Can you actually create a sustainable home?

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      By Karen Habashi 

      Sustainability is a word that has been buzzing around almost every industry. Walking through the Interior Design Show Vancouver recently, I wanted to create a sustainable home in my mind. Here’s what I found.

      The kitchen

      Many kitchen cabinets are made with sustainable materials, but what caught my attention were the new countertops from the Caesarstone Mineral Collection. They have the same durability as their other surfaces like porcelain and quartz, but they reduce silica from 90 per cent to less than 40 per cent, are available in different shades, and use a unique blend of minerals and recycled materials.

      The bathroom

      The beautiful, vibrant colors of the taps at the Hastings Tile and Bath booth, which represented the brand Vola, have a long history.

      “The product was originally designed by Arne Jacobsen in 1968; it is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art,” Bob Gifford, the director of business development, explained to me. “As a timeless design, it embodies the true meaning of sustainability because you have something that is not going to go out of style.”

      They recycle all of the brass and stainless steel shavings into new bars for new Vola productions. These products are almost 98 per cent recyclable.

      As for sinks and bathtubs, Blu-Stone is a unique material developed by Michael Gottschalk from Blu Bathworks. It has little production waste due to its recyclable nature; it’s antimicrobial, non-porous, and lasts a lifetime. And looks stunning.

      The dining room

      What I loved about Barter Design was how simple and grounding the pieces looked. I felt the calming effect of trees through the touch, feel, and even smell of the products.

      The philosophy of Barter revolves around a model of localization. It was born from the belief that if we look at our natural environment and community, we will find everything we need to live sustainably and abundantly.

      The bedroom

      When it comes to pillows, size does matter. Henrie is an adjustable pillow brand based in Vancouver. The inside stuffing is a mix of low-VOC memory foam and a natural fibre called kapok that doesn’t require any post-processing. It comes in its natural form from the kapok tree and is also naturally hypoallergenic. The outer cover is made of 100 per cent organic cotton and holds Oeko-Tex’s global certification, recognizing its development as being free of harmful substances.

      The decor

      Jennifer Kalman and Emily Wilson created Man & Son: a lighting design studio utilizing locally-sourced wood. If you are cutting down a tree in your backyard and want to make sure the wood goes to something useful and beautiful, contact them for a custom-made piece.

      Will sustainability become easier to access in the future? Yes. In terms of affordability and attainability, we still need to work on that. Still, I left the IDS with an optimistic perspective, knowing more options are coming out every day. The idea is that when you buy better, you buy less.