Debra's List Debra Lynn Dadd

Interior Decorating

An aesthetically-pleasing home environment contributes to health in ways beyond what can be measured physically. Surrounding ourselves with the beauty of natural woods and soft organic fibers nourish us all the more. Follow these links to make yours a natural home.


Green Seal Choose Green Report - Carpet
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly carpets from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This report gives specific brand recommendations for products that meet their criteria for carpets.
Green Seal Choose Green Report - Floor Finishes & Strippers
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly floor finishes and strippers from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This report gives specific brand recommendations for products that meet their criteria for floor finishes and strippers.
Green Seal Standards for Paints
Advice on choosing environmentally-friendly paints from "an independent, non-profit organization that strives to achieve a healthier and cleaner environment...evaluations are based on state-of-the-art science and information using internationally recognized methods and procedures...[their] only purpose is to direct the purchaser to environmentally responsible products and services." Their work includes development of environmental standards for products in specific categories and certification of products that meet these standards. This link leads to their standards for paints.


Building Concerns
Regional directories (currently for Northern and Southern California, Mountain States, and Florida/Georgia) that include listings for health- and environment-oriented Interior Designers and other consultants and professionals.

Oikos Green Building Source
A complete resource for green building, including product listings, bookstore, classified ads, and an extensive library of informative articles. Product searches are organized for professionals, but easy to use for homeowners.


Green Building Supply
Natural and nontoxic interior decorating products--flooring, finishes, carpeting, and furniture--sold by a knowledgeable staff with almost two decades of experience. All products meet the following criteria: 1) Non-toxic and safe 2) Renewable, recycled, or upcycled 3) Energy efficient and Energy Star compliant 4) Meet or exceed US or European environmental standards 5) Good reputation in the industry 6) Personally tested by our company. Descriptions are exceptional, there are MSDS sheets on the contents of most products, and guidelines to help with installation.

A comprehensive resource for energy efficient, non-toxic, recycled, reclaimed, naturally resourced and biodegradable interior decorating products. You'll find artwork, carpet and carpet padding, draperies and curtains, flooring, furniture, home accessories, home office accessories, knobs and pulls, lighting, paints, rugs, shelving, towel racks and hooks, upholstery fabrics, wallpaper, and more. They've been in this business since 1988, so they are well-experienced. The founder started GreenSage after personal experience with MCS. Affiliations include IIDA, AIA, USGBC, and AIA's Committee on the Environment.

A wide range of materials for building and remodeling, including paints & stains, flooring (wood, cork, and marmoleum), tile, carpeting, countertops, and more.

An imaginative array of stylish products made from handcast 100% recycled aluminum (or at least 90% recycled bronze)--sinks, lighting fixtures, cast tiles for countertops, and decorative hardware. One-of-a-kind handcast sinks can have a built-in colander for washing produce. The designs are uniquely beautiful..."pieces sometimes feel old, like relics recovered from archeological ruins...sometimes modern and simple, sometimes whimsical or intricate. Always, though, whether rustic or polished, they feel authentic, made from real stuff by real hands. Our eyes know the difference. Our hands know the difference. And somehow, inexplicably, our hearts know the difference."

Environmental Home Center
One of the internet's most complete resources for green home furnishings that are healthy and resource efficient. Their product list includes recycled-glass tiles, cork flooring, natural linoleum, hardwood flooring, natural fiber and recycled carpeting and carpet pads, countertops, cabinets, paints and primers, wood finishes, strippers, wallcoverings, sealers, and more. In addition to their products, they also have on-line buying guides to help you choose which of their products is right for you. And if they don't have what you are looking for, they promise to help you find it.

Green Fusion Design Center
Paints, plasters, wallpaper, flooring, furniture, and more. "The company is committed to the process of moving our culture toward conscious lifestyle practices by providing modern goods that blend function, style and sustainability. We believe the basic foundation of sustainable business is making conscious purchasing decisions that consider personal, environmental, and cultural impacts....products include, at a minimum, at least one of the following attributes: recycled, biodegradable, organic, natural, energy efficient, water efficient, exceptionally durable, non-toxic, locally produced, sustainably harvested, and supportive of the global community's natural health...Whatever the décor, we offer both interior and exterior options that allow customers to create the look they want without the addition of harmful chemicals and toxic environmental pollutants...Every product we carry is: Beautiful & Stylish, Environmentally Friendly & Healthy, Consciously Manufactured & Durable."

A wide variety of artistic and ecological items for the home: "Coatings for walls of the lowest VOC content. Products made from recycled content that are not only clever and look great but help divert waste from landfill as well. All natural materials reconfigured into beautiful furniture and flooring. Systems for creating energy-saving and 'smart' houses. Books on what materials to use and how to use them." You'll find flooring, tile, home furnishings, energy efficiency products and lighting, paints and wallcovering, surface materials, and more.

Soapstone West
Soapstone for countertops, backsplashes, sinks, showers, floors, and more. Soapstone is a natural quarried stone, like granite and marble, but it won't stain like these other stones. Very durable as well as beautiful.

AFM Enterprises
Makers of less-toxic wood finishes and paints, grout sealant, and other finishes. Many people with chemical sensitivities have used these paints with success for years. They also sell vapor barrier finishes to block formaldehyde and carpet fumes.


Green Fusion Design Center
Top-of-the-line cabinets for kitchen and bath. Some focus on reducing emissions-- "greater than 98% free of VOC emissions. For chemically sensitive individuals, a select line of products which are virtually (greater than 99%) emissions free."--others incorporate sustainable practices. "Every product we carry is: Beautiful & Stylish, Environmentally Friendly & Healthy, Consciously Manufactured & Durable."

Citilog Salvaged Wood Products
Custom cabinets made from lumber salvaged from urban forests or wheatboard (a formadehyde-free fiberboard made from non-edible wheat straw), finished with "environmentally friendly nontoxic" finishes. Because the wood comes from trees that are "knocked down by storms or removed because of age, damage or disease," they are able to product high-quality custom wood products at standard stock prices.

Neil Kelly Cabinets
Beautiful solid wood cabinets made with certified sustainably-harvested woods, formaldehyde-free wheatboard case material, and low VOC finishes. Designs are based on traditional clean, simple lines, using only the materials needed and none to excess. Many options for eco-friendly materials and safe finishes.


click here to go to the Candles page


Green Fusion Design Center
Numerous options for countertops, including more than 250 choices for recycled tiles, simulated stone made from 75% recycled glass and concrete, paper-based fiber composites countertops manufactured from certified managed forest resources, and unique pre-cast custom concrete products, made exceptional with a fusion of metal and glass. "Every product we carry is: Beautiful & Stylish, Environmentally Friendly & Healthy, Consciously Manufactured & Durable."


Green Fusion Design Center
Flooring options include concrete flooring veneer, completely biodegradable carpets, prefinished bamboo and sustainable hardwoods, modular carpet tiles, natural linoleum, natural cork, flooring milled from untreated reclaimed wood, and handmade wool and silk Tibetan area rugs. "Every product we carry is: Beautiful & Stylish, Environmentally Friendly & Healthy, Consciously Manufactured & Durable."

Sustainable Flooring
A comprehensive line of bamboo and cork flooring products, sold by a unique "green" cooperative venture between a successful manufacturer of bamboo, and cork, respectively. They offer manufacturer-direct access to high quality bamboo and cork flooring products in various shades, with "incredible pricing." Provides samples.


Nature's Carpet
Carpet "made from all natural, biodegradable high quality wool, natural jute backings and natural bonding agents utilizing renewable resources. The wool fibre was obtained from sheep raised in isolated organically fertilized fields. Complete absence of chemicals at every stage of manufacture." Lab-tested for health effects by Anderson Laboratories and found safe for individuals with multiple chemical sensitivities. "Nature's carpet provides a surface so pure and chemical-free one can literally sleep on it and be worry-free!" Manfactured by Colin Campbell & Sons.

FLOR modular carpet flooring system allows you to create rugs or wall-to-wall carpeting of any size. Because the carpet comes in modular pieces, there is less waste in cutting to size and worn spots can be pulled up and replaced without removing the entire carpet. Worn carpet pieces are accepted by the manufacturer for recycling and recycled back into new carpet. Comes in a variety of colors, textures, and patterns to suit any decor.

Choose from several different types of material:

  • Recycled nylon--Recycled content varies from style-to-style--the more carpet they receive through their recycling program, the higher the percentage of recycled nylon in the new carpet. Most of the recycled nylon is used in the backing, which is a recyclable, vinyl-composite backing manufactured with the recycled content ASG filler (Aluminum Silicate Glass, a post-consumer waste product).
  • "Half-and-half"--Terra collection is made of nylon and Polylactic Acid (PLA) face-fiber, derived from corn, a bio-based, rapidly renewable resource.
  • Natural and renewable--Heartfelt collection is made from a blend of hemp and wool. Coir2 ("Coir Squared") collection is a Coir and Sisal blend.
Designed to be the lowest VOC emitting products in the industry, they meet or exceed the following guidelines:
  1. Carpet and Rug Institute's (CRI) Indoor Air Quality Testing Program
  2. State of Washington Protocol
  3. Collaborative for High Performance Schools (CHPS) Indoor Air Quality Test - Section 1350.
The backing of all FLOR tiles are treated with a low-toxicity antimicrobial to inhibit stain and odor causing molds and bacteria FLOR tiles are secured to the floor surface with low-tact, nontoxic adhesive dots in each corner, so there are no fumes from toxic adhesives.

FLOR modular floorcovering was developed and is manufactured by Interface, a company who has made a strong commitment to sustainability (see to read one of the best corporate reports I've seen regarding a company's commitment to, understanding of, and practice of sustainability on a mass market scale.)

NOTE: None of this information appears on their website. It is taken from personal correspondence with the company.

Earth Weave Carpet Mills
Broadloom and area rugs made from undyed, untreated wool. The wool is held in place by a hemp/cotton "primary", a natural rubber adhesive, and a secondary backing made of natural jute. The result is a completely nontoxic, renewable and biodegradable carpet with no added chemicals. Carpets are tufted, textured loop construction. Yarns of various natural colors give interesting varigated textures in greys and browns. Carpet pad is wool needled into a cotton backing "We urge our customers to recycle it to the garden where it will safely biodegrade while serving as an effective weed barrier and mulch. Over a period of 2-3 seasons the padding will completely disappear, adding nitrogen and other nutrients plants need to the soil, essentially returning to grass." Also 100% natural rubber rug gripper.

Natürlich Natural Home
High quality, natural wool carpeting and area rugs, hardwood flooring, and cork flooring.

Carpet cleaning without chemicals. "The the millions of microscopic carbonating cleaning bubbles in our cleaner...The carbonating solutions penetrate deep into the base of the carpet, literally exploding dirt and grime off of the fiber's surface. Then, we use hot water extraction to lift the dirty particles to the surface where they are whisked away...Because it uses a fraction of the water compared to steam cleaning, and contains no soaps, detergents, solvents, enzymes, or other harsh chemicals, it can be used around your entire family, including your pets." I checked into this and it really is just carbonated water, as nontoxic as club soda.

EcoChoices EcoByDesign
Natural wool carpet and cork flooring.

Natural Area Rugs
Stylish area rugs made from natural fibers, including sisal, bamboo, wool, seagrass and mountain grass, and jute. Some unusual and interesting combinations, including wool/sisal and sisal combined with paper. Will send two swatches free on request, more can be ordered for a minimal fee. Throughout the site, comments made show thoughtfulness regarding toxic substances and environmental impacts. Good descriptions of the various materials used and how they are processed. Rugs are factory-direct at discounted prices.

AFM Carpet Seal
If you have no other choice but to have a carpet that is emitting toxic fumes, get this product and apply it right away. I once used it on a carpet in an office I had to work in and it completely handled it. It's easy to apply and odor-free. This produt both seals in fumes and protects the carpet at the same time, so it could also be used as a nontoxic soil and stain repellant.

The Carpet and Rug Institute Green Label Carpets
A list of carpets, adhesives, and carpet cushions that meet indoor air quality standards set by the Institute. These are "low-emitting" carpets, most made from synthetic fibers. If you need to purchase synthetic carpet and that the the only option, these are the least toxic synthetic carpets on the market.

Henry Greenline Adhesives
Carpet and flooring adhesives that are "97% lower in emissions than current Carpet and Rug Institute (CRI) criteria".

Composition Tile

Armstrong Vinyl Composition Tile
Made from 85% limestone (an abundant natural resource), recycled content and vinyl. It qualifies for LEED green building credits in several categories, including recycled content and low-emitting resilient flooring. These are the least expensive, most readily available nontoxic flooring option, available at mass retailers such as Home Depot and Lowe's. Ask at local stores for styles and colors they can order.

Floor Finish

Industrial-strength VOC-free floor wax stripper, and tile floor finish made from nontoxic petrochemical ingredients.


Citilog Salvaged Wood Products
Custom wood flooring made from oak, maple, cherry, walnut or pine--all sustainably harvested from urban forests. Because the wood comes from trees that are "knocked down by storms or removed because of age, damage or disease," they are able to product high-quality custom wood products at standard stock prices.

Duluth Timber Company
"Logging the Industrial Forest" is their motto -- "All of our materials are salvaged from demolition of industrial structures." They make custom sawn flooring and millwork, so contact them directly to discuss your needs.

Fortis Arbor Wood Mosaics
These beautiful little wood tiles (1"x1" and 1"x2") are handcrafted from solid bamboo, teak, and rosewood, obtained from a small, family-owned furniture workshop in Thailand. Most are made from wood pieces too small for making furniture, which would have otherwise been thrown away or burned. Can be used in any interior application--floors, walls, back splashes, counterops, and fireplace surrounds.

Harmonized Wood Products
Exotic hardwood flooring--such as Brazilian Cherry, Santos Mahogany, Tigerwood, and others--direct from the mill. Pre-finished solid wood and engineered flooring. Engineered flooring is FSC-certified, and meets LEED construction requirements.

Lumber Liquidators
All kinds of wood flooring at very reasonable prices, including unfinished woods, bamboo, hardwoods, and exotics. Solid wood flooring starts at less than $2 per square foot. "Our flooring is some of the best in the industry at incredibly low prices." I visited one of their stores in my area and what they advertise is true...I found many beautiful wood floors that I would be happy to have in my home...including a purpleheart floor (my favorite wood, and yes, it is purple)! Their website states "Environmental Guarantee: Our mills procure lumber from suppliers who practice sustainable forest practices." Ask about the sustainability practices of individual flooring as there are no further details on the website.

Timeless Timber
End-grain flooring blocks made from 100% virgin old-growth wood, salvaged from the depths of the Great Lakes and other US and Canadian waterways. This wood is 300 to 1200 years old and has abundant figuring, tight grain, and unique colors created by the leaching of minerals from the water.

Yesteryear Floorworks Company
Aged Woods®. high-quality, rustic, remilled antique wide plank flooring, paneling and siding, recycled from old barn wood and warehouses.

Inexpensive pre-finished solid oak tile--about $1 per square foot.

Wilsonart Flooring
High quality wood laminate (not hardwood) flooring certified by Greenguard. Meeting this standard means that "the products will not have significant influence on the indoor air quality in a building or home." The company is also committed to using recycled materials.

Natural Linoleum

Forbo Linoleum NA
Natural linoleum made from linseed oil, rosins, and wood flour, on a natural jute backing. This tough, yet beautiful, floor covering prevents bacteria from multiplying, reduces the accumulation of dust, and has naturally occuring anti-static properties. Comes in a wide range of natural colors.


"An extensive line of chairs, sofas, loveseats, and ottomans for people with Multiple Chemical Sensitivity...Many healthy, ecology conscious individuals are also purchasing our products because they prefer to live in a clean, unpolluted environment." These are top quality products with classic designs made by a family-owned company with third- and fourth-generation furniture makers. They will even make custom pieces to your design specifications. All pieces are made with 100% organic cotton barrier cloth, frames made from kiln-dried, untreated, hard rock maple, water-based glues, chemical-free wood finishes and organic or non-organic natural fiber upholstery fabrics (pre-washing option to remove fabrics finishes available).

Ekla Home
Simple, stylish, sustainable sofas. "We believe in sustainable design. Each piece of furniture we produce is timeless in style, hand crafted, provides lasting comfort and is composed of non-toxic materials. Our deliberately small-scale company produces elegant, tactile pieces that adhere to the strictest environmental practices. Investigate our materials to see why our furniture is healthful for your family, our workers and the earth." This is one of those websites that I love because they communicate well what they are about. Their list of standards they hold themselves to is longer than I can print here. They list all the materials they use. You can even earn LEED credits with their furniture.

Natural Tree Furniture
"Blending Nature with Creative Imagination", these pieces of furniture for home and garden are truly one of a kind. "Master craftsman Ray Smith gives great pleasure in shaping TREES into an elegant, organic art form. Custom furniture designs built with reconditioned antique hand tools. Durable construction involves handmade wedged pegs and/or mortised tenon joinery. (Unless absolutely necessary - NO bolts, nails, screws or metal fasteners.)" Only sustainably harvested and rediscovered timbers are used. Items include plant stands, napkin holders, desk novelties, footstools, beds, benches, chairs, swings, tables, and anything else you can think of. Custom orders are welcome.

Urban Hardwoods
"Enduring furniture that honors the natural beauty of the wood" made from reclaimed urban trees (down trees and trimmings collected from tree services and utility companies). Selection includes dining tables, side and end tables, coffee tables, and custom work. Also flooring, doors, countertops, fine cabinets, and desks.

Furniture With Soul
"High quality, low cost home décor from around the world...We offer hand selected fine antiques, accessories, and newly manufactured goods from India. All our pieces are handcrafted from solid woods like teak, mango, and sheesham. In addition to solid wood construction, the original time-worn patinas bring the color and flavor of another time and place into your home. We practice fair trade policies and have worked with our vendors a number of years to create long term relationships that benefit entire villages and communities. We truly believe that the character and soul of your home is directly related to the character and soul of the things you put into it. After years of design experience we have found one rule of thumb to be true; combine the old and new, the simple and complex, the bright and subdued, true quality and utility and you will always achieve great results...We strive to create products that merge nature with art...The first time I traveled to India, I found myself drawn to old architectural pieces and furniture layered with color and age. The fact that every piece was created by hand, as a functional item, while maintaining an artful quality, gave them an honesty that was captivating. The human need to incorporate art and beauty into the most fundamental daily tools was moving to me and this is what I look for in each item we import."

Green Building Supply
A great selection of affordable solid wood furniture with nontoxic and natural finishes. Everything from bedroom sets to dining tables--even kitchen islands. Also tables made from kirei (a plywood made from sorghum stalks) and bamboo plywood.
Solid wood furniture, handcrafted from reclaimed oak. "The majority of the wood used comes from old wooden structures up to 150 years old. Most of these trees were from old growth forests and were quartersawn resulting in a much stronger timber, with straight grains and beautiful flecks." Built by hand with mortise & tenon joinery, water based glues, and hand rubbed natural oil and wax finishes (no VOCs).

EcoChoices EcoSofa
Stylish organic hemp and cotton sofas, armchairs and loveseats. Also bean bag chairs; tables handcrafted from hammered copper, twigs and stone; slipcovers; and more.

A Natural Home
All-natural stuffed sofas and chairs covered with organic cotton, hemp or cotton fabrics hand woven in Mexico "under ecologically friendly methods". Stuffed with organic wool and 100% natural latex. All pieces handmade to order by an Amish family in Ohio. "Simple life, quality construction, and a peaceful energy permeate and surround each and every product we make. We do not cross contaminate, we are all organic and natural."

Timeless Timber
Classic Arts & Crafts style furniture made from 100% virgin old-growth wood, salvaged from the depths of the Great Lakes and other US and Canadian waterways. This wood is 300 to 1200 years old and has abundant figuring, tight grain, and unique colors created by the leaching of minerals from the water.

White Lotus Home
Convertible couch made from maple or ash harvested sustainably from a domestic forest, with an environmentally friendly finish, to use with their handmade "green" cotton cushion. "The environmental stewards at White Lotus believe that if the cost of saving the earth and protecting one's health was out of reach for most people's budgets, true progress would never be made. For that reason, in part, White Lotus is very efficient with resources and keeps its prices where almost everyone can take part in making the world a better place." 100% of their energy is supplied by wind power.

Old Adirondack
Rustic chairs, tables, bedroom sets, and related household furnishings handmade in the classic Adirondack style from native white cedar. No finish is applied.


Nature's Hardware
A delightful collection of eco-friendly accessories, coat hooks, handles, knobs, pulls, sinks and tiles made from natural, renewable or recylced material. Materials include bamboo, antler/bone, flowers, glass, granite/marble/onyx, ivory, leather, marble, metal, stone, and wood.

Home Accessories

Hardware Accents
Replace your plastic switchplates with something stylish and more natural. Choose from many designs made from ceramic, metals, woods, porcelain, marble, and more. They carry all those unusual configerations that may be hard to find. Can custom-make any configuration in wood. Website also has other home hardware items.

Flopping Fish Productions
These metal switchplates are a stylish alternative to plastic. Handmade from copper or stainless, each is etched with an elegant or organic pattern.


Green Fusion Design Center
A good selection of paints and earth plasters, from old fashioned milk paint to the latest colors based in nature. "Every product we carry is: Beautiful & Stylish, Environmentally Friendly & Healthy, Consciously Manufactured & Durable."

Sinan Company
Importers of Auro brand paints and finishes, made in Germany from 100% natural ingredients. These paints and finishes are uniquely beautiful as they are made with plant oils and resins and colored with earth pigments.

Visions Recycling
Low odor, low VOC, remanufactured latex paint coatings made from post-consumer and secondary waste products collected from trusted sources. "Secondary paint includes mis-tints and overstocked supply from factory and store level distributors. Sorted paint is strained and re-blended with virgin materials and additives creating low-cost, post-consumer paint goods that are highly viscous and adherent. All VRI latex paint exceed state and federal specifications and can be rolled on, brushed or sprayed as primer, rough coat or finish surface coatings." Nice earthy colors. Will custom tint, minimum 200 gallons. Will ship to homeowners anywhere in the United State. LEED points approved.

BioShield Paint
Paints, stains, thinners and waxes "made from naturally-derived raw materials including citrus peel extracts, essential oils, seed oils, tree resins, inert mineral fillers, tree and bee waxes, lead-free dryers and natural pigments.... more than 98 percent of these chemicals are naturally derived from plant sources and minerals. Most of the ingredients in BioShield Paints have been used for centuries or more. We choose raw materials that are low in toxic substances, renewable and feature a low environmental footprint." Products include wall paints & finishes, oil primers & thinners, floor & furniture finishes, and color pigments.

AFM SafeCoat Paint
Makers of a variety of less-toxic paints, including a no VOC flat wall paint that can be tinted with any standard paint-store colors. Many people with chemical sensitivities have used these paints with success for years.

American Pride Paints
No-VOC paints are "Green Seal certified, are usually solvent-free (zero VOC), and never contain chemicals that are suspected carcinogens. This means that the indoor air remains free of harmful chemicals and odors thus providing a direct benefit to anyone that comes into contact with the products."

Colored Plaster

American Clay Plaster
"A nontoxic, creative solution for beautiful interior finishes." Natural earth plasters that allow you to add color to your walls without paint. Plaster and color packets are sold separately, so you can literally create any color you can imagine. The plaster gives a soft texture and natural feel to walls that cannot be achieved with paint. Can be used on most wall surfaces.

Greenstone Arts
Beautiful Italian lime plasters obtained from centuries-old family run quarries in Italy, "processed using methods that were perfected 2,000 years ago by the Romans for walls you can still see today in Pompeii...There are NO SYNTHETIC binders or other artificial products in our plasters. They are 100% natural VOC-Free lime plasters that naturally inhibit mold and mildew." Also Lime Paints made from the residue of pure slaked lime and vegetable oils (waterproof and washable), pigments, and pearlescent powders.

St. Astier Natural Hydraulic Lime
A time-honored, old-world multi-hued exterior finish with a soft, rich, and velvety texture. No artificial additives. Is salt- and bacteria-resistant, and because it is a breathable material, it eliminates wall moistures, increases insulation, and reduces risk of mold and dry rot.

Colored Stucco

Tobias Stucco
A textured interior wall finish made of Portland cement. Comes in many multi-pigmented shades. Mold- and fade-resistent.

Milk-based Paint

Old Fashiioned Milk Paint
A very special paint, made in small batches using "milk protein, lime, clay, and earth pigments such as ochre, umber, iron oxide, lampblack, etc. The lime is alkaline but becomes totally inert when mixed with the slightly acid milk. We use no lead, no chemical preservatives, no fungicides. Milk paint contains no hydrocarbons or any other petroleum derivatives." The beautiful colors are historic--as these paints are made using the same methods used hundreds of years ago--and will not fade (pigments can be mixed to make your own custom colors). The original milk paint is formulated for porous wood and masonry; their new Safe Paint is for non-porous surfaces such as previously painted walls and for new sheetrock.

Anna Sova
Milk paint made "with up to 99% food grade ingredients. Milk casien (as in yogurt), titanium dioxide (as in powdered donuts), food grade emulsifiers and preservatives (as in milkshakes and chocolates...we import our pigments from Germany, now the cutting edge of eco-responsibility in manufacturing." Paint can be custom colormatched to any item or paint colors made by other companies. Cannot be used on walls that will come in direct contact with water (such as kitchens and bathrooms).

Paint Remover

All natural, biodegradable paint stripper made from renewable American-grown soy removes oil-based, water-based and even lead-based paint from any surface.

The Silent Paint Remover
A paint remover system that utilizes infrared heat for removing multiple layers of paint, varnish, silicone, mastic glue etc. No toxic chemicals.

Plant-based Paint

Solvent Free Paint
50 year paint made with the pressed linseed oil from organic flax seeds. This is what was used 100 years ago before chemical paint. Paint does not crack or peel protects wood from rotting, and comes in colors! Easy to maintain by applying the purified boiled linseed oil every 5-10 years. Also purified linseed oil, Linseed oil wax, linseed oil varnish, linseed oil glazing putty and linseed oil soap.

Picture Frames

Green House Framing
Premium, handcrafted, reclaimed wood picture frames. "All frames are built from scratch in our studio with only animal and earth friendly ingredients. All of our wood is reclaimed lumber, usually douglas fir...Most of our lumber is from old floor beams or rafters...Our frames are finished with natural oil and water based stains." Choose from standard frames, or "limited edition" frames made from unique reclaimed woods (discarded pipe organ pipes, bedframe found on the side of the road...). Each frame description tells the type of wood used. Be sure to read their mission statement for all their green business practices (including building their studio out of reclaimed wood).


Bedrock Industries
"Crafted entirely from post-industrial and post-consumer glass; we add no additional oxides or colorants. Each tile is handmade from unique combinations of glass that give our tiles their distinctive appearance and subtle color variation....shows how beautiful sustainability can be."

Fire Clay Tile
Beautiful glazed terra cotta tiles made from clay and 50% post-consumer and post-industrial recycled materials, including granite dust, recycled brown and green glass bottles, and windowpanes. Many of the designs have nature-inspired themes. Click on the "Concepts" button to get a visual overview before exploring over 200 designs.

Terra Green Ceramics
Recycled glass tiles containing 58 percent recycled material. Solid color field tiles in many colors and sizes, and patterned border tiles.

Wausau Tile
Concrete pavers speckled with 25% recycled glass and terazzo glass tiles containing 33% recycled glass. Many colors.


JaDecor Natural Cotton Wallcovering
"An elegant natural cotton wall covering" made with natural fibers and minerals, that is troweled on the wall to give color and texture. This unique material also provides thermal insulation, sound absorption, humidity control (can be used in bathrooms and kitchens), and seamless coverage. It will not attract dust and can be used to cover cracks in walls. Can be applied to most surfaces and can be customized to any decor with dyes and addition of other natural fibers. Requires professional installation (not a do-it-yourself product). Certified by the Institute for Bau-Biologie in Germany.

Historic Wallpaper Specialties
A website of resources for restoration of historic wallpapers and paints, including a list of websites that sell historical wallpapers. These may be made of various materials, so be sure to ask about materials and finishes as you explore...


Antique Drapery Rod Company
This company proves recycled can also be beautiful with their gorgeous historic, classical window hardware, accessories and "decadent draperies." They manufacture over 600 types of drapery hardware in recycled wrought iron, reforested carved wood, recyclable cast stone, tortoise shell bamboo (the fastest growing renewable resource on the planet) and a highly polished recycled aluminum. They also sell ready-made draperies and bed canopies made of silk, linen, and 100% organic cotton velvet--all dyed using approved eco-safe dyes. "We video tape in person, in all countries, all human resources that go into the manufacturing of our draperies. We guarantee good working conditions where happy employees take pride in producing our quality healthy products for a healthy planet...We have a corporate commitment to alternative labor sources. We also have an ethical responsibility to our community including support for homeless and battered women's programs."

"Window fashions that are easy on our planet and delightful to the soul. We offer an exotic collection of hand-woven window shades custom crafted in 10 versatile operating styles. These truly natural window shades are made of non-toxic, environmentally sustainable, rapidly renewable reeds, bamboos, grasses, and other natural plant fibers. Primarily gathered in Central and/or South America, these materials are sun-dried and woven into delightful patterns without the use of chemicals, dyes, or other harsh processing. The fabrics are then custom crafted into shades according to your window specifications. All of this is accomplished by a family operated vendor with locations in Mexico and the United States, now with its third generation proudly crafting these exquisite, artisan quality window treatments."

Country Curtains
Cotton curtains in many styles and colors, with matching fabric yardage.

Homespun Fabrics & Draperies
"10-Foot-Wide fabrics for seamless custom made draperies or slipcovers, in washable, non-toxic cotton. For over 50 years, Homespun has been serving customers who have trusted us to bring them natural cotton fabrics of the highest quality at very affordable prices. Homespun Cottons are exclusive to Homespun and available nowhere else." They will custom make draperies for you, or sell you everything you need to make them yourself. Check descriptions carefully as there are some synthetic fabrics on this site.

Wood Finish

Vermont Natural Coatings
High performance water-based wood finishes made using whey, a by-product of local cheese making. Whey "has a high BOD (biochemical oxygen demand) that can increase the burden on waste treatment facilities and can pollute rivers, lakes, and even the ocean...By reformulating whey into a durable, natural wood finish, a potential waste product is taken out of the waste stream and put to a useful purpose." The VOC level is about 180g/L (grams per liter), which is lower than California's 250g/L--the toughest indoor air quality standard in the United States. I smelled a sample and it is remarkably low in odor (though it does still contain small amount of toxic chemicals, according to their MSDS). Once cured, it is very "food-safe", not toxic if child or pet chews on it. Cans are made with post consumer materials which can be recycled when discarded.

Sinan Company
Importers of Auro brand wood finishes, made in Germany from 100% natural ingredients. These paints and finishes are uniquely beautiful as they are made with plant oils and resins and colored with earth pigments.

All natural, biodegradable wood sealer and waterproofer made from renewable American-grown soy. For all wood decks, docks, playground equipment, benches, tables or outdoor furniture. Contains no VOC's.

Zinsser Bull's Eye Shellac
This wood finish is composed of a natural resin secreted by the tiny lac insect. After laying its eggs on certain trees in India and Thailand, and ingesting the sap of those trees, the lac secretes the digested tree sap to cover it's swarm of eggs. Upon contact with air, the secretion forms into a hard shell, thus the name. It's literally the shell of the lac insect. After the young insects are born, the remaining shell is harvested to make shellac. It is soaked in water and dried in the sun. It is then dissolved into ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, and methyl isobutyl ketone. Once it is applied and the volatile solvents evaporate, what is left is the natural shell, just as it is produced by the insect. Shellac gives a natural protective coating to wood, can block odors (can be used to seal formaldehyde odors from particleboard), and can be tinted. Shellac is UV resistant and will not yellow or darken with age. Dry shellac is so safe, it is certified by the Food and Drug Administration as a protective glaze for candy and pharmaceuticals. Contact the company for their detailed brochure "The Story of Shellac" which details the history and manufacturing process. NOTE: While dry shellac is completely natural, in the can it has toxic solvents. Be sure to apply in a well-ventilated area and take appropriate precautions.

AFM Water-Based Wood Finishes
Water-basd wood stains and finishes, free from ethylene glycol. Many people wih chemical sensitivities have used these finishes with success for years.

Minwax Water-Based Wood Finishes
Minwax makes both toxic and nontoxic water-based products, so check labels carefully for their water-based finishes. Sold at hardware and home improvement stores.

Varathane Diamond-Finish Water-Based Polyurethane
A hard wood finish used by professionals. I first heard about it from my cabinetmaker. Comes in several finishes. If you don't find it on the shelf, it can be ordered by any hardware store.

Have nothing in your houses which you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.
--William Morris

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Really Green

Learn how to tell the difference between products with real environmental and health benefits from those with misleading green hype, in my new book Really Green

Gold Star = gold star

Earthwise = earthwise
Decorating products rated earthwise are safe to use and made from materials that are recycled, reclaimed, sustainably-harvested or organically-grown, or otherwise have environmental benefits. Electrical products that are energy-efficient are also earthwise.

Natural = natural

nontoxic = nontoxic
Decorating products rated natural are safe to use and made from renewable natural materials that are grown or harvested by conventional means.

fair trade = fair trade
Decorating products rated nontoxic are relatively safe to use (in comparison to more toxic products), but contain petrochemical ingredients.

caters to MCS = caters to MCS

associates = associate

Brand Name Product

= Business Sponsor

Bau-Biologie (Building Biology)

Wool Mattress and Oil-based primer

How long did it take for your Harmony office paint to dry?


sealant for fragrance odors on walls

Nontoxic repair for porcelain bathtubs

Modified Thinset/Grout for Porcelain Tile

Correcting paint job

Draperies to block out light at night

Tar paper moisture barrier

Sealing in toxic cabinets

Wallpaper removal question

How Do I Prep an Oil-based painted wall for Water Based Primer & Paint?

Sofa Detox

Tarkett Flooring

Are Artificial Christmas Trees Toxic and do they off-gas?

flooring options


Affordable natural sofa?

Painting a refrigerator

Oeko-tex 100 standard

carpet off-gassing

Asthma Attack from New Furniture

Mythic Paint Safety

Has anyone tried

Carpet offgassing

Low VOC Paint Chipping

Yolo Colorhouse Paints

Hirek polymer - Is it safe?

Hardboard and formaldehyde?

economical replacement for a TV stand

Thinking outside the box on sofas?

paint primer uncovered

specific low voc paint

0-low VOC paint odor

Paint Offgassing

MCS Flooring Options

Lauzon & Teregren Flooring

cork board for students room

Making Drapery

child's bedroom furniture odor

Sealing in VOCs

How long to avoid new paint?

Interesting Non-Toxic Furniture Resource

Charles Bailey urethane for floors

Caesarstone Counter Tops

Covering Paint

Painting my child's bedroom

Further Concerns About Interior Painting

Is beeswax candle safe?

Stymied re beds and sofa

Removing carpet from sublet

Snapstone Tile

Tried and True Wood Finishes

ikea birch closet

carpet or bare fiberboard/plywood

Reducing Heat Loss Through Windows

Built new house: problems with polyureseal bp

Mohawk's corn based carpets

Tile Grout Dangerous?

Safely repair scratched wood finish

hand made furniture

cabinet refacing

Custom Nontoxic Paints, Sealants, Adhesives, etc

Armstrong Solarian Removal (contains asbestos)

Potential hazards of using 150 year old oak reclaimed wood floor

Stainsafe on Sofa

No VOC Paint

Window blinds

polyurethane - how long does it take to offgas?

Wooden floor refinishing

Nontoxic Home Repair Products

Toxic Chair Frame From Foam?

removing wallpaper

Tub surround

PVC shower lining membrane

Are most curtains treated with formaldehyde?

Paint outgassing

brass door knobs

floor adhesives

Engineered Flooring

Stained Glass Lamps

low voc carpets?

sealing in vinyl flooring

Freshaire paint

will slipcovered sofa be safer?

Safe Interior Doors

Wallpaper Woes

Low or No VOC carpet

kitchen cabinets

Marmoleum Click flooring - toxicity?

FLOR flooring products - vinyl backing safe?

Quietwalk Underlayment

Ecofinishes Hardwood Flooring

Sectional sofa

Smelly Blackout Blinds

Used Sofa

Wood Finish for Table

Marmoleum Flooring

Prefinished wood floor installation

Granite Countertops & Radon Gas

aluminum oxide finish on mullican hickory enigneered flooring


PCBE: how old do I have to go?

Flame retardants

Unsafe solid-wood furniture

off gassing help for new leather sofa

Area rugs

Porcelain flooring

Low VOC paint with Teflon

non- toxic adhesive removal

Use of a vapor barrier on installing a new floor

Prefinished Hardwood

Non-Toxic Furniture Experiences

safe wood stain with color

Reaction to natural carpet

New Couch with smell

Safe Stairs

Kitchen Cabinets

Is Formica Toxic?

Concrete Flooring

sound proofing

Bamboo flooring in semi-arid climate

Making Safe Organic Candles at Home

Ideas sought to minimize the filth from removing old carpet

Natural Lee Furniture

Installing Wood Floor

Organic Beds that can withstand humidity

How about DuPont Real Touch Elite laminate?

Chinese Lacquer Furniture Off Gassing

Clay Plaster walls

Making The Local Choice

Medium Density Fiberboard/MDF

Reducing Offgassing From New Carpet

Formaldehyde in wood paneling

Need flooring advice


Re-Finishing Wood Floors

Possible reaction to new carpeting

Outgassing Chairs

Williams-Sonoma Upholstered with Nontoxic Foam???

Non-Toxic Leather Protection

Engineered wood and veneer

"rice" paper for shoji screens?

Couches - new or used?

Safety of Stored Scented Candles

Natural Carpets

Non-toxic Lightbulbs?

batting in sofa

Non-toxic Bathtubs

window treatments for insulating the house

Stain resistant furniture

Prefinished Wood Flooring

Healthiest Flooring?

Offgassing of New Furniture

Is This Wood Floor Renewal System Safe?

Sealing Toxic Particleboard Furniture

Nontoxic Soundproofing

Touching Up No-VOC Paint

Nontoxic Artwork

Sofa Cushions

Airing out a guitar

Plywood resins

Wood Floor Bargains

OK To Use Water-Based Latex Paint?

How Important is Flooring to Indoor Air Quality?

Types of Wood Flooring

VOC Emissions from Paints

Experience with low-VOC paints

Less Toxic Wood Finish You Can Buy At a Local Store

Read about toxic chemicals in furniture, paint, and other home finishings and furnishing products and how to choose safe ones, beginning on page 369

Copyright ©2007 Debra Lynn Dadd - all rights reserved.
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