From the 60s to the 80s, everyone was rushing to install wall to wall carpeting. Decorative, warm, comfortable, sometimes soft, they had everything. Synthetic fibres proliferated on Quebec floors.
Faced with the accelerated degradation of the environment, ecologists pushed carpets out of our houses. There are many reasons. Carpets cause a great deal of pollution, from manufacturing to use. Carpets are not biodegradable, don’t last long, can barely be recycled, contain numerous toxic chemicals and are made of petroleum products.
Health professional have added their grain of salt with a concrete argument: carpets can be dangerous for your health. They attract everything that floats in the air: dust, chemical residues, mites, humidity and even outdoor waste that sticks to soles. They also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) and sometimes turn into germ nests. That was the end for carpets. We see less and less.
Hardliners have tried to group rugs with enemies of the environment, but in vain. Today, certain rugs are made entirely of recyclable materials. Continue reading
The beauty and richness of carpets and rugs is undeniable. They are a fountain of colours, styles, designs and textures. They can give a room its decorative momentum.
Carpets and rugs have been getting bad press for a few years (read the Green carpets and rugs article), which explains their decline, but that doesn’t affect their role as creator of ambiance. The sumptuous lofts of Chelsea in London or Manhattan in New York do not deprive themselves of carpets.
Walls with neutral colours allow carpets and rugs filled with flamboyant designs to become the centre of attraction, since these textiles have the ability to define the style of a bedroom, a living room or any kind of sitting room. For example, sparkling colours will blend with the warm woodwork of a room, creating a sumptuous decor.
On the contrary, a plain carpet or rug allows you to decorate a room any way you like. Sometimes designs and colours of a carpet or large rug are found elsewhere in the room: bed cover, curtains, a throw rug on a crate, creating an effect of continuity. If everything is rather plain, you get an atmosphere tinted with great intimacy. Continue reading
Earth Day, celebrated each year in the month of April, reminds us that the fight against climate change, and as fallout of that the survival of humankind, is far from won. There is still hope, however. A growing number of companies are converting to environmental responsibility.
In terms of building, the focus is on eco-friendly housing. It’s far from being a burden, as not only is eco-friendly housing healthy, it also provides a strong dose of peace. It’s somewhat like a peace home.
Eco-friendly housing is a lifestyle, as it covers all aspects of life in your home: construction, decoration, renovation, indoor and outdoor life. You get up green, you go to bed green, you live green.
The positive effects of eco-friendly housing on health are well-known. Scientific studies tend to prove that using healthy materials, i.e. transformed as little as possible, improves the health of residents. There are less allergies, prolonged irritations and respiratory problems. Continue reading
Nature has the frustrating habit of always wanting to spread on our land. It is invasive. Until recently, we fought it with lawnmowers, cutters and pesticides. But times have changed. More and more owners are letting nature spread. We are in the era of eco-friendly housing.
All owners can contribute to the fight for survival of the planet, not only by carefully choosing the materials for their home, but by taking their fight outdoors: greenery, garden, back yard, driveway and relaxation and reception area.
If you build a deck, a patio or other outdoor structure, whenever possible choose a material that doesn’t need any toxic agents for finishing or preservation purposes: solvent, stain, sealing product, etc. If not, make sure there’s very little.
Wood, stone, brick and even concrete are materials that co-exist very well with eco-friendly housing. Composite wood made of recycled plastic and wood fibres are not bad either. Because they are smaller structures, you have the ideal opportunity to opt for recycled materials. Continue reading