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.