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It’s getting easier to be ‘green’


Published: 05/06/2013

by Kimberley Seldon

When Vanity Fair devotes an annual cover to the topic of being ‘green’ and environmental
supporter Al Gore enjoys A-list celebrity status, we know that going green is going strong. The reality is our decorating

choices – big and small – have an impact on the environment.


Whether you’re covering a window, changing a wall colour, replacing a beaten-up kitchen floor,
or getting rid of tired furniture, some choices are more environmentally friendly than others. It’s time for all of us to consider our green options.

Here are some of the choices you can make to preserve the environment.



Opt for linoleum over vinyl when choosing continuous flooring. Vinyl is made of synthetic chemicals, while linoleum is

made of up to 80% renewable, natural substances such as linseed oil, flax and pine resin. Designers welcome linoleum’s

wide selection of colours, while allergy sufferers enjoy the fact that it’s hypoallergenic. Everyone appreciates the price

point; starting at only a few dollars per square foot, linoleum is relatively affordable.


Wood flooring is still a viable option, provided the wood is sourced from sustainable resources.
Its durability provides long-lasting value.


Kimberley’s pick:
For beauty and eco-friendly aspects, reclaimed wood flooring is a hands-down favourite in this category.

There’s a stunning variety of choice – herringbone, Versailles, parquet, inlay and rustic barn board.


Window coverings

For simple window coverings, bamboo blinds are a winning combination of good looks and eco-friendliness. Bamboo is

actually a grass, one of the fastest growing plants on earth. It’s easy to cultivate and its wood tones infuse interiors with
natural warmth.

As bamboo blinds shade rooms from strong sunlight, they also lessen the need for air-conditioning during the season’s

warmest days.


Bamboo blinds paired with drapery panels are ideally suited to traditional interiors. For contemporary interiors, enjoy them

on their own.


Kimberley’s pick: Fabric blinds made from 100% bamboo or linen. The wrinkling only adds to the



Conventional paints often release volatile organic compounds (VOCs), harmful fumes and chemicals that are not only bad

for the environment, they may even cause those fresh-paint headaches.


Kimberley’s pick: Ask your paint retailer for low- or no-VOC paint; both are environment- and
health-friendly options.



To furnish a home with minimal impact on the environment, consider reusing and refreshing rather
than replacing furniture. Join weekend treasure hunters who flock to local flea markets in search of potential.


Kimberley’s pick: Look for consignment shops in your neighbourhood or visit garage sales as the weather warms.



Saving energy in the lighting category is as easy as dimming the lights. In fact, dim them 10% and there’s a 10%

cost savings.


In addition to installing dimmers, consider replacing some bulbs with super-efficient compact fluorescent lights. Not only do CFLs last about 10 times longer than incandescent light bulbs, they also provide a 75%–80% reduction in energy


Kimberley’s pick: Embrace solar lighting outdoors; use light stands to emphasize favourite flower beds or an important pathway.  


Kimberley Seldon Design Group offers consultations and full design-build services to meet
specific needs. Find details at


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