"Kitchens belong in homes. Not landfills."
– Julie Schuster
Interior designers have a responsibility to clients, the interior design community and the earth. At the Architectural Design Show 2019 in New York City last month I had the honor of being featured as Responsible Renovator for Renovation Angel – an incredible group committed to reducing waste from kitchen renovations around the United States.
Renovation Angel’s mission is threefold:
1) Minimize Waste: Recycling luxury kitchens, bath fixtures, home furnishings, and architectural elements diverts millions of pounds of waste from landfills.
2) Create Jobs: White-glove removal, transportation, and resale of kitchens creates numerous construction, logistics and retail jobs.
3) Support Non-Profits: Proceeds earned from selling recycled luxury products creates financial support for innovative and life-changing outreach programs in the areas of addition, youth-at-risk, recovery, job creation and social entrepreneurship.
To put that mission into perspective, since their formation 13 years ago, Renovation Angel has recycled over 6,500 kitchens, diverted 38 million pounds from landfill, donated $2.3 million to charity, and generated $22 million in recycling jobs. You can see why I’m so excited to serve as an ambassador!
As a holistic interior designer, I also believe responsible renovation MUST include an integration of the natural world. I do this in several ways with my clients:
Use Renewable Materials: It goes without saying that using renewable materials is beneficial for the environment. But did you know that building materials that have been harvested from the earth are also extremely durable and cost effective? Granite and cork are two of my favorite renewable materials to work with. Granite is the hardest and most dense natural stone which helps maintain luster and resist staining. And cork, which is made from the bark of cork trees, is very springy and resistant to damage.
Take a Lead from Mother Nature: Interiors should be designed with humans in mind. It is a Biophilic Design principle that people feel most comfortable in spaces that follow Mother Nature’s lead. For example, our common desire for hardwood floors is a subconscious human yearning to replicate the “forest floor”. Hence, flooring should be darkest, like a path, mid-range eye-level colors should be neutral, and the ceiling should be light like the sky.
Furnish Consciously: Furniture made from natural materials like rattan, wicker, and hemp connect us with nature and are easy on the environment. Another responsible and eco-friendly idea is to purchase vintage furniture - lending itself to a beautiful, eclectic feel. And of course, recycling with groups like Renovation Angel whenever possible makes the process simple and rewarding.
Speak with your interior designer about how you can collaborate to renovate responsibly!
Julie and her team have a passion for creating beautiful, engaging and functional spaces, focusing on both the physical as well as the emotional well being of your environment. Click on the links below for package details:
Whether it is directing the flow of chi through the arrangement of furnishings, design or colors; Julie and her team can help you to create the spaces that support your vision of a balanced life, rich in the areas that matter to you.
A well designed environment boosts employees' performance, promotes efficiency and creates a comforting space for incoming clients.
There is no second chance to make a good first impression. When the time comes to sell or rent your home, ease the transition and maximize return by helping your home look its very best.
Universal Design is the concept of creating a thoughtful space for all people, regardless of their age, size or ability. Universal Design is a perfect design solution to pursue because of the comprehensive features that endure throughout a life span.