Interior Designer Julie Reynolds Thinks Green

By Rita Cook   
If you asked interior designer Julie Reynolds  what motivates her when thinking green she’ll tell you “If there is any doubt as to why a person would not want to live green they need to review their latest bills from the water company and their electric provider,” she says “It is simply the best way to extend one's income by lowering water and electric use, we immediately see the savings and ultimately will see the changes to our local economy.”

This eco-friendly thinking extends into her business of 30 years as well.  It’s a business where she specializes in changing and updating residences and business, but with a green twist when she can. 
“When meeting with a new homeowner or business owner, I ask that they not throw away anything until I can take a look at it to see how it might be used in the new design,” she begins.  “Only after assessing what can be repurposed do we think about adding new.  Sometimes, the "new" furnishing or accessory has been previously used and now finds a new home.  The best thing about reusing furnishings is that they have already off-gased and the client does not have to experience the smell of formaldehyde for up to two years that can happen with new furnishings made offshore.”  That said, Reynolds says she still finds that it’s a mixture of clients who want to think green versus not worrying about it. (Photos by Julie Reynolds shows existing bar structure and taking it from Texas Hill Country to Tuscan with egg and dart stenciling, gold paint and LED lighting ) 

“I experience those who want to think about what they are buying and those who really don't want to discuss the subject,” she explains.  “When I meet the latter, I can still specify the healthier choice of solid wood cabinets without formaldehyde containing components as well as bringing Low to Zero VOC paints onto the jobsite.  The costs are equal to regular paints and cabinets if there is not a complicated finish on the wood.”

Reynolds says too that even with the non-green thinkers she can still promote sustainability by emphasizing a healthy indoor environment just by what she brings into the project.  “All of these choices can be made no matter if the client prefers Mid-Century Modern or Tuscan.  These rules apply to any style or trend.”

Getting involved in eco-friendly living herself years ago, Reynolds attended the very first Sustainability Conference in Dallas to learn of the local businesses offering their services.  
“That conference made me aware of better choices and not to tear up huge amounts of sheetrock, door casings and carpet pad or to throw them into the construction dumpster when I was implementing a remodel for a client.  In the 1990's my carpenter saved every stud he ever removed from any job and they became the framing elements for window replacements in a 7,500 square-foot home.” ( Front door rescued and restored from an East Texas Eastlake home.  Handpainting brings out the Eastlake craftsmanship details  Photo credit  Bill Bolin)     .

Nowadays, Reynolds incorporates eco-living into her own life by composting, recycling, remodeling with healthy paint and she drives a Hybrid Ford Escape.  “It has become my mission to find out exactly what is being sold as wood, marble and granite,” Reynolds concludes.   “To achieve the ‘look’ means delving deeper into the description of an item and not depending on a brand to automatically provide the quality that it once represented. This is the value of a Registered Interior Designer. We have constant contact with what is going on in the marketplace and hours of annual continuing education focus on how to provide healthy choices for families with whom we work and how to bring in objects that support a clean indoor air environment.”   (Photo by Bill Bolin)

Julie Reynolds, ASID
Texas Registered Interior Designer, 2289
TAID President 2009-2011
ASID Dallas Design Community Board, Past Chair 2009-2010
Julie Reynolds Interiors, Inc.  17480 Dallas Parkway, Suite 105  Dallas, TX 75287
972.931.0536      972.931.9406 fax      [email protected]

Julie Reynolds is a member of the Green Source DFW Board of Advisors


Rita Cook is an award winning journalist who writes or has written for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily News, Waxahachie Daily Light, Dreamscapes Travel Magazine, Porthole, Core Media, Fort Worth Star Telegram and many other publications in Los Angeles, Dallas and Chicago.  With five books published, her latest release is “A Brief History of Fort Worth” published by History Press.  You can contact her at [email protected]