My New Best Friend: Green Goddess

How to create an eco-friendly home

I tell her I’m considering a new area rug. She recommends looking for the RugMark label, a certification that means child labor wasn’t used to make a piece. For an (unsightly) closet that’s been waiting for a door for two years, she suggests spilt bamboo as a nice obscurant for my mop, stacks of seltzer 12-packs, and mess of coats.
The whole time, Lili is encouraging, not scolding; supportive, not pushy. She makes no all-eco-or-nothing statements. Right after mentioning that my new couch will probably be putting out toxic fumes (known as off-gassing) for another few years, she points out that I’m already combating that with all my potted plants. “Live, healthy plants not only add an element of vitality to a space; they’re natural air filters,” she says. (But for future reference, she does have great resources for green furniture.)
And my drafty windows? Again, she starts with the positive. My top-down, bottom-up shades, she says, “offer privacy while allowing natural daylight in, reducing the need for artificial light.” For when I do decide to replace the frames and panes, she recommends UV blocking, to reduce heat in the summer and protect my upholstery.
Wright believes that’s the point of her $395 (base price) consult: to make going green with home design accessible. As we’re wrapping up, she tells me she’ll e-mail me a full report, along with tip sheets on topics like saving energy and improving air quality at home. And suddenly, we’re onto other subjects, like a project in Gladwyne where she’s giving the boys’ bedroom a treehouse feel, and Michael Smith, who’ll redesign the Obamas’ new residence. Here, as everywhere, Lili’s leap in thinking from green design to just, simply, design is absolutely effortless. She wants to make it that way for her clients, too. Wright Design, 20 East Sunset Avenue, Philadelphia, 215-242-3149,