Locally Made, Sustainable Fabrics Adorn Greenspiration Home

This is what I wake up to every morning – assuming it is light enough outside to see.

I have interior designers Julie Hartsell and Beth Moore of Bella Designs to thank for the idea of applying fabric to the tray ceiling in my master bedroom. I have my dear friend and craftsman extraordinaire, Charlie Spraggs to thank for figuring out how to get it up there. Make no mistake – it wasn’t as simple as it might look. Charlie, I should add, is to thank for many of the fine details (both interior and exterior) that make this home as unique as it is green. I’ll be sharing some more of his handiwork in future blogs.

I share this particular decorative application now because it exemplifies two of our goals in building and decorating the Greenspiration Home:

  1. Use as many locally made materials as possible
  2. Select products that will last even under the harsh treatment of our family

Why was this important to us? First, if it is locally made, it didn’t get here on huge cargo ships that use an obscene amount of fuel. If it lasts, I don’t spend money replacing or repairing it and I don’t have to figure out where to dispose of it when it wears out. It is a pretty simple rationale.

So, how well does this domestically made fabric stand up to a family that has inherited a “spill gene” that will dominate generations to come? Check it out.

I like to keep it real on this blog, so you should know that this is a re-enacted spill. However, shortly after moving into the home, I accidently spilled a soft drink on this fabric-covered tray that covers another unsightly boo-boo on my dressing table. I was delighted by how the liquid beaded up on the material and one quick wipe with a towel erased all signs of it. I didn’t think quickly enough to photograph the first spill, so I spilled another drink recently for the purpose of this blog. As you can see, the liquid beads up nicely.

This same fabric (different patterns of course) adorns windows, pillows, furniture, and bedding throughout my house. It doesn’t fade, resists moisture, and stands up extremely well to two house cats with claws in tact. In fact, every bit of it looks as good as it did the day it entered the house. No signs of wear whatsoever.

Buy American Made Stuff That Lasts!

This is the little bit of wisdom I’d like to impart to even the youngest homeowner with the slightest of means. Buy furnishings and materials that last—even if the initial costs are more and look for items made in the USA. More than likely they will outlast whatever cheaper imports you select.

It’s tough – I know. Imported products and materials (and I’ve bought my share of them over the years) are often a quick, cheap fix for what ails us all– the desire to fill our homes with beautiful things. But eventually you realize that the unpleasantness of disposing of these products when they prematurely wear out outweighs the thrill of paying less and (temporarily) having more.

My advice? Be proud of the nice things you had to save for and be glad your purchases helped keep more American workers employed.

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