Green Designer, Kari Whitman. Environmental, Green and Eco Designs

Long before Hollywood made it trendy, Kari Whitman was a green designer on a crusade. This Boulder, Colorado native and self-proclaimed tree-hugger was “practically born recycling.” And Kari is committed to incorporating eco- and animal-friendly products in all of her design projects, finding inventive ways to not only save the earth, but also save money!

The notion of “going green” and incorporating eco-friendly design may sound like a daunting and costly endeavor, but Kari goes on treasure hunts through antique stores, flea markets, architectural salvage yards, websites like craigslist.com, and searches a client’s existing inventory before buying a single piece of new furniture.

This masculine room is furnished entirely with antiques found in local shops. The regal furniture and antique lighting exemplifies the superior craftsmanship of older pieces to that of mass-produced products of today. The custom bookshelf in the room was made out of sustainable wood (harvested to reduce the burden on our eco-system).

This sleek, contemporary kitchen is a remarkable example of the multiple benefits of recycling and green living design! Rather than buy new cabinets to match the updated decor, the existing cabinetry was faux wood-grained to save trees and money! Another resource- and budget-saver was plating the old kitchen hardware with a brushed nickel finish for a fresh look. The luxe chairs surrounding the island are made from sustainable wood and are covered with pleather – an attractive and cruelty-free alternative to leather. Water savers were also installed on the multiple sinks.

Elegantly simple design is enhanced by custom finishes on the walls and ceiling. Kari mixed colors with her eco-friendly Wall Makeup kit (www.wallmakeup.com), then had the walls painted with non-toxic, zero-VOC, low odor paint – safe for people, pets and the environment. Lovely chairs covered in pleather, gorgeous antique lighting and a dining table constructed from reclaimed teak complete the look.

Green living means cozy living – especially in this comfortable corner. Kari created the perfect space to rest, relax or read using a reupholstered vintage chair and adding a warm glow with a vintage light fixture. Shutters made from sustainable wood may be adjusted to enhance the mood.

Stunning craftsmanship and enduring style can be found in one-of-a-kind vintage and antique lamps and chandeliers.

Kari gets creative with recycling and architectural salvage, transforming the wood from Stanford University’s old basketball court into an elegant wine cellar! She created the door out of an iron grate from a junk yard, and incorporated an 18th century Spanish light fixture and antique mahogany cabinets.

This eco-friendly room captures Virginia’s affinity for the glamour of old Hollywood and passion for Polynesian chic. From bamboo faux finishes, to bamboo flooring, an organic jute rug, recycled wood on an accordion door, vintage film posters, furniture and lighting purchased from antique and vintage stores, and even swap meets – every effort was made to reduce, reuse and recycle.

Virginia Madsen’s pup enjoys his perch on this regal chair, covered in dog-friendly, scratch- and stain-proof pleather. The walls are hand painted with non-toxic, zero-VOC paint, and are evocative of 1940s era wallpaper, fulfilling Virginia’s love of vintage tiki decor.

A unique, vintage bamboo table and stool set is recycled and reborn – with a fresh coat of buffed wax and a new home in Virginia Madsen’s kitchen.

Wall Makeup
Kari’s do-it-yourself paint mixing kit saves time, saves money and saves the environment by allowing you to create over 1,000 custom colors in the comfort of your own home. Simply mix the zero-VOC paint bases and tints until you find your signature shade!

Greener Pup
Kari’s signature line of eco-friendly dog beds are filled with materials made from 100% recycled plastic bottles! The removable, washable covers can be customized to match your doggie and your decor. Even better, 100% of profits benefitĀ Ace of Hearts Dog Rescue.

Mrs. Meyer’s
These biodegradable household products using naturally derived ingredients are some of Kari?s faves. Their products are never tested on animals, and product packaging uses 25% post-consumer recycled materials.

Forever Lawn
Kari loves installing this soft, safe and natural-looking synthetic turf at her clients’ homes. Forever Lawn saves water, eliminates pesticides and fertilizers, provides effective erosion control and improves air quality. Some cities even give residents discounts on utility bills for replacing grass with Forever Lawn!

Bamboo Flooring Hawaii
The environmentally responsible and sustainable resources of Bamboo Flooring Hawaii make this one of Kari’s favorite choices. Beautiful, durable and easy maintenance make it a great choice for flooring in any room.

Toto
Toto creates smart, water-saving toilets, faucets and showers; and their manufacturing practices allow them to recycle, reduce energy and landfill wastes and save water.