Building Green: Products from Nature Point, our 2008 Idea Home | Midwest Living
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Building Green: Products from Nature Point, our 2008 Idea Home

Our 2008 Minneapolis-area Idea Home proves that a love of the environment and a love of great style can live under the same roof. Certified as ecofriendly, it's built in a housing development that preserves native wetlands and woodlands.

Efficient window coverings

We used several window coverings to improve the heating/cooling efficiency of our home. Architella double honeycomb shades deliver one of the highest heat-loss prevention percentages in the industry. Pirouettes offer "daylight" for electricity savings, while Screen Shades are PVC-free and recyclable (800/274-2985; hunterdouglas.com).

www.hunterdouglas.com

Getting organized

Organization is a top priority for most of us. Hidden storage allows us to put our things in order and keep our homes looking beautiful. The ClosetMaid Selectives line adds custom organization in the closets throughout our home. In the three-car garage, we lined the back wall with Dimensions cabinetry and shelving designed to organize this space (800/874-0008; closetmaid.com).

www.closetmaid.com

Efficient window coverings

We used several window coverings to improve the heating/cooling efficiency of our home. Architella double honeycomb shades deliver one of the highest heat-loss prevention percentages in the industry. Pirouettes offer "daylight" for electricity savings, while Screen Shades are PVC-free and recyclable (800/274-2985; hunterdouglas.com).

www.hunterdouglas.com

Tough exterior

An important element in our home's exterior design is the green and sustainable James Hardie fiber cement shingle siding. ColorPlus technology offers a 15-year warranty for its baked-on paint color. The products resists rotting or cracking and damage from rain, hail, and flying debris, making it perfect for the Midwest (888/542-7343; jameshardie.com).

www. jameshardie.com

Water-saving plumbing

With the average family using more than 300 gallons of water a day, smart plumbing choices are critical for long-term water conservation. Kohler's water-saving showerheads and faucets with low-flow aerators deliver an impressive 30 percent water savings. Dual-flush toilets save thousands of gallons of water as well (800/456-4537; kohler.com).

www.kohler.com

Semi-custom cabinetry

KraftMaid's semi-custom cabinetry that looks like fine furniture made it a pleasure to design storage in various rooms. KraftMaid has received Environmental Stewardship Certification from its industry peers for green practices, including use of recycled, sustainable and low formaldehyde-emitting materials. With a wide variety of wood species, door styles, finishes, hardware, glass options, interior storage choices and more, this company was the logical choice (800/571-1990; kraftmaid.com).

www.kraftmaid.com

Recycled countertops

Made by Vetrazzo, the home's counters (except for the kitchen's granite) are made out of repurposed discarded glass from windshields, bottles, traffic lights, stemware and plate glass windows. The material offers a new, energy-saving market for recycled glass and creates unique-looking countertops (510/234-5550; vetrazzo.com).

www.vetrazzo.com

Windows for all climates

The windows we installed in our show home exceed the National Fenestration Rating Council requirements and meet Energy Star guidelines in all U.S. climate zones. Marvin windows are designed to perform for many years, but when disassembled, the major components are easily recycled (888/537-7828; marvin.com).

www.marvin.com

High-quality plants and shrubs

Proven Winners, a leading brand of high-quality flowering plants and shrubs in North America, was our first choice for this home's gardens. The company's knowledge and expertise of what grows best in the Midwest, what's hardy and what wouldn't require as much watering proved invaluable for our conservation efforts in the garden (877/865-5818; provenwinners.com).

www.provenwinners.com

Ecofriendly paint

We chose Premium Plus paints from Behr because they are low in VOCs (volatile organic compounds), meaning they're generally odor-free and latex/water-based, so they don't release pollutants from chemical solvents into the air. A wide range of colors allowed us to choose nature-influenced tones for our environmentally friendly home (800/854-0133; behr.com).

www.behr.com

Protecting metal surfaces

Known for its protective qualities on any metal surface, Rust-Oleum paints were an obvious pick for decorative ironwork on our Idea Home. We chose Professional High Performance Protective Outdoor Enamel because it is a heavy-duty paint that retains colors against the elements and is corrosion resistant (800/323-3584; rustoleum.com).

www.rustoleum.com

Garage floor camouflage

We wanted to make our garage more livable, organized and even attractive. Rust-Oleum's EpoxyShield Garage Floor Coating is a showroom-quality surface that protects against gasoline, antifreeze, motor oil, salt and more. Mix-in Flakes camouflage loose dirt, and an Anti-Slip additive enhances safety (800/323-3584; rustoleum.com).

www.rustoleum.com

Front door beauty

Protecting the beauty of our mahogany front door was a two-step process with Rust-Oleum Varathane products. First we sealed the wood with a Sanding Sealer. Then we applied Premium Spar Urethane sealer because it provides maximum UV protection to guard against sun damage. Expansion or contraction because of weather won't affect the finish (800/323-3584; rustoleum.com).

www.rustoleum.com

Distinctive hardware

Our home's hardware is a small but important detail. Schlage handle-sets, levers and knobs in brushed nickel tones add distinctive design flair throughout the home, complementing its contemporary, eclectic style. A keypad entry lock/deadbolt provides convenient, personalized and changeable security for peace of mind (800/847-1864; schlage.com).

www.schlage.com

Durable and permeable pavers

The Environmental paver collection is all-weather durable and ecofriendly. Pavers are designed to allow water to permeate and directly enter the ground, reducing the negative effects of runoff on the local watershed. Plus, the pavers add natural texture to landscape areas that will look great and be green at the same time (877/235-4273; belgardfall.com).

www.belgardfall.com

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