Just Certified in Eco-Friendly Home Furnishings and Design!


It’s great to be green! I have just completed an intensive course in eco-friendly design and have become a certified GREENleader and member of the Sustainable Furnishings Council.  SFC is a North Carolina-based coalition of design-related professionals working to raise awareness and expand the adoption of environmentally sustainable practices across the home furnishings industry. The course is approved by top people at the Rainforest Alliance, World Wildlife Fund and USGBC/LEED (U.S. Green Building Council/Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design).

Whether I choose one or two sustainable items for a project, or reclaimed wood floors throughout a home, luxury and sustainability can be combined to create outstanding design. I call it “eco-luxury.” Through my continual explorations and research, I have discovered a wealth of excellent furnishings made from sustainable or reclaimed materials. Many do not cost much more than other products and they bring so much value to a home. Eco-friendly furnishings provide a sense of wellness to an indoor lifestyle, organic influences to the design and a sense of authenticity. For one of my newest and most luxurious projects – a spacious, newly constructed home in the Dallas area, pictured above – I made extensive use of sustainable, reclaimed and repurposed materials.


In the Dallas-area kitchen above, I chose sustainable Red Grandis (eucalyptus) wood from Woodland Cabinetry in three different finishes – weathered gray for the perimeter cabinets, creamy white for the island and chocolate with a milky, translucent glass on the millwork. Eucalyptus trees are amazing. They can be fast-growers, and they are one of the tallest plants on the planet. Some grow as high as 200 feet!

The floor, from Exquisite Surfaces,  is made of natural, untouched wood planks that were reclaimed from French farm houses. They add history and a lived-in feeling, plus I love the variety of natural earth tones in the unfinished boards. Imagine the stories they could tell.

The husband’s study is so spacious I started calling it his “wing.” It includes his office plus a game table for cards with his buddies and a substantial sitting area where they can all watch sports. To boost the masculine yet polished feeling he wanted, I paired the natural wood flooring with the more refined finishes of the desk, credenza and ceiling beams.


I wanted to make the vestibule to the master bedroom feel special each time my clients entered their private sanctuary. The decorative inlay design using the reclaimed wood creates that focal point. The natural wood with the floral settee and artwork combine for a nature-inspired vignette.


Yes, those are cow bells lining the second floor hallway, where you can spot the reclaimed flooring again. I repurposed the wife’s collection to create a focal wall that channels her Texas lifestyle.  It would be a shame not to display those awesome bells, which also advance my green goals.

Upper Hallway with Wood Beam Ceiling, Cow Bell Collection

Because it is near the outdoor pool, I wanted this bathroom to have a colorful, playful feeling and a sense of continuity with the rest of the home that comes from the farm house planks.

The floral, mosaic tile wall installation and glass wall sculptures are art-inspired contrast for the floor.

Colorful Pool Powder Room with Floral Mosaic Tile Wall

All photos by Brian Gassel Photography

Want to know more about eco-friendly luxury?

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