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

Gently green conversations with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Make a Fresh Start!

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From time to time, people ask me what it’s like to work with an interior designer. I can’t answer that for anyone but myself, although certainly there are industry standards that a properly credentialed interior designer adheres to. In January of this year I wrote about the inspiration for a house, and some of the design process in Every Room Has a Beginning.

Make a Fresh Start!   work 1 687x422That post was about a very specific house, and the kinds of decisions we made with the homeowners to redesign a beloved home after it was moved cross-island to save it from eroding bluffs. Here are a few more things you should know about the design process:

Clients often say that working with Dujardin makes the design process fun again. What can become quickly overwhelming–the details, schedules, plans, and coordination, with architects, contractors, craftsmen and landscapers–are handled seamlessly, resulting in elegant and sophisticated interiors that immediately feel like home. We can incorporate varying degrees of sustainability or design a completely holistic “deep green” residence, always honoring classic tradition while achieving 21st century style.

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Whether you’re building a new home, renovating an existing building, or just designing interiors, it takes a village to create a house.  You may need contractors, architects, carpenters, painters, artists, landscapers, energy system installers, plumbers, tilers, electricians and more.


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Having the requisite training in a home’s structure, design and function is what makes me a full and welcome partner in team meetings that include any or all of those participants.


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Architects and Designers Working in the Office

I’ve devoted my life to the study and practice of interior design. I’m a professional member of ASID, and a member of their very select College of Fellows. (That’s what FASID means when you see it after my name.) I’ve just been elected a Senior Fellow for the Design Futures Council, which recognizes my contributions to the sustainable design movement.

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I am a LEED Accredited Professional, with a specialty in Interior Design and Construction. (That’s the LEED AP + ID + C after my name). I belong to a number of professional organizations, have spoken widely about interior design, am an adjunct professor at Fairfield University, and am a professionally trained artist myself. I have a published full-color book of my design work that outlines many of the design principles I believe in.

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Once we’ve decided to work together, the planning begins. We start with measurements, and a study of your home’s traffic flow, light sources, assessment of what the room will be used for, and by whom. We talk to you about what you love, and how you envision your home. The goal is to make your home an elegant reflection of your very unique lifestyle and family.  To help you “see” the finished product, we create a beautiful binder showing you what we suggest. Here’s an example of a page showing window treatment and lamp options.

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Let’s look at one specific room together. First, we show you a layout with all the furniture we suggest, and where it will be placed.

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Next, our in-house artist creates a watercolor rendering to give you a feeling for the colors and furniture we think will be perfect.

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We present several different styles of breakfronts. You choose which you like best.

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And then we look at different chair styles.

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Other pieces to be included in the room are next.

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Finally, it’s time to look at fabrics.

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There are thousands of choices to be made in designing a home, and mistakes can be expensive. By breaking every decision down to carefully selected options, our clients quickly feel in control of the process. They have a partner who cares as much about their home as they do, and we have a great time shopping together, talking together, and making decisions together. After several discussions about what our client likes and prefers, orders are placed. Here’s a look at the finished dining room following this process.

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My education, training and credentials, as well as my professional team members, are all important in creating the home of your dreams. But I also believe that creating a beautiful, healthy, comfortable home should be FUN! My clients often refer to me as the “funmaker,” because I love designing homes, and we want the entire project, start to finish, to be something you enjoy. We take care of the hard work for you.

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Believe it or not, we’re still having fun! We love our work.

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Great Design with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Inspired by the Sea: Maritime Artwork

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The painting above has been missing for twenty five years. Rembrandt van Rijn painted it, and titled it “The Storm on the Sea of Galilee.” It used to hang in the Isabelle Stewart Gardner Museum in Boston, but was stolen in an art heist in 1990, a theft that removed a billion dollars worth of art from the museum.

Art depicting the sea has been popular for centuries. Rembrandt painted “The Storm” in 1633, part of the Dutch Golden Age, when marine painting was a major genre. A little bit of history explains why: overseas trade and naval power were hugely important to the Dutch Republic, and so began the very first career marine artists, who painted almost nothing else.

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 The Battle of Trafalgar, J.M.W. Turner

The Romantic Age (roughly 1800-1850) saw marine painting surge in popularity. Detailed portraits of ships and the sea were sought from painters such as J.M.W. Turner, for whom painting the sea was an obsession. He was commissioned to paint “The Battle of Trafalgar,” a far cry from the kinds of coastal scenes that followed from other painters, featuring tranquil waters and soft light.

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Lake George, 1862, Martin Johnson Heade

America experienced its own romance with marine art when immigrants, mostly English, came to the U.S. in the 19th century. Their arrival coincided with the coast being regarded as a place of leisure rather than work and danger. Beach scenes, coastal landscapes and river views became more common, especially among the Impressionists.

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New York Yacht Club Race, James Edward Buttersworth

The poet Mary Oliver calls the sea “this enormity, this cauldron of changing greens and blues,..the great palace of the earth. Everything is in it–monsters, devils, jewels, swimming angels, soft-eyed mammals…also, sunk with some ship or during off-loading, artifacts of past decades or centuries…” No wonder we’re fascinated by it!

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 America’s Cup, by Michael Keane

I use marine paintings in many of my client’s homes. Coastal scenes are also found throughout my own home, several depicting places I’ve loved and lived. I’ve written before about some of my favorite painters, including many beautiful works by my friend, Michael Keane.

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Blue Horizon, Michael Keane

No matter where they’re hung, marine paintings bring peace and beauty to a space, lifting us somehow into another place, where we can almost feel the sea breeze.

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The beautiful living room, below, has several fine examples of marine art, including pieces by Antonio Jacobsen and Michael Keane. The portrait to the left is of an 18th century sea captain, another way to bring the seafaring life to your home.

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Bedrooms are particularly good places to hang favorite pieces of marine art, as the soft blues and greens and even the white capped waves can add to the room’s soothing ambiance.

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Painting over mantel is by American artist Tim Thompson

Any room can benefit from a striking marine painting. Here, artwork by renowned oil painter Tim Thompson enlivens the space.

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Another work by Tim Thompson hangs above the sofa in a Nantucket home on the harbor.

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Finding galleries with knowledgeable professionals to assist in buying art is an indispensable part of collecting any artwork. I particularly have loved working with Quidley and Company, both in Boston and on Nantucket Island at 26 Main Street.

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Another favorite gallery is Cavalier Galleries, with locations in Greenwich, Connecticut, New York City, and on Nantucket, at 10 Federal Street.

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A famous gallery known nationwide is J. Russell Jinishian, in Fairfield, Connecticut. Tucked away on a quiet street outside of town, people who know marine art know about this very special gallery just an hour away from New York City. Its extensive inventory includes over 1,000 marine paintings, drawings, sculptures, ship models and scrimshaw, by some of the world’s leading marine artists. Mr. Jinishian will be speaking on marine art on April 24th at 7 p.m. at the Black Rock Yacht Club, Black Rock, Connecticut.

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J. Russell Jinishian Gallery, Fairfield, CT

The beauty of the ocean will always call to us, so maritime art and marine paintings will, likewise, always be sought after. Whether you are fortunate enough to own artwork by an old master, a revered artist who has passed on, or are enjoying the experience of collecting art by some of our wonderful living artists, your home will always be enhanced by your purchases.

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As Mary Oliver says, “…on the water we shake off the harness of weight; we glide; we are passengers of a sleek ocean bird with its single white wing filled with wind.”

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The Last Trap, by Michael Keane

Healthy Stuff with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Dominique Browning and Moms Clean Air Force

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There are many activists today who I refer to as my “environmental heroes,” individuals who are stepping out and speaking up about the important issues facing our planet.  I’ve long been a fan of Dominique Browning’s Mom’s Clean Air Force, founded in 2011 with the Environmental Defense Fund. Today, it’s a community 340,000 strong of moms, dads and others fighting for clean air and our kids’ health. The mission of MCAF is to show that air pollution isn’t just dirty, it is toxic. and that there is a connection between pollution and disease.

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photo courtesy of MCAF: George Washington Bridge in heavy smog before Clean Air Act; 1973

Now MCAF has a new free  E book , called Extreme Weather & Our Changing Climate. They’re requesting all of us to help promote the book and share it with each other. Here’s what they say about it:

“Everyone across the country is talking about how the weather is changing. And the weather is changing because the climate is changing. Our weather is unfolding in the context of a warmer earth, caused by greenhouse gas emissions. Climate scientists have shown that extreme rainfall, more likely as the weather warms, is already becoming more common across the country.”

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The book covers The Big Three, the main issues related to climate change: heat and mega-heat waves, heavy rainfall, and drought. We are breaking temperature records, worldwide, at unprecedented rates.

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A warmer atmosphere holds more moisture: there’s more vapor up there. So we get heavier rainfalls. And during a drought, the air bakes the soil, and the earth warms up even more.

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The heavy rain that eventually falls doesn’t help the soil at all: it just runs off, causing flash flooding.

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Dominique Browning also has another blog, the very lovely Slow Love Life, described as a place to share ways to practice daily mindfulness in the midst of our busy, productive days. That approach provides the perfect balance to concern for our planet. We all need to be restored and refreshed to do our best work in the world.

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Dominique kindly agreed to answer some questions about her motivations and passion for the earth. Her interview with Holistic House follows:

Trudy: What was the inspiration behind Moms Clean Air Force? You’re a mom of two grown sons, so there’s that, of course. it’s grown and developed so much since its inception. What were you hoping for when you began?

Dominique: The inspiration is my two sons–and a love of home, quite honestly. As I’ve gotten older, I have expanded my idea of what is “home” beyond the walls of my house. First into the garden and then into the natural world in which we all really live. I have so many moments during the day that I think, what a blessing, a gift, an honor it is to be here, to watch that hummingbird, or to stand in awe of what humankind has accomplished…and I think: I want my children to enjoy this. I’m really thinking a great deal about what we are leaving behind for our loved ones, whether they are our own children or nieces and nephews, or simply, other small beings who count on us to protect them.

Trudy: To borrow from your interview with Michael Oppenheimer: optimist or pessimist? Knowing how enormous the problems are that we face, how do you get out of bed in the morning?

Dominique: I have chosen to be an optimist, because the alternative leads to depression and paralysis. And I’ve learned: I have a choice. I have a choice in the actions I take, what I do–so whether or not in my heart of hearts I think, we’re cooked, I act in the belief that we can make things better.

Trudy: You spent much of your life immersed in the design world, you wrote beautifully about the house where you raised your children, your garden there, and how you felt when you sold that home. You’ve moved again recently. I know you said you could write a book on creating a new home at this stage of life! What creates a sense of home for you? How do you define home today, versus earlier in your life?

Dominique: For one thing, I haul fewer things on the moving barge. But, there are still WAY too many things that I’m attached to, or rather, there are very many things, not too many. The things I love tell the story of who I am, what I care about, and they hold memories of love affairs and friendships. This wasn’t true when I was younger. So my sense of home comes from the things I love all around me, and from having spaces that I can read and rest in, and cook simple dinners for friends and family; home is where I feel I can express myself. 

Trudy: You wrote once that you feared you were becoming a curmudgeon because you saw balloons and all you could think of is that they would end up gagging a goose. What small (or large) thing do you see that you would like for the world to change today. I am a fierce opponent of of pesticides and lawn and garden chemicals, among other things! What is your current pet peeve, or pet project?

Dominique: I agree with you, Trudy: We’ve gotten way too dependent on chemicals to do the jobs that nature used to do with various plants and bugs. We wipe out the creatures who would eat pests for us, for instance. But worse: I’m increasingly agitated about all the natural habitat we are wiping out. People buy houses in the country because they fall in love with the beauty of the place–and then they proceed to neaten everything up, cut down hedgerows, mow away meadows and lose Joe Pye and Milkweed, and manicure the lawns, and leave lights on all night. Pretty soon, we aren’t in the country anymore. And we’re losing, all over the East Coast, all those ground nesters: killdeer, meadowlarks, bobolinks, pheasants.

Let’s start seeing the beauty in a tangle of branches, and the vivid play of color in a stand of what we should not think of as weeds, but rather as native stands of plants! Let’s enjoy watching the grasses ripple in a meadow.

Trudy: You’ve given so much time, energy and talent to making this world a better place for all of us. Where do you find sustenance, and the desire to keep working for what you believe in?

Dominique: Love is my sustenance. I know that sounds impossibly cornball. It is. Every moment of love that floods me–in what I see around me, or in the voice of a child, or a friend, or when I gaze at a painting I especially admire, whatever it is, every breath of love makes me stronger. It does for all of us–if we stop long enough, those few seconds or minutes of being open, to let it happen…

Trudy: Thank you, Dominique! We’re so delighted to showcase you, Moms Clean Air Force, and the new e-book, Extreme Weather.

Dominique: I wrote the Extreme Weather book because, as a gardener, I started noticing how strange things were getting. All of us talk about the weather, and how it is changing because of the warming of our globe. I wanted to understand that, because it is a good example of how something as abstract as “climate change” touches our lives in a very real way.

Trudy: I want to help share the e-book and your message, because it’s so important. This interview has such deep meaning for me. I hope that all my readers take the opportunity to download the free book, and then share it, too.

Let’s all act in the belief that we can make things better!

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Nantucket Life with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Nantucket’s Cranberry Festival by Jim Lentowski

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A Guest Post by Nantucket Conservation Foundation

Executive Director Jim Lentowski

The island’s cranberry harvest is a sight to behold and celebrated annually by thousands of islanders and visitors at the Foundation’s one-day Cranberry Festival held at the Milestone Cranberry Bog on Saturday, October 6 (11am – 4pm). We invite you to see berries being harvested, learn about the history of cranberry farming on Nantucket, participate in the family activities, or just relax and enjoy the setting and the spectacular autumn scenery of one of the most historic and memorable places on the Island.

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It’s the fall season on Nantucket, a time when after several stimulating months of high-season excitement, the remote island and its year-round residents return to a more relaxing, more normal pace.

With shorter days and cooling temperatures the island’s largest landowner, the nonprofit Nantucket Conservation Foundation, pays special attention to its responsibilities as the steward of its two active cranberry bogs.  Established in 1963, the member-supported Foundation protects nearly 30% — 9,000 acres — of Nantucket for all to enjoy and learn from!  Its holdings include the 195 acre Milestone Road Cranberry Bog, a place where traditional cranberry culture has taken place since 1857, and the 25 acre certified organic Windswept Cranberry Bog.  Both bogs are revealing their fall colors – a rich maroon hue of the ripening fruit often back dropped during this season by intense, cloudless blue skies.

The magic of these natural processes is heightened during the October to mid-November harvest as sections of the bogs are systematically flooded and “water reeled” with the result that a solid layer of floating cranberries waits to be loaded into enormous trailers. These trucks will ultimately deliver to a mainland processor– via the freight boat and over the highway — more than 1,500,000 pounds of fruit.

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Visitors, summer residents, and even long-time islanders are often surprised when they learn that the Milestone Bog is one of the oldest, continually operated farms on the Island. It is situated on a 1,060 acre conservation property owned and operated by the Foundation.

At the Milestone Bog there are 195 acres under cranberry cultivation with an additional 25 acres in production at the Windswept Bog on the Polpis Road. The Windswept Bog is especially notable because of its status as one of the few certified organic cranberry bogs in the country.

Cranberry Traditions on Nantucket

Cranberries have been grown on Nantucket since 1857 and were an important part of the Island’s economy until just prior to World War II. Before 1959, all 234 acres of the Milestone Bog were under cultivation, making it the largest contiguous natural cranberry bog in the world. Since that time, intensive efforts to conserve precious freshwater resources have resulted in the addition of ditches and dikes that subdivide the bog into smaller and more water-efficient units.These measures led to the Milestone Bog losing its status.

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Since the early 1950’s, one Nantucketer has been synonymous with cranberry farming on the island — Tom Larrabee, Sr. Described as having “cranberry juice running through his veins,” Tom has managed the planting, growing, and harvesting of cranberries at the Milestone Bog for nearly 60 years. When visiting the bog there is an excellent chance that you will see Tom (pictured here) driving a “water reel.” You may also see his son, Tom Jr., who is now following in his dad’s footsteps, extending the 150+ year tradition of cranberry farming on Nantucket.


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Two cups whole, unfrozen cranberries; 3/4 cup sugar; 1/2 cup coarsely chopped nuts (pecans or walnuts); 3/4 stick (6 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled; 1 large egg, beaten lightly; 1/2 cup all-purpose flour sifted with 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon and 1/8 teaspoon grated nutmeg; confectioners’
sugar for garnish, vanilla ice cream as an accompaniment. Spread the cranberries in a well-buttered shallow 8-inch round baking dish. In a small bowl combine 1/4
cup of sugar, nuts, and 2 teaspoons of butter and sprinkle the mixture over the cranberries. In a bowl beat the egg with the remaining 1/2 cup sugar until well combined, stir in the flour mixture, and add the remaining 4 tablespoons butter, 1 tablespoon at a time, beating well after each addition. Spread the batter over the cranberries in an even layer and bake the crisp in a preheated moderate oven (350° F.) for 45
minutes. Sift the confectioners’ sugar over the dessert and serve with the ice cream. Serves 6 to 8.


One cup fresh, unfrozen cranberries; 1 1/2 cups confectioner’s sugar; 1 stick (8 tablespoons) unsalted butter, cut into bits and softened; 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice.
In a food processor fitted with a steel blade, puree the cranberries with the sugar. Add butter and lemon juice and blend the mixture until smooth. Transfer to a serving bowl, cover and chill until firm. Serve the butter on toast, waffles, or biscuits. Makes about 1 1/2 cups.


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Two cups fresh or frozen whole cranberries; 1/2 cup sugar; 1 cup water; 1 package orange gelatin. Boil sugar and water for 5 minutes. Add cranberries and cook slowly without stirring until berries break open—about 5 minutes. Pour off liquid and add it to the gelatin. After the gelatin is fully dissolved, add 1 additional cup of water to this mixture. Add the cooked cranberries, pour into a mold and chill.


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Two cups unfrozen cranberries, coarsely chopped; 1 1/4 cups sugar; 1/2 teaspoon grated nutmeg; 2 cups all-purpose flour; 1 tablespoon double-acting baking powder; 1/2 teaspoon salt; 1 large egg, beaten lightly; 1/2 stick (4 tablespoons) unsalted butter, melted and cooled; 1 cup milk. In a heavy saucepan combine the cranberries, 1 cup of the sugar, and nutmeg and cook the mixture over high heat, stirring, until the sugar is dissolved. Cook the mixture, covered, for 3 minutes and cook it, uncovered, over low heat for 3 minutes more. Into a large bowl sift together flour, baking powder, the remaining 1/4 cup sugar, and the salt. In a small bowl combine the egg, butter, and milk and stir this into the flour mixture until the batter is just combined. Divide the cranberry mixture among 16 well-buttered 1/3 cup muffin tins, top with the batter, and bake in a preheated hot oven (400°
F.) for 20 to 25 minutes, or until they are puffed and golden. Let the muffins cool in the tins for 2 minutes, invert a serving dish over them, and flip the muffins onto it. Makes 16 muffins.

The Nantucket Conservation Foundation is a member-supported nonprofit organization. Jim Lentowski serves as its executive director.

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Photo:  Mary Haft

For additional information visit us at:

 All photos (except recipe photos and Jim Lentowski photo) courtesy of Jim Lentowski.





Please Join Me with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

We’ve Launched Our New Website

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It’s been several years since we’ve updated our website at Dujardin Design, and we have lots of new projects to share with you! Vacation homes that have picked up and moved across Nantucket Island…

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and colorful cottages that celebrate sand and sun and fun…

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and historic houses that harken all the way back to when Nantucket was newly found and barely populated, but everyone here had something to do with whaling, or was here in support of the people who did!

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We’ve created stylish apartments in New York City…

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and beautiful spaces to curl up in comfort with a book and a cup of tea.

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Come see what’s new!

What I Love with Trudy Dujardin, FASID, LEED AP

Design Futures Council: Senior Fellow

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This has been an especially gratifying year for me. In the past twelve months, I’ve published my design book (Comfort Zone: Creating the Eco-Elegant Interior), I’ve been named to the College of Fellows for the American Society of Interior Designers (ASID), and I have just received word that the Design Futures Council has named me a Senior Fellow.

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Ed Mazria reporting on the climate, 2014

The Design Futures Council (DFC) is an interdisciplinary network of leaders in design confronting global challenges. I’ve been a longtime member and contributor, happy to join with my friend and respected colleague James P. Cramer, who became the DFC’s primary founder and facilitator of information and inspiration throughout the organization.

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To be named as a Senior Fellow by this highly esteemed group of professionals is recognition for “significant contributions toward the understanding of changing trends, new research, and applied knowledge that improve the built environment and the human condition.”

Jim Cramer says, “The leadership role of design is of critical importance toward the creation of a healthier and happier planet. The new Senior Fellows of the DFC have been selected for the tremendous impact they have had on our world.”

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A happier, healthier planet is what I’ve worked for throughout my career. I’m proud to join the other Senior Fellows in that endeavor.