Green Furniture Redesign
About a week ago, A Designer Spot attended the latest installment of the Home Series by the Chicago Architecture Foundation.
Ashlie Langan, a Design Consultant and Project Manager for Chicago’s Covers Unlimited spoke to the group not only about the obvious benefits to green furniture redesign, but some of the things to watch out for within the industry.
Her candid and honest presentation about reupholstering furniture, combined with her tangible samples and her plethora of before and afters, Ashlie explained to us the basics about Green Furniture and Design.
Of course there are widespread reports about “green washing” and how efforts to be “green” are often undermined by those looking to spread false claims about products that are not so green in actuality; or by being confronted with the basic but harsh fact that greening efforts can be quite costly and not always a positive return on investment.
So without further adieu – the key notes to take away from this seminar are:
- Always consider the overall piece of furniture. Is the chair you want to recover really in decent shape? Would you regret the time and effort spent on the redesigned furniture if the piece fell apart in a few years? You need to be able to give the piece of furniture an objective overall assessment of the condition of the piece, and then decide if the benefits of moving forward outweigh the negatives.
- If you decide to move forward with the process, you have to make a bunch of choices about the materials you will be using. Green products are not unlike other product categories, there are many out there claiming to be more green, etc. When it comes to foam, the less green option of polyurethane foam will of course be cheaper than the soy foam with fewer harmful chemicals. It is important to consider the density of the foam, do a sit test on the foam if possible. Natural latex foam is the most nature friendly, however the scarcity of the product makes it an unrealistic option for most.
- Fabric choices must be made with more than just an aesthetic appeal to the buyer.
Ashlie also gave us some great vendors to consider using when sourcing our materials and vendors. A couple of them I wasn’t familiar with, so I was very excited about a few of them.
Places to look for furniture to redesign:
- Fishman’s Fabrics in Chicago
Fabric can be found at:
Thanks to the Chicago Architecture Foundation and Ashlie Langan for sharing insights into the world of redesigning furniture!
Interior Design / Decorating Ideas / Green Furniture Redesign