ABC Home 3.0Zero Net Energy Home

Healthy and Sustainable Model Home Merchandising

The ABC Green Home 3.0 demonstrates how careful furniture and material curation in each room of a model home contributes to better marketing

By Jillian Pritchard Cooke


It has become increasingly more evident that today’s home buyer cares about the products that are in their homes. Whether it’s the building materials or home furnishings products, they all play a role in air quality within the home.

The ABC Green Home project is a series of high performance Net-Zero, LEED homes that showcase design, technology and construction to the nation’s home builder’s architects, designers and speciality trade contractors, in homes that are right sized for every home building firm and their home buyers. The project is developed by Builder.Media and Green Home Builder magazine at Peninsula Publishing, a 28 year old U.S. home building media firm.

The ABC Green Home 3.0 home was designed with health and sustainability in mind. Danielian Associates designed a beautiful mid-century home that hosts large windows to let in natural light and cross ventilation air flow. The natural light helped bring the color palette in the interior of the home to life. It is not always necessary to put window coverings on windows especially if there is not a privacy issue. In model home merchandising it is important to be strategic with window treatment placement allowing for maximum daylight.


The Sustainable Furnishings Council provided support through their membership which resulted in healthy, sustainable products at the ABC Green Home 3.0 including Cisco Brothers Upholstery, Libeco Belgian Linen, Asian Art Imports, and Surya. The design team took the SFC pledge to ask, “What’s it made of?” including the interior merchandisers DES-SYN and Elite Home Staging. The architect, developer, and interior design team each took all four Wellness Within Your Walls courses and became educated on how to drastically reduce toxins in the interior environment by making proper choices.


Open living, dining, and kitchen layouts help promote family time. In addition, these spaces when all observed in one large room help maximize traffic flow and square footage. It is important to merchandise the spaces to show multi-function and clear room definition while also connecting the outdoor spaces with interior spaces. Large retractable doors can help increase traffic flow and are ideal for entertaining inside and out. Other products that were used in the living room include pillows that were designed by Ellen DeGeneres for Loloi and are made from all natural healthy materials, adding texture and warmth and Asian Art Imports provided a beautiful live-edge console.


Other sustainable and healthy products used in the model home merchandising of the ABC Green Home 3.0 included Pacific Rose, Green Cradle, and Milk Bed. It is very important to demonstrate in a nursery how to reduce harmful toxins including the use of no VOC paint and primer. A nursery should be painted well in advance so the room has sufficient time to off-gas. WWYW offers guidelines on proper off-gassing procedures. A child’s nursery should be the healthiest room in the home because children under the age of 18 months are more susceptible to toxins compromising their immune system. Unwrapping furniture in advance of room placement is essential in making sure there are no harmful toxins.


Natural Curiosities provided all of the art for the model home. The images reinforce nature. The interior design team paired a painting of soft clouds and blue sky with natural Liebco flax Belgium linens to create a soft welcoming master retreat. The 100% natural jute area rug was provided by Stark Carpets and warms the room by adding a splash of color. Today’s homeowners lead fast-paced lives and it’s important to be able to retreat to the master suite and have a resting place to unwind and rejuvenate. Often the mattress is not made of natural nontoxic materials so the mattress needs time to off-gas in a garage or warehouse. Obviously, natural materials are preferable.


The upper patio is located off the upstairs den. The large expansive windows matched with the peek-a-boo windows help maximize the light. Large plants have been placed to help put oxygen into the air naturally. Large mirrors can be placed on walls and help give the illusion of a window where there is not one and also expands the available light. Natural light is a good source of vitamin D and is known to fight cancer. The all natural upholstery by Cisco Brothers promotes health and wellness. Just outside the sliding glass doors is a beautiful Ecosmart outdoor fireplace that can be enjoyed year-round and is easily maintained.


The farm to table story should be told in all model home kitchen merchandising. The food we prepare and eat contributes to our well-being. The Wellness Within Your Walls Kitchen teaches how you can merchandise a kitchen to be healthy by carefully selecting appliances, nontoxic materials (including the reduction of formaldehyde in cabinetry), and the use of nontoxic adhesives and cleaners where food can become contaminated.


The multi-gen lounge hosts colors that are both subtle and vibrant. This suite is compact but efficient. Low maintenance is key. The hardwood floors throughout help reduce dust and are easy to maintain with a damp mop and mild soap and water. The beautiful Stark rug made of 100 percent wool helps define the space. Elite Staging provided designer upholstery and textured accent pillows from their extensive model home inventory.


The multi-gen suite has beautiful natural linens by Pacific Rose. The use of soft subtle fabrics helps expand the eye and creates a sense of romance for a well-traveled occupant that has seen much of the world. The use of white no VOC paint throughout the home expands the square footage and helps create a beautiful, clean, and healthy canvas to display the resident’s worldly possessions.



Jillian Pritchard Cooke is the Founder of Wellness Within Your Walls. She may be reached at