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July 2008


FEATURES

Maternal Instinct
By Sally Stich
Photographs by Terry Pommett

DESIGNER TRUDY DUJARDIN CREATES AN ECO-FRIENDLY SHINGLE-STYLE HOME THAT RESPECTS MOTHER EARTH

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Mother Nature is a formidable designer. After all, her color choices are impeccable; her design schemes unquestionable; and environmentally, she's the ultimate green gal.

If she existed in human form, she might look remarkably like Trudy Dujardin, of Dujardin Design Associates in Westport and Nantucket. It's not that she is an imposing figure whose commandment is "Take care of your mother." Rather, Dujardin simply and quietly lives what she believes: If we and the earth are to thrive, we must look at the whole package. We must constantly be aware of what we put in, on and around the world we live in.

Dujardin's interest in green architecture and design started in 1987 when she bought a lot on Nantucket Harbor that included a beach house from the 1950s. Rather than scrap it, the designer gifted the house to a community organization and had it moved to another location where a foundation lay ready to receive it. "It was the ultimate recycling job," she says, "nothing was wasted."

Faced with an empty lot and a gorgeous view in a fragile ecosystem, Dujardin spent the next five years researching materials that would be kind to the environment and safe for her family and friends. What she discovered has become her design mantra: A healthy home is the ultimate luxury.

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The 9,000-square-foot, turn-of-the-century shingle-style house looks like the Nantucket vernacular, only this house is "Nantucket Natural."

All exterior paint is non-toxic; the boardwalk from the house to the harbor is pau lope, a certified reforested wood that never needs treatment and can be submerged in water without rotting. The beautifully landscaped yard may reveal a few blades of crabgrass, but Dujardin prefers those to chemical sprays. As for insect control, she brings in ladybugs to eat the aphids.

The interior is no less eco-friendly. Guests enter through double French doors into the simple foyer, a microcosm of green design. The gorgeous cherry floors have been coated with a water-based urethane. The walls have been painted with a water-based paint and all trim has been painted with a citrus oil-based paint. "The workmen loved not dealing with fumes as they painted, "she says. "The only thing they inhaled was the scent of oranges."

A beautiful Biedermayer chest sits next to the stairway to the second floor. Wool carpeting and non-toxic padding (instead of foam) lend texture and traction without adding VOCs to the environment.

ENJOY GREAT DESIGN

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