Friday, September 3, 2010
For Kelly LaPlante, a leading Los Angeles-based interior designer, author, television host, and new mother, green design isn't just about choosing fabrics and furniture made from sustainable materials.
She prefers to help her clients find new use―and often unexpected new love―for things they already own. "There's nothing more green than keeping what you have," she says.
Her own Venice loft is proof that hand-me-downs and thrift-store finds can rise to stylish new purpose.
The dining table was brown and had belonged to a client. “They were going to throw it away,” says LaPlante, who saw potential in its curves.
After being revived with a punch of bold red low-VOC paint (try shiny-finish Sophia by Bungaloo, mybungaloo.com), it’s the star of her dining area.
Rather than adding new floor covering, LaPlante stripped decades of paint from her loft's concrete floor. "The patina that had developed from all those years is beautiful," she says. "We just had the floor buffed and called it a day."
Strategically placed area rugs keep rooms cozy.
LaPlante's partner Mike Rader relaxes on a used sofa in the living area. She paid just $200 for it, had the cushions steam-cleaned (about $30), and repainted the trim a glossy white.
LaPlante often rethinks definition to find the perfect fit for objects. Here, she uses an outdoor garden stool as an indoor side table.
Kelly encourages making your own eclectic dish set with mismatched cups and plates―with styles from all different time periods―from secondhand stores.
"They don't have to go together, they just have to look interesting together," she says.
Potted plants serve double-duty here as a privacy screen from neighbors (while still allowing a city view) and as natural air-filters.
Hope this gave you ideas on renewing your own design by looking around your home for what you already own.