What does the Price of Tulips in Iowa have to do with an Eco-friendly house?



Eco-friendly home products are being marketed like there’s no tomorrow!

 Clever, indeed.

  But that doesn’t alter the fact that more and more rational people are interested in doing their part. Little tiny baby (carbon) footprints are quite desirable. Awwww!

babyIf you find yourself wanting more information and less smoke and mirrors, tune into HGTV’s Green Home 2009 Special. It premiers Sunday, April 19 at 8 o’clock and looks to be informative, fun, and very down to earth.

If incentives sound attractive, don’t overlook the fact that the government is at the ready with rewards! Many green home improvements come with tax breaks. That puts more green in your pocket! Check out all the possibilities!


This magnificent tulip variety is called angelique.

Naturally,  my personal favorite green home, eco-friendly, make your neighbors green with envy, green idea is older than the hills.

Simply stated: Plant a garden.

Flowers are cheap. Mother Nature is generous. If perennials are selected you get the added bonus of blooms (for free!) year after year after year.

If you haven’t started some type of garden you are missing one of life’s deepest blessings! It’s eco friendly, leaves a lovely oxygen footprint, and gives you bragging rights about having a green thumb.


Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelans Interiors


PS For your reading pleasure, all cliches have been italicized.

More on GREEN (smoke and mirrors)


 GREEN SMOKE green-smoke-gage1

                                                                                 Gage Photography 



  Sustainable:   Wikipedia says:  Sustainable product development and design is concerned with balancing economic, environmental, and social aspects in the creation of products and services.

I say: Many products have a fabulous, common sense story to tell which is not a new idea. For example, wood floors have a longevity that outlasts nearly every other floor product. And, most suppliers know they must replenish the trees as they harvest. Like I said, it’s not a new idea for wood producers. Because they are as proud of their forests as they are of their products, most wood flooring companies love to educate the consumer about what they have been doing for the environment.

Recycled:According to Wikipedia: Recycling involves processing used materials into new products in order to prevent waste of potentially useful materials, reduce the consumption of fresh raw materials, reduce energy usage, reduce air pollution (from incineration) and water pollution (from landfilling) by reducing the need for “conventional” waste disposal, and lower greenhouse gas emissions as compared to virgin production. 

I say: Some of this stuff gets boring. How about spray painting(!) an old end table? Does that count?

 Wonder if I spray it lime green?


Environmentally friendly: One more time from Wikipedia:(eco-friendly and nature friendly) are synonyms used to refer to goods and services considered to inflict minimal or no harm on the environment.[1] To make consumers aware, environmentally friendly goods and services often are marked with eco-labels. But because there is no single international standard for this concept, the International Organization for Standardization considers such labels too vague to be meaningful.[2]

I say: I concur. Keep your eyes and ears open. Look at yourself in the mirror. Refuse to smoke sardines.  Ask questions. Research.

Rotting, smelly garbage is called eco-friendly when one is discussing a compost pile!


Ever Upward photo 

Buyer beware of green smoke and mirrors!


Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelan’s Interiors


GREEN Smoke and Mirrors!?!



Does it seem to you like suddenly everything is organic, recylced,  and/or eco-friendly? So, can anyone acurately say what GREEN really is?

Smoke and mirrors. 


                                                                                  Lolita Ginoski photo

Green smoke, that is, maybe green mirrors. You pick.

Let’s talk just a little bit about what that means in the furniture and design world. There are all kinds of variations on a theme available to the consumer, but I’ve come across one that I like. It’s simple  – not too smokey or too much glare. Believe it or not the words come to us from J.C. Penney through their “Simply Green” campaign.

1  Organic products must be made from 70% raw materials such as organic cotton or linen, grow without chemical pesticides or fertilizers.

2  Renewable products are made from at least 25% renewable materials such as bamboo, sorona, ingeo, soy, capiz shells, or wood that comes from managed forests.

3  Recycled products contain a mix of at least 25% previously used materials such as cotton, glass, or polyester made from soda bottles.

I am thinking , “Good for Penney’s” – at least they put their thoughts into words. They gave themselves, as well as their customers, guidelines and expectations.

Kermit should be proud because green is here to stay. I’ll continue this variation on a green-theme next time when we look at trends verses realities.

I remember back in my college  (hippy) days we were told to eat greens. But that was long ago. Long before we could imagine sitting on  them!










Dianne Ross

Interior Designer / Phelans Interiors


Ultimate “GREEN” Chandelier


Seriously, this is a real chandelier for those of you (of us)  who are seriously green. I just thought it was too funny to pass up . . . because sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously and laughter is the best way to right many wrongs. Seriously.


 A three day Holiday weekend is upon us. That’s plenty of time to enjoy a refreshing drink of water, visit walkingthings.com, and have some fun pondering the mysteries of life, such as: 

What if the Hokey-Pokey really is what it’s all about?


Dianne Ross

Interior Designer/Phelan’s Interiors