Science teacher’s outdated bedroom gets a 'green’ makeover - East Valley Tribune: At Home

Science teacher’s outdated bedroom gets a 'green’ makeover

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Posted: Saturday, September 15, 2007 4:47 am | Updated: 7:37 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

Earl is a dedicated high school science teacher who lives downtown in a lovely three-story house. He rents out the lower portion of his home, so he is limited to the upper floors for his living space.

Earl is a dedicated high school science teacher who lives downtown in a lovely three-story house. He rents out the lower portion of his home, so he is limited to the upper floors for his living space. His third-floor attic is his master bedroom, and it opens onto a deck where he entertains friends. To get outside, guests have to walk right through his bedroom, and Earl was unhappy with the space’s shabby and outdated look.

Earl practices what he preaches to his students: “Leave as small a footprint on the earth as possible.” So when he asked me to redesign his bedroom, he requested that I make it both stylish and eco-friendly. After researching environmentally sound products and suppliers, I got my team together and geared up to give Earl an eco-chic bedroom that would make “green” look great!

The first order of the day was to divide the space into three zones to make it more functional. I created a comfy sleeping area along one wall, a sitting area near the deck, and a small home office area where Earl can create mind-boggling exams for his students. Once the layout was organized, the project became all about “green” — and ...

I’m not talking color. Everything in this space was about reducing, reusing and recycling.

I chose a shade of light blue for the walls in a low VOC (volatile organic compound) paint. For the floors I opted for recycled carpet tiles that are low in VOCs and toxic dyes.

I chose a mixture of all-natural fabrics and finishes for the room — no bleaches, no harsh dyes and no pesticides. The bedding is a mixture of blue and tan organic cotton; the bed’s dramatic new headboard is a rectangular pattern of chocolate brown hemp; the window treatment mixes hemp drapes with bamboo, grass and reed blinds; and the screen used to separate the sleeping and working areas is made of beautiful bamboo stalks.

Earl wanted to minimize the use of air conditioning, so I installed a gorgeous stainless steel ceiling fan to help cool down the room. To brighten things up, I used highly efficient, low-energy LED lighting.

I kept the furniture simple — a queen-sized bed flanked with two bedside tables and mirrors, two chairs filled with soy-based foam and a few ottomans. The older pieces were taken out of the bedroom and used elsewhere.

After putting in the final accents (including beeswax candles and a vintage anatomy poster), all chosen to be both pleasing to the eye and the environment, Earl’s eco-chic bedroom was complete.

By using earth-friendly and fabulous fabrics, furniture and finishes, I gave science teacher Earl a bedroom that has a big visual impact and a low environmental impact. It is now easy on the eyes and the earth. Now that’s divine!

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