A Green Interior Design Scheme

I was flipping through my CB2 catalog the other day, admiring the comma-shaped plates, when I stumbled across a $50 corkboard. The price caught my eye. Fifty bucks? For something most often found in a dorm room?

But then, thanks to the product description, I realized why: It’s sustainable. Under the heading "eco message," CB2 describes the product as a "recyclable, lightweight cork alternative" that "lives the green message." (It’s made of charcoal polypropylene.) Ah ha. Well, OK, maybe that is worth a little more. But I was surprised to see CB2 thought so, too.

Which got me to wondering — does CB2 now live the green message? I’ve been a fan of the Crate and Barrel offshoot for years, mostly because it’s only two retail stores are in Chicago (New York is getting one this fall), which made browsing easy because I live in the Windy City, and also because CB2 for some reason always carries a large amount of orange-colored items, and I painted my apartment orange two years ago (it is not unlike living inside a giant yam, but I like it.)

As it turns out, not only has CB2 added green products to its shelves, its sister store, Crate and Barrel, has also. From an eco-travel book at CB2 to an entire furniture collection at Crate and Barrel, ecology appears to be making its way indoors via major retailers.

Crate and Barrel’s Lockport Collection is made with sustainable materials, including a soy-based poly-foam that fills its cushions, and contains hardwood frames certified by the Sustainable Forestry Initiative and the Forest Stewardship Council. And it’s practical, too: The couch is available in 18 color options, with washable slip covers.

Eco-friendly building materials such as energy-saving lights and formaldehyde-free cork flooring are well-known in the architectural community, but when it comes to decorating accents, it’s a growing business:

  • Pottery Barn sells bowls made of recycled glass.
  • Restoration Hardware has sustainable pool accessories, such as the chaise lounge made from Sustainably harvested Indonesian teak.
  • Williams-Sonoma announced in November of last year that 95 percent of the paper used in its seven catalogs would come from sources certified by the Forest Stewardship Council.

Know of any other eco-friendly mass merchandised home items? Let us know. Out and About will be keeping a master list to post in a future blog — so let us know what green items you have around your home!