Gently Green Great Design What I love Nantucket Life Please Join Me Healthy Stuff

Gently green conversations with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Living Zestfully!

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It’s been a beautiful and busy summer for Dujardin Design Associates: new projects, co-chairing the Nantucket Historical Association’s Nantucket by Design Week and creating a Pop-Up Lounge Design, sponsoring the Walk for Autism on Nantucket, and feature articles in Review and ONLY Nantucket, Nantucket Today, and Aspire Design and Home! We just had enough time to catch our breath and we’re off to a fabulous fall! Here’s a peek at all we did this summer:

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August 2-7 was the Nantucket Historical Association’s Nantucket by Design Week. Dujardin Design Associates was one of four designers asked to create a Pop-Up Lounge Design. Here’s ours–we mixed contemporary and vintage with a classic navy and white color scheme. Perfectly Nantucket!

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On August 20th, we once again sponsored an event near and dear to my heart: The Walk for Autism Speaks. The Walk was especially poignant this year as it recalled the life and contributions of Autism Speaks co-founder Suzanne Wright, a longtime client and friend, and beloved Nantucket resident. Suzanne used her time on earth to break the silence around a disorder that affects 70 million children, teens, and adults every day. In doing so, she not only gave a voice to Autism Speaks, but she encouraged everyone in her path to take compassionate action as well. That’s a legacy I admire.

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Also this summer we saw a compilation of beautiful outdoor spaces created by Dujardin Design Associates in Nantucket Today’s July issue, in their feature article Pretty Porches: A Private Pleasure.   I’ve always said that the joy of a summer cottage is partly to be found in fresh sea breezes and sunshine in a clear blue sky, which is why I love creating what I consider outdoor living rooms. There is nothing more relaxing than a sheltered spot that has all the best of the indoors and outdoors combined, including furniture designed for comfort and the weather, tables to hold an al fresco lunch, and beautiful blooming plants to make you feel like you’re on vacation, even with work in your lap.

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Review and ONLY Nantucket was home to three Dujardin Design articles. In July, readers enjoyed my favorite Dujardin-designed island homes that celebrate the natural world and engage all of our senses in It’s Only Natural. I often remind my clients that because we are part of nature, not separate from it, our homes enhance our health and wellness when we rely on nature’s beauty in our interiors.

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In August, an article in Review titled Bringing the Garden In shared my tips for adding beauty in color, texture, and form through fresh flowers. Flowers connect us to nature, and add a touch of grace to our rooms. I like to keep a small vase of flowers on my desk to brighten my day as I work. My favorite bouquets have always been white, in any combination of flowers, but truly any blooms work: snowdrops in teacups, peonies in pitchers, and anything at all in blue and white Chinese export porcelain.

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Before the summer season on the island was over, For Love of Whales appeared, a celebration of all things whale on Nantucket. Whether used as a subtle backdrop or a dramatic focal point in homes ranging from traditional to contemporary and everything in between, artwork celebrating the whale is one of my favorite elements of design, and many of my clients agree! Included in the article are facts about how to help whales, still under siege today from commercial whaling, drifting nets cut loose from large fishing vessels, toxic chemicals entering the ocean through run-off, and loud noises created by sonar testing.

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Trudy Dujardin

And with the beginning of fall, Aspire Design and Home published a Dujardin-designed Manhattan Park Avenue apartment, aptly named Orange Zest, for its sophisticated neutral color palette of grays and whites enlivened with accents of Hermes orange. Built in 1912, the 3,500 square foot apartment feels more like a house, with two living rooms–one for the parents and the other for their teenage children–that open together in a remarkable light-filled space in a 52 foot enfilade. Aspire Magazine is on stands now–don’t miss this one!

Sand house made with his own hands Children

Summer 2016 was fabulous, as are my wonderful memories of so many Nantucket summers. We were blessed with interesting projects, great clients, fun collaborations, and opportunities to give back to the island community we love. Now it’s back to life in Connecticut, ready for a new season. Thanks for coming along on our trip through June, July, and August. Happy Fall!

 

 

 

What I Love with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

More than Skin Deep

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There’s great news from the Environmental Working Group (EWG) in their mission to help consumers make healthy choices! From mascara to shampoo to toothpaste, more than 400 products will now carry the EWG VERIFIED mark. When you see it on a product, you’ll know that that item meets the EWG’s strict standards for health. Any item with the EWG VERIFIED mark has submitted a list of ingredients which EWG has tested for health hazards.

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Unfortunately, too many personal care products contain harmful or dangerous chemicals. The skin is the body’s largest organ, and anything placed on the skin is absorbed into the bloodstream, sometimes within seconds. According to a study by the EWG, most people use nine different products daily. These include shampoo, hair conditioner, soap, deodorant, body lotion, sunscreen, lip balm, make up and shaving products. Many of us feel safe, believing that product safety has been verified by the government. In fact, no pre-testing or health studies are required.

Hands holdings liquid lipsticks for the production

Personal care items are manufactured with 10,500 chemical ingredients, some of which are known or suspected carcinogens, or are known to disrupt the endocrine system. A listing called Skin Deep has long been available on the EWG website, representing the EWG’s attempt to rate products for safety.

Lavender moisturizer on bamboo with purple lavender flowers in the background. Lavandula anugustifolia

The EWG VERIFIED mark takes this work one step farther, allowing consumers to see on any product whether it has been verified by the EWG as having gone above and beyond the green standards set by the industry. That’s good news for all of us.

 

Please Join Me with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Encore Post: Dangers of Household Mold

photo of house drawing on beach sands by mediterranean sea.There is a drawing of sun on house which is positioned on left side of frame.The sea waves are on the right side.Focus is on house.A full frame DSLR camera was used to shot photo.

I’m often asked about maintaining a healthy home, and about how to ensure pristine air quality. With summer’s high humidity, mold has been part of several discussions. It is a serious health concern, so much so that I’ve chosen to republish this post with information on how to detect mold, and how to safely eradicate it. People who live in flood-prone areas, most recently those in New Orleans and now, Cedar Rapids, Iowa, must be sure to remove everything that that is water-damaged, including soggy floors and drywall, to be sure mold doesn’t get a start.

An Encore Post by Popular Demand: 

There are a few basic requirements for sustaining life; among them are moisture, food, and warmth. Our homes are replete with these three things, and thus, they can be breeding grounds for dangerous and allergy-causing molds.  Water damage in walls and insulation, and sustained moisture in heating and central air conditioning systems, can create the perfect breeding ground for microbial mold growth.

If you have water damage or a buildup of moisture from humidity or leaks, you may have the beginnings of a mold problem.

Beautiful abstract photography of mold in a pan

Aspergillus Fumigatus

You may not see mold spores, but even when invisible to the eye, they can be present in the air you breathe.  Asthma, coughing, sneezing and rashes may be a clue that something unhealthy has permeated your living spaces.  Stachybotrys, a celluphyllic mold that is frequently found on the paper covering of sheet rock and ceiling tiles, can be toxic when inhaled, resulting in flu-like symptoms, including sore throats and fatigue.

Mold beside and under new window, in the corner of the beige wall and along it.

Mold beside and under new window, in the corner of the beige wall and along it.

Toxic mold has become a growing problem in the U.S. in recent years.  Why?  As insulation improved and homes became more air-tight, exchange with fresh air from outside has slowed, creating perfect conditions for mold to flourish.  If you smell a musty odor, that may be a sign there is a mold problem.  You may see a slowly spreading stain across ceilings or walls, on shower curtain liners, or even books or clothing that have become damp from humidity or water leaks.

worker with helmet, gloves and mask spraying ceiling with spray bottle on wooden vintage ladder, bottom view

Remediation Options

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) divides mold clean-up into three sizes:  small, medium and large. Small mold remediation is where the total affected area is less than 10 square feet; medium is between 10 and 100 square feet; large is greater than 100 square feet, or when exposure to mold spores during remediation is a risk.

Mold spores are invisible when airborne, yet still pose a risk to your health, so if you’re going to tackle the clean up yourself, you should isolate the work area as much as possible.

  • Clear the room of any uncontaminated furniture.
  • Items that can’t be moved should be sealed in plastic.
  • Cover any open doorways with plastic sheeting.  You’ll need two sheets:  attach one to the left side of the doorway, covering two thirds of the opening.  Attach the other to the right side of the doorway, covering two thirds of the opening.  The overlap will provide a partial seal but will give you access into and out of the room.
  • If books, papers or other items have a musty smell but no visible mold, take them outside and vacuum them with a HEPA filter vacuum.  Anything that has visible mold should be discarded.
  • If items need to be carried through non-contaminated rooms on the way outside, place them in plastic bags first.
  • Small patches of mildew on walls and ceilings can be wiped with diluted bleach (one part bleach to ten parts water).
  • Even if you don’t think you are sensitive to mold, you should wear plastic safety goggles and a NIOSH N95 mask, along with latex gloves.  (Non-latex gloves if you have a latex allergy.)
  • For anything larger than 10 square feet, you should consult a professional.

Water stains on the roof of a house.

Seeking Professional Help:

Homeowners with water damage should call a Certified Industrial Hygienist (CIH), and have their homes thoroughly investigated for microbial volatile organic compounds (VOCs).  A CIH is qualified to enhance the health and safety of people at work and in their homes by identifying hazards, and taking corrective action where necessary.  They have met stringent requirements for education and experience, and through examination, have demonstrated expertise in areas such as air sampling, bio hazards, ventilation and engineering controls, health risk analysis, toxicology and methods to mitigate these issues.

For More Information:

An interview highlighting the dangers of toxic mold in New York City is available at the New York Times.

You can go to www.epa.gov and read A Brief Guide to Mold, Moisture and Your Home.

I also recommend a book titled The Mold Survival Guide for your Home and Health, by Jeffrey C. May and Connie L. May, available through amazon.com

Don’t Underestimate This Serious Health Concern:

Like radon, lead paint and other chemicals we now know to be hazardous to our health, we are learning more about mold and its dangers all the time.  Mold can be found in multiple household locations that you might not expect, including the underside of furniture, interior window trim, bathroom walls and ceilings, underneath sinks and refrigerators, carpeting, and even around potted plants.

It’s much better to remove any possibility of mold spores along with moisture problems by being vigilant in your home. A Healthy Home is the Ultimate Luxury. (TM)

Ornamental moulding in the corner of a white room