Say goodbye to granola design
by Pamela Portwood
The granola days of green interior design are gone. Hurray! Healthy, eco-friendly
furnishings have moved beyond plain styles and banal colors to become beautiful, stylish
and fun. With company names like Stray Dog and Mod Green Pod, it's clear that fun and
funky is now a green style.
Five years ago there weren't very many green home products, but now it's a challenge to
keep up with the new options. Of course, some furniture and furnishings are greener than
others, and different products are green for different reasons. Below are some of the fun
and funky green furnishings being produced today.
Where do airplanes go when they retire? These days it's not just to the Pima Air and
Space Museum or to the landfill. Several companies are re-purposing airplane parts into
furniture. Motoart makes fabulous desks, bars, tables - you name it - out of airplane
wings, propellers, noses and even those rolling galley bars.
Like many green furniture companies, Lilipad only makes a few products - child-size
tables, chairs and stools - but they are fun, colorful pieces made by their local craftsmen
from eco-friendly wood and hand painted with non-toxic paints.
My parents had rattan furniture back in the 1960s, but Koji pushes furniture made of
rattan and other rapidly renewable materials like liana and water hyacinth to new levels
of wild design. Some of their furniture weaves these materials into jumbles that create
circular canopies and other upholstered, organic shapes.
Fabrics and finishes:
Mod Green Pod
Mod Green Pod's fabrics and matching wallpapers burst with bright colors and charming
butterflies, flowers and abstract patterns. Their fabrics use low-impact dyes on certified,
organic cotton grown in the United States. Their vinyl-free wallpapers print water-based
inks on certified, sustainable paper.
You don't have to be a wine-lover to love Fontenay's Vintage Barrel Collection of
woods, but they are irresistible to wine fans. Fontenay makes wood flooring and furniture
from the wine barrels' inner wood that is infused with the rich color of wine and from the
tops that bare the barrels' authentic stamps and markings.
Stray Dog Designs
Considering what some designers are now recycling into lighting fixtures (Gummi Bears,
Bic pens, tampons, syringes, plastic spoons and more), Stray Dog Designs' cute lamps
seem tame with their bases that sprout leaves, flowers and birds. Even so, their lamps
and accessories use recycled metal, glass and paper as well as cheerful paints with low
levels of volatile organic compounds. They also donate a percentage of their profits
to non-profit organizations in Mexico and Haiti where their artisans and workers live.
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Article is reprinted courtesy of The New Southwest (formerly Tucson Green Times).