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Sister publications decorating Washington buildings

Ogden Publications decorates presidential guest house for holidays?

December 7, 2009
Lehigh Acres Citizen

Environmental magazines decorate presidential guest house for holidays

Mother Earth News and Natural Home spread environmental messages through design at Blair House and State Department.

Environmental publications Mother Earth News and Natural Home will decorate rooms for the holidays at the Blair House, the president's official guest house, and two of the Diplomatic Reception Rooms in the State Department's Harry S. Truman Building in Washington, D.C.

As members of a partnership between the Magazine Publishers of America and the State Department, Mother Earth News and Natural Home will decorate these historic rooms that have borne witness to some of the nation's greatest diplomatic achievements and which display some of the proudest moments in history.

Both publications will use nontraditional accessories to emphasize the beauty and elegance of environmentally friendly living.

"We're grateful for the opportunity to highlight important environmental issues - the need to sustain biodiversity with heirloom food crops, reduce consumption and purchase sustainable goods - at such esteemed venues," says Bryan Welch, publisher and editorial director.

Fact Box

About Mother Earth News

Mother Earth News ( is the Original Guide to Living Wisely. Launched in 1970, each bimonthly issue of Mother Earth News features practical and money-saving information on organic gardening; do-it-yourself projects; cutting energy costs; using renewable energy; green home building and remodeling; rural living; and conscientious, self-sufficient lifestyles.

About Natural Home

Natural Home ( is the authority on sustainable home design and materials, earth-friendly dcor and natural lifestyles. Since 1999, health-conscious, environmentally concerned consumers have turned to Natural Home for information, advice and inspiration to create beautiful, earth-friendly living spaces.

Mother Earth News will decorate the Jackson Place Sitting Room and the Jackson Place Dining Room at Blair House using the theme of Peace on Earth. To carry on the tradition of Christmas trees as symbols of national unity which emerged following the Civil War, several trees will display handmade dove-shaped cookies carrying the flags of nations from around the world. The magazine's work also will include a message about world hunger, using rare heirloom corn, wheat and rice as decoration.

Natural Home will transform the Monroe Room at the State Department, one of the State Department's historic Diplomatic Reception Rooms, and the Jackson Place Conference and entry rooms at Blair House into a serene holiday oasis with handmade, fair-trade items, many made from recycled materials. The magazine chose items with a story to tell to complement do-it-yourself ornaments and local greenery. The room's 9-foot Christmas tree, which passers-by can see while walking along Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House, will feature energy-saving LED lights and natural quartz crystals. Visitors also will find organic teas in recycled cups and chocolates presented on recycled glass trays.

Mother Earth News and Natural Home will work together to decorate the Adams Room, another historic Diplomatic Reception Room at the State Department. Apples will anchor the holiday decorations. Growers from across the country are providing rare, heirloom varieties to fill bowls and perfume the air. Mother Earth News will provide information cards about each variety of fruit.

Three design firms are donating their services for this project. David Derbyshire, New York, will assist Mother Earth News with the Jackson Place Sitting and Dining rooms, while Denver-based Associates III will work with Natural Home to decorate the Monroe Room and the Jackson Place Conference and entry rooms. Washington, D.C.-based J.D. Ireland Interior Architecture and Design will provide design assistance for the Adams Room.

The rooms to be designed are some of the most storied in our nation's history and will be visited by hundreds of guests this December, including foreign leaders and dignitaries, diplomats, senators and congressmen.

The magazines are sister publicatioins of Breezenewspapers, Inc., of which The Lehigh Acres Citizen is a part of the group.



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