Connecticut interior designer Trudy Dujardin has long been passionate about green design, and today is a leader in the movement, serving on the international board of Omaha-based Joslyn Castle Institute for Sustainable Communities, and other environmentally focused organizations. She counts architect Paul W. Bierman-Lytle as a major influence on her thinking. “He was my mentor. He set me on the right track,” she says of Bierman-Lytle, who in the 1980s was one of the first architects to promote green building and design.
When Trudy and her husband, Frank Fasanella, recently bought a 1965 Cape Cod-style house in Connecticut, she naturally designed with the environment in mind. Because of the nation’s growing awareness of green building, however, this project was far easier than the environemntally friendly projects she first attempted 20 years earlier.
“Even in the last nine months it seems people are really starting to listen,” Trudy says. Magazine articles and books on the subject, and eco-friendly products are flooding the market. “Homeowners are in a good position to become educated,” she says. Start with a good book, such as The Healthy House by John Bower (The Healthy House Institute, 1999). “It’s simple, easy to read. I give it to painters and homeowners all the time,” Trudy says.
A few ideas from her Connecticut home’s dining room:
- The plantation shutters are painted with a low-VOC paint that won’t emit toxins. Shutters are less likely to collect dust and allergens than draperies. When shutters do get dusty, they wipe clean.
- The painted floor provides carefree pattern. A low-VOC paint thinned with water was finished with a water-borne urethane from Basic Coatings (basiccoatings.com).
- House plants can improve air quality. Some of the hardest workers are lillies, bamboo palms, and gerbera daisies.
Photographs by Durston Saylor
Text by Amy Elbert
Paints (throughout the house): Best Paint Co., 206/783-9938, bestpaintco.com.
Floor finishes (throughout the house): Basic Coatings, 800/441-1934, basiccoatings.com.
Rectangular dining table (“McGuire Classics: Bamboo’’); woven dining chairs (“Umbria’’ #WS-110, by Orlando Diaz-Azcuy): McGuire Furniture Co., 800/662-4847, kohlerinterios.com.
White dining chairs (by Giorgetti): Signorello of Westport, 203/221-3200.
Floor (custom designed and painted): Dujardin Design Assoc., 203/838-8100.
Highchair (antique): owner’s collection.
Chandelier (“Ingo Maurer Flotation Model #2); sconces (“Foscarini Vitt Bianco’’/Matte Chrome): Gary Novasel, lighting designer, through Patdo Light Studio, 914/937-6707.
Biedermeier chest; hotel silver; painting: owner’s collection.
Metal lamp with shade: John Boone Inc., 212/758-0012, trade only.
Plantation shutters: Ohline Shutters, 800/ 585-3193, ohline.com.