The tragic story of a Los Angeles family who lost its home to fire on Christmas Day in 2011 inspired longtime friend, interior designer Robin Wilson, to take action. With the help of the Sustainable Furnishings Council (SFC), she and her team built a fireproof, energy efficient and toxin-free “Eco Bungalow” from the ground up for the family.
The project was almost entirely supported by donations and discounts from builders, architects, designers and tradesmen including Kohler, Cosentino, Mitchell Gold & Bob Williams, FLOR Carpet Design, NovosBed.com, First Alert, Aronel, Salamander Design and Verengo Solar.
Wilson’s aim was to rebuild the home the “right” way from the foundation to the furniture with affordable, high-end and eco-friendly design.
The Ambers lost their home and all of their material possessions shortly after having had a newborn baby. “We had great compassion for the family...I had to help. I needed to make sure they had a happy home and could put their lives back together.”
To be sure the tragedy wouldn’t repeat itself, the family made a commitment to a fireproof, eco-friendly design with bamboo floors, solar panels and WaterSense rated faucets and fixtures.
“Robin's choices in this home illustrate perfectly what is good for the health of the family and also the planet,” said Susan Inglis, executive director of the SFC. “Reduced toxic waste, including CO2 emissions, means the family will have a longer, healthier, happier life in the home. That is what SFC wants for everyone."
Throughout the re-building process, the family relocated and rented several homes in the area. The original 1,700-square-foot home was demolished and the new two-level fully decorated home is close to 3,500-square-feet.
Before the family moves in, the house will open to the public for tours to benefit the SFC. Wilson’s goal with the tours is to educate consumers with budget-friendly fire safety tips and eco-friendly design.
Tours are scheduled for January 30 at 10:00 a.m. led by Wilson, and 12:00 p.m., 1:00 p.m., 2:00 p.m., 3:00 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. led by the SFC staff. Tickets are free and can be purchased here.