When I launched Down2Earth Interior Design in 2010, I was hoping to fill a niche that was underserved – namely, creating residential interiors that were beautiful but also environmentally sensitive and family friendly. There are lots of ways that CustomMade items fit into our approach here at d2e, and I’ve chosen some favorites below that illustrate the values we bring to each project.
Amy’s Picks from Current Artisans on CustomMade
Sourcing beautiful products from local craftspeople supports our economy and also reduces our carbon footprint. Here are a couple of items by makers right here in our hometown of Philadelphia.
So many folks have fireplaces that go unused most of the time. This metal sculpture would fill that space beautifully, and would reflect the warm glow if placed in front of a burning fire as well. Best of all, it’s made by Paul Lichtenstein of Twelve26studio, a local artisan.
Local woodworkers abound, including Kevin Kopil (who made this Cherry And Ebonized Oak Asian Stepchest)
and Brian and Andrew VanVreede of Bucks County Craftmasters (who made these Bubinga Lounge Chairs).
In addition to supporting local vendors, there’s many other ways to look for sustainable design options. For example, this conference table was made from a reclaimed pocket door topped with glass:
To me, a family friendly interior is one that is low-maintenance. For homeowners with kids and pets, we use materials that are as durable, stain resistant, and as forgiving as possible. We recognize that you want to feel at home in your home, and not worry about spills and breakage.
Family friendly also means creating an environment that is warm and personal. I feel very strongly that the homes I design should reflect the people who live there. What better way to do that than with a custom family portraits (perhaps of a furry family member)? Two of my favorite pet portrait artists are Dana Feagin and David Scheirer.
Many families like to collect art from places they’ve lived or traveled. Why not collect something hyper-local with a portrait of your own house. This can be an especially nice memento for those who move away from a beloved home and want to carry a piece of it with them.
Another fun way to personalize your home is with a chalkboard, designed to commemorate a family milestone.
Art can also set the tone for warm family moments. This sweet illustration of snuggly lions connotes a family unit of a dad, mom, and baby. But families come in all shapes and sizes, and one of the beautiful things about being able to customize on CustomMade is that an illustration could be tailored to reflect what family means to you.
My final selection is for all the moms who manage the super-human feat of running a business and a family. You are wonder women. Hang in there – I’m right there with you with my golden cuffs on!
About Amy Cuker
Amy Cuker is a Philadelphia-area interior designer with over 15 years of experience designing buildings and educating young designers. Amy Cuker has passed the National Council for Interior Design Qualification Exam and is a Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED) Accredited Professional. She is the founder of Down2Earth Interior Design, LLC, a full service interior design firm in the Philadelphia area that specializes in sustainable, low-maintenance, and family friendly interior environments.