Recycled, repurposed items fill downtown rental unit

Published 12:00 am Thursday, April 14, 2011

By Emily Ford
SALISBURY — If Mother Earth visited Salisbury, she would stay at Alta. With an eye on the resurgence in the popularity of environmentalism, Heather St. Aubin-Stout and Gray Stout have turned Gray’s former architecture office into an upscale, eco-friendly rental.
The Stouts created Alta, which means “high,” for tourists and travelers who want a unique place to stay for a weekend or a month.
But Heather suspects the spacious rental in the heart of downtown also will appeal to local residents who just need a night away from home.
The Stouts will unveil the comfortable, stylish and green two bedroom rental at 206 E. Fisher St. as downtown celebrates Earth Night Out from 5 to 9 p.m. Friday. The event marks the return of the popular monthly night-on-the-town series sponsored by Downtown Salisbury Inc.
Alta’s open house will run from 5 to 7 p.m.
Heather sent an email blast this week to clients of the Stouts’ former downtown rental, loft 130, and heard back from several people within hours. She has two bookings for May.
“They are excited about the eco-factor,” she said. “People are much more conscious about little things we can do for the environment.”
In addition to “recycling” Gray’s office (he now works at home), the Stouts tried to furnish the apartment with items that are recycled, repurposed or otherwise earth-friendly.
From the organic cotton linens to the organic soy candles, Heather said she couldn’t believe how many products are available in a green variety.
Glassware and dishes made from recycled materials, non-toxic cleaning supplies, all-natural body care products, a molded cork bathmat and even a footstool made from old clothing give the rental a funky yet earthy feel.
The Stouts sold their former rental when they planned to move out of town. Loft 130 was financially successful and hosted college alums, tourists and executives in town to work at the VA Medical Center, Food Lion, banks and other companies. “I don’t think people realize how many tourists we have and corporate visitors,” Heather said.
Alta is within walking distance to restaurants, theaters, shopping and galleries.
How the Stouts turned an office into an apartment:
Conference room — master bedroom (queen bed)
Gray’s office — second bedroom (two double beds)
Reception — foyer
Blue print room — kitchen
Bathroom — added a shower
Living area — removed a few low walls
Windows — added curtains for privacy
Floors — retained hardwood and slate, added natural fiber rugs
Rates: $200 a night, $1,200 a week, $2,500 a month. To rent or learn more, call 704-267-6480.
Contact reporter Emily Ford at 704-797-4264.