Getting Green Right

We’re all living a little greener these days, but for the design savvy, that doesn’t have to mean giving up great-looking home products. In a sea of plain, utilitarian eco-friendly kitchen wares, Modern-twist ( is offering up kitchen accessories in exciting designs full of color, whimsy and lots of personality. Here, founder Kat Nouri shares her passion for marrying great design with sustainable materials.

LIP: What prompted you to start Modern-twist?
I felt that there was a huge gap to bridge between products that were designer and products that were eco-friendly. A beautifully designed product is only complete if it considers how and what it is manufactured with. I did not want to manufacture off-gassing plastic products, thus our tag line, “eco-chic products for a sustainable planet” was born!

LIP: Most of your products are made using silicone. Why did you choose to work with this material?
Modern-twist is a pioneer and the first company in the world to bring such elegance and feel to a material that was traditionally used in the medical industry. We chose silicone because it is a natural element found in sand and rock. Our silicone is nonporous, making it germ-free, and also free of latex, vinyl and phthalates. It’s also heat resistant and extremely durable. Finally, our products are also 100% recyclable through designated recycling locations.

imageLIP: Why did you choose to focus on food-friendly items such as placemats, coasters and trivets?
: I grew up in a community [in San Francisco] that was passionate about nutrition, spirituality and organic farming. I was raised by a father who was a produce importer, and a spiritual mother with a PhD in Nutrition. Carrying on those nutritious values, I am a believer that food, its preparation, and gatherings bring people of all walks of life together. Thus, most inspirations for our product have been based on where we have our most creative inspirations, the kitchen table.

LIP: How about the design of your products, where does the inspiration come from?
Our products lend themselves as a palette for great design. We promote the work of independent designers from all over the world through our products; it’s our idea of bringing art to the table. The problem is not finding inspiration for us, it’s containing it! We love creating and partnering up with others.

LIP: Why is it important to pay attention to the materials/products that we choose to purchase or bring into our homes?
: Consumers have the responsibility to bring products to their homes that are safe for their family, the planet and preferably, aesthetically pleasing to the eye. As a manufacturer and as a designer, we have the responsibility to make products that are manufactured in a way that takes this burden off the consumer. Together, as consumers and manufacturers/designers, we all need to choose quality over quantity.

LIP: What’s next for Modern-twist?
We are pleased to introduce the Modern-twist Trivetz this month! Created in collaboration with the MIT duo Nervous System, Trivetz ($14 each) are interlocking, modern-day hot pads. They’re durable, flexible, soft to the touch and come in seven fun colors. They’re also made from FDA-approved food-grade silicone and just like all items carried by Modern-twist, Trivetz are 100% recyclable, non-porous and features a germ-free surface.

lauren debellis

A former magazine editor, Lauren DeBellis has been writing and producing stories about home decorating and design for nearly ten years. She resides in East Northport with her husband.