Armella International

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Zena's Blog

Not All Green Design is $$$

Posted by Zena Arnella on May 31, 2010 at 11:07 PM

Hello Reader, :)


June is here, the time to rethink your connection to earth; so Not all green design is pricey.


"I'm so tired of the green stuff that is so expensive."  "It sends the message, 'green is for the wealthy'. That's so not right. Green is for everyone!" Consider places like Goodwill and the Salvation Army. For a modern take on old accessories, I pick up shapely items at these stores and spray paints them white.


Choose home decor that's recycled, reused, will last a long time and require very little maintenance. Zem Joaquin, green blogger at, designed her 1950s home in an eco-friendly fashion with the cradle-to-cradle concept: what comes out of the earth, has to go back to the earth.


Urbanites will have more success locating eco-friendly or green stores such as VivaTerra or Branch Home, but because most eco-friendly stores are still local, call your local U.S. Green Building Council office or local building department to find them.


You can decorate green and still match your style.


No matter your style, there are ways to get greener interiors without turning your home into a forest. "A really good eco-design is a design that you never have to explain," Joaquin says. If you like Shabby Chic and you need a new dining room table, "don't just think that the only choices are going to the store and buying one," Joaquin says. Buy a table base kit and visit local wood salvage yards for reclaimed lumber to use as a top.


For any style, I have a simple way to make your home more energy efficient. Create a water wall with colorful Mason jars on a window that gets a lot of sunlight (preferably west-facing). The water absorbs the heat during the day, keeping the house cooler, and releases it at night. Clear glass jars filled with food-coloring dyed water is another way to make the water wall playfully decorative.


Last but no least, Eco-friendly decorating has incentives — like tax breaks.  If you make eco-friendly improvements to your home, reporting these on your yearly taxes can earn you a tax break. But after remodeling, what should you do with all those materials you ripped out? Rather than taking them to the landfill, contact The ReUse People ( They check over your refuse for reusable parts, which will be shipped to their warehouse for distribution to organizations like Habitat for Humanity — while you get another tax write-off.


Good Summer to All and have great outdoors activities,



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