By Adrienne Neff
As a sustainable interior designer, my clients are increasingly aware of the importance of selecting environmentally friendly products for their homes. They don’t want their young children, pets, and family members exposed to harmful chemicals or “off gasing” fumes released into the air from furniture, paints, or carpet materials. That’s why I wanted my new wallpaper collection, Uzu, to be a “green” product. I don’t want harmful chemicals or materials in my home, either. Sustainable design is the way of the future, and a positive choice we can all make to nurture our health, well-being, the earth, and our shared natural resources.
All of the methods of our wallpaper production are friendly to the environment. The paints we use are water-based inks (even the metallics), which are lower in VOC emissions than oil/solvent based paints. We carry no excess inventory. For each paper order, the lengths of each roll are specified and made to order, reducing paper waste. Supplies are only ordered on an as needed basis. All materials are purchased locally which reduces transportation costs and driving/flying pollution emissions. The paper is made from a non-woven substrate. The ground stock is made with post-consumer, recycled poly-cellulose fiber (renewable) paper. Even the labels on the wallpaper cutting samples are made from recycled paper.
The papers are lovingly made to order by hand in a boutique design factory in California. Each paper is created using 18th century printing techniques. A traditional hand-block print technique provides a human touch to materials in our increasingly complex and technical lives.
The wallpaper collection, Uzu, is inspired by nature. “Uzu” means “swirl of water” in Japanese. The patterns celebrate all of the elements found in nature: water, earth, clay, rock, clouds, and vegetation. I consider these eternal themes in life, and in design.
Based in New York City, Adrienne Neff’s design firm was founded in 2004 to specialize in residential interiors. Her line, Uzu, is sold to architects and designers around the world. Ms. Neff’s designs have been featured in publications like The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Elle Decor, and her projects were showcased on NBC’s House Smarts.