“I would put these rooms as an essential at the top of the list,” says Paul Gleicher of Gleicher Design Group. “From an indoor air quality standpoint, it is really very important.” Gleicher, who works with an array of clients, says that people no longer have to compromise on quality when shopping for ecofriendly items for these two rooms.
Creating an eco-conscious bedroom and bath should first and foremost start with the most intimate place: the bed. Start with linens: sheets, pillow covers, duvets, blankets, and throws. With options like organic cotton or bamboo, choosing the right bedding can be slightly tricky. While bamboo sheets are durable, soft, and breathe well, organic cotton seems to receive a better response, with more variety in style and options.
Searching for the right eco-bedding depends on personal style and budget. With the ABC Home and Planet line, shoppers are guaranteed organic or bio-based fibers that avoid the use of bleach, dyes, and finishes. While also featuring vintage and recycled fabrics, ABC Home is a proponent of green living. “Our point of view has been to approve it from a point of beauty. But when it’s also better for the environment, it’s a complete win-win,” says Amy Chender, ABC Home chief operating officer. The line includes Loop organic sateen bedding and vegetable=dyed, hand block-printed organic cotton linens that range from $128 to $385.
For those with a slightly smaller budget, Pottery Barn sells organic bedding that ranges from $24 to $129, with duvet covers priced up to $169. Both stores also sell linens that cross over into the bathroom, giving the same sense of luxury. “Buying the organic cotton towels is a nice entry point for someone beginning to bring ecofriendly products into their bath,” Chender says. Bath towels at ABC Home & Planet are very reasonable—between $10 and $14 (the same price range for Pottery Barn as well)—and they come in an array of colors.
While making purchases for the bed, a mattress might also capture your interest. Kate Dayton, owner of Green Courage, an environmentally friendly design center in New Paltz, swears by Savvy Rest mattresses and feels that sleeping on an organic mattress is very important. Organic mattresses are typically made of customizable latex, wool batting, and a cotton exterior. There is no need for harmful fireproofing chemicals and dust mites are unable to live in them, eliminating the need for pesticides, Dayton explains. Ranging in price from $1,589 for a twin to $3,599 for a king- size, Savvy Rest is an investment, but an important one, Dayton feels.
Window coverings in the bedroom and bath are next. Go for a natural-fiber curtain panel; or for homeowners looking for a serious upgrade, Paul Gleicher says that motorized shades are all the rage. “The idea of shutting the shades from your bed has our clients really jazzed,” he says. A company like Lutron provides automated window treatments, including drapery track systems, and Roman shades with an easy functioning controller, that work well in both rooms. It keeps the heat out in the summer and inside during the winter, using low-voltage wiring with very little use of electricity.
Finding sustainable furniture for these two rooms is the next step— but again, it all depends on your style and budget. A product like the Edge Bed by Environment Furniture is ideal for those looking for style and function with a zen-like feel. Made of reclaimed wood, the extra-wide platform bed provides four storage drawers underneath. The price is $3,995, but for some, the investment may be worth it. Bathroom furniture is not as easy to come by, but companies like Waterfall create products that promote a cleaner environment, using materials like FSC-certified wood and low-VOC lacquer colors. Theirs even has the option to add a Caesarstone quartz countertop, a low-emitting material. They’re priced between $1,990 and $4,525 and are carried at retail stores across the country.
For others, stores like Furnish Green, a midtown based shop with a “rescue, reuse, redecorate” logo, sells furniture that may be more suitable. “People who want to use vintage or used furniture without paying the price of antiques will come to us,” Michelle Makowlecki, showroom manager, says. From bedframes to armoires, vanities to bathroom counters, Furnish Green uses non-VOC paints and finishes on all its products.
The finishing touches of an ecofriendly haven start with the lighting. Update your table, vanity, and reading lamps to T5 fluorescent light bulbs. You’ll save energy and the bulbs will last longer. Also look into LED lighting, which will reduce the heat emitted into the room. While making these smaller changes, update the paint on your walls with low- or no-VOC paints, made by manufacturers like Benjamin Moore, Mythic Paint, and Serena & Lily. With a huge array of colors available, this small step can make a huge impact on the indoor air quality of your home. Consider installing aerators on the bathroom faucet and showerhead; they are relatively inexpensive and will reduce the amount of water you use. Purchase accessories that also lower your carbon footprint, like soy candles by Eternal Lites, and recycled wood accessories by Dryads Dancing, which sells pictureframes, mirrors, and home accessories. Or just take what you already have and update it.
“Reusing everything to the fullest extent and not consuming any new products is the best way to live ecofriendly,” Makowlecki says.
Los Angeles, CA;
Gleicher Design Group