Traditional construction, home improvement and interior design are loaded with waste, chemicals and carbon emissions. But they don’t have to be. Erica Reiner, an eco-friendly interior designer in Los Angeles and founder of Eco Method Interiors, has built her business around creating beautiful, welcoming spaces that are healthy for people and the planet.
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Reiner brings interesting experience to the profession, with educational and practical experience in interior design as well as a degree in environmental science and a master’s degree in marine science and management. At first, Reiner says she kept the two practices separate until she focused on the environment and the interior could go hand in hand.
Related: A WELL-Designed Home Removes Toxins From Interior Textiles
Reiner told Inhabitat: “I studied, worked and lectured in the environmental field before this company. I did a decorating certificate for fun between environmental degrees before realizing I could start a business. At first, I separately offered sustainability consulting and design while building my portfolio, before realizing how dirty the industry was and realizing that I could marry the two elements of my identity and my passions in one company.
Now well established in Los Angeles and nationwide, Reiner offers full-service virtual consulting, event decorating and interior design services with a specialty in toxic cleaning removal and research. sustainable and environmentally friendly furniture and textile options. She also hosts a popular podcast called “Green By Design,” which focuses on ways clients and design professionals can create sustainable design.
Although Reiner has been with the company for several years, she shared her enthusiasm with the growing awareness and interest in environmentally friendly products. “In [the past] 5-7 years, there has been a huge increase in overall awareness, self-education and worry. For reference, in 2006, when I finished my prerequisites and chose my undergraduate major in environmental studies, most of the population I met didn’t even understand what that meant, ”she said. declared.
For Reiner, projects come naturally after seeing the space and talking to clients. She looks at suppliers for greenwashing saying, “We do everything from reading their website to emails for clarity, asking for their certification documentation or whatever we need for clarity. I don’t have a simple process for detecting greenwashing. It is often just a small alarm that goes off in the way the product or material is described. Often times, legitimate companies that take pride in their efforts go into detail and have clear information accessible. Some companies, even if they do not promote their practices, when interviewed can provide clear information. Companies that go green often use language to try and sound good, but with my experience in ES academia, I know that doesn’t make sense.
Reiner’s current project is a complete 9,000 square foot home in Brentwood for a Hollywood family concerned about the toxicities in the home. With that in mind, Reiner and the owners have relied on eco-friendly manufacturing to make custom sofas, beds, rugs, and even wallpaper.
Its portfolio is diverse, with large and small projects, residential and commercial spaces, and geographically dispersed locations. A few are highlighted below.
Office and clubhouse in San Antonio, TX
This project included recycled paper countertops, reclaimed wood furniture and artwork, non-toxic wallpaper, recycled PET rugs, and pre-loved books and accessories.
Master bedroom and entrance in West Los Angeles, CA
To make the space comfortable and eco-friendly, Reiner included striking tables made from recycled wood beams. She also created a statement wall with FSC toxin-free wallpaper made using low impact dye. The rooms are decorated with artwork, rugs, bedding and baskets made from natural fibers and organic materials. It also includes vegetable-tanned leather chairs, recycled glass vases and energy-efficient lighting.
Nursery in Manhattan Beach, California
This small 168 square foot nursery creates a great visual impact but a small environmental footprint through the use of organic bedding and a GOTS certified carpet. The client chose to forgo the chemical-laden fire retardant in the nursing chairs and had a custom crib built to ensure it was made with FSC wood and low-carbon adhesives and finishes. toxins.
Game Room, Los Angeles, CA
Children need space to play. While these customers wanted to take care of the health of children in space, they also wanted to take care of the health of the planet by avoiding waste and recycling wherever possible. To this end, they selected non-toxic decorative cushions, a recycled cotton rug and a second-hand vintage coffee table. The space is also embellished with VOC-free paint and 100% linen curtains.
Apartment, Austin, Texas
Recycled materials, especially those from the area, give this apartment high marks for low impact. To do this, Reiner included pre-loved furniture and pieces with GreenGuard certification. The space also includes recycled plastic pillows and rugs and a wall specially designed for local art.
While Eco Method Interiors can help you give your space a lasting makeover, Reiner says there are fewer obstacles than ever before to creating a space you love without harming the environment. She recommends doing some research online, reading books on sustainable interior design, of course listening to her podcast, and maybe hosting an online electronics design session to see how she can help.
Images via Eco Method Interiors