Michelle was first introduced to the importance of environmentally friendly design when she took a course in sustainability at Michigan State University, where she was studying apparel and textile design. According to Michelle, “our professor taught us that if we were going to put more products onto the earth then we needed to do so responsibly. It’s a concept that has stuck with me throughout the entire manufacturing process, despite the fact that it would have been twenty times easier to manufacture in traditional ways.”
After school, Michelle honed her aesthetic at Domino, where she landed her dream job scouring the country (and the world!) for the newest and best in home décor. While working on the magazine’s inaugural “green issue,” she realized no one was making eco-friendly textiles in classic prints and saw an opportunity to combine her two passions: design and sustainability. So, in 2007 she left the magazine to start Rubie Green.
As more and more shelter magazines began to close due to the state of the economy, Michelle and her business partner Patrick Cline brainstormed over coffee one day and came up with the idea for Lonny Magazine, an online shelter publication that launched in October of 2009.
Michelle lives in Manhattan and dreams of the day when she will have an actual kitchen and maybe a walk-in closet. She is continually inspired by decorating magazines and the city, and she loves to travel.
Let’s take a look at five things that are on Michelle’s mind…
1. Rita Konig
I’m a huge fan of Rita’s work because she never fails to design spaces that feel both timeless and totally relevant to today’s trends. In her New York apartment she seamlessly mixes vintage with modern and creates a welcoming look that’s sophisticated yet not the least bit pretentious. I keep tear-outs of her work as inspiration for my own apartment, which I’m currently redecorating.
2. Caitlin McGauley
Caitlin is one of the most talented artists I’ve ever met, and I’m completely obsessed with her work! She travels through New York City with her sketchbook and captures daily life as she sees it — small side street bakeries, beautiful brownstones in the West Village, fascinating people on the street, etc. She recently gave me this painting as a gift and it’s my first “real” piece of art. I treasure it.
3. Environment Furniture
I’m always on the hunt for products that are as sustainable as they are stylish, which is why I’m in love with Environment. Their pieces are built from reclaimed, recycled and sustainably harvested woods, and their styles are incredibly versatile. I’m currently obsessing over the Beam Dining Table, which would look just as good holding turntables in a bachelor pad as it would dressed in fancy dinnerware in a formal dining room.
4. Wallpaper Collective’s eco-friendly wallpaper
It’s not always easy to find eco-friendly wallpapers that are as hip as conventionally manufactured papers, so I was thrilled to recently discover Wallpaper Collective! Their site has a section dedicated to environmentally friendly papers, many of which are stunning. I’m currently considering this ostrich print for the entryway in my new apartment. ;)
Lately I’ve been really into succulents! I love how understated and chic they can look in vintage silver urns or even simple white ceramic pots. Best of all, they’re hard to kill, which is good news for me since I can look at a houseplant the wrong way and end up killing it!! So low maintenance + chic is the way to go!