The house was situated in the most glorious of settings, a long and winding driveway that led to a few bucolic acres of land dotted with ponds. A beautiful property located in a town with a strong sense of community. Perfect. I could picture myself in a hammock by the pond, reading and writing, while the kids played around in the woods. For a suburban girl and a city guy, my husband, future children, and I would be living in a park full-time. SOLD.
The only problem was the house. What was the style of the house? I couldn’t tell you, but it was asking, no begging for a family to love it. We gave ourselves five years to whip it into an identifiable shape and then move on to the house of our dreams. Twenty-three years and many renovations (that my do-it-yourself husband tackled mostly himself) later, my family has a cozy nest from the original house, and it is home.
Designing is in my blood. I fought the urge for many years and had a fulfilling professional life as a teacher. My father was a designer and my daughter is a design graduate of the Rhode Island School of Design. I married an environmental designer and I thought it skipped a generation, but I’ve come to realize that I too am a designer. I realize it every time I embark on a new remodeling and decorating project. I honed my passion by enrolling in a design class at the Parsons School of Design. As a natural teacher, I love to share. So maybe I came to this by osmosis, but combining writing, home design and teaching is what EcoNesting is all about.
I’ll be right upfront with my design leanings. I love lean, clean, green design with a modern twist. My highly personal approach to interior design includes a cozy, eclectic blend of vintage and new furnishings.
I didn’t set out to change my whole house. The process has been a journey, with one room leading to another. I look to my natural surroundings for inspiration with the elemental neutrals setting the tone, but I always love the surprise of a hint of color. Much to the chagrin of one of my family members, my color du jour is orange. It’s a summery retro feel that jazzes me at the moment. Travel finds, antiques and things that we love, old and new, fit right in. Sometimes, I even go for a shot of bling. It accessorizes like home jewelry. I covet those beautiful Murano vibrantly colored glass chandeliers. Periodically I “watch” them on eBay. Me, a chandelier? It couldn’t be more out of character for my rustic, earthy lifestyle. What can I say, I’m smitten. Chandelier envy aside, none have entered into my price range. I’ll keep you posted.
I believe you can create the home you want to live in and improve the world in the process. EcoNesting is a process that seeks to balance all parts of your life together to make a home. How can your home improve the world? It’s all about the choices you make. Design mistakes–sure I’ve made plenty. Learning and listening to mistakes is all part of creating an EcoNest.
Bringing an eco-conscious lifestyle home has been an adventure. Hugging the planet and doing it with a sense of style is the sweetest reward. Can you live in style harmoniously with the environment we care so much about? Start by treading lightly and let form and function follow. Fly into my EcoNest and let’s listen to our homes and explore the possibilities together.
Ronnie lives in New York with her husband, two children (when they come home to the nest), two dogs and a cat. Ronnie is a teacher and a writer. She has been a contributing writer for FamilyFun magazine. She currently writes articles about education and home design. Her writings are in four books including FamilyFun Home and Some Delights of the Hudson Valley.