With a green lifestyle gaining popularity and credibility in our world, local green interior designer and recent reality-show contestant Josh Foss is excited to be able to share his unique design approach at the Minneapolis Home & Garden Show, through March 2. Foss will speak twice daily about his unique approach to design, assist in setting up a themed area of showroom floor dedicated to green companies, and help recruit companies to become green.
A Twin Cities native, Foss specializes in green, describing his style as “metro-hippie,” because his designs unite two worlds: high style with a modern industrial feel, using warm earth tones and natural clean lines.
Foss grew up with a strong connection to the natural world, and green influences the way he designs a room. He finds that a lot of people live their lives with a strong disconnect from the environment, with no realization of the negative impact of that behavior on their surroundings.
“I feel empowered to represent the environment,” Foss says. “I promote it in a fun way to enhance style.”
The green style Foss espouses benefits the environment in a number of ways. Material conservation, using wood from sustainable harvested forests, and energy conservation are just a few of the ways decorating green works.
Foss points out that anyone easily can incorporate this kind of approach into his or her own lifestyle by doing little things: switching from incandescent light bulbs to fluorescent, using nontoxic paint for indoor air quality, recycling, and insulating homes as securely as possible to keep utility bills down.
“A lot of little things add up to a big difference,” Foss states.
Foss recently was featured as a contestant on HGTV’s Season Two of Design Star, in which aspiring designers compete through various decorating challenges. He recalls his experience as having been an amazing opportunity, and remarks that the other designers he worked with were all “incredible.”
“My only regret,” Foss admits, “was that I wasn’t able to represent myself and the whole green aspect as fully as I had hoped, because of certain guidelines we were expected to follow—like money, resources, and time.”
Although not an avid TV watcher, and having had little knowledge of what goes on behind the production scenes, Foss nevertheless learned a great deal while being part of the show.
In Foss’s words, “Learning to be comfortable in front of the camera proved to be very valuable with where I see my career going.”
As his career evolves, an ever-changing work schedule keeps Foss on his feet. On any given day, he can find himself giving public speeches, presentations, and business consultations, as well as doing residential, commercial, and storefront design.
For Foss, his ultimate dream job would be to design a local organic deli or restaurant: “I would love to support a local restaurant that serves local organic foods through a design that shares that same vision.”
Foss loves to design cafés, because he knows he can get crazy with things.
“People are only in there for a half-hour to an hour, so you don’t need to use neutral colors and tones that are typically used in homes, where people spend longer periods of time,” Foss explains.
Through experience, Foss has found that reinventing oneself and being at the forefront of the design movement are important, as is the need constantly to research and try new things.
As Foss puts it, “A good designer needs to almost be a psychiatrist in a sense—to really understand what their clients’ needs are. Not only do preferences need to be met, but also standards of living, plus an understanding of the architecture of the space I’m working with.”