Seattle Home & Lifestyle Magazine




 ONE GREAT WAY to go green is to eliminate the need to buy something new by breathing life into items you already have. You can also tell a personal story by incorporating those items into your home décor—it’s a timeless idea that helps all of us be more conscious of our surroundings.

As a lifestyle architect, I help my clients create environments for their homes, gardens or places of business that reflect their personal stories,which gives them a sense of warmth, joy, motivation and inspiration. Here are some ideas that will help you on your quest to live green and also bring your environment to life:

Turn an old metal chandelier into a “candelier” by replacing the light bulbs with candles. It makes a beautiful garden lamp to hang from a tree limb over an outdoor table in spring or summer.

Mismatched wine glasses—tall, short, clear, colored or etched—become an inviting and intimate centerpiece when you add small votive candles. Mix them up and set them in a line down the middle of the table, weaving fresh greens and flowers around the stems. Cluster the goblets in a group, as we’ve done at left.Or arrange them in a large open square and place a live floral centerpiece in the middle.

Create a new room just by adding paint. Light colors make a room feel bigger and cooler, while darker colors make a room appear smaller and warmer. Because mixing paint samples can be costly, messy and bad for the environment, I use C2 Ultimate Paint Chips. At 18 by 24 inches, each chip of real paint lets you see the actual color on your wall while eliminating the need for test painting sections.

I recently completed a lake home for a client who had several old pieces of furniture that she didn’t know what to do with. Rather than getting rid of them, I added a sky-blue paint wash over each entire piece. Bringing the color of the lake and sky right into the home made the room brighter and more interesting while giving new life to older things.

Decorate your fireplace mantel with hidden treasures.Most people store these items in cabinets or special boxes, but I say, “Take them out and enjoy them every day.” I like to take crystal vases, silver goblets or heirloom plates and display them on a mantel to create a personal story.

Instead of buying an expensive and impersonal pan rack to store and display your pots and pans, reclaim an old piece of driftwood or take an antique garden scythe, mount it to the wall and add copper hooks for pans and lids.

If space is a problem, think outside the drawers: Stand back, look above the doors and at all angles and spaces of the room. You will quickly discover a lot of unused space. Living green is exciting because it gives you the freedom to look at things you already have and say,“What can I do with this?”