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Do your clients ask for green interiors? And if not, how do you integrate sustainable strategies into your projects?

As an interior designer, I'm curious if your client's come to you asking for green projects or are you the one bringing it to the table? I'm excited to have this venue to create a community of support for interior designers. I look forward to your thoughts, questions and input!

Annette Stelmack - Interior Designers & Sustainability Consultant

Asked by Annette Stelmack
Posted Jan 19, 2009 8:12 PM ET


4 Answers

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Most of my clients are extremely resistant to any green ideas. They want the initial price as cheap as possible. I recently had a guy make me tear out the fluorescent light above the sink and replace with incandescent. Another client said when they remove the mercury from CFL's he would get some.
They don't want to be the guenie pigs for new paints, flooring, or heat exchangers. Hopefully the media exposure will get to some of them.
I think those of us in the building industry are more excited about new products but the average american just wants to drill for more oil.

Answered by klhoush
Posted Jan 22, 2009 2:01 PM ET


I learned the importance of incorporating Interior designers that are well versed in green "Fit and Finish" materials into your team from some now good freinds of mine from Colorado that are experts in green interior design.
Just as Consumer Education is an important part of any green building protocal, so are the materials that your clients are going to incorporate into thier new (or remodeled) home after the builder is done. By managing the materilas we incorporate into our homes, we are able to construct a nice, tight home that has a much reduced or non-existant level of toxic off gassing.
That will do no good if the client then moves in furnature and other decorative finishes that are laden with VOCs or uses cooking utensils that off gas formaldehyde as dinner is prepared.

Answered by Matt Belcher
Posted Jan 25, 2009 2:18 PM ET


The first answer just makes me laugh with disgust. It is very unfortunate that the general public, just like alot of clients want their project completed in an unrealistic time frame and unrealistic cost. With that being said they need to be educated whether they like it or not because the "green thing" is not going away. I believe the only way the majority of these closed minded end users are going to accept the more sustainable approach to projects is if you present it in such a way of how much money it will save them in the long run, because some will involve more up front costs. Everyone should be concerned and everyone should do their part to learn what their obtainable and sustainable options are.

Answered by cheryl
Posted Sep 28, 2009 1:14 PM ET


It really is up to us as professionals to educate our clients as to the benefits and cost effective aspects of utilizing sustainable materials and practices for every project. In order to present environmentally sound, cutting edge options we ourselves must be constantly utilizing, researching and asking questions about the products that are constantly changing and becoming available. The health benefits and over all energy savings gained by using earth sustaining practices and products are a worthwhile investment and really not a hard sell if you are informed and committed to caring for your clients comfort and well being as well as the environment .

Answered by Nancy Reynolds
Posted Oct 27, 2009 5:45 PM ET

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