Designing Sustainable Homes for Whole Living
In today’s world, our homes are more than just places to live; they are the epicenters of our lives. The concept of “whole living” is gaining prominence, and it goes beyond simply creating aesthetically pleasing spaces. Whole living is about designing green, building green, and then learning how to live green. It’s a philosophy that recognizes the importance of both environmental sustainability and the well-being of the people who inhabit these spaces. Whole living begins with great design and build. Laura Sullivan, owner of ID.ology Interiors & Design, understands this concept on a profound level. She has been designing green and energy-efficient homes for years, but she always felt that something was missing. Her homes were designed with the environment in mind, but they were still trapping in air that was filled with various chemicals from new furnishings, cleaners, and more. This realization led her to extend her commitment to sustainability by sourcing sustainable and healthy home furnishings for her clients. Today, she is bringing this “whole living” philosophy to the forefront.
Indoor Air Quality: A Matter of Health
One of the core principles of whole living is ensuring indoor air quality. Over the past two decades, homebuyers have become increasingly concerned about the air they breathe in their homes. Issues like mold, radon, carbon monoxide, and toxic chemicals have become major concerns, and for good reason. Poor indoor air quality has been linked to a host of health problems. New homes today are significantly tighter than those built before energy-efficient regulations came into effect in 1978. However, even in homes certified as Energy Star, there is often a lack of documentation regarding air quality. This oversight is a critical concern because homeowners are not adequately educated about the potential dangers posed by the furnishings and materials brought into their homes.
Laura Sullivan: A Champion of Green Interior Design
Laura Sullivan, owner of ID.ology Interiors & Design, is an interior designer with over 13 years of experience. She specializes in providing a holistic approach to interior design and furnishings. Laura is passionate about creating beautiful and intentional living spaces, and she recognizes the importance of integrating a whole living philosophy into her designs.
Biophilic Design: Bringing Nature Indoors
A key aspect of ID.ology’s design approach is biophilic design, a concept that revolves around the relationship between nature, science, and the built environment. Humans have an inherent desire for a connection with nature, and this concept is seamlessly integrated into every project undertaken by ID.ology. They achieve this by incorporating large windows or sliding glass doors to maximize natural lighting, adding plants to provide year-round vitality within the home, and using natural materials such as stone and wood throughout the design.
Aging-in-Place: Home That Grow with You
Another vital aspect of ID.ology’s approach is the concept of “aging-in-place.” This means designing homes that accommodate the changing needs of individuals as they grow older. The team at ID.ology understands the importance of creating spaces that are not only aesthetically pleasing but also accessible and easy to live in, even as their clients age.
Green Design for Health and the Environment
Laura Sullivan eloquently describes green design as more than just environmental conservation. While it includes elements like saving water, energy, and using sustainable materials, it also extends to the well-being of homeowners. Standard furniture, finishes, and building materials often contain toxic chemicals that off-gas into our homes, contributing to a range of health issues. This is especially concerning in green homes, which are built to be more airtight for energy efficiency. ID.ology employs a range of strategies to mitigate these health risks. They prioritize local furniture that tends to have fewer preservative treatments, use natural, low-VOC (volatile organic compounds) stains and finishes, and educate clients about the potential toxicity of certain materials. Their goal is to help clients choose the healthiest options for their lifestyle and budget.
In summary, whole living is an integrated philosophy that encompasses environmental sustainability, well-being, and longevity. ID.ology Interiors & Design is at the forefront of this movement, designing homes that are not only stunning but also healthier, more sustainable, and built to last. Through their holistic approach to design, they are championing a new era of living that considers both the environment and the well-being of those who call these spaces home.