The Right Stuff

High-end glam or bargain-basement funky, one interior designer’s vision is uncompromisingly green.

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EcoLogic Lofts: Creative Thrift

Army surplus camouflage netting and recycled poly sheers make an unusual window treatment in the guest bedroom.  Photo Gallery:::
 

For the EcoLogic model home, Wiltgen sourced his furnishings like the sophisticated scrounger he is, repurposing salvaged pieces wherever possible. “We wanted to be completely respectful of our planet by choosing eco-friendly products while also inspiring people to be stylish and current,” he says.


A living-room rug was crafted from discarded bicycle inner tubes.  Photo Gallery:::

Stained bamboo flooring, which is harder than oak, is processed more conservationally, and comes from a rapid-renew source, is used throughout. Every stick of furniture was salvaged from resale stores, CraigsList, and the occasional Dumpster, then jazzed up with eco-friendly finishes and sturdy recycled fabrics. The loopy black area rug that anchors the living room is made in Italy from discarded bicycle inner tubes. “Walk on it in your bare feet, and it’s just like getting a foot massage,” Wiltgen says. In the master bedroom, the same organic cotton blankets were used to fashion a headboard as to stitch up a duvet cover and pillow shams.

For a decoupaged wall treatment in the guest bathroom, Wiltgen turned to old magazines. “We spent three months cutting out 800 five-inch square black-and-white images,” he says. “It took five days to arrange them on the walls, and we still didn’t have enough, so we had to find more.” The collage is finished with a protective coat of water-based varnish. A Benjamin Moore low-VOC crisp blue paint is used here and in accents throughout the model home. Faucets have low-flow valves and toilets are dual flush, to conserve water. In the entryway, smart lighting choices—tracks and compact fluorescents—illuminate found-art photos and a mirror with a witty chandelier decal.

The lacy guest-bedroom curtains are fashioned from Army camouflage netting (which comes in white for clandestine winter activities) layered over recycled polyester sheers. The curtains are reflected in a wall of mirrors—27 tag sale frames painted glossy white and fitted with pieces of discarded mirrors. Wiltgen slipcovered three queen-size mattresses in recycled poly vinyl and stacked them for an arty bed that references the triple-drawered resale bureaus that flank it.

For resource information, see Buyer’s Guide.

 

Photography: Christopher Barrett, Hedrich Blessing

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