Date: December 21, 2010 | Story: Paulette Pearson | Styling: Danny Seo and Mandy Keener |
Environmentally friendly home décor can also be beautiful—a maxim that green lifestyle expert and celebrated author Danny Seo is illustrating to audiences nationwide. When the Pennsylvania-based expert visited Little Rock as part of a national tour, we asked for his help in transforming the master bedroom in a local historic home into a “green” retreat. A few simple steps like replacing the mattress, switching light bulbs and installing a recycled rug resulted in a room that’s not only stylish but also healthier and easier on the environment. “Living stylishly and going green used to be an oxymoron,” he says. “Part of my job is helping people coordinate the two.”
Here’s how the nation’s leading eco expert transformed our basic bedroom into a sustainably shabby chic space.
“I couldn’t find a mattress in the marketplace that I loved,” Seo explains, “so I collaborated with Simmons and designed this one.” Seo’s Natural Care Latex mattress features biodegradable soy and natural rubber tree based latex, is hypoallergenic and naturally dust mite, mold and mildew resistant, and comes with a 20-year warranty.
“Most people are interested in going green and saving money,” Seo says. The ionic light bulb provides energy savings and also neutralizes odor in the air. Emitting negative ions that combat pollutants like dust, pollen, pet dander, odors, allergens and smoke, “it replaces the need for chemical sprays,” Seo notes. One per room, especially those with strong odors like the kitchen or bathroom, is all that’s needed.
Another chemical-free solution is the Germguardian UV-C Sanitizer wand, which kills up to 99 percent of viruses and bacteria, including E. coli bacteria and salmonella. Use the wand on pillows, bedding, toys, cell phones, computer equipment, toilets, showers, sinks, countertops and even shoes.
To make your bedding and linens smell fresh, Seo suggests combining distilled water and 10 to 12 drops of essential oil in a spray bottle. “Mist the bed once in the morning,” he advises, “so it’s had a chance to dry completely before you go to sleep.”
“Pillows are where many allergens collect,” Seo explains. Use encasements to create a barrier between you and older pillows, and to prevent allergens from forming on new pillows, a move that “will give you the cleanest sleep,” he says. Another trick for cleaner sleep—and saving time—is wrapping pillows with three cases each. Instead of changing every two days, which is recommended, simply remove one layer every two days and wash all at once.
Smooth Driftwood & Summer Dragonfly, The Freshaire Choice
1. Leave your bed unmade. “You have permission to not make your bed,” Seo laughs. “You sweat in your sleep and the moisture can get locked in.” Wiping the bottoms of your feet before you go to sleep will also keep the bed cleaner.
2. Cross ventilate by opening up windows on opposite ends of the bedroom, which helps to flush out toxins.
3. Opt for a bedside floor rug, like this one from JC Penney, made from 100-percent recycled bottles.
4. Designate your bedroom as a retreat. “It’s mentally better for you to rid the room of electromagnetic fields,” Seo says, “including cell phones, alarm clocks and televisions.”
5. Opt for an eco-paint. In this case, the bed was repainted Smooth Driftwood by The Freshaire Choice.
6. Use natural-fiber sheets. “But if you love another type of sheet,” Seo explains, “and you’ll keep it for years, that’s fine too. It’s about making the most intelligent decision.”
Bedding, lighting, rug JC Penney, locations statewide
Light bulbs www.newionicbulb.com
Mattress Ashley Furniture Homestore, Bryant
Paint Home Depot, locations statewide
Sanitizer wand www.germguardian.com