What would I recommend for homes with kids & pets & lots of commotion?
I have 3 kids, a dog and a cat and lots of wool carpets.
I recommend wool area rugs & wall to wall carpeting over cotton or silk fiber rugs in the public areas of your home (high traffic areas like hallways, living rooms, family rooms, dining rooms) because they are easy to maintain. Cotton and silk are great choices for a bedroom or study, where there is less wear and tear.
Known as the “forgiving” fiber, wool is soft and cozy, and tough on dirt, spills and wear.
So, here’s the skinny on wool carpet:
Note that wool does not like moisture – and therefore, wool is a damp basement or any damp area of your home is not recommended.
I recently read this blog caption “Wool is a popular carpeting fiber, but it is not the best option for houses with children”, and then realized that the blogger was promoting synthetic fibers with built-in chemical stain treatments. So, we will disregard this advice entirely, because since you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re looking for all natural rugs with no chemicals and no toxic ingredients.
When I launched Organic Weave, my first appointment Patterson, Flynn, Martin, the renowned NYC based floorcovering company. One of the first questions from the lead designer and buyer was: “are all your weavers friends?
“Because I don’t want to see any fighting in your rugs.”
The question made me pause. For so many reasons. I expected to be grilled on price, minimum order quantity and my certifications. Instead, this buyer asked me about the soul of my product.
In our era of fast, cookie-cutter mass production, handmade products tell a different story. A rug weaver may take weeks or months or even years to complete a piece – is her energy woven into the fabric of each piece? Does the mood of the creator show itself in the final product?
Enter Slow Design. More than a trend, Slow Design promotes “well being for individuals, society, and the natural environment. Slow Design seeks a holistic approach to designing that takes into consideration a wide range of material and social factors as well as the short and long term impacts of the design.” – Wikipedia.
The cornerstones of Slow Design are:
HOLISTIC * SUSTAINABLE * NON TOXIC
This movement takes into consideration the maker of the product – is she paid a living wage? How are the working conditions? Is she working with materials that are non toxic?
Few products could define Slow Design better than handmade rugs, which are painstakingly woven and finished and washed by hand. Our work with a women’s cooperative in rural India – Unnayan – has taught me about the value of creating a happy & healthy work environment for our weavers – happy weavers make happy rugs. And everything is more beautiful when made by hand – wouldn’t you prefer I served you a fresh homemade apple pie than a store bought one?
Scrolling through interiors on instagram never disappoints.
Often dubbed “design porn”, here are my current favorite websites/instagram accounts:
1. Dering Hall – delivered to your inbox daily at 6 pm (EST), you’ll find a gorgeous photo essay on some aspect of design “Gorgeous Bathrooms with Wood Ceilings”, and the resources (where to shop) to support the story. Need ideas? Look no further….every topic is covered here. Need a design professional? Check out the profiles on interior designers across North America.
2. Lark & Linen – Seasoned Blogger and Interior Designer Jacqueline Clark offers tips on all things decor as well as food and shopping resources – all beautifully presented and affordable!! From cookie recipes to home tours, you’ll find a breath of fresh air in the pretty pages of Lark & Linen.
3. HommeMaker – Orlando Soria had me at HOMME. Seriously? What a brilliant play on words – Home + Homme (French for man). Orlando has more style in his pinky….and his makeovers are magical, including the laundry room makeovers that could make anyone want to chill while with the washing.
4. Amber Interiors – scrolling through the blog and projects of talented interior designer, Amber Lewis, is like taking the most relaxing walk on the beach. The images themselves are soothing! You’ll feel like you’re having a conversation with Amber as she takes us with her on the journey towards “cozy, eclectic, unique” and functional interiors.
5. The Good Trade – need to know where to eat vegan while you travel? Need to know which organic mascara to try? The Good Trade has you covered. From fashion to beauty to home to travel, The Good Trade was “created for those seeking to live an inspired and intentional life,”. Here you’ll find ethical brands, artisan made homewares, all natural and eco-friendly offerings for home and life. It’s a deep dive that will inspire you to make more conscious decisions about how you spend your money. (and believe me, it’ll make you want to spend your money! especially on travel!)
Introduced in the 1960s, and wildly popular in the 1970s – wall to wall carpeting is enjoying a resurgence in popularity mainly because of its warmth and softness.
Do you remember the 70s shag? Whole living rooms blanketed with avocado or tangerine shag floors that needed to be raked?
Or perhaps like me, you grew up watching The Brady Bunch, with almost the entire set covered in wall to wall carpet?
(What ever happened to Carol Brady’s husband? And did anyone else notice that the exterior view of the Brady house showed the second floor on the left side while the interior clearly has the staircase on the right side? Just two of the mysteries of my childhood).
Somewhere in the 90’s, flooring trends changed. Wall to wall carpeting was ripped out and replaced with hardwood floors and area rugs.
Carpet has lost favor as a decor choice, partly due to the ‘bad rap’ it has endured. That new carpet smell? The result of the chemicals used to manufacture the carpet. Critics maintain that these chemicals off gas and create poor indoor air quality.
Besides no off gassing/ new carpet smell, here are some of the reasons why Organic Wool Carpet is an ideal choice for living areas, hallways and bedrooms:
soft and comfortable underfoot
natural material from rapidly renewable resource (sheep)
filters dust and allergens
durable and long-lasting; wears well, resilient, retains original texture
flameproof, abrasion resistant
excellent sound absorption and heat insulation
easily cleaned and maintained
no chemical stain protectors or moth proofing treatments
What’s old is new again. Organic Weave offers a myriad of color and style choices, including shags. Shags that need no rake.
Recharge your batteries in a comfortable, chic, cozy and non toxic bedroom! We spend one third of our lives sleeping, and the environment in which we sleep impacts the quality of sleep we enjoy, as well as our general health, according to Mary Cordaro, an expert on healthy homes. Hiring an expert like Cordaro to do an assessment of your home, beginning with the bedroom, is a great choice if you suffer from chemical sensitives, asthma, or simply wish to live in a non toxic home.
Update your bedroom with non toxic, chemical free & organic choices, starting with your bed. Consider:
rugs & carpets
Beyond the (organic) sheets….some tips for creating a healthier bedroom:
check for moisture and mold, poor ventilation and contaminants from forced air/cooling systems
reduce or eliminate the use of screens in the bedroom – get rid of the cell phones, TV, laptops, WIFI, as the electromagnetic waves are known to interfere with peaceful rest
vacuum with a hepa filter vacuum and use an air purifier
use all natural household cleaners, soaps and detergents
remove any candles/air fresheners that are not pure + natural
open the windows and let the fresh air in!
Check out these sources for healthy products for your bedroom
Designing a non-toxic nursery gets easier every day.
We spend up to 90% of our time indoors, and the average person spends one third of that time in the bedroom. A baby or child may spend 12+ hours just sleeping in their bedroom. Creating a chemical free sleep environment for your child is a good place to start, according to Mary Cordaro, an expert in healthy homes:
Transforming the bedroom into a healthy, environmentally clean and comfortable retreat is on of the most important steps we can take to improve our overall health and well-being. – Mary Cordaro
Products to consider:
crib and furniture
Some great resources for shopping:
goop guide – a definitive guide on everything you’ll need for the first months
thetot.com– retail and online shop and advice for every parent