By Bill Lawyer

According to their “elevator speech,” Home For Zen is a boutique green home renovation and eco-healthy interior design company, with a unique focus on the wellness of children. It’s also the passion of founders Annalise Stack and Ania Dunlop.

The company was established recently to help clients in Westchester and environs create beautiful, non-toxic, and eco-friendly homes that are an extension of their healthy lifestyle.

While Zen is associated with contemplation, there is an active side to it, too — providing tools to build a better life.

Stack asks potential clients to “Think of your house as a living body. Our goal is to make your home green, healthy, and sustainable, through careful selection of materials, thoughtful use of space, and respect for the needs of the people living in them.”

According to Dunlop and Stack, “A green home is no longer a luxury. It is a necessity to protect the health of our children and families.”

Their business also includes providing help to parents in selecting healthy choices in the foods they eat and the ways they are prepared.

Stack has been involved in Rye environmental causes and businesses for many years. She has an MBA in Sustainability & LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects and an expert in creating home environments that support and encourage wellness.

Dunlop has an MBA and years of experience as a certified Holistic Health Coach. She is well known as the founder of the “Rye Moms” Facebook site.

The two women met at a yoga class, and soon discovered that their daughters were in the same grade at school. “As parents of children with chronic asthma and allergies, we linked their health issues with environmental toxins. And before long we started talking about starting a business to address those issues.”

While the green homes movement has been around for over 20 years, many people planning to renovate an existing home or build a new one may still not be aware of how easy it is to buy and use safe products and construction materials, note the dynamic duo.

“People often don’t realize that their houses are making them sick or that they can take action to make their home environment healthier and greener,” proclaims their website.

Stack and Dunlop use the analogy of their products and services to be an umbrella that protects people from being rained on by seemingly harmless toxic products. That includes chemicals found in kitty litter.

A typical day for the Home For Zen partners finds them going to a client’s home to collect air quality samples, mailing them to a testing laboratory, going to a product supplier to select samples, and then meeting with clients to go over their samples. Near the end of the day, they might work on the six-page report that they present to the client, with the results of the testing and a list of recommendations.

Another service they provide is public presentations regarding the principles and practices of using wellness concepts for healthy homes. They recently presented a program to a financial corporation in New York City.

Dunlop and Stack admit that they are already working eight-hour days, thanks to the help of afterschool babysitters.

Within five years, Stack projects that they will have ten to 15 employees, an office in Greenwich or Rye, a franchise operation, and a book covering all the aspects of their company’s mission. As far as she can see, they have cornered the local market on their services.

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Annalise Stack and Ania Dunlop, founders of Home for Zen