. It just takes a little paying attention.
What is one green decorating method that would surprise people most?
Plants not only make a space beautiful but they help to improve air quality and your mood. Even folks on a tight budget can afford plants. Seeing living plants helps humans feel closer to nature. That's important when we spend an average of 90% of our time indoors.
Please give us one, inexpensive green decorating tip that can have a big impact in a home.
Stop using expensive (and toxic) cleaning products. A cleaning arsenal of white vinegar, baking soda, lemon juice, vegetable oil and peroxide can accomplish similar results that you would get from conventional products without harmful toxins, the waste of packaging/manufacturing/transportation and the high cost you pay to help these companies to advertise. I also recommend spending a few extra dollars per gallon on NO VOC paint. It's something that takes no additional effort and produces a lot less chemicals off-gassing in your home or office. That "fresh, new paint smell" is anything but fresh. It's actually killing your brain cells. I'd prefer to let a glass of wine do that instead!
What have you done green with regards to decorating your home?
Thank you, Lori, for sharing some ideas with us! Remember, Living Large community, we’re celebrating our one-year anniversary on Wednesday. Check back to see if you’ve won Lori’s book and for another chance at a giveaway!