The Design New England Spring Design Salons got off to a great start this week with a capacity crowd at Artefact Home|Garden in Belmont, Massachusetts. The topic was “Fifty Shades of Green,” and the presenters were a wealth of information on the latest in sustainable practices and technology.
We all know the basics of “going green” in residential design – downsize, repurpose materials, and buy local. But John Day of LDa Architecture + Interiors of Cambridge, Massachusetts, offered more precise suggestions. He showed photographs of beautiful and practical rooms that take advantage of nature, views, and daylight while maximizing solar gain with south-facing windows. He emphasized that using durable materials that will last and not end up in a landfill is another way to keep your project green.
Some little known facts about sustainable designs were revealed by Doug Hanna of S+H Construction of Cambridge, Massachusetts, who said the rules vary from town to town. In Cambridge, for example, sustainability is encouraged and installation of solar panels can supersede historical building regulations and be placed on rooftops of older houses. However in some historic districts in Boston, the equipment must be totally hidden from view.
Outside, you don’t have to rely only on native plants to make a green impression. That’s what Kimberly Mercurio of Kimberly Mercurio Landscape Architecture, also of Cambridge, Massachusetts, advocates. She says to mix native plants with site appropriate plants, and notes she likes to integrate outcroppings of existing stone rather than remove them. She also uses as much recycled stone as possible to create her beautiful hardscapes.
Sisters and Artefact owners Sue and Maureen Walsh spoke with verve about the products they carry in their store that are locally designed and/or made as well as products such as the Vellum furniture line that is made in the United States.
Our next salon is at the fabulous Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, Massachusetts, where we will be looking to outdoor rooms with “Beyond the Patio.” Here’s more information and how to register: www.designnewengland.eventbrite.com