Green inside – tour this green makeover

Men laying new hardwood flooring

Makeover by Sustain ATL Collaborative Consultancy Group

After suffering with years of allergies and poor indoor air quality, and after their home was impacted by flooding in September 2009, an Atlanta-area couple opted for an eco-friendly entire-home renovation.


The drive to go green

The owners of this 1970s Vinings home were afflicted with allergies for years. But it wasn’t until the devastating flooding of 2009—when they were forced to remodel their home that was submerged in 32 inches of water—that they discovered the catalyst for their health problems: mold. From the walls to the floors to behind the gutters, their home was infested with the fungus, which renovators and healthy home experts say had been present for years.

Their solution was to renovate everything in the home from 48 inches high to the crawlspace, and make some significant eco-friendly improvements along the way. The outcome is a beautifully remodeled home that boasts high energy efficiency, improved indoor air quality and most importantly, proven health benefits. Take a look at how you can implement some of these green practices when it comes time for your next home renovation.


1. Foyer

A striking focal point of the home, the foyer required new wooden planks, which were supplied by Mississippi Wood Trader, a company that reclaims naturally fallen trees and makes deliveries in biodiesel trucks. The cost of using naturally fallen logs from an environmentally conscious company was less than if the homeowners purchased the materials new. The oak wood was applied in a random-width pattern and finished with a water-based polyurethane stain.

•    Wood supplied by Mississippi Wood Trader, (404) 790-0932,
•    Custom finish applied by EcoCustom Homes, (404) 303-7280,

2. Fireplace

The home’s former fireplace was transformed into an eco-friendlier version, which was specifically designed to use a ventless ethanol burner. A plant-based fuel, ethanol is considered highly efficient and promotes better indoor air quality.

The fireplace’s mantle was crafted from hand-carved poplar wood, a preferred wood species that supports healthy indoor air quality, and then faux finished with low-emitting materials.

•    Designed by Karen Raymer, (404) 583-9953,
•    Fuel and burner supplied by Fuel Barons from Design Direct USA, (404) 477-0038,
•    Other materials supplied by EcoCustom Homes, (404) 303-7280,
•    Faux applications by Dawn Castleberry, (678) 641-1891


3. Master bedroom

To increase the home’s energy efficiency, Johns Manville Spider Insulation, a formaldehyde-free, fiberglass spray insulation, was used. Not only is this type of insulation eco-friendly, as it resists mold, but it also reduces sound transmission and is less expensive than many other forms of insulation.

To further increase energy efficiency, double-paned fiberglass windows with a low Solar Heat Gain Coefficient (SHGC) were installed. A low SHGC means that more radiant heat is reflected and it also reduces fading of interior furniture and fabrics.

•    Windows by Monarch Windows from Lummus Supply, (404) 794-1501,
•    Windows installed by EcoCustom Homes, (404) 303-7280,

4. Master bathroom and powder room

Both the master bathroom and powder room underwent design renovations, which included the application of faux finishes by local artist Dawn Castleberry. The homeowners wanted the applications to look as though they “had always been there,” so Castleberry created a custom design with materials that were low VOC and low chemical and also promote healthy indoor air quality.

•    Faux applications by Dawn Castleberry, (678) 641-1891; paint compounds proprietary
•    Design direction by Karen Raymer, (404) 583-9953.

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