Going Green

Let face it, most designers are concerned with sustainability. But often we get too busy and or don’t bother to spec out green or sustainable products. And sometimes it’s hard to find new interior products that meet all the criteria for being eco-friendly, exciting, hot and cool all at the same time.

Recently I have been consulting with a client that suffers from severe allergies and has two small children that are extremely sensitive to formaldehyde and many of the harmful chemicals that are used in man-made products. This prompted me to do a little research into environmentally friendly design resources within our country. Here are my top  go to eco-friendly interior design products.


Madison and Grow. This design group has a small but beautiful collection of wallpapers; they’re silk screened in California with water-based inks.

Spoonflower. This addictive site prints designs on demand, all on vinyl-free, self-adhesive, removable paper.

Eskayel. Based in Brooklyn, New York, Eskayel designs a light range of imaginative hand-painted wallpaper patterns. Papers are made from natural and recycled materials, clay coated for durability and vinyl free.


EcoBalanza specializes in upholstered couches and chairs. This company is committed to sourcing the highest quality organic materials possible. Free from flame retardants and polyurethane foam, EcoBalanza offers GOTS certified fabrics, as well as organic latex and wool filling. EcoBalanza is based out of Seattle.

Cisco Brothers. This fabulous furniture is handmade in south central L.A. by local craftspeople. Cisco Pinedo was the first designer to create 100 percent FSC-certified (Forest Stewardship Council) pure, sustainable, upholstered furniture. The overall feel from Cisco Home is one of luxury and familiarity. The history of each piece is highlighted, not hidden, because that’s where Cisco believes the beauty and ingenuity reside.

Environment Furniture. This company is thought to have “created functional pieces of art that are monuments to sustainable living.” Materials used are reclaimed, recycled, and repurposed. The only new wood used is from managed certified forests. For over 15 years Environment has become the leader in reclaimed wood furniture design. After many years of exposure to the elements, nature imparts its process of natural aged patina, which in turn crafts the history and story behind every piece of Peroba and other reclaimed woods used in the Environment collection

Stem. Designed for a healthy planet and healthy home, Stem’s commitment to sustainability and eco-friendly furniture is an integral part of their business model. Their responsible manufacturing process takes place in the USA, cutting down on carbon emissions, and they don’t use fire retardants or harsh chemicals. Their furniture has been featured by other leaders in sustainability like Starbucks and Eco Fabulous. Plus, they offer the option to customize their modern and sleek products to your liking.

As designers it is good to be mindful of the eco-friendly product options available to us. And it’s our responsibility to be conscience of the materials we spec out and how it effects our client’s wellbeing and livelihood. My list is short, there are so many options for environmentally-friendly materials for interior design. As I have found from the small amount of research I have done, eco-friendly furnishings can be sleek and modern, glamorous and upscale, as well having all the wonderful qualities of being good for the planet and the people that use them.

All the best,

Jennifer Austin-McGrath

Allied ASID