This female-led, boutique interior design firm is leaving a positive and lasting impression on the environment.

500 Waverly

The Design High, an eco-friendly firm, specializes in designing and staging residential buildings in Brooklyn and Manhattan with high profile projects including 63 Wall Street, 1N4th, 265 East Houston, LEVEL and 507 West Chelsea.

Whether it’s using tiles that are made of recycled contents or local materials to avoid shipping, Design High does its best to preserve the environment.

When it comes to design, the team must follow its clients’ requests. However, the team does its best to educate clients and offer eco-friendly options when possible, according to Founder and Creative Director Highlyann Krasnow.

In addition to encouraging an eco-friendly design, the team donates monthly to the Natural Resource Defense Council and Earthjustice. “We want to make sure some of our profits end up in the right place,” says Krasnow. “Ultimately, they’re not creating anymore land, this is the place that we live. I want to, at least, try to leave this planet better off than I found it.”

Design High also maintains a green office environment by avoiding the use of paper, banning all plastic and paper cups, and using notebooks made of recycled materials.

507 West Chelsea

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“We are very conscious of how we use our land. That is how I grew up, and it was important to me to bring that to the company as well,” says Krawnow on her decision to start an eco-conscious business.

Recent advances in technology and the mass production of eco-friendly resources have made it easier to be environmentally conscious in 2018 than in recent years. “I think people are starting to see that something has to be done,” says Krawnow, who notes an increased push toward sustainability in recent years.

Lead by a group of five women, Design High hopes other woman are inspired by the company’s success. However, Krawnow notes that the company’s lack of men was not purposeful. “We are all women,” Krasnow jokes. “But we’ve tried to hire men, it just ended up this way.”

She does believe, however, that the female-led team brings unique perspective and balance to a typically male-driven scene. “We do work on a lot of construction sites, and we are really the only woman,” Krasnow jokes. “It is important to feel empowered, and to not let that be intimidating. I think we bring a nice ying to the yang.”

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Krasnow has an important message to both men and women who are considering entrepreneurship — “I think that the best advice I could give is just not be too scared to try.”

“It is very intimidating, there was a lot I didn’t know. I think you have to give yourself some time to let it work without giving up on the idea,” says Krasnow, who says it took at least two years for her to feel confident that her business would succeed.

Photos courtesy of The Design High