By Amy Gamerman, The Wall Street Journal
Luxury developers are touting wellness real estate, offering private and communal spaces for meditation and yoga
Now that you’re comfortably seated on a Wellness Within Your Walls approved chair, here are a couple of additions to make your living space really comfy—and non-toxic!
From Pom Pom at Home, the Montauk (left) a beautiful lightweight throw in soft hues made of 100% organic Belgian Linen, which falls into our Natural category. The perfect weight for relaxing summer days!
And for putting your feet up (or adding more seating), this very cool asymmetrical ottoman from Norwalk Furniture, the Nora (right). Made using responsible practices, and with a linen and cotton blend fabric, it checks all three of our categories—Natural, Sustainable and Responsible.
We all certainly spend a lot of time sitting. Too much time, right? But if you choose carefully, you can at least make sure you’re not plopping down on a chair full of toxins. Today’s highlights from High Point–spots for sitting.
First, from Craft Associates, the oh so Modern Chaise Lounge which falls into all three of the Wellness Within Your Walls categories. It’s constructed with organic natural fabrics, wood species sustainably grown in Ohio, and natural foams and filler. Chic modern design meets a company with a responsible manufacturing process.
Next, another modern choice, the Lucia Mod Chair from Justina Blakeney for Selmat Designs, is made of rattan and finished with a water based sealant. The company was founded with a mission to create beautiful accessories with the leftover materials of the furniture industry. We love this bohemian chic indoor/outdoor line, which achieves our Natural, Sustainable and Responsible categories through its use of a natural, rapidly renewable reed.
Last but far from least, the Bryan Sectional from Joybird which falls into our Sustainable and Responsible categories. Available in organic cotton fabric with Trillium fill–a hypoallergenic fill made entirely of recycled water & soda bottles. For every loveseat or sofa purchased, 2-4 trees will be planted, and, since all pieces are made to order, no materials are wasted!
It’s that time again! Our Wellness Within Your Walls spotters are hard at work at the spring High Point Market, eyes peeled for amazing products of all types, from fun to useful to beautiful, from big to small.
Our favorite part of the job? How thrilled a vendor is when we tell them that we recognize their efforts to protect their customer and the planet.
Our biggest surprise? The number of companies that don’t realize yet how unhealthy their products are, or how big the demand is for home furnishings that don’t bring toxic chemicals into a home.
Here are two of our first finds this spring.
This double drum light fixture, from Low Country Originals, uses recycled metal and natural oyster shells gathered off the coast of Georgia, so falls into both our natural and Sustainable categories.
For lighting with a completely different flair, check out the Balad rechargeable lanterns from Fermob, available in seven great colors. Not only do we love this French company because of their fun and fresh garden furniture, they’re also amazingly forward thinking about the health and welfare of their employees and the environment. In addition to being ISO 14001 certified, which maps out a framework for setting up an effective environmental management system, they use solvent free paints, optimize raw materials and energy consumption, and use recycled metal and canvas. Especially fitting for an outdoor furniture company that wants us to spend time in the great outdoors!
Are you in the Atlanta area and looking for something to do this weekend? We encourage you to come tour the Organic Life House at Serenbe and see how truly stunning a healthy home can be. For those not in the Atlanta area, we’ll keeping sharing more fabulous pictures!
The entire design team who worked on the house has taken the complete four part Wellness Within Your Walls course, and made sure that both the home and the products and furnishing inside meet the Wellness Within Your Walls standard. The home owners consulted with Dana Lynch, of Dana Lynch Design and a Serenbe resident, on all the finish selections and cabinetry in the home. WWYW approved retailer BEE supplied furniture, lighting, accessories, area rugs, bedding and soft goods. World class art was curated by Bill Lowe of Bill Lowe Gallery. Additional featured art includes pieces from Thomas Swanston, Rob Brinson, Gail Foster, Corinne Adams and Warren Sams.
The house will be open until March 5. Click here for tickets.
We get it. All the talk of chemicals, and unclear labeling and unclear regulations can all sound a little scary.
But we definitely don’t want you to just throw your hands in the air and give up. Making your house healthier doesn’t have to be overwhelming. So occasionally we’ll highlight a very easy action you can take, right now, that can have a huge impact on the level of toxins in your home.
For today’s tip, take a look at this picture. Yes, this is a brand new rug, ordered from overstock.com and delivered to my door the other day. And yes, its currently laying in my garage.
Remember when we used to like the new rug smell (or new car smell, new Barbie townhouse smell, new chair smell) because it meant that something was… new? Yeah, that’s not good. We need to retrain ourselve, because that smell means that there are chemicals in that product. And those chemicals are off gassing.
The chemicals used in the manufacturing process of household items don’t just stay in those products, they are released into the air as VOCs (volatile organic compounds). And VOCs have been associated with over 180 diseases.
The release of chemicals from a product is at its highest rate and concentration just after manufacturing, then gradually decreases over time. So when a product is made (say, for example, an area rug), immediately wrapped tightly in plastic, then unwrapped in your house, the worst of all those VOCs have just flooded into your interior environment, where they’re now trapped inside by your energy efficient house.
So yes, that rug is in my garage, where I unrolled it from the plastic, airing out for a couple of days.
And you should do the same thing. Anytime you buy something new for your home, let it off-gas in your garage for at least a couple of days before you bring it inside and start using it. The air inside your house will thank you!
Want to learn more about the Organic Life House at Serenbe? Join us tomorrow morning at this month’s Southface Sustainable Atlanta Roundtable. A panel, including Wellness Within Your Walls founder Jillian Pritchard Cooke, will discuss the project, including “the birth of this home, how the different partners connected and how this home will stand above the rest.” Other panelists will be Garnie Nygren, Director of Operations at Serenbe, and the owner of the home, Gil Mathis. Bonnie Casamassima, the Program Manger of Commercial Sustainability Services at Southface will moderate.
We’re so thrilled to be part of the Organic Life House, from Rodale’s Organic Life. The house is located in the beautiful and bucolic Serenbe community, in Chattahoochee Hills, Georgia, and is designed as a model for healthier living and home building. Architect J.P. Curran, builder Bobby Webb and interior designer Dana Lynch created a stunning home, and we loved working together with everyone to make it both beautiful and healthy. We’ll be sharing more details later, but wanted to let everyone know that the house is now open for tours. Come see how truly amazing Wellness Within Your Walls can actually be. Tickets are available for Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays now through March 5.