Photo via NY Daily News

The best example of eco-friendly design that I’ve seen is the 2500 square foot, three-bedroom model apartment designed last year by Thom Filicia for the Riverhouse condominium building in New York City. The LEED certified Riverhouse is a luxury high-rise overlooking Battery Park and probably one of New York City’s “greenest” buildings. It has attracted high-profile buyers including Leonardo DiCaprio and Tyra Banks and in a clever marketing effort, the developers tapped Filicia to create a stylish model apartment that embodied the idea of luxury, eco-friendly living.

The entire apartment was designed using environmentally friendly, sustainable materials such as natural fiber fabrics, FSC-certified woods, low-voc paints and wall paper glues, recycled objects and of course, antiques.

Filicia conceptualized the space with a fictitious couple in mind…a pair of empty-nesters re-locating downtown from the Upper East Side. “You know these people: they’re well-traveled, sophisticated, and curious, and they love to entertain family and friends,” Filicia says in his book, Thom Filicia Style. In the living room above, the rug is made from vintage kilm runners and cut up felt. The green glass lamp is made from recycled wine bottles and the telescope in the corner is vintage.

The apartment features a fairly neutral color palette infused with organic earth tones and rich, natural textures such as the biodegradeable grasscloth wallpaper that you see throughout the space. There are a few bright spots though, such as the yellow sofa pictured here. The dining table features a paperstone tabletop and a FSC certified wood base wrapped in recycled zinc panels. The chandelier above is made from recycled jet airplane parts and the floor lamp is made from recycled plumbing parts.


Many of the furnishings in the apartment were custom…like this sectional sofa in the library which has a FSC certified birch plywood frame and cusions made of organic latex. The coffee table that you se a peek of on the left is made from recycled aluminum.


Here in the guest room, the walls are covered in wood pulp wallpaper with eco-friendly metallic detail. The bedside tables are made from old sewing machine stands, the lamp base is unglazed ceramic and all of the bedding is eco-friendly.


I’ve always loved the look of sawhorse desks and the one shown here in the model apartment’s master bedroom is vintage. The rattan bench adds even more textural contrast to the space.


Filicia got very creative with the custom furnishings in the apartment. The orange bedside tables are actually linen sealed with a water-based lacquer. The table lamp was made from old ship’s chain. The sheets are made of naturally sustainable bamboo and even the Ecobamboo mattress, made by Magniflex, are environmentally friendly! I really tip my hat to Thom for this one. The space is beautiful and livable and proves that you don’t have to sacrifice style to design green.

Riverhouse apartment photos via Thom Filicia’s Facebook Fan Page


  1. I love the library and the area with the sawhorse desk. I think it is fantastic that he could make recycled and sustainable materials look so chic.

  2. This is a gorgeous apartment. Love to see one more time that as you say no need to sacrifice style for an eco friendly life. Great job.

  3. Pingback: Thom Filicia’s Eco-Friendly Style | J Christopher Daly