Wild Sage Interiors

Wild Sage gains LEED accreditation
Interior designers earn ‘green' accreditation
By Kimberly Nicoletti
Summit Daily News
Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Wild Sage Interiors has taken the lead in “green” interior design; co-owners Cassidy Brush and Katherine Collins now offer LEED-accredited interior design services.

Last year, an interior design conference in Las Vegas inspired Brush and Collins to hit the books and study for their LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) accreditation in commercial interior design. Between seminars and study sessions, they each put more than 100 hours into the endeavor, Brush said. The material covered everything from sustainable sites and water efficiency to energy values, material and resources, environmental qualities and innovation and design processes. They plan on pursuing the LEED accreditation for residential homes as soon as the United States Green Building Council launches it.

As accredited designers, they must understand environmentally friendly practices, as well as know about “green” resources, from materials to suppliers' business practices. For example, they're knowledgeable about low-emitting carpet materials, Forest Stewardship Council certified wood, low-flush toilets, efficient use of natural light, furniture manufacturers that employ “green” practices and more.

“What this program has really given us is a refreshing, highly professional way to approach our passion, which is interior design,” Collins said. “We're able to offer our clients new possibilities that are not only beautiful but environmentally sound and non-toxic, too.”

The two women handpick “green” vendors they know use environmentally friendly processes, from start to finish. For example, one aspect they consider is how much petroleum it takes to get a specific product from point A to B; bamboo may be a sustainable material, but if it's grown in China, there are further environmental impacts to weigh.

“We are often the interface between homeowners and builders, so we have a lot of opportunity to educate people as to what's out there,” Brush said. “It's growing quickly; every year, there are more products.”

She said if a homeowner builds “green” but fails to incorporate “green” interior design or uses materials that contradict the effort, it can be completely counter-productive.

“We take a holistic, educational, collaborative approach when meeting with our clients. This ensures we're helping them understand the bigger picture of their good efforts and intentions and makes the process much more effective and enjoyable,” Brush said.

In addition to its accreditation, Wild Sage Interiors, which has been in business since 1998, earned the 2009 Green Scene Award at the High Country Conservation Center's Earth Day Action Fair.

Click here to read the article on the Summit Daily News website.