Tilde Furniture

Stylish. Sustainable. Sensational.

Inspired To Be Green!

Posted on by Stephen Kohlbeck

Imagine living in a world so chemical-free you seldom hear of asthma. Visualize living in a house that actually takes away the few toxins that remain from today’s use of chemicals in building products and home furnishings. You will breathe deeper, and the children will grow up healthy again; no more news about 40% of kids having respiratory ailments. The materials are here. They just need to be taken home.

There is an abundance of ways to create a healthier, more sustainable dwelling. The largest one is to simply choose the right products. Knowing what to look for is the key to better design and higher standards.

Ask yourself, what in your home is toxic and destructive to the environment? And, what has a direct impact on your personal health? The inside of a typical newly built American home is 10 times as toxic as the air outside of it. This is largely caused by the use of chemicals in materials that include carpet, fabrics, and cabinetry; even certain Zero-VOC paints contain noxious heavy metals. The finishes that are used by almost every furniture manufacturer in the world contain carcinogens. Petroleum use in mattresses and cushions is toxic. It goes on.

Fortunately, there are many ways to rid your home of these influences and make it much healthier. Using natural materials goes far as a remedy for the industrial “innovations” of the 20th century. Respectfully, in the last 10 years, we have seen incredible advancements in products that are sophisticated, durable, user-friendly, and plant and water based. These include floor and furniture finishes, paint and primers; even sealants and caulks. The products are most readily available on a retail level through natural products suppliers and online.

It can be a bit overwhelming to someone just beginning to understand the options. But, the information is easily accessible and your knowledge will grow as you get your feet wet. There are many manufacturers who romance their ecological commitment. Similar to food, the more you know the facts, the easier it will be to tell truths from half-truths. Let the journey begin!

Eco-friendly Cabinets

Posted on by Stephen Kohlbeck

Diverting from eco-friendly furniture, let’s discuss cabinets, as Tilde’ Furniture does provide custom cabinets for their clients.  The three main materials that make up a cabinet are the box, exposed frames and drawer faces, and the finish.  It is easy to find healthy home and sustainable products in all these categories.  The main objective is to eliminate petroleum-based products altogether.

Traditionally, plywood is the main material used for cabinet boxes.  It is usually veneered with either wood or plastic laminate, and is very stable.  Make sure that you purchase plywood made with no added urea-formaldehyde.  This is a cancer-causing material that most glues contain.  Purebond is a soy-derived glue that was created to mimic nature’s properties.  Sierra Pine and Columbia Forest Products both make plywood using this glue.  Both companies make sure that their woods come from managed forests; but, if you need third party certification, select FSC-certified veneers on the plywood.  They are available from both companies.  Medium-density fiberboard (MDF) is often used in the construction of cabinets, but most cabinetmakers prefer plywood for it’s inherent strength and stability.  Sierra Pine has several qualities and formulations of eco-friendly MDF products.  A high-quality, easy to paint, MDF product that we use is their Medite II.  It’s urea-formaldehyde free and made of re-purposed wood waste.  Wheatboard, made of agricultural waste products, is an additional option for the substrate.  But, the cabinet manufacturer will need to adhere the veneer to the substrate prior to construction of the boxes.

If your cabinets are to be exposed wood, FSC-certified woods are the assurance you need that the forest has been properly managed and social equity standards have been practiced.  The majority of wood sourced in the USA is managed to very sustainable standards, as it’s in the best interest of the forest owners.  Rarely do we hear about clear cutting and forest degradation in the states.  All of the woods standard to Tilde’ Furniture are domestic and FSC-certified.  Because very little energy is used in processing solid wood, domestic hardwoods are considered highly eco-friendly and sustainable.

If your intention is to paint your exposed cabinet elements, consider Sierra Pine’s Medite II.  It is eco-friendly, non-toxic, easy to work with, and it allows a very smooth application of finish materials.

Speaking of finish materials, make sure that you use water-based or plant-based materials.  Several manufacturers make wax and plant oil based stains and sealers that are very friendly to the user and the planet.  They are available through green products stores and websites, as well as hardware and specialty paint suppliers.  We find the purest ones available through green products stores.  They take a little more patience than petroleum-based products, but the results are durable and the reapplication easy for anyone to do.  And, they don’t cause cancer and respiratory diseases.  If you need something that can handle more abuse, in situations like your Kitchen, opt for a zero or low VOC water-based polyurethane.  This will give you a smooth waterproof barrier that applies like traditional cabinet finishes, yet minimizes the eco footprint and health concerns.

Creating Healthy Interiors

Posted on by Stephen Kohlbeck

I did a presentation yesterday to a great group of Denver Interior Designers that gathered to learn about the available materials that will help turn around our dependency on toxic chemicals.  We discussed several manufacturers of eco-friendly materials, such as American Pride paints, Safecoat finishes, Bioshield Hard Oil, and Paperstone countertops.  Thanks to everyone for joining me!  Incidentally, a downloadable PDF of the presentation has been posted on our site’s The Environment & Social Equity page.  If you have specific questions about products you’re considering, feel free to email me at stephen@tildefurniture.com.

The Birth of Tilde’

Posted on by Stephen Kohlbeck

The launch of Tilde Furniture has been an incredibly exciting process for me. We’ve spent two years building what I hope to be a new direction for the furniture industry. The company pledges to honor the health of our planet, our craftsmen, and the people who live with our furniture. We are going beyond the norm of building quality furniture. We are also creating a lifestyle of abundance and health! Between the use of innovative products and built-in social equity programs, we plan to be amongst the leaders that are taking a higher, more responsible path – for the benefit of all!

This blog has been set up to share what we discover, regarding all things that make a positive impact. It is also an avenue for everyone to discuss what they believe will contribute to a better world, and better products. In the end, I hope it becomes a journey that is fun for all. While these are serious times, there must always be lightness and beauty. May it be expressed through all of us. I look forward to sharing the ride with you!

Stephen Kohlbeck

Welcome to Tilde Furniture!

Posted on by Stephen Kohlbeck

Welcome to the new Tilde Furniture website and blog. Please comment if you have any thoughts or questions about the new site, and thanks for your interest in Tilde Furniture!