Dear Claudia:

We are about to undertake an extensive remodeling of our home. We are enthusiastic about green products? What should we look for?



There are a number of designations and certifications that hopefully will become as familiar as The Good Housekeeping seal of approval to those that are eco-friendly and green conscious. Among them is the ESP designation, which certifies sustainable materials and practices in home décor. Another is the “Certified Green Professional” designation offered by the National Association of Home Builders to builders and manufactures.

Interior designers and remodeling professionals should note their commitment to follow the practices of REGREEN, as outline by the ASID (American Society of Interior Designers). Until now the environmentally friendly lifestyle has taken an all or nothing approach. However, I would like to stress that green design doesn’t need to be perfect. You can use two or three products in your project that are environmentally friendly. For example, products such low-flow shower heads and low-VOC emission paints. Also, look for new durable surfaces for counter tops.

Huntwood, for example, is a cabinet company that I represent that is the leading green custom cabinetry manufacture in the western United States. A common trend in all green décor is a commitment to sustainable resources. I would like to note that going green is not a trend but a permanent paradigm shift in how we are all going to be living.


Dear Claudia:

I bought my house a year ago and last winter I noticed that my single-paned windows were making it harder to keep my house warm. Every month I had excessively high gas bills. Is it worth changing the windows to double paned or are there other options?



It is always a great investment for your home to replace your windows with the “Energy Star” seal of approval. Today, manufacturers use an array of advanced technology to make Energy Star-qualified windows. They will contribute to protect the environment as well as save you money on your heating and cooling bills.

In addition, they will deliver more comfort, protect your decor from sun damage and create less condensation. For instance, the interior glass stays warmer so you can have a bed close to the window even when the temperature drops below freezing.

They need to be installed by a trained professional, according to manufacturer instructions. Otherwise, your warranty may be void. Additionally, good quality drapes or other window coverings, a roof overhang or a shade tree and sealing all the gaps from drafts can help reduce energy costs as well.

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