Domino Creates a Healthy Home for Katrina Survivors

In a New Orleans complex of new, affordable housing, the Domino team creates a home that's sustainable in every way—healthy materials, easy maintenance, and cozy to live in.

Sometimes tragedy presents an opportunity for positive change. Such is the case with The Holy Cross Project, an eco affordable-housing complex in New Orleans' Lower Ninth Ward, a vibrant and historic neighborhood that had been virtually wiped out by the hurricane.

In 2006, environmental organization Global Green USA held a contest to design this small, sustainable community. The winning scheme (selected by a jury chaired by actor Brad Pitt) was conceived by New York City firm Workshop/apd and built with support from lead funding partner The Home Depot Foundation. Wowed by the project, we came on board to decorate the first home in the development—all with organic, local, recycled or other green elements. Style director Dara Caponigro and contributing editor Ruthie Sommers, joined by a team of domino staffers, solicited donations of furniture and materials and whipped together the warm, sophisticated interiors in less than two months. Here, a tour of the many highlights.

(pictured) Old and new combine for a colorful, happy place that evokes a warm Big Easy sensibility.

SOFA Organic cotton "Apartment" in Paico Natural $3,063 leeindustries.com for stores CHAIRS Mitchell Gold + Bob Williams sea-grass "Holden" (no longer available), mgbwhome.com for stores STOOLS Recycled-cement-bag papier-mâché "Flower" and "Net" $375 each, straydogdesigns.com NESTING TABLES Reclaimed-wood "Driftwood" $498/pair, Palecek (800) 274-7730 TABLE LAMP Bamboo base "Helios" $1,420 jGoodDesign (212) 475-0479 ext. 2 FRAMED WALLPAPER Studio Printworks water-based-ink biodegradable "Petit Pineapple" in White Kraft about $135/roll, Hinson and Company (212) 688-5538 for information WINDOW SHADE Hartmann & Forbes bamboo "No. 31 Taki Caramel" about $944 hfshades.com for information RUG 5' x 8' renewable abaca fiber "Kuskusan" in Wild Rice about $860 meridameridian.com for stores WALL PAINT Low VOC in Fargo, duluxpaints.com for stores