Cooper Meaders is not your typical environmentalist. This ex-marine, recent biology grad, artisan furniture-maker, and overall great guy has partnered with New Living to create a one of a kind furniture line that is different from anything else you can find in Houston. Made at 6111 Kirby is exactly what it sounds like, furniture made on premise at 6111 Kirby in a dedicated production space. 

This is the opposite of furniture found in the larger national chains, offering products that are cheaply produced in sweatshops, and loaded with toxic off-gassing VOCs and formaldehyde. The Made at 6111 line is 100 percent solid, made by hand, and most importantly– completely free of toxic chemicals.

It all started when one of New Living’s customers came in and asked if they wanted to take wood from her house before it was demolished (to build a larger, greener, LEED certified home.) Cooper, who is passionate about reusing and refinishing old materials, jumped at the chance to salvage the beautiful antique oak floors!

New Living has been carrying a variety of sustainable and healthy furniture options, but Made at 6111 is so much more – a workshop, a line of furniture, a training provider, and a business experiment – all located in the old Wagner Hardware building!

Think of Made at 6111 as a modern day mercantile. Local artisan furniture makers will use the space to create beautiful furniture pieces to be sold in New Living’s showroom, furniture hobbyists can stop by for private training or “finishing school” classes, and anyone can stop by to commission a custom piece. 

The custom-furniture aspect has already taken off! “A few weeks ago a customer stopped by with a picture of a bed from the Sundance catalogue and asked us to give her a quote for a similar piece”, says Meaders. “She was astonished that it would actually save her money by having us build if for her locally, at 6111 Kirby, using all sustainable materials and non-toxic coatings”.

You might be asking, “What makes furniture sustainable?” Made at 6111 specializes in creating furniture out of materials that are either sustainably milled (using rapidly renewable or well-managed resources) or made from recycled or reclaimed materials.

As for “healthy” furniture, you’d be surprised at the chemicals in that couch you take weekend naps on, and you’d be shocked to know what’s off-gassing from the furniture in your bedroom. New Living sells products that are made from healthy materials (either older materials that have already off-gassed or new materials that have less chemicals to begin with) and that are finished using low- or no-VOC stains and coatings. This helps to keep the air in your house healthy!

For too long, furniture has been made cheaply and quickly out of sub-par materials. Buying disposable furniture might seem like a good decision now, but handmade artisan furniture will last, and save you money and heartache in the long run – and who can put a price on health anyway!

You can stop by New Living for a tour of the new facilities and to meet the Made at 6111 team. 

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