Inspired Design

Iris Interiors – Designed by Us, Inspired by You


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Green is Always Chic

If we all adopted a few “green” habits it would add up to one big impact on the environment. In honor of Earth Day and my love of sustainable design, here are some simple ways to reduce your ecological footprint:

  • Practice BYOB (bring your own bag) shopping. Store groceries, flea market finds, or craft store purchases in a reusable tote instead of plastic shopping bags. Eco-friendly totes come in a range of colors, patterns, and materials.
  • Put that Kindle to good use. Stop reading the print form of newspapers and magazines. Instead subscribe to the online versions.
  • Plastic water bottles are just plain evil. Use a Brita or Pur filter for drinking water. If you need it on the go, store it in a 100-percent BPA-free, stainless steel water bottle. Go traditional with a Klean Kanteen or sip from something sleek like the special editions from Kor.
  • If you can’t live without your print newspaper or plastic water bottle, definitely recycle them.
  • Consider installing dimmers in the rooms that you use most. Just dimming your lights saves a small amount of energy.
  • Carpool.
  • Consider a car-sharing service like Zipcar.
  • Start a compost in your backyard.
  • Get off junk mail lists. Check out Green Dimes. It makes it easy for you.
  • Opt for online billing.
  • Use a diaper service to do the dirty work. They provide you with cloth diapers instead of disposable ones. The Real Diaper Association is a great resource.
  • Do full loads of laundry and use the cold water cycle. Washing with cold water is effective thanks to detergents like Tide Cold Water.  Your clothes will thank you too.
  • Recycle and reuse. Freecycle.org allows you to recycle your belongings and find gently used ones as well.
  • Work online, at home or in the office, and limit what you print.
  • Teach your kids how to be green. Tips can be found at National Geographic Kids.
  • Go meatless once a week. Cutting out animal products, even one day per week, substantially reduces your carbon footprint. Find recipes at Meatless Monday.
  • Repurpose your belongings. Turn weathered doors into a headboard or use a vintage suitcase as a bedside table. With a little DIY creativity, the options are endless.
  • Gather some friends for an evening of shopping. Each guest should bring clothing items that they no longer want. Everyone swaps for a fresh closet.
  • Switch to low-energy light bulbs.
What ideas do you have for going “green?” Tell us about your eco-friendly habits in the comments section. Happy Earth Day!
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Spring into Color

Spring is here. It’s time to throw open your windows, put away those heavy bed linens, and clear out the clutter. Why not lighten up your decor as well? Say goodbye to the drab winter and hello to the cheery colors of spring. For ideas, take a look at a few of our favorite Benjamin Moore colors that really reflect the season. Get inspired by nature with deep saturated, but grown-up pinks like Pink Ladies (1347), yellows reminiscent of forsythia or daffodils captured in Provence Crème (2021-60), and pale greens, such as Grasslands (502). Combine all three colors for a true spring flower feel in a girl’s bedroom. Or create a grown-up version of bright shades. Spring 2012 is all about mixing hues.

To dip a toe into the world of color, mix and match colors in the form of decorative accessories. This season is seeing pairings of pale yellows with greens, richer yellows with mid-tone purples like Hydrangea (1390), and verdant greens with deep pinks. Not into commitment? Add fresh flowers for a breath of fresh air. The gold, violet, and green blooms above, make for a light and airy centerpiece against a clean backdrop of white.

If you’re willing to go bold, paint an accent wall or douse the entire room in color. Yellow instantly rejuvenates any space, particularly kitchens and dining areas. For a full-on splash of color, try soothing green walls accented by various shades of pink. The marriage of unexpected colors shown below is daring and chic.

Green and Pink Combination

By: Riehl Designs, Inc.
For this look, consider Benjamin Moore’s Grasslands (502) offset with soft pink, raspberry, and hints of black and white.

If you would prefer a sophisticated, modern take on spring colors, start with a neutral base and intersperse surprising dollops of color. A soft gray like Benjamin Moore’s Moonshine (2140-60) is more modern than your standard beige. Walls with a hint of gray can be livened up with fabrics, furniture, and decorative accents in a deep violet, like Hydrangea (1390). For a more traditional style, opt for a clean, neutral beige that still pops against white trim. We recommend Benjamin Moore’s classic Lambskin (OC-3). Use this as the backdrop for accents in shades like that beautiful purple Hydrangea (1390) or a pale green, similar to Grasslands (502). Note that gray frequently replaces beige as the neutral of choice. It adds a certain understated glamor and contemporary vibe to a space. Plus, it looks great when paired with virtually any color.

Neutral Walls with Green and Purple Accents

By: LDa Architecture & Interiors
Emulate this subtle yet spring-worthy style with a crisp beige like our favorite Lambskin (OC-3) on the walls and pops of colors similar to Hydrangea (1390) and Grasslands (502) in the form of decorative pillows. Top it off with an arrangement of fresh flowers in a complementary hue.

Use spring as an excuse to bring in the light. Play with the vivid textures, colors, and prints that the season has to offer.