While furnishing my new Hollywood Hills home I knew I wanted to buy all non-toxic furniture. My main concerns were, well, everything. After doing my research I found out that most people live in a home filled with toxic chemicals and the toxicity levels are worse then the air pollution outside (and that’s pretty bad if you live in L.A.). A lot of the VOCs can easily be avoided by purchasing non-toxic furniture.
Here are some really bad things to avoid:
- Wall-to-wall carpeting
- Particle board
- Composite wood
- Any of the engineered woods actually (mango wood & bamboo are good safe cheap alternatives)
- Polyurethane foam sofas and beds
- Paint with high VOCs
- Toxic wood stains
- Plastic furniture
- Houses that have be fumigated in the last 20 years
The list goes on, but these are the main ones to look out for in my opinion. They emit chemicals into your home and the worse ones are the memory foam beds and the engineered wood (I will post about great mattresses in a later post). While searching for a safe sofa I discovered and went with Viesso. They make eco-friendly custom furniture. They have a lot of great fabric options to choose from as well (make sure you use natural fibers like wool, linen, cotton, etc). If you live in L.A. they are a great option since they have a showroom on La Brea, the furniture is made in L.A., and the turnaround is pretty fast too!
I got my sofa custom-made with a natural latex frame and cushions and a really nice wool blend fabric. I love it. It wasn’t cheap, but I feel good about it and hope to have it for a long time. This is my living room pictured above. It’s also pretty small so being able to make it fit properly was a big plus. I wish I could say that I decorated my living room myself, but the truth is I hired an interior designer (I will be posting about this later as well). She worked with me on creating an eco-friendly home too!
The importance of this post is that you should do a little research and consciously buy furniture, especially the sofa, bed, mattress, and other large pieces. Most people don’t really think about it, I feel. I had some issues in my South Beach loft and Miami office space where the air was so stuffy, I could barely breathe. I wasn’t sleeping well either. It wasn’t until I moved to L.A. that I realized it was the furniture. Viesso is a great place if you are going modern, want to customize, and want something non-toxic. If you are on a budget, no worries, going vintage, antique, or pre-owned are also great options. In fact many of the things I got are! Solid wood, wool, most metals, glass, marble, bamboo are great materials. Oh, you also have to see if the furniture is sprayed with toxic flame retardant, most new furniture is (wool is naturally flame resistant so no spray needed). I believe the toxicity of the spray wears off over time, but the engineered wood products don’t, it’s lasts for life, which is why I think it’s the worse. Get rid of it asap.
Please don’t stress if you have these items in your home, but if you do want to replace your furniture quickly there are lots of great Apps and sites to get furniture and sell furniture; Letgo, 5miles, Carousell, Move Loot, Dibs, Chairish, Esty, and Craigslist is still good!
That’s all for now! Thanks for reading!