Dayle Laing

The ‘coolest shade of green’ is the sustainable choice. Dayle Laing is a Professional Speaker and Author who uses her experience and training as an educator, a designer and a LEED Accredited Professional to empower Conscious Consumers to make practical yet beautiful choices for sustainable living, reducing their carbon footprint while enhancing their body, mind & spirit.

lynne_wainberg_dayle_laing_contract_seminar_250In challenging economic times, Interior Designers and Interior Decorators take stock of their use of contracts to protect themselves and to successfully communicate with their clients.

On February 10, 2010, Dayle presented her “Joy of Contracts” IDCEC accredited seminar to an enthusiastic group of design professionals in the showroom of Brentwood Classics, in Vaughan Ontario. Fashion Director Diana Sisto and Showroom Manager Lynne Wainberg, along with Brentwood owner Guy Sisto feel strongly about the importance of using their showroom for continuing education and for the benefit of the design trade.

Experienced and new professionals alike were unanimous in their appreciation of the 2 hour presentation, and peppered Dayle with thoughtful questions.

This was well worth every penny!”

Sheryl Jones, Milton, ON

Dayle, you’re amazing! I wish this seminar was available 10 years ago. Lots of questions answered. I would love to attend your other seminars.”

Susan Quattrociocchi, Thornhill, ON

Other seminar participants commented:

Lighting is one of the most challenging and important areas in the field of green interior design.

Without good lighting, one cannot see a great design! One has only to stroll through the hardware store to see a confusing array of lighting products claiming different standards and ratings that are difficult to compare.

So what is the latest news in ‘green’ residential lighting? In the commercial field, contract lighting has been far ahead with a series of progressively higher standards for lowering energy consumption for buildings due to stringent building codes that are governed by IESNA standards (Illuminating Engineering Society of North America). LEED® (Leadership in Energy & Environmental Design) also awards credits for lowering energy consumption in all areas of the building, including lighting. Residential lighting has lagged behind due to the relatively low cost of energy that has kept the demand for ‘green’ low, due to more variability in home lighting requirements, and due to lack of suitable, affordable quality products on the market. Unsuccessful forays with compact fluorescents have further jaded the public about the value of ‘green’ lighting in general. Early LED products had low wattage but delivered very little light (lumens) and only a cool-white colour temperature.

This is now an impressive time for developments in ‘green’ lighting. The technology has been progressing rapidly and the cost is coming down. I wrote an article last year about my new green kitchen countertop and received several questions about the ‘green’ lighting I specified in the design.

Let’s take a look at some of the options I selected and why.


LEED is a comprehensive standard for certifying and constructing green buildings.

Points are assigned for all different aspects of the building interior, exterior, and even landscaping.

cagbc_400.jpgWhether you are designing, building, or purchasing, these criteria benefit us all by raising the bar so that all construction standards will go up over time. LEED is meant to be a standard that rewards excellent performance and continues to evolve. When that excellent performance becomes the norm, LEED will raise its standard to be that much higher again. The program started with mainly commercial buildings and has expanded to certify homes and existing buildings. Run by the Canada Green Building Council (CaGBC) in my area, the program is adapted for different climates in 16 countries around the world, including the United States (which began the program with the UsGBC), Great Britain, Australia and New Zealand.

The results are...

istock_000005577649_150.jpgInterior design professionals have a challenge to not only keep up to date with a broad range of topics, they must do so to maintain their professional status. 

They want to make sure that their valuable time and money is well spent on seminars that provide important and practical information that they can use with their clients.

idcec_logo_250.jpgThe 4 major interior design associations in North America (IDC, ASID, IDEC, IIDA), are served under the central entity of IDCEC (Interior Design Continuing Education Council) to “promote lifelong learning and professional development”. They set rigorous criteria for accrediting continuing education courses, which can be delivered anywhere in North America.


Dayle has accreditation for 3 of her seminars:

Rugs 101 #IDC 30086 for 0.2 CEU 

- technical & practical aspects of using beautiful rugs & carpeting for sustainable design

Fabrics 101 #IDC 30085 for 0.2 CEU

- technical & practical aspects of selecting beautiful sustainable fabrics

Joy of Contracts #IDC 30087 for 0.2 CEU 

- How to make the experience ‘win-win’ for you & your clients

Here are what seminar attendees have said:

personal_control_200.jpgJust when we think our individual actions may not really matter,

that no one notices or even cares what we think or do, much less listens to us, something happens that reaffirms our faith. I am talking about the environment and what we can do.

In recent weeks we’ve seen both the US and Canadian bills on climate change stalled in their respective political systems, we’ve seen our parliamentarians waffling about our environmental commitments, we’ve seen Canada’s international reputation tarnished, and we’ve read about the so-called ‘Climategate’ scandal where the credibility of research data on global warming trends was seriously undermined. We wonder whether all the conflicting stories and political rhetoric we hear are even worth bothering about since the experts may not be sure.

Yet I feel very heartened...

dayle_laing_seminar_300.jpgDayle inspired a group at the Business and Professional Women’s Club of Ontario on November 17th in Brampton.

During her after-dinner speech, the ladies posed excellent questions in response to Dayle’s advice on how to select some environmentally friendly and healthier products and simple, yet green decorating ideas.

Dayle received positive feedback that people really want to know how they can make a difference for the environment and at the same time, bring safer products into their homes.

The business women made the following comments:

juno_beach_2003_paratrooper_300.jpgOn November 11th it is Remembrance Day in Canada and Veterans Day in the US,

a time when we contemplate the many blessings we have. While researching a trade seminar I presented recently, I had the privilege of interviewing several local furniture manufacturers, who reminded me about the innovative people who live and work nearby.

What a fabulous story they told of successfully surviving our economic climate by manufacturing top quality products that are in demand throughout North America.  They have made their operations more efficient by reducing waste, lowering the amount of raw materials, energy and water consumed, cutting excess packaging and streamlining administration. This is not only great for business, but great for the environment as well. We all benefit from having wonderful and locally produced furniture and accessories.

fsc-logo_100.jpgFor example, many of our furniture and flooring manufacturers ensure the hardwood they use comes from managed forests. Some use wood that is FSC certified. The Forestry Stewardship Council is an international certification program which tracks the tree from forest right to the consumer. Other manufacturers have programs to plant two trees for every one cut, or plant a tree for every piece of furniture purchased. These responsible activities help make our North American forests the continued envy of the world and an important part of the global ecosystem.

So, ask questions of your manufacturers and suppliers to determine how ‘green’ their products are. By purchasing from local industries when it works within the context of your design, you are subscribing to one of the key areas of sustainable design initiatives -- buying locally saves transportation energy!

I shot these photographs at...

de-greying_the_green_seminar_250.jpgDayle Laing regaled a professional design audience of over 100 with her “De-Greying the Green” seminar on October 8, 2009 at SOFA, Source of Furniture + Accessories, in Mississauga, Canada. 

She explained the value of independent certification to assess the merits of green products, and used examples from over 30 of the SOFA showrooms and suppliers to illustrate her 7 green criteria for sustainability.

One of these criteron is 'Source Locally' which made so much sense, given excellent furniture manufacturing located regionally "in the backyard" of this group of showrooms.

Dayle really takes some dry facts and makes them interesting. I now have some openings for client and supplier conversations. She is upbeat and very easy to listen to. She is a leader in this field.”

 Joanne Watson, Oakville, ON

dayle_laing_source_local_250.jpg  dayle_laing_3rd_party_cert_250.jpg






Other attendees expressed their comments:

david_suzuki_dayle_laing_250.jpgOn October 16, 2009, I had the very great privilege to listen to Dr. David Suzuki lecture at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto on Force of Nature. His message was very compelling.

david_suzuki_the_autobiography_150I have been writing and speaking to urge people to make a difference in choosing green interior design. I believe that our small actions do make a difference and we should continue look for more opportunities to make our actions count. David told me to "do what you can do" when I briefly met him as he signed my copy of his autobiography.

Dr. Suzuki's message was that individual actions only buy us some limited time. We need to tackle these issues on a global scale and we need to act now! He urged the audience to demand that our political leaders take action on the crucial climate change summit in Copenhagen in December. Only our leaders can create the climate so that both "economy" and "ecology" can thrive!

green_fuzzy_house_150.jpgThis alphabetical listing of sustainable interior design definitions

contains most of the important terms you will want to access for your resource library.  Look up the major seals and logos you see on products to find out if they are independent third party certified, if they are an industry association or if they are simply a logo made up for 'greenwashing' claims.

Dayle has spent over one hundred hours compiling this list for your simple pdf download


'Coolest Shade of Green'

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