Sustainable Living

Sustainable Home Design: Eco-Friendly Flooring and Countertops

Eco-Friendly, Sustainable ReSAWN flooring | Fairly Southern

Many of us know about ways to “go green” on a micro level: taking reusable bags to the grocery store, using a water bottle rather than buying plastic, using good-for-the-earth dishwashing liquid. But I know that many of us, myself included, have rarely thought much about being eco-friendly on a larger level, such as how we design and furnish our homes.

I recently learned about a local-to-NC company called Caragreen, which produces sustainable, eco-friendly flooring and countertops (I actually won a giveaway they were running on Instagram….too fun!). They are headquartered right here in Raleigh, but they work to create amazing home interiors for companies and residences all around the country. I have really enjoyed learning about the way they do sustainable home design and wanted to share!

My initial reaction when I hear “sustainable homes” or “eco-friendly homes” is to think of ultra-modern, minimalistic tiny houses.  What I hope to show you in this blog post is that you can still go for a classic Southern home even while using contemporary, eco-friendly materials!

For example, take a look at this gorgeous kitchen. It’s a good mix of contemporary (the backsplash) and traditional (the rug and cabinetry). Best of all, the floors are made of ReSAWN reclaimed oak in color “Heritage.” This flooring uses an eco-friendly three ply system. The bottom layer is oak that is not surface grade and therefore would typically be left behind or forced through additional processing. reSAWN takes this material and uses it to stabilize the thick wear layer on the face of the plank, resulting in less waste and a more stable product. Using a wider plank is also more eco-friendly because it results in higher yields from the tree. This means less waste during manufacture!

Eco-Friendly/Sustainable Beige + Orange Kitchen | Fairly Southern

Here’s another photo of ReSAWN flooring in color “Bridgeport.”

Eco-Friendly, Sustainable ReSAWN flooring | Fairly Southern

Next up: another kitchen! It’s a more contemporary style without feeling ultra-modern. I love the backsplash. Seafoam is a perfect color in the Carolinas since we’re a coastal state. I love how it is balanced by the more masculine olive cabinets. The IceStone counters are color “Sage Pearl.” IceStone is made from concrete and recycled glass. It gives a natural stone feel without being mined from the earth. (Honestly, I never even thought about how bad granite countertops can be for our earth until just now after learning that there is another way. Think about how much digging we are doing for our countertops! I totally get it now!)

Eco-friendly IceStone countertops in Olive + Seafoam Kitchen | Fairly Southern
Image by Mike Seidl. Designed by Dell’Ario Interiors.

Now, I want to show you an amazing eco-friendly laundry room. It’s got a bit of a shabby chic vibe with the distressed cabinetry and collection of glass bottles. The countertop is PaperStone in the color “Mocha.” Made with 100% recycled paper and a petroleum-free resin, PaperStone is a beautiful, textured surface that performs like stone. PaperStone is typically used in kitchens and bathrooms and can withstand high-use wear and tear. All that performance, just from paper! I love that it’s all recycled.

Shabby Chic Laundry Room with eco-friendly PaperStone countertops | Fairly Southern
Picture by Whitney Lyons. Designed by Shannon Quimby.

Here’s a kitchen that showcases the PaperStone countertops. I like this kitchen a lot because it is the most similar to my own kitchen! I love the clean, contemporary, and timeless feel of neutral whites and grays.

White + Stainless Kitchen with eco-friendly PaperStone countertops | Fairly Southern
Image by Sara Rounsavall. Designed by Rock Paper Hammer.

And, if you’re into outdoor spaces (because, ahem, this is the SOUTH, and at least half of the year is perfect porch sittin’ and/or grilling weather), you’re going to die over this next one. Outdoor lounging, lots of Green Egg grills, and plenty of space for serving food and beverages! The outdoor countertop is made of Lapitec in color “Grigio Piombo.” Lapitec is made of sintered stone, which is 100% minerals with no resins or petroleum derivatives. It is weatherproof and is resistant to acids, alkalis, deep abrasions, fire, frost, and UV rays. In other words, it’s going to hold up, even in Southern heat!

Backyard Dining with eco-friendly countertops | Fairly Southern

Y’all, isn’t it amazing that you can use earth-friendly flooring and countertop materials that perform well and don’t compromise on aesthetics?

I purposefully featured non-modern designs because I wanted to show that you can be eco-friendly and go for a classic, contemporary, or shabby chic feel, but if you’re more into modern, check out the CaraGreen website for lots of inspiration!

I bought a virtually brand new house a couple of years ago and am still many years away from renovations, but when I do end up in a redo situation, I will definitely be using eco-friendly materials. It is so nice to know that you can use recycled, gentle-on-the-earth materials while creating your perfect interior.

xoxo Laura

P.S. – This post was not sponsored. I just love sharing about things I love (and that are good for the earth!) with y’all!


  1. We are so glad you we’re able to take a more traditional switch on our materials! Many folks think of very modern futuristic homes when they hear “sustainable homes”, but that’s not the case! Thanks for writing this amazing article!

  2. I have honestly never thought about how materials for homes are found, but I love that there are companies that do and make good alternatives. The concrete/glass countertops sounds really interesting!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.