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Book review: Green Interior Design by Lori Dennis

by becky last modified Jan 04, 2012 02:53 AM
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by becky last modified Oct 12, 2010

Once Upon a Tweet I once tweeted that unless we all live naked in the woods, grow our own food & never go anywhere, nothing we do is 100% green. Boy did that one stir it up, as some interpreted it to mean that we shouldn’t bother doing *anything* greenly. My point was not that [...]




 

 

Once Upon a Tweet

I once tweeted that unless we all live naked in the woods, grow our own food & never go anywhere, nothing we do is 100% green.

Boy did that one stir it up, as some interpreted it to mean that we shouldn’t bother doing *anything* greenly. My point was not that we shouldn’t try to be green, but that being 100% green 100% of the time is not possible.

In other words, green-ness is a continuum. Like a sliding scale on which some things are minimally impactful, & others – not as much. It’s always a compromise, and everything we do touches this planet and all its systems.

Reclaimed Bleacher Seating Flooring -design by Lori Dennis

Is it green enough?

In Lori Dennis’ new book, Interior Green Design, she describes her design practice using that same approach. One litmus test she uses in her design process is asking the question, “Is it green enough?”

To help answer that question, 2 checklists are used:

Client checklist (partial):

  • taking a look at their health & whether chronic ailments are attributable to their indoor environment
  • whether reusing furniture and materials is an option and/or desire
  • whether natural light can be leveraged to minimize artificial light needed
  • site considerations like water collection & supply, & indigenous plants

Product checklist (partial):

  • locally produced
  • minimally impactful to the environment (is it from renewable sources?)
  • quality that will last a lifetime
  • whether the manufacturer accepts responsibility of the product at the end of its life

Reclaimed Railway Tie Bed - Lori Dennis - photo by Ken Hayden

Comprehensive, practical, easy on the eyes

Lori’s book is a must-have for any earth conscious designer of residential spaces. It touches everything pertinent to environmentally sensitive design practice. From types of glues to what kind of plants clean the air best to which kind of foam in seat cushions are non-toxic.

In the photo at right, the bed was made from reclaimed railway ties. Photo is by Ken Hayden.

It’s packed with links & resources for further reading, & has some entertaining anecdotes & quips, to boot! And, she shares a secret that in every project she does, she includes something from IKEA!

She even has a chapter for ongoing care, not only the space itself but the furnishings within it. How awesome is it that she explains

  1. How to get quality furniture that doesn’t poison the earth or us, &
  2. Then enlightens us on how to maintain them – also responsibly?!

It matters, folks.  I let my gray hair come back after years of coloring it. I couldn’t live with what I was washing down the drain just for my own vanity.

Available November 16 2010

Thanks, Lori, for reaching out to me & giving me a sneak peek, and opportunity to write a review for you.  I’ll definitely be reaching for this one off the shelf before grabbing the LEED guide.  Yours is WAY more fun to peruse & reference!

Lori Dennis is a LEED AP designer & a graduate of UCLA’s interior design program. She also sits on the National Sustainable Council of ASID. You can follow her on twitter here: @greendesigngal


 

 

 
 
 

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