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SFC Ambassador Libby Langdon shares her green tips and tricks using wallcovering.
In celebration of Earth month, Phillip Jeffries sat down with Designer Libby Langdon to talk about what sustainable style means. As an ambassador and board member of the Sustainable Furnishing Council, Libby hopes to raise awareness about the mental and physical benefits of an environmentally conscious home and the increase in demand for sustainable style from her clients.
How did you get involved with the SFC and what’s happening this year for earth day?
I first got involved with the Sustainable Furnishings Council about 7 years ago, I became an ambassador to try to help raise awareness in the interior design community on how we can make our clients aware of the benefits of a healthy home. I also wanted to educate myself about manufacturers that were offering sustainable products and doing their part to re-use, recycle and using green practices in their plants and factories. Three years ago, I became an SFC Board member and I love being so involved in getting the word out and seeing where we can take the green messaging in the next few years. This April High Point Market we’re celebrating the SFC’s 15th anniversary so that’s probably one of the biggest moments we’ll be reveling in on Earth Day! We also have the “What’s It Made Of” initiative and that’s when we encourage designers, consumers, and retailers to ask the furniture industry what their furniture is made of, we also love to celebrate even small progress with furniture manufacturers, things as simple as recycling paper or using an LED lightbulb in their offices, every little bit counts!
How has sustainable style and materials evolved and changed over the years?
People are focused on not only a beautiful home but also a healthy home, I’m seeing clients wanting to bring items into their homes that feed them in a nurturing and satisfying way. Whether it’s a room dedicated to workout in, a chic home office, or a lounge spot with a bar and a place to relax with family and friends, people are creating spaces that answer the way they want to live in their homes. I think the quest for a healthy home these days can be as much from a mental approach as an organic eco-friendly approach, people want to be gentle with their time at home so they feel recharged and re-invigorated when they head back to the office or out into the world! Materials have evolved and probably the biggest change I have seen over the years is sustainable products are becoming more affordable, there used to be such a huge cost disparity between green products and the less healthy counterparts and to see that gap getting a little smaller is encouraging!
Which Phillip Jeffries wallcovering collections are your go-to to support sustainable design?
There are so many options and it’s difficult to narrow it down but the most recent wallpaper I used was the Harmony Hyacinth in my living room space at the Hampton Designer Showhouse and it was a huge hit! Letting people know that the geometric pattern was created by hand and constructed from actual hyacinth leaves was such fun and the colors it comes in are stunning, I used the rich blue colorway and next I want to use the green colorway! I love the pattern Palazzo that I used in a project in Vancouver, the dynamic graphic pattern helped me distract from the peculiar transom window high up on the wall, I want to share with people if you have an architectural challenge in a space sometimes a dramatic wallpaper can help lessen the eyesore! I’m also a huge fan of the Rivets collection on seagrass, it’s a fabulous natural texture that offers a very tailored, chic look. I’m excited to wallpaper our master bedroom this summer in Diamond Weave in the Blue Bayou colorway, it’s going to be a wonderful transformation!
How did you discover our sustainable products?
I first experienced the Phillip Jeffries product when great designer friends Jennifer Mabley and Austin Handler used it in their dining room space in the Hampton Designer Showhouse, it was the most brilliant shade of turquoise blue and the weave was bold and dense and it really made their entire room design pop. From there I started to look up more PJ products and discovered there are not only sustainable grasscloths and solid wall coverings but so many options that have incredibly dynamic patterns, whether it’s a geometric wood veneer or a hand painted crane on a richly colored seagrass, the possibilities are endless!
What elements of PJ's sustainability stand out to you?
So often we think of PJ eco-friendly products as their signature seagrass wallcoverings but one of the best Phillip Jeffries Sustainable products that stands out to me is the NATURAL ILLUSIONS Vinyl Collection. It’s made using environmentally safe, non-toxic print materials and the inks and adhesives are free of heavy materials like lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium. To find a sustainable vinyl product that’s beautiful and chic is very exciting! Read more about our environmental attributes here.
How do you plan to further your efforts in the green design community?
I look to continue my work on The Sustainable Furnishings Council board to keep getting the word out and encouraging designers, retailers, and consumers to take even the smallest steps to help work towards saving our planet. Truly the little things all add up to making a big difference, if we all just did one thing a day that would help make a huge change!
How can interior designers start to incorporate green and sustainable practices into their business?
I think if designers ask their resources what the furniture is made of, where does it come from, and what are the processes to get it from the factory to the client is a good place to start. We aren’t always able to source from sustainable manufacturer’s, that’s just the reality of where we are but getting the conversation going is a good place to start. I think also knowing if your vendors are recycling, re-using and repurposing in their factories and plants and taking even just small steps to help the environment, deserves some support.
What or who is inspiring you in the green/eco design world?
The people who work in selling what I call “semi-antiques” or “brown wood” are inspiring me now, the product may not be very valuable as is, but all this hand-me-down furniture that no one wants can fill up a landfill fast. The people who are finding ways to reinvent these items to appeal to a younger audience and reimagining the looks in a fresh way buy lacquering the pieces, stripping and painting them or covering them in wallpaper or fabric is incredible. It’s also answering the call for all of us designers who are needing furniture for clients and have crazy lead times (10 months for some vendors) to have something that is ready and available to ship! I’m also inspired by fabric manufacturers who are discovering new technologies to use recycled items to create performance fibers and fabrics. Pretty much every project I work on these days the clients want to incorporate performance fabrics and to know these fabrics are on the market now without dangerous chemicals and that’s a wonderful story to be able to tell and sell!
Thank you Libby! And happy earth month to all our wonderful friends and clients.
Learn More About Our PJ Promise
We Inspire a More Beautiful World. And to help minimize our impact on the planet, we are using rapidly renewable materials, certified wood, and recycled content. We are also working toward a goal of planting 1 million trees. It’s our promise to you, and to the planet, that our environment is a priority.
Read more about Phillip Jeffries' sustainable practices here.
Now in its fourth decade, Phillip Jeffries has emerged as the industry leader in natural, textured and specialty wallcoverings. A manufacturer and importer of unique and fine quality textured wallcoverings, the company was founded in 1976 with just 10 grasscloths. From the humble beginnings of the family garage, Phillip Jeffries now stocks more than 1,000 ready-to-ship wallcoverings in their 60,000+ square foot headquarters. Working hand-in-hand with skilled artisans, Phillip Jeffries creates the design world's most beautiful and sought-after wallcoverings. For more information, visitPHILLIPJEFFRIES.com