Tips For a More Sustainable Interior
Thom Filicia is an interior designer, most famous for his role as an interior design expert on the television program "Queer Eye for the Straight Guy" on the Bravo network. Filicia established his own design firm in 1998 and since then has completed residential and commercial work around the country, as well as designing the U.S. Pavilion at the 2005 World's Fair in Japan. In 2006 he was chosen as one of House Beautiful magazine's Top 100 American Designers and House & Garden magazine's Top 50 "Tastemakers."
Question: Is there an analogous trend in interior design towards sustainability as there is in architecture?
Thom Filicia: There’s definitely a trend which not a word I love to use but there’s definitely a move, let’s say towards... people that are thoughtful about their space and their interiors are now even being thoughtful about, you know, sort of the amount of chemicals they’re putting in their space or amount of... just the surfaces and what they’re made out of, and offcasting and volatile organic compounds is what people are thinking about and so when someone says something is low VOC, that’s what VOC means.
And generally when we think of environmentally friendly interiors what I’m used to seeing are these very kind of like, very sparse, very kind of clean, very, you know, I call them hemp-world kind of interiors. And they’re cool and I actually love the look of that, very minimal but one of the things that we were discussing with the client that I design this apartment for in River House in New York City was that environmentally friendly interiors don’t have to necessarily be anethstetic, they need to be your aesthetic. And even going back to what I was talking about before where I try to design spaces that are very personal so the idea was that I wanted to do an interior... design an interior that was filled with the personality of the project of the client and tells their story.
But does it in an environmentally friendly way so this – the photograph you’re looking at right now of this living room, this is the living room at River House, it was all... every single piece of furniture from the curtain hardware, recycled metal, the dining table was recycled zinc and paper stone top. The chairs were made from... all the furniture, the coffee tables are made from certified woods with low VOC finishes on them. The rug was made from vintage [...] that were tattered and worn that we cut up and then we connected them locally with organic felt and then put them on organic pads. The finishes or the glues for the wall covering were low VOC, the wallpapers themselves were sustainable. The fills for the furniture are organic.
It just, you know, at every level basically measured like how green... and I always talk about it being shades of grain took and said, “Okay how green can this piece be?” Some things are more green than others and, you know, the lamps that flank the sofa are made from vintage wine bottles that are sitting on certified walnut plints with handmade twine... natural twine lampshades, locally made. The light fixture of the dining room table is made from recycled jet engine parts. The light next to the dining table, there’s a pair of floor lamps that are made from recycled plumbing parts. So there is an element at... almost each piece has a real sort of lineage that connects it to being environmentally friendly. But over all I think when you walk into the space you wouldn’t look at this and think, “Oh this is definitely eco-friendly interior.” It just feels like I think an interesting space that’s kind of fun. It’s sexy. It feels fresh. It feels stylish. I think that it employs taste to a certain level and I guess that’s subjective but I do think that it, you know, there’s a balance. There’s all of the elements that I think sort of define what is tasteful or pleasing to the eye. I think it employs those elements.
So I think it’s a very well-rounded space and I think when you look at it evokes emotions that I hope are positive. And I talk about it in my book about the things that I look for that I sort of incorporate into all of my designs. I want them to be fresh. I want them to be inviting. I want them to be unpretentious. I want them to be stylish. I want them to be sexy. I want them to be inviting.
So you’re... at every interior and some depending on the spaces, the client, or the situation are more fun than sexy or more comfortable, or less comfortable, or less inviting, or more inviting. But they have to be there at some level and be part of the collective. And I think that, that ultimately that balance and how you balance those emotions are really what kind of defines how people emotionally connect with a space and I think that is what that emotional connect is what people are... use the term taste in terms of relating that experience.
Recorded August 4, 2010
Interviewed by Max Miller
Just because a room is eco-friendly doesn’t mean it has to look like it's eco-friendly.
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The results of this study showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence, declining in early adulthood and then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- A 2020 Michigan State University study examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life.
- This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s.
- There are several ways you can attempt to stay active and socially connected while battling depression, according to experts.
The study suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rated of depression later on in life.
Credit: asiandelight/Shutterstock<p><a href="https://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2020-09/msu-tsn093020.php" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">A 2020 Michigan State University study</a> examined the link between teen social networks and the levels of depression later in life. The results of this study suggested teens who have a larger number of friends in adolescent years may be less likely to suffer from depression later in life. These findings were especially prominent in women.</p><p>This study used data from the National Longitudinal Study of Adolescent to Adult Health, specifically targeting social network data. This data asks students to select up to 5 male and 5 female friends and indicate how often they felt depressive symptoms. </p><p>MSU Sociology Assistant Professor Molly Copeland and lead author Christina Kamis (Sociology doctoral candidate at Duke University) published the study in the Journal of Health and Social Behavior in September. </p><p><strong>Female teenagers may struggle more with depression during their teen years but show fewer depressive symptoms later in life.</strong> </p><p>For female adolescents, popularity can lead to increased depression during their teen years. However, this ultimately may lead to lasting benefits of fewer depressive symptoms later in life. "Adolescence (is) a sensitive period of early life when structural facets of social relationships can have lasting mental health consequences," Copeland wrote, adding that "compared to boys, girls face additional risks from how others view their social position in adolescence."</p><p>Throughout this study, men showed no association between popularity and depressive symptoms, however, they did show benefits from naming more friends. As for why this is, Copeland has a theory: perhaps the expectations on young girls (compared to young boys) as well as the roles that lead to popularity can create a kind of stress and strain felt more prominently by girls than boys. </p><p>While this does create more difficult teen years for young girls, the stress and strain may lead to giving these girls a psychological skillset that benefits them later in life, allowing them to deal with stressful situations more easily.</p><p>The study also suggested that teenagers who have a smaller social circle showed higher rates of depression later on in life. </p><p><strong>Results from both men and women followed a U-shaped trajectory of depressive symptoms.</strong></p><p>The results showed depressive symptoms being highest in adolescence and declining in early adulthood, then climbing back up again into one's early 30s. This was particularly more noticeable in women, who showed a steeper decline in symptoms between the ages of 18-26, followed by a more rapid increase in symptoms in their early 30s. </p>
How to stay social while battling depression<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8yNDQ1MjA3MC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYxNDMyNDY1N30.e1ULIJ5QYXh4H1SGUPUTJqYBCnX2XWp6InjPRr-2Bdw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C22%2C0%2C22&height=700" id="832fd" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="b360bb24fb8d6025680bfffb52fd5982" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" alt="depression support group illustration" />
Attending support groups, planning activities with family or even just a weekly phone call to a friend can help alleviate depression.
Credit: Mascha Tace/Shutterstock<p>Although maintaining relationships can help you cope, it can also be one of the most difficult things to do when you're experiencing depression.</p><p>As Dr. Jennifer L. Payne (an assistant professor/co-director of the Women's Mood Disorders Center at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore) <a href="https://www.everydayhealth.com/hs/major-depression/staying-socially-active-with-depression/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">tells Everyday Health</a>: "One of the common symptoms of depression is social isolation." </p><p>Payne goes on to explain that you can "soak up some energy" by simply being around other people, moving around, and staying active.</p><p><strong>Creating a daily schedule and planning activities ensures action. </strong></p><p>While it may be easy to turn down last-minute plans, it's more difficult to cancel plans you've already committed to with friends and family. While it's important not to overwhelm yourself with a packed schedule, creating a minimal daily schedule that involves seeing friends and family or doing activities that you've previously enjoyed can ensure you stay active and often makes you feel more accomplished at the end of each day. </p><p><strong>Support groups and social networking with people who understand. </strong></p><p>While depression can very easily make you feel isolated and alone, surrounding yourself with others who may be struggling with depression as well can help in multiple ways. You will have peer support from people who relate to how you're feeling plus the added benefit of being around people, which can raise your spirits. </p><p><strong>Keeping a journal (and setting goals) can help you feel accomplished. </strong></p><p>Keep a thought journal and detail certain daily or weekly goals (such as a plan to call a friend on Monday or to visit your local coffee shop for a change of scenery on Thursday). These small, achievable goals not only get you out of the house and/or interacting with others, but they also provide a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction once they are complete. </p><p><strong>Random acts of kindness, such as volunteering, will make you feel good. </strong></p><p><a href="https://bigthink.com/mind-brain/kindness-benefits-james-doty?utm_term=Autofeed&utm_medium=Social&utm_source=Twitter#Echobox=1596517476" target="_self">Being kind is good for your health</a> in many different ways. Doing something nice for others can boost your serotonin levels. Serotonin is a neurotransmitter that is responsible for feelings of satisfaction and well-being. Similar to exercise, kindness, and altruism can also release endorphins, creating a <a href="https://www.quietrev.com/6-science-backed-ways-being-kind-is-good-for-your-health/#:~:text=Kindness%20releases%20feel%2Dgood%20hormones&text=Doing%20nice%20things%20for%20others,as%20a%20%E2%80%9Chelper's%20high.%E2%80%9D" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">temporary sense of euphoria</a> that can help combat depressive symptoms. </p>
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