Sunday, April 26, 2009


I've been feeling bad about ignoring our blog. On the other hand, I have been doing my best to not think about anything house-related because everything has been thrown into doubt by our last meeting with the Williston Development Review Board. This last month has been like torture for us. We were going 100 mph on house work...picking out wallpaper, soliciting bids from subcontractors, talking snow guards with our roof installer, deliberating natural or painted sashes for the windows, explaining our heating system to plumbers....only to have everything come to a screeching halt on March 24th. It has been very difficult to adjust to this new reality of not knowing whether our project will move forward.

But a lot has happened since March 24th. We have had a professional hydrogeologist conduct an analysis of the well yields in our area and he concluded that we will have no problem getting the water we need without adversely affecting our neighbors. Whew. We also had a local landscape artist develop a landscaping plan for the site, which the town required. And we asked water quality experts at the state to weigh in on the appropriateness (and environmental impact) of our proposed septic system design. (If you can tell, these were the major issues the board raised at the meeting.) We feel confident that, on all fronts, we have addressed the board's concerns. We even wrote an impassioned letter to the board explaining how incredibly conscious we are of the ecological footprint our house...and how hard we've worked from day one to mitigate its impact--both to the land and to our future neighbors. We sincerely hope that this letter coupled with the professional opinions of a slew of experts will convince the board to give us the green light.

So for the first three weeks post-board meeting, I actually did a pretty good job of pretending like we weren't building a house. Driving past Home Depot and not stopping in to price out door handles? No problem. Avoiding the architectural salvage shop even though I know they recently merged with another store and have a deliciously large amount of new inventory? Didn't faze me. Getting repeated calls from subcontractors wondering what the $%jf*@ happened to me? Difficult, but manageable.

What made me fall off the wagon, you say? Hearing about a new store in Utah that sells fabulous MCM-inspired couches that are super eco-friendly. Green furniture...gets me every time.

So we meet with the board again this Tuesday (April 28th) and we're feeling *cautiously* optimistic. To celebrate our (measured) optimism, I've decided to get back into the swing of things and research this new couch find.

If you've been following this blog, you know that we've been searching for the perfect modern, green, affordable couch...for awhile. We first made a purchase from only to have the company return our money several months later because of production problems. D'oh! Then we thought we found it with the Giselle from Boston Interiors....only to learn out that their delivery charges to northern Vermont ran almost as much as the couch itself. Grr. We strongly considered some of the options from Crate and Barrel since many of their sofas are certified sustainable by the Forest Stewardship Council and their cushions use soy-based foam. But few of them (except maybe the "Petrie") really had that mid-century modern look we covet. Then I read about Lofgren's, a furniture store based in Salt Lake City, Utah that makes great looking pieces that are environmentally friendly as well. Delivery charges aren't exorbitant. And their entire upholstery line is green. Here is a run-down of their eco-friendly features:

Certified sustainable kiln-dried hardwood frame
Soy or plant-based foam
Padding materials: 100% recycled polyester fibers
Waterbased finishes and glues
95% recycled metal springs and components

Oh, and they're not terribly expensive...well, they're expensive. But for a green, stylish sofa, I don't think they're that bad. The last one is probably out of our price range but I like it anyway.

Here are the four we like. I have my favorite (which, of course, is not Ryan's favorite) but I'm curious to hear what others think. Which would get your vote? Maybe the blogosphere can help us decide...

Option 1: "The Tate" ($1349)

Option 2: "The Aero" ($1499)

Option 3: "The Dakota" ($1399)

Option 4: "The Copenhagen" ($1999)