My husband, James, and I can’t structurally remodel our townhouse, but we’ve put a lot of effort into redecorating the place and expressing ourselves within it. As some of you may have read in my blog (naturalhomeandgarden.com/blogs), when we first moved in several years ago, we were transferring from a smaller apartment with a collection of ravaged student furniture. We wanted quality pieces to fill our new space, and our beige walls with white trim needed some personality. At a local estate auction, we bought an 1800s dining-table set, a gorgeous matching sideboard and two balcony chairs for $60 (such a steal it’s almost embarrassing to report). We refurbished our old coffee table with a low-VOC antiquing paint (we had to trek to three stores to find the low-VOC version). In the bedroom, James built a grandiose headboard for our bed with two L-shaped solid-wood doors we found at a local antique store for $120. We painted the doors yellow and streaked the paint to reveal some of the beautiful wood grain. Our bed (we splurged on a deliriously comfortable natural latex and wool mattress from Land and Sky) is now the focal point of our bedroom-it’s vibrant, sturdy and statuesque.
We also sought sustainable decor items: Two coconut-leaf sconces and a tall vase made of newspaper slurry came from a local eco-design store; a ’50s white wicker elephant accent table was an antique-store find; four hand-painted and crackled canvases hang haphazardly on a recycled telephone wire; and a vintage wood milk crate tops a natural-fiber basket for a side table that does double duty as blanket storage.
Like our home, we are constantly upgrading Natural Home & Garden in our quest for perfection. Based on input from our online Editorial Advisory Group, this issue includes an abundance of new information on green remodeling on a budget. There are so many small, inexpensive ways to improve your home’s comfort and eco-profile, it’s hard to choose which ones to include in any given article. We opt for the biggest-bang-for-your-buck solutions on page 19. We also show off an inspirational remodel of a rundown New York City brownstone on page 42, and a paradigm for making over whole city blocks on page 88.
With this issue, we’ve also launched a renovated version of our Best For section, which has moved to the front of the book and expanded to give you more products, resources and ideas than ever before.
We know you’re always striving to improve your life and home, and we’re always striving to bring you more of what you want. Check in with us via our online advisory group at natural homeandgarden.com/editorial-advisory-group, on Facebook at facebook.com/naturalhomemagazine or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Now, let’s remodel!
Jessica Kellner, Editor