Many of us are trying to be more eco-friendly in our daily lives. We’re more aware of what we put into our bodies, as well as the general state of the planet. Clients of my interior design business ask frequently, “How can I bring greener design into my home?” Here’s a short list of my favorite ways to be more eco-friendly.

Use plants for a double-whammy bonus: they give a home a calming spa-like feeling, AND provide oxygen and filter the air you breathe.

Avoid products with high VOC content. (Volatile Organic Compounds are chemicals that easily evaporate at room temperatures). VOCs are found in many household paints, flooring, furniture and carpets. Be an eco-consumer by requesting low VOC materials that contain no added formaldehyde.

Bring outside light in by freeing windows of blinds and treatments. Make sure you have properly insulated windows to conserve energy and don’t forget that caulking and sealing are critical.

Consider renewable materials that include bamboo floors, recycled glass and plastics for surfaces where they make sense for your lifestyle. Also look for furniture made from re-purposed wood.

One of the most eco-friendly steps you can take is reduce what you put in the waste-stream.  Perhaps an old reliable just needs a fresh look. I’ll often propose re-styling existing pieces, re-arranging or re-purposing with a fresh eye. If something’s got to go, we always consider donating it for somebody else to re-use.

I am thrilled to be the first-ever Special Guest Publisher for the April issue SW Lake Lifestyle. In this issue you’ll read about breathing new life into an old building, sparking joy, taking an eco-tour vacation and sustainable investing.

Whatever your approach, the small steps we take with our families today can make a difference in the environment tomorrow.

Mollee Johnson

Style 1519 Interior Design 



On the Cover: Kristyn Ivey, Chicagoland’s first Kon-Mari Consultant

Photography by Martine Severin