I haven't done it yet, but for a long time I've wanted to write an article, some kind of hefty feature piece, rounding up a selection of the greenest, most eye-pleasing design and architecture coming out of the American South. The compendium will have to wait, but today we add another excellent specimen to the list. Structured Green, based in Savannah, Georgia, is designing and building a variety of home furnishings from a spectrum of low-impact materials such as bamboo, certified sustainable lumber, and woods salvaged from barns and riverbeds. It's all held together with water-based glues and finished with food-grade tung oil and beeswax.
Founders Mike Ayers & Raquel Anderson--one an architect, the other an interior designer--started their Structured Green shop out of a feeling of necessity, unable to find attractive furniture built with an eye for the environment. They now oversee a sizable operation, selling a catalog of pieces ranging from beds and cribs to chairs and dining room tables. Structured Green is also happy to discuss custom design/build projects for commercial clients, as well as one-off pieces for individuals.
Structured Green joins another of my favorite Southern furniture-makers, Turning House, a Virginia company that builds exquisite vintage-style pieces from reclaimed timbers. The South, if would seem, is an especially fertile land when it comes to finding good wood. Says the Structure Green folks:
"We have become "sourcing sleuths" finding unexpected places to gather reclaimed lumber or salvaged metals. We've found local farmers with barn-fulls of years-old wood, and the leftovers from locally shot movie sets."
If you would like to learn more about how Mike and Raquel do what they do, but can't leave New York, they'll be coming to you. A design resource in Manhattan called Collab will be hosting a the Structured Green folks for an education session on sustainable furniture design. If you are in the Savannah area, Structured Green has been hosting the local chapter of Green Drinks. So drop in, but make sure you use a coaster when you set down your beer.
More Reclaimed and Green Furniture
Artful Reclaimed Furnishings from Urban Woods
Gürsan Ergil on Designing Furniture from Reclaimed Wood: 'The Trees Tell Me What to Do'
Reclaimed-Wood Furniture by Carlos Motta
How to Go Green: Furniture (Planet Green)