Monday, March 30, 2009

Dreaming Green

I received the nicest gift in the mail the other day from the very kind people at Environment Furniture. You may remember this blog post. Environment Furniture is an eco-friendly and very stylish maker of sustainable they say....they "put the chic in eco-chic!" I would have to agree.

So.....I open the package and was very excited to see it was this book: Dreaming Green by Lisa Sharkey and Paul Gleicher (All photos from the book by Linda Bell Hall). Books are my favorite gift to give and to I of course started to flip through it immediately! As I am flipping, I came across this chapter...which I now have to say is my favorite, called the EcoManor :


(Because the couple are co-educators, they give frequest tours of the space and needed a grand entryway for assembled crowds. The large doors are made from wheat instead of solid wood, saving trees - pg. 149)

EcoManor is the home of Laura and Rutherford Seydel. Laura is the daughter of Ted Turner, CNN founder. Taking her life's cue from her environmentally active father, Laura became an environmental activist who happened to marry an environmental lawyer. Laura is the chairman of Captain Planet Foundation and cofounder of Mothers and Others for Clean Air. It was only natural for the couple to build a house with the environment in mind. It is the first ever LEED-certified manor home and the first LEED residence in the South, South being Atlanta Georgia.

Dining Room

(Custom-made recycled scrap-iron chandelier. 19th Cent. Dining table, 18th Cent. Dining Chairs)

The couple brought in their friend Jillian Pritchard Cooke to help with the interior. Pritchard Cooke specializes in sustainable projects. Everything is energy efficient, chemical-free, and recycled or sustainable.

Family Room

(Throw pillows are from vintage remnant fabrics. All fabrics are sustainable and toxin-free. - pg. 150)

It doesn't look like the typical "green" house does it? And this is why I am impressed. The "green" anthem may end up playing itself out unless it appeals to a very broad spectrum of tastes. Not everyone is comfortable in a contemporary home. I think it is wonderful and important that this home was included in a book about green design. Antiques are a pretty green way to furnish a home....perhaps the greenest. Cooke incorporated as many antiques and family heirlooms into the design as possible.

This Secondary Dining Room moves outdoors during warmer weather


(Concrete and Glass counter tops and renewable hay cabinet interiors - pg. 153)

Many of the light fixtures and counter tops were made using recycled products. The chandelier here was made from scrap iron and the counters were created by Dex Studios using concrete and recycled glass, mother-of-pearl and marble.


Cooke used the theme of Four Seasons to create the interiors for the home. This study off of the Family Room represents Autumn. All paints used in the home were low-VOC.

Master Bedroom Reading Area

One might never guess just how green this pale blue room is. The contrast between the pale blue white upholstery and the almost black drapery and ottoman are quite striking!

To find out more about EcoManor project and Jillian Pritchard Cooke visit the website here. You can see a tour of the manor which shows many more pictures, learn about all of the green products used in the home, and find out how EcoManor is being used as an "educational tool to builders, architects, designers, vendors, landscapers, educators and homeowners in an effort to promote green living, conservation options and improved residential building practices."

I want to say a hearty THANK YOU to the team at Environment Furniture for sending me this wonderful book!

If you are in the Los Angeles Area, you might want to check out their new flagship store on Beverly Boulevard:


Rita Finn said...

What a gorgeous post! If I lived in that house, you could never get me to stop entertaining and sharing it with friends!

LIMOM said...

What a total LAME-O poser spread. (rich man's daughter), my hub, our two kids, our nanny, and our dog are saving the planet in a totally eco-friendly 6,500 sq. ft. McMansion. Bravo Princess Turner, I'm so very impressed.

McMansion's suck, period. Those of you who live in large, old homes that's another story, you are re-using and recycling. But those of you who are building your McMansion for four and easing your conscience with Bamboo floors and eco-friendly lightbulbs - we are onto you.

Callie Grayson said...

those wood floors in the eco manor are stunning!!
great post.
fabulous to get little unexpected gifts!!!

Linda/"Mom" said...

* "Fabulous K"~ This isn't what one "usually" sees in the blog world we know "around here" (so to speak). I must say, however, it suits M-E to a T~~~~ am absolutely ENAMORED w/ the lack of clutter, the obvious quality, the clean lines, the terriffic spatial sense, the honesty and the colors we've been blessed to enjoy here! A TRUE PLEASURE, indeed ~~~ Mannnnnny thanks! Best, Linda *

Michelle said...

The stove niche detailing is amazing! Green looks pretty good to many products available now.

Great find!

jae said...

Green doesn't have to mean without style or design...thanks for showing this lovely example.

katiedid said...

Hello LIMOM!
Thanks for your email and for reading. Honestly, I was debating whether to post your comment....but felt you had a valid point...and one that I had considered before posting about EcoManor. I agree that one cannot just build a new home with "green" products and call it good. It takes fuel to get the materials to the site, and energy to run a large home, etc., etc. AND I am not a McMansion fan by a large stretch.
However....I thought this particular home had enough going for it to make it unique and is also being used as a teaching facility. There are a few reasons this house gets my OK: It is virtually self sufficient. It uses active and passive solar technologies to power itself. It also has a grey water collection system which allows the house and grounds to use very little of the city water system resources, and much of the building material was found locally and is from sustainable resources.
I "get" that it is easy for a wealthy person to make claims of "saving the planet" with their seemingly endless resources while they jet off to give another lecture about same....but I also think that using the home as a resource for helping others build more responsibly is not a bad thing. Building is going to happen. And if it can happen in a better way, I am for it. Being LEED certified is not easy....and if a structure can be used as an example for future homes, great.
BUt I agree....people in general certainly do not neeed so much square footage to live comfortably. The plan for this house was to have large groups coming through and they claim the size is for accomodating said groups.

I would love to hear from anyone that knows more about EcoManor, and any other opinions out there regarding this issue. THere is alot to think about on this topic: building new vs. revitalizing existing structures. Using newly made furnishing that are made from sustainable materials vs. reusing antiques (my personal preference!)And combinations of all of the above.

Weigh in!

heisschic said...

weigh in? gladly.

we have no idea what the purpose is for said mcmansion. sure they said it's to accompany large groups, but we'll never know for sure. it could all just be the desire to be 'trendy.' in any case, live and let live! isn't that kind of the green way? i'm not going to scorn gorgeous design (love the wood floors) and an obvious effort to be mindful of the environment.

Laura @ the shorehouse. said...

Interesting debate that this has stirred! I came to comment because I do love the colors, the layout, the design of this home...and frankly, if I had the money I'd happily do a lot of the same! But I'm happy combing thrift stores and curb sides to recycle someone's castaways for my old home. Old School Green, if you will. :-) And I'll take revitalizing old vs. building new ANY day, for MANY reasons not the least of which is the impact on the environment. It would be nice to see tax incentives for those who eschew the McMansion ground-up builds in favor of rescuing a piece of history, you know?

ANYHOO...great and thought provoking post!

Patricia Gray said...

What a great book and thanks for your review of it. I will have to pick up a copy.

Linda at Lime in the Coconut! said...

Looks like a great book. What a beautiful home!

kelleyp said...

my first response to your post was exactally the same as LIMOM. Building a large house for the sake as building is not a good enough reason. Then to call it Green--that is disturbing. It is a beautiful house and i am thrilled that it is self sustaining but would be more thrilled if it was 3,000 sq. feet or less.
I am glad you went on the address LIMOM callout. think it all gets us thinking about what is truly green (building a 6,500 sq. ft house is NOT). Let's not be trendy, let's truly care about our planet.

Laura Trevey said...

Ahh... I Love the Study!!
~~ Laura :)

Laura Trevey said...

I would also LOVE to Paint that Cherry tree photo below!
Gorgeous.... now I'm inspired!!

Renee Finberg said...

the 2 dining rooms are great !!
great idea, and it is truly about time .
love your blog, and ALL of your work !!

a fan

Lisa said...

Hi there. I am Lisa Sharkey, the co-author of Dreaming Green : Eco-Fabulous Homes Designed to Inspire.
I wrote the book along with my husband, green architect Paul Gleicher in an effort to showcase all kinds of green homes across the country and also to give a timely resource section to readers who are looking to do a green renovation themselves. You can order the book through our web site
We love Environment Furniture, IceStone Countertops, Lyptus Floors and Oceanside Glass Tiles. There are many tips in this book about how to go green that won't cost you a red cent. Check it out.

Kristin said...

All politics aside, I think it looks like a lovely book that has more to it than the promotion of mcmansions!