What it means to be a sustainable designer in 2016

The first word that comes to mind when thinking about sustainable design in 2016 is versatility. As a firm we specialize in sustainable design, yet our interiors aren’t stereotypically “green”. Our resource rooms are chocked full of locally sourced products, green textiles, recycled glass tiles, and reclaimed wood yet you would never know unless you read all the labels. Green manufactured products look just as good as traditionally manufactured products and often times, they outperform. We use green products in historic renovations as well as new construction because of the range of options  and their versatility to fit any design style, from eclectic to artisan to modern. We love the ability to create gorgeous spaces that also happen to be green!

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By designing for the widest range of people possible you eliminate the need for future renovations.  Here we have a bathroom with personality that is both ADA compliant and has a wood-look tile floor with 66% recycled content.

Being a sustainable designer means wearing many hats. You are a researcher, always seeking new products in a rapidly changing industry that give the right look yet are manufactured responsibly. You are an engineer, combining products to increase efficiency and create innovative solutions. You are an educator, taking your research and innovations to work collaboratively with contractors, and clients. Lastly, you are a psychologist, working within the built environment to create beautiful, healthy, positive spaces.

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This bamboo vanity with recycled content glass tile is both sustainable and gorgeous!

We see sustainable design as an evolving understanding of practices and techniques we can use to better serve our clients and the environment. To us, it is staggering that in 2015 the built environment continued to account for 30-40% of human impact on the planet.  While our work is specifically interior design, we see ourselves as part of the equation that can limit the effect our interiors have on the environment. We strongly support historic preservation and historic remodels and completely adore whole house renovations that push us to reconfigure the floor plan to work for today’s modern family, while working within the original footprint of the home. To us, preserving and enhancing what is already there makes sense.

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This gorgeous table and chairs are a great example of repurposing. Sometimes all it takes is a great vintage find, a professional painter and a good upholsterer. Repurposing is one of our favorite ways to work green design into our projects.

BHD’s mission is to help our client’s balance their homes overall environmental friendliness and efficiency with visually pleasing designs. Some might ask how will my project be influenced if I work with a sustainable design firm. Will it cost more? Will my project get LEED certification? Will it be 100% organic?  Will my project look “sustainable”?  All these questions get to the heart of what it means to be a sustainable designer and an experienced sustainable designer can help answer all these questions for you.

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This historic home remodel stayed within the original footprint and yet we were able to open up the space to create this generous kitchen.  The reclaimed floors blend seamlessly with the existing 100 year old flooring.

In 2016, sustainable design is no longer a small niche market. Every year we see more and more companies switch their manufacturing techniques from the traditional heat / burn / treat method to green chemistry. There is more transparency for how products are made, with some companies offering anything from full Life Cycle Analysis, Green Guard Certified. or percent recycled content. Designers, builders, contractors, and architects work in tandem to create integrated systems for the home that ensure the house is energy efficient and low-impact.

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Cork floors are great for aging in place as they are offer soft cushion for the body and they are an easily renewable, sustainable product. Cork is a really good product to use because it is easy to transition to existing flooring. We love that it is stylish too!

Interior design can have a substantial impact on the health of your home and the overall longevity of the planet. As designers we recognize the direct correlation between green house gases, the heat island effect, and climate change. We also know the importance of removing toxins from interior environments and the importance of restoring the connection between the natural world and interiors. We are proud of our commitment to bringing elements of sustainable design to all our clients. Call us when you are ready to get started on your own project!

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An integrated compost station in this kitchen counter made perfect sense for our client and helps promote a sustainable practice. Little details make the difference.

 

January Newsletter

With all the high hopes of the new year, January is the perfect month to think about organization in your home. It is not the icing on the cake of what we as designers do, but it is one of the most powerful tools we have in terms of creating functional, enjoyable, livable homes. For us, organization can be broken down into two categories: planning and styling. Organizational planning is a very specific part of the design process. From the moment we meet a new client we are trying to piece together the puzzle of what the family needs. We take everything into consideration- lifestyle, age of kids, pets, collections, hobbies, how the client entertains, etc. Styling, on the other hand, is what we do on a daily basis to keep our houses looking put together. We know life is more complicated and messy than a glossy magazine spread but with a few helpful pointers, we can help you get there.


Featured BHD Space: Organizational Masterpieces

Let’s take a closer look at some BHD spaces that nail the organization element.

We worked with our client to discern exactly what they needed in their master bathroom. Like most clients, it boiled down to storage so we designed this custom millwork piece to provide a home for every product with electrical outlets discretely hidden yet right at your fingertips. The final result is what everyone wants: a functional, clean, organized bathroom.

In another custom solution for storage, we took a rambling, awkwardly configured floor plan and converted it into a master closet. Just look at how streamlined the space is from the outside yet how the inside reveals a master level of organization. From roll-out trays for accessories to the adjustable shelves designed for scarves, hats and jewelry stands, to the custom fabricated necklace holders on the door panel, this space is hard working.

This pantry is elevated to the forefront of design. To meet the needs of the client, we combined many functions into the space, giving a proper, logical resting spot for all of life’s necessities. The kids have their cubbies, hooks, and baskets while the pantry has adjustable shelves to meet the demands of the kitchen. Design details add beauty to this high function area with bead board backing, dark stained walnut tops & wicker baskets for texture and go-to storage. The key here was proper planning!

Kitchens cabinets are all about preemptive organizational planning but this kitchen takes it a step further through beautiful design tricks and details. What do you do for a client that wants a streamlined look (aka no countertop appliances on constant display) but wants them ready to go the instant they are needed? Simple – hide them behind an operable garage style door. In addition, notice the pullout tray designed for the kitty box. Managing & organizing pet care is a common request amongst our clients. From all of our experience designing kitchens, we have found function is so much more elevated when it is truly incorporated into the design! It is details like these that create dream kitchens for clients with the perfect blend of style and high performance organization.

The last space we want to share is a vision of organization. Picture a blank, unused wall in your house and then picture it with custom built-in storage. This beautiful row of cabinets is neatly tucked into a corner in a master bath but the idea is universal. Here, we have a hamper hidden in a pullout cabinet, oversized drawers for linen storage, smaller drawers for bulky hair styling equipment, upper cabinets for products, and open shelves for display. Serenity now!


Featured Vendor: Napa Home & Garden

BHD is proud to showcase beautiful Napa Home & Garden accent pieces in our showroom! Touches of soft color and elements of nature are sure to warm our senses during the cold winter months.  We had a lot of fun featuring some of their products in our 12 Days of Christmas last month and we have a lot more to choose from. Visit us anytime!


Featured Event: Art Exhibit Estamos Aquí: 500 Years of Latino American History

Don’t miss BHD showroom artist Yuri Figeroa’s work featured at the Nashville Public Library as part of the exhibit Estamos Aquí: 500 Years of Latino American History. The show features a collaboration of artists and events that explore the ‘culture and history of Latino Americans in Nashville and the United States’. We can’t wait to see this cactus series Yuri created for the show!

For more info click here.


Featured Event: Gwyneth Paltrow at the Antiques & Garden Show

This event isn’t until next month but we are so excited to see Ms. Goop herself, we thought we would share this early so you can mark your calendars. Gwyneth Paltrow’s blog has gained momentum year after year and has managed to become ubiquitous in the design world. If you aren’t familiar with her website, here is a great article to get you started. It is chockfull of tips from top designer firm Roman and Williams. Don’t forget to plan ahead as this event may sell out!

For more info click here.


Hot Topic: Nashville Public Art
 

It is no secret that it’s an exciting time to be a resident of Nashville. With a new development around every corner and a new restaurant opening every week, it is sometimes hard to keep up with this great, changing city. That being said, we wanted to take a moment to highlight one particular aspect we have noticed making a major impact on the city and that is public art. Nashville has long had Musica on the Music Row Roundabout, Ghost Ballet for the East Bank Machineworks on the Cumberland River but we are so excited to see a new crop of art to feast our eyes on. There is something to be said for a city that is organized and in the position to support the arts and provide the community a source of daily inspiration and escape.

Click here for info on projects in the pipeline!


 

Final Faux Sho – Master Bedroom

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For the final Faux Sho room of 2015, we wanted to play with some of our favorite design trends from this past year and use some of our tried-and-true design tricks. Often, bedrooms follow a very formulaic pattern, sort of like a living room, because everything is centered around the bed. In this instance we wanted the traditional, symmetrical layout but also wanted to create a contemporary space. The soft watercolor floral wallpaper fit the bill perfectly. The exaggerated scale is of the moment yet will prove to be timeless. For the bed, we needed a piece that could hold its own against the wallpaper and chose a robust boxy leather wrapped 4 poster bed that mimics the angular architectural style of the modern addition. A pair of matching white lacquer bedside tables nicely contrast the heaviness of the bed and helps keep the room feeling light and airy. We pulled inspiration from the circular hardware on the bedside tables and repeated the shape in the pounded metal mirror above the bed, and the mirror table lamps and sconces. We like how the curves add a softer geometry to the space, as some of the keys in design are balance and form.

We added a plush velvet undulating chaise lounge chair in a rich green and paired it with a circular side table to continue the look. For the floors, we used wide plank bleached oak hardwoods and laid a luxurious, textured wool carpet on top. Again, this contrast between scale, texture, pattern, and color creates intrigue and when right, a sense of harmony. The result is quite romantic, ethereal, and relaxing.

Hope you’ve enjoyed our Faux-Sho 2015 house! Happy Holidays everyone!