By Trish Holder
I keep waiting for Diane Sawyer to show up at my door. Hasn’t she heard about the Greenspiration Home and all our domestically sourced materials and décor? Wouldn’t the Greenspiration Home make a fabulous feature on her World News “Made in America” series? Would someone please put in a good word for me at ABC?
Not for nothing, but I was talking about American-made home construction and décor a full two years before Diane Sawyer and ABC kicked off the popular series. I’m glad this important topic is finally being covered in a meaningful way, but a part of me feels as though I’ve been scooped. (It’s okay, Diane. My door is still open….)
I’m not saying our home is import-free, but we have worked hard to use as many domestically sourced materials as possible. This includes shingles, brick, stone, windows, flooring, framing wood, cabinetry, rugs, insulation, furniture, countertops, lighting and more. In keeping with our pursuit of LEED certification, we actually managed to source most of this material within 500 miles of our home in Greensboro, NC.
Take the bonus room, pictured here, for example. The carpet, which includes recycled material, is made in Georgia. The custom built-in entertainment center and daybed nooks are made of a soy-based plywood product made in North Carolina and the solid wood doors are made from North Carolina grown trees. The leather couch is from a North Carolina manufacturer in Asheboro. The oak tables and wooden chairs are antiques that we have owned for years and I’d be pretty willing to bet were made domestically, if not in North Carolina. The fabrics that you see, including the covering for the daybeds, valances, and (most) of the pillows were made in South Carolina. The center light fixture was made in Georgia and two solar tube lights on either side of it were also made in the USA. I’m not certain where the vents in the ceiling were made, but I do know that the flex duct that serves them was made in South Carolina. Nearly all of the wall art is homemade—compliments of my daughter. The toolbox atop the table was made by my dad (a treasured piece) and given to my husband and me as wedding gift.
Was it a struggle to find these American-made goods? Not really – I just had to make my wishes known to my builder, contractors and decorator. We have plenty of American-made home and construction materials in America, but that doesn’t mean your contractor knows about them or even cares. More than likely if you don’t request American-made materials, price will dominate the search. That’s not to say these products were necessarily more expensive; if they were, it was only marginally so.
Just so my readers (and Diane Sawyer) all know, this room is in no way exceptional in my home. Most any room in the Greenspiration Home will tell the same American-made tale. This just happened to be the photo that captured the most in a single frame. It is a meaningful frame to me not just because of the artistic talents of my daughter or the memory of my dad and all his tools; but because I take pride in the fact that we deliberately made decisions that help keep American workers employed.
Why don’t more homeowners request or seek out domestically made products for their homes? I’m afraid it hasn’t been sufficiently integrated into our value system. But I’m hoping Diane Sawyer will help change all that. And perhaps, in our own small way, Greenspiration Home will too.