Paige ToddyMrs. CorbettSenior ProjectApril 19, 2012 Senior Project Speech Have you ever stopped to look at how beautiful our planet is? What if I told you that thebeauty was slowly dying every time a person painted a room or used toxic materials to completea home? I feel our fast paced society lost sight of conserving Mother Nature and all the beautyEarth has to offer. I wanted my senior project to combine my two passions; one being helping theearth and the other being interior design. After a lot of thought, I knew I had come up with theperfect senior project for me; redesigning a room with eco friendly products. Before long I wasresearching everything from products that contain harmful or non-recyclable materials toproducts that are safe for the environment. I found that there is a growing concern overchemicals used in the manufacture of paints and textiles. I then came up with the topic of myresearch paper, the controversial question of whether or not going green is worth the time andmoney put into it. Researching this topic helped me realize just how much work I needed to putinto my project to make it the best it could be. With my research I found that many interiordesigners do not know anything about designing with eco friendly products, and can potentiallyharm the environment more than anyone else. Because of this I chose to address the issue andbecome more aware of not only designing a beautiful room, but at the same time protecting theenvironment. Creating my product was a very thought-provoking process. It was difficult for me tofigure out just how I wanted to incorporate environmental issues with practical design. Thiscould not have been done without the help of my project facilitator. I was looking for someonethat was patient and creative. With those qualities in mind I was also looking for someone thatunderstood design and could teach me all of the techniques I would need to complete myproduct. I recalled having a conversation with one of my mom’s friends, Kristen Quarles, about
her passions for interior design. I remembered how one summer we had a long conversationabout my interests and how I could get myself more involved with designing. I knew she wouldbe the perfect candidate as my project facilitator. She graduated from Bauder College with anAssociate’s Degree in merchandising. While she was in school she took interior design classeson color, texture and full room design. When she graduated she starting working in a departmentstore and now has her own business called “Funk Your Junk”. Walking into her house now, anyone could tell that she was aware of the latest techniques in designing a beautiful room, Icouldn’t wait to work with her. There were many steps involved in the process to create my product. First was finding aroom to conduct my project in. Luckily that was easy, my parents decided to let me use one ofthe guest rooms in our basement. Once that was figured out, my project facilitator and I met acouple of times to clear out the room and plan the design layout. Our first decision was that theroom needed to be painted a brighter color. That’s when my project went into full swing. Paintsare now available that are made without the hazardous substances that harm the air quality inyour home. I researched many different paint products, and came to the conclusion that toxinfree paint was the best way to create a natural and safe environment. Plus natural paints offer asmooth, matte finish and are available in many colors. I researched several paint locations andfound that Home Depot and ACE Hardware were the best choices for eco friendly paint andbrushes. Once I bought the eco friendly products we went to work on the room. When the roomwas painted we met again to decide the furniture that was going to be used. We came to theconclusion that one of the twin sized beds would stay in the room, but we needed more pieces tofill up all the empty space. We went to several flea markets and antique stores to find oldfurniture to refurnish in an eco friendly manner. We found a dresser and two side tables at acheap price that fit with the design of the room. I completely stripped down the dresser bysanding it with an electric sander and also lots of hand sanding. I then painted the dresser witheco friendly paint to match the room. I contacted a local recycling center to dispose of the paint Iused for the dresser and walls, because paint waste contains many toxins and heavy metals, andshould not be dumped in a landfill. When I got there it only cost $3 to have them dispose it, Ithought that was a cheap enough price to make sure the environment was safe. Next we decidedthat the two side tables did not need much work so I took a piece off the bottom and recycled the
extra wood. Then we made accessories with recycled products. The first were picture frames andcandles. They were old frames collecting dust in the basement. I took hot glue, which is notharmful to the environment if used in the correct way, and glued sticks from my back yard ontothe frames. The candles are bees wax candles, which are better for the environment, and I simplypinned old fabric to the outside to give them a different look that matched the room. Our next project was completing the room with eco friendly lights, plants, and an airpurifier. Fortunately, we had an old air purifier in storage that we simply bought a new filter forand put into the room. I wanted to include an air purifier because indoor air pollution can be aserious health risk. Studies by the Environment Protection Agency have shown that the air insidebuildings is often two to five times more polluted than the air outside, and sometime much more.Combined with the fact that the average American spends something like 90% of his or her timeindoors, this means that we absolutely cannot ignore the issue of inside air quality.The energysaving lights were also easy to find, and to my surprise were very cheap. LED light bulbs useonly 2-17 watts of electricity. When used inside the home these bulbs save electricity, remaincool and save money on replacement costs since they last so long. Through all these projects theroom turned into a beautiful master piece that I never thought I would be able to make. Although the room was fun to design, there were many problems encountered. First wasestablishing times to meet with my facilitator. We called and emailed back and forth figuring outmeetings and how to work around our busy schedules. We came to the solution that we wouldplan meeting times on Sundays for the week ahead. The second was incorporating eco friendlyproducts into the room that my facilitator was not aware of. It was inspiring to combine all of herthoughts and my new knowledge of eco friendly products. After finally coming up with commonground to meet the goals of my final product it pushed me to integrate her ideas with myresearch. The next problem I ran into was trying to find eco friendly products that fit my budget.I went online and researched a lot of different products that fit well with my room and werediscounted. I also found coupons for free quarts of paint and mail in rebates for buying ecofriendly products. Overall my research saved me time and money in completing my desiredproduct.
Through my experience with my senior project I have learned numerous things aboutmyself and have acquired many skills. One thing I learned about myself is that my organizationalskills are better than I ever imagined. I enjoyed getting all the projects together and ready towork with on a timely basis. This included arranging dates and times to meet. Now I know howto make mature business calls. I also acquired the skill of researching in a productive way. As Iwas completing my product I was always taking notes on new products I would find that wereeco friendly. This really helped me keep all my thoughts in order. On the other hand, a negativequality I learned about myself was that I have too many conflicting ideas, and that my firstinstinct is usually the best. Over the course of my senior project I progressively learned thatinterior designing wasn’t the right fit for me. I had the interest I needed for the short run, yet allday every day it would be a struggle for me. I feel as if I would use it more as a hobby than as acareer. My post-secondary education will be at the University of North Georgia. While there Iwill explore many different studies which will give me a better feel of what I am suited for andwill enjoy in the long run.Thanks for your time. Does anyone have questions?