Archive for February, 2009

Paint Green!

pic_fourcans2There is so much talk about “green” products it’s almost impossible to know what to believe or where to start. One of the easiest ways for any of us, design professionals or not, to do what’s best for our environment and our health is PAINT. Virtually every paint manufacturer has a Low-VOC formula or two and there are a handful of Zero-VOC products available.

VOCs (volatile organic compounds) are those nasty things that give paint its odor. And that’s the good news. They are also known to contribute to climate change, human illnesses, such as asthma and cancer, and to be a cause of “sick building syndrome.”  If you are sensitive odor or have allergies, Zero-VOC is a must for you.

Not all Low- or No-VOC paints are created equal. Many are thin and don’t tint well. A few of the product lines I like, mainly because of the exceptional coverage and colors are:ia_pri_aura_groupedcans_346x1941

  1. Aura by Benjamin Moore – a luscious paint with fantastic coverage (some of the best I’ve seen) and available in the full BM palette of 3300 colors
  2. Mythic Paint – developed by a university lab, also with great coverage
  3. Yolo Colorhouse – available in a limited but pretty terrific palette

And yes, most of these paints are a more expensive than their standard counterparts, but the ones mentioned above are worth it because you actually use less paint, they are better for your health and that of the planet.

You’ll be hearing more from me on the topic of environmentally-friendly and sustainably- manufactured products. We in the design and building industries need to take responsibility for the waste our professions create.homeimg2

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Bend’s Old Mill Quarter poised to become a design center

Mill QuarterWhether by design or happenstance, Bend’s Mill Quarter seems to be in the position of becoming something of a design center.

On one of the most frequently travelled corners in the Old Mill District (Wall & Arizona) you’ll see the “Coming Soon” sign for Furnish — one of our furniture stores specializing in modern, classic furniture. They will soon be moving into their new, 5000 square foot Mill Quarter store front. (I’m told they are just waiting for the final elevator inspection.) This is great news. When many business are downsizing, Jed and Noelle of Furnish are moving ahead, doubling their space and adding new lines.

Joining Furnish in the Mill Quarter on the south corner (SW Industrial & Bond) will be Evergreen Plantscapes. They also are moving into a larger space in early March. So not only will EP continue to provide exceptional plants and maintenance for businesses and residences, they will now have a larger and improved retail space. Evergreen Plantscapes specializes in unique plants you can’t find elsewhere and the staff of this family-owned business is incredibly knowledgable. I challenged Ben, the manager, to find me plants that I couldn’t kill. He assured me he would find things even I can take care of.

In the surrounding blocks of the Mill Quarter are Rising Star Stellar Home FurnishingsHaven Home, Gairdin, Area Rug Connection, United Tile, and Intrepid Tile & Stone, making this a destination for anyone looking to outfit a home.

Define your space.

wow1-11One of the most common problems that I see with interior decorating is that the space lacks definition. That is your rooms become multi-purpose and consequently don’t function and support you as they should.

Let’s say you have a home-based business. You designate a room for the office and because you don’t want to appear territorial, the family TV comes to roost, the kid’s computer joins the club and before you know it your home-based business is fighting for it’s very existence.

Now the children each have their own rooms as well as a “play room” for their activities and friends, your husband has his “man room,” and then there are the communal rooms; kitchen, living room, etc. So what happened to your income-generating office? It’s become ill-defined, disorganized and inefficient. So reclaim your space! The TV can move into the living room or den, the kid’s computer  can move into the kitchen nook designed for that very purpose, and you are now free to redesign and reorganize and revamp your office to suit you and your business. You’ll be happier, more productive and wondering how you ever did it before. And who knows, now that you have your very own space maybe you’ll carve out a corner for the art studio you’ve always wanted.


Contact the Author

martha@mmdsf.com 541-330-5899 www.marthamurraydesign.com

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