Borrowed Earth Café
In keeping with the whole Borrowed Earth concept, we wanted to use environmentally friendly products and practices whenever possible.

No VOC Paint
We wanted to use environmentally paint. Most paints have Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs). VOCs release toxic chemicals in the air. You ever notice that paint, well, there's no nice way to say it: It stinks. Most hospitals and schools use no VOC paint, so we decided that if it was good enough for hospitals and schools, it was good enough for Borrowed Earth Cafe.

Next time you are thinking of painting, be kind to the environment and yourself and your family: Use no VOC paint.

We were lucky to have the help of Frank Zimmerman, El Hombe Con La Pintura (the man with the paint). Frank shepherded us through the entire process and help us get the best paint for the job. He helped us create the textured "earthen" look we envisioned.

Give Frank a call at 630.516.3669
Industrial Paint Sales
497 Wrightwood Avenue
Elmhurst, IL  60126

Frank Zimmerman protectively holds a can of no VOC paint

Bamboo Floors
No, not like the poles in the huts on Gilligan's Island.

No way, little buddy.

Bamboo is a grass. It reaches a height of 50 feet and is ready for harvest in five years.

Oak, pine, maple or the more exotic woods like Brazilian cherry take much longer to grow and mature for harvest for flooring.

Bamboo is absolutely beautiful. We have it in our home, too.

So we decided to get colored bamboo for Borrowed Earth Cafe. But which color?

We had the sample board at home and one morning when we were doing yoga, I looked down at my yoga practice rug and had an idea:

My Yoga Rug (available at

Let's use them all.

So here's the result. The company we got them from had never done this before but thought it would like cool. And it definitely does.

Our bamboo floors

Bamboo is definitely the coolest flooring on the planet and it's eco-friendly, too.

Bamboo looks great and it'll boost the value of your home or business. What looks better on a real estate listing sheet:  Bamboo flooring or low pile carpet? Unless it's brand new, carpet depreciates in perceived value the moment you walk on it. Bamboo is an investment in yourself and the planet you're borrowing from your children.

We got ours from:

Best Buy Carpet 630.820.1439
Route 59 and 75th Street
Aurora, IL

The Tiled Earth
We thought it would be cool to have the Earth done in glass tile in the vestibule. My daughter painted this rendition of the earth based on our description, "You know, the classic view from 4th grade geography, North and South America on the left, Africa and Europe on the right, lots of ocean all around. Green land, blue water?" She gave us her one-word acknowledgment of design apprehension: "Gotcha!"

One day, she showed up with this picture. "Like this?" she said.


A couple weeks later, an artisan named Paul and his wife Joanna showed up. They'd taken the sketch and a topographical to-scale map of the earth and created a happy medium at their home.

Expert installer Carlos Jimenez poses with the final product. Nice tattoo, Carlos!