Deborah Di Mare, founder of VeganDesign.org—an educational website that trains industry professionals all over the world about cruelty-free and wellness in design—started her own interior design firm, DiMare Design, nearly 20 years ago. Today, she operates a full-service consultancy through her firm that is focused on health, wellness, and humane practices.
Deborah’s passion lies in connecting designers and manufacturers with cruelty-free, sustainable options to create interiors and furnishings that are as good for our health as they are beautiful. With a portfolio of projects that have spanned the globe, she is widely recognized as a premier voice in her field. Her expertise has been featured on television and in publications including NBC’s Today Show, TLC, Architecutral Digest, The Los Angeles Times, Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, and more. She is based in Miami, Florida.
CHOOSE FABRICS WISELY
Printed fabrics are beautiful and are available in every price range and style. When shopping for yours, look for fabrics that use natural dyes—either vegetable- or water-based. These dyes have less impact on the earth and are healthier for your home.
STEER CLEAR OF VOCs
Paint is one of the easiest and most affordable ways to spruce up a room, but it can contain Volatile Organic Compounds that can be harmful to our health. Look for latex, silicon, lime, or clay-based paints, as they are free from those harmful chemicals.
MAKE SMART MATERIAL CHOICES
Fabrics made from linen, bamboo, and organic cotton are healthier and more humane alternatives to leather and wool. They are free from harmful chemicals, are brought to market compassionately, and feel super soft for comfortable living.
GET YOUR FILL
Consider rubber, kapok, or buckwheat fill for your decorative pillows instead of foam. These fills, unlike foam, are completely organic and free from VOC offgassing, whereas foam can release harmful chemicals into your home.
GO NATURAL UNDERFOOT
In choosing rugs for your home, I recommend cotton, hemp, jute, and sisal. These materials are affordable, organic, and are processed with fewer chemicals than wool or silk rugs. Plus, there are endless styles and patterns, each rich with natural, earthy beauty.
SHOP FOR SOFAS SMARTLY
When choosing a sofa, one of the most important elements in your home, consider eco-friendly vegan faux leather upholstery. This alternative to leather is more humane, affordable, durable, less toxic, and better for those who are sensitive to smells. This type of faux leather is also ideal for those who live with sensory issues caused by ADHD and autism.
Sustainable furniture is kind to our planet and creates less waste in the long run. Keep your eye out for sustainably sourced, certified furnishings that help provide a cleaner, healthier planet for all living things.
CHOOSE KINDER COMFORTS
How yummy it feels to wrap yourself in a luxurious blanket! When shopping for accessories like blankets and pillows, choose those made with soft, thick cotton, bamboo, or faux fur. These materials are kind, humane, healthy options produced with fewer chemicals than wool or down- filled alternatives.
LOOK FOR HEALTHIER LIGHTING
Energy-saving bulbs are a great way to save money and help our planet. Find sustainable lighting options that serve the task— if you read in bed, for example, consider a reading lamp next to the bed outfitted with a long-lasting LED bulb. If you have a child who needs a calming environment at night to relax, think about soft lights with natural, decorative shades.
Surrounding ourselves with nature is crucial to living our happiest, healthiest lives. Incorporate plants in your home, which help you release endorphins—the happy hormone! Even a few potted herbs or leafy plants in your space promotes positive energy.