balanced + colorful + made in the usa
The idea for BALANCED DESIGN was formed as I walked the streets of Paris two weeks after 9/11. At that time, in that city, people weren’t just environmentally aware, they lived a more environmentally sensitive existence than most of the people that I knew. Their cars were much smaller. They brought their own bags to carry home groceries from the market. I had no way of knowing that my own country would adapt these green ideals—I only knew that I was ready to change.
Back then it’s as if there was a law that said that eco-friendly products had to be spartan or boring. It seemed like we bought those painfully beige goods secretly wishing to be punished for harming our environment for so long. As a former graphic designer, I see the world in simple shapes and powerful colors. I set about designing pillows that were eco-friendly and colorful. Today, BALANCED DESIGN offers a line of hand printed fabrics on organic cotton, 100% New Zealand wool tufted area rugs, pillows made from wool felt appliquéd onto organic cotton flannel, and hand printed designs on linen using water based inks. Our pillow inserts are regenerated fiber made from recycled plastic bottles.
Often described as modern, graphic, and whimsical, the designs have been also been called “happy” and are purposely colorful as well as eco-friendly. Color is exciting and can help us use our buying power to make more eco-friendly choices. Because I wanted the option to use vibrant color, I understood that I was going to have to strike a balance between the green-est possible solution and good design. Now, I use the word “green-er” to describe the company. There are no pure products. We are all striking this balance.
Continuing the tradition of American made crafts, the designs are created in the Providence, Rhode Island studio and manufactured in the textile mills of Fall River, Massachusetts, once the center of textiles for the USA. Fabrics are hand screened in an old Rhode Island textile mill. All of the line is made in the USA, including our tufted wool area rugs.
In 2007, I was pleased to be one of several designers included on the panel discussion for the exhibition “hauteGREEN” in NYC and called by Inhabitat.com a showcase of the “75 emerging stars of green design”. Also in 2007 and 2008 we were included in the curated exhibition “SUSTAINABILITY: DESIGN FOR A BETTER WORLD”at the Jacob Javits Center. Since then, our products have appeared in numerous national and international publications, including books, the New York Times, Metropolis Magazine, the “GREEN” lounge at the 2008 Academy Awards, in numerous blogs, on “DESIGN STAR” on HGTV, and on ABC “World News with Diane Sawyer”.