Green Earth Design, a home design company with stores in Mamaroneck and Mt. Kisco, N.Y. has just opened a new store in Westport, Conn. Jessica Garrett, the manager, explains that everything in the store is made from natural objects, such as leaves, seashells and snail shells, coconuts, beans, rice and bamboo. "It all starts off as an organic, living thing," she says.
The owner, Mitchell Siegel, works with artisans in the Philippines to create one-of-a-kind wall sculptures, lamps, trays and bowls. Large hunks of exotic wood, many of them weathered by the elements, are fashioned into sculptural pieces. Some are polished to a high shine and turned into unusual tables and desks.
Siegel's interest in organic art and accessories was sparked during his previous career. "In the '80s and '90s I was the largest exporter of Spandex in the U.S.," he says. As manufacturing shifted to South America and Asia, Siegel found himself spending more time in the Philippines where he first saw organic objects being turned into art by local craftsmen.
Jessica says that the large round platters, designed to hang on walls, are the biggest sellers. Prices vary depending on the raw materials used but hover around the $1,500 range. A simple but effective pattern of banana leaves costs less than an intricate spiral created from abalone and snail shells.
In addition to organic tables, Green Earth Design offers chairs, benches and loungers in fluid shapes made from colored resin mosaic tiles. "People buy them for an entryway or a bathroom," Jessica says, though they wouldn't look out of place in a contemporary living room. One of the most comfortable seats in the store is a settee made of sawn-off bamboo over a spring seat.
Since every Green Earth Design piece is unique, Siegel and his staff offer a complimentary design service. "We take a large selection of pieces from our stores, as well as others from our warehouse, to the customer's home," he says. "We want to make sure we're selling them the very best piece."
The Westport store is in Sconset Square, the Mamaroneck store is at 516 Boston Post Road and the Mt. Kisco store is at 200 Main Street.