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Green Articles

Paints, Stains and Sealants: Small Changes, Big Impact

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

With paints, stains and sealants, it’s what doesn’t go in them that counts. You know it when you see it- just the right color for the wall, the right texture or finish for the surface. But with paint and surface coatings it’s also important to know what’s in them. That “freshly painted smell” often indicates more than just a new hint of color in the room. In the U.S. we use more than a billion gallons of paint in a year, not to mention sealants, stains, and clear finishes. Many coatings contain volatile organic compounds (VOC’s) that, while enhancing performance...

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Natural Fibers At Work: An Ecologically Sound Solution

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

Natural fiber floor covering includes fibers such as sisal, coir, seagrass, rush, abaca, hemp, raffia, cotton, and jute. Some of these have become quite popular in recent times, making a transition from eccentric to mainstream. But they have been in use for centuries as flooring material. They are not only from natural materials but sustainable and affordable resources as well. As area rugs and mats they provide neutral tones, texture, and a practical simplicity to a renovation project. Seagrass is one of the smoothest of the available fibers and considered the most stain resistant. Consequently it will not take dye...

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Linoleum: Smart and Affordable

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

Linoleum is one of the most natural, practical, and cost efficient types of surface material in residential and commercial renovation. Noted for its design quality and durability, natural linoleum is essentially made from the same renewable and natural raw materials that began its manufacture over 120 years ago in Europe. Many people consider it to be one of the “greenest” flooring products available. The essential ingredients are: linseed oil that naturally off-gasses to create a surface barrier that prevents bacteria from growing cork powder harvested from the outer bark of cork trees grown in Portugal, Spain, India, or other arid...

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Floor Tapestries: New and Traditional All In One

Posted by Ellen Strickland on

There is a new gallery space at Livingreen designed to showcase finished applications and art pieces that promote healthier home and work environments. Featured are exclusive floor tapestries inspired by designs from the royal harem Topkapi Palace of Istanbul. This is the first time they have been translated as kilim tapestries since the 1400’s. In keeping with the notion of using natural or sustainable flooring materials, these kilims are a beautiful solution to traditional area rugs. There are only two places in the United States to view these floor tapestries – Palm Beach and Santa Barbara. Each is handwoven of...

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Cork

Posted by Christopher Horner on

Cork may be the most naturally sustainable and renewable finish material available for home and work environments. Harvested from the peeled outer bark of the cork oak trees of Spain and Portugal, cork is manufactured without waster into durable and decorative surface amerial that offers great variety in appearance. Cork is not a new finish material -its cultivation is an ancient tradition that has prevailed more than three thousand years because of its care, concern and harmony with nature. The raw cork material is obtained from the bark of the tree in a process called “unmasking”. The tree itself is...

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